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City officials respond to TAMIU refusing to quarantine

This begs the question: if an outbreak of a now dozen cases doesn’t warrant a quarantine what numbers does?
Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 10:16 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - The City of Laredo is sticking behind the health authority’s decision to issue a quarantine order for a TAMIU building.

According to the city manager, it’s their understanding that he did have the authority to step in but after hearing that Governor Greg Abbott made the final decision to revoke the order they don’t know what this means for similar situations moving forward.

“It is not just a TAMIU issue because people don’t live, stay, and only confine themselves to TAMIU.”

City Manager Robert Eads says the decision to issue the quarantine order came after they heard for the first time Monday that there were positive cases at Texas A&M International University.

“I got a text that I received from Doctor Arenaz telling me that they were having a problem with computers, their computer system, to be able to get them data for the contact tracing, so when you tell our health authority one, ’hey by the way, we just told you for the first time we have 11 cases’ and follow it up by saying we don’t have the contact tracing data, we don’t know who they’ve contacted, we don’t know where this has gone, well then of course you’re health authority is going to say wait a minute, we’ve got to put a pause.”

Eads says the point of the order was to allow time to figure out the situation.

“Let’s work together on this, let’s go total virtual for five days do a scrubbing, cleaning, whatever it needed to be done for about five days so everyone can be on track.”

As we know, TAMIU wasn’t quite on board with that idea.

“Obviously the president took it to his chain of command, the chancellor and then obviously it went to the governor and the governor did not see fit for us to do that, and so be it we’ll definitely follow it.”

The states response to this matter had many asking questions on when they can step in.

“From what we understood was you can’t make preemptive assessments or assertions to a school districts saying in a month we believe it’s going to be so bad you need to remain close. The governor said, that your health authority can go in and do things when there’s obviously an outbreak or there is a potential for an even greater issue at the location, and that’s kinda the idea here.”

This begs the question: if an outbreak of a now dozen cases doesn’t warrant a quarantine what numbers does?

“I’m sorry but I don’t know, because we thought 11 was enough but if that’s not enough I don’t know what other trigger would be.”

Eads adds that this situation in no way tarnishes their relationship with TAMIU.

They will continue working with the university and will be available to help them every step of the way.

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