The virus known as COVID-19 that began its insidious creep into our society during January has now gained a solid foothold on American soil terrorizing and threatening the entire nation. But how did it get here? What’s its backstory?
The following is a timeline for the development and spread of the upper respiratory disease.
In late December of 2019 — remember then, when the Cowboys smoked the Redskins to end the season on a high note — it was reported that several people in Wuhan, China were treated for pneumonia after allegedly visiting a live animal market in the city.
On January 11, 2020, China indicated a 61-year old man who had been afflicted with pneumonia after going to the animal market died from the novel coronavirus.
By January 21, the United States had acquired its first case of COVID-19. The person was a 35-year old man from Washington state who had traveled to Wuhan.
The World Health Organization (WHO) proclaimed its sixth international public health emergency on January 30.
In February, WHO changed the name of the nascent disease from the novel coronavirus to COVID-19; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) affirmed the first local transmission case in the U.S., and America had its first death attributed to the novel coronavirus.
WHO classified the coronavirus-2019 a pandemic on March 11.
President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on March 13 and Gov. Greg Abbott followed suit announcing a statewide public health disaster.
On February 7, travelers were quarantined for two weeks at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
A North Texas man from Colin County tested positive on March 8 after returning from a trip to California. The first coronavirus-related fatality in Texas was reported on March 15. The victim was a man in his 90s and a resident of Bay City.
Gov. Abbott issued an executive order on March 19 prohibiting the gatherings of 10 or more people and closed schools, gyms, dine-in restaurants and bars. The initial order was in effect until April 3. He also created another executive order on March 26 requiring air travelers flying into Texas from Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and New Orleans to be quarantined for 14 days or the duration of their stay.
On March 31, the governor extended social distancing guidelines through April 30.
Val Verde County Judge Lewis Owens issued a Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency on March 16. He amended the declaration on March 23 ordering residents to shelter-in and remain six feet apart when encountering people during essential activities such as purchasing items at the grocery store.
The Texas Department of Health Services (DSHS) reported five cases in Val Verde County as of 12:30 p.m. on April 2.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Del Rio-
March 24: travel-related
March 26: travel-related
March 27: local transmission
March 27: travel-related
March 28: travel-related
(Resources for the story: ABC News; WFAA; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the city of Del Rio.)