NACOGDOCHES — Authorities in Nacogdoches County have confirmed a case of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

"In response to this, (Texas Department of State Health Services) is actively conducting contact investigations and will notify any persons who have had contact with the patient," according to a statement released by county officials Wednesday. "Due to privacy laws, the identity of the confirmed patient is not released to anyone but emergency medical personnel who may be providing care."

The county established a Conavirus Call Center this week, and residents with concerns or who thought they might be experiencing symptoms were encouraged to call 468-4787 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monda-Friday.

The call center and a remote testing facility are a partnership between Nacogdoches Medical Center, Nacogdoches Memorial Health and Excel ER, the SFA School of Nursing and local government officials.

“Both hospital’s emergency departments are overwhelmed by people coming in with respiratory illness. Please don’t go to the emergency room. Call your physician,” said Dr. David Duke of the Nacogdoches Area Physicians’ Association.

Those physicians will asses whether patients will be referred to the testing center.

"While on the phone, local health care providers will guide the caller through a series of questions that will help them determine whether testing for COVID-19 is recommended. Patients who meet current CDC criteria for testing will have an order generated by a covering provider and will be scheduled to appear at the testing site," according to Thursday's statement.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

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