East Texas (KTRE) - The first case of COVID-19 in the city of Lufkin was confirmed just after 5 p.m. by the Angelina County & Cities Health District. District administrator Sharon Shaw said that person traveled out of the state and started feeling sick after returning to Lufkin.
“We think there was some out of state travel involved,” said Gerald Williamson, City of Lufkin Director of Public Safety. “And we can just speculate now because we don’t know all the details that will come up in the investigation. But the person is in a Houston hospital and is not here in Lufkin now.”
Now the health district is working to identify people and places the patient may have come into contact with during their time in Lufkin. But officials say that time was short.
“We are in a different phase than some of the metropolitan areas are in Texas now,” Williamson said. “So it’s not a time for us to put our guard down. It’s a time for us to continue evaluating where we are and take responsible steps to combat this disease.”
In Nacogdoches County, officials are working closely with the city, both hospitals, and Stephen F. Austin State University.
“The State Department of Health Services will conduct an investigation and follow up with this individual's contacts,” said Tara Triana, county emergency management coordinator. “We’re not privy to a lot of information. We do know that the person is isolated and currently is not a danger of infecting others.”
Officials encourage everyone to keep washing their hands and practicing social distancing.
“We’re also asking our local citizens to only come out of your homes for essential services and essential needs,” Triana said. “And please stay home and isolate yourselves to try to slow the spread.”