Georgetown man was on flight with nurse diagnosed with Ebola

The Frontier Airlines plane that Amber Vinson flew from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday, flies out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
The Frontier Airlines plane that Amber Vinson flew from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday, flies out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — A Georgetown man sitting in close proximity to a nurse who was later diagnosed with Ebola is being monitored by county health care officials.

The Williamson County and Cities Health District learned Thursday that the man was on Flight #1143 from Cleveland to Dallas with Amber Vinson, the second nurse to be infected with the Ebola virus. The Centers for Disease Control has maintained Vinson did not exhibit symptoms during the flight and the risk of exposure to other passengers is low.

The Georgetown man has not shown any symptoms of the virus and has decided to separate himself from others, including his family. Officials added that he has been “completely cooperative and compliant with recommendations from health officials.”

He was also placed on paid leave for 21 days by his employer, Artco-Bell, located in Temple. He was placed on leave based on recommendations from the CDC, according to Gary Carlson, Vice President of HNI Corporation. Carlson said the man’s workplace would be cleaned and that a notice went out to employees notifying them of the situation.

Cleaning crews arrive at Artco-Bell in Temple to clean an employee's workspace.
Cleaning crews arrive at Artco-Bell in Temple to clean an employee’s workspace. (Amanda Brandeis/KXAN)

The man also has three children who attend Georgetown ISD schools. Those three schools are Village Elementary, Benold Middle School and Georgetown High School. The children were not on the flight and “have not had exposure to a symptomatic adult,” health officials said. However, the family has chosen to keep the children at home.

“We have been and will continue to be in regular communication with the individual and his family on a daily basis,” said Dr. Chip Riggins, executive director and health authority of the Williamson County and Cities Health District. “Health District staff will contact him twice daily to check for any symptoms. Again, because the family members were not exposed to a symptomatic case, they can and should be safely welcomed back to school. They do not pose a risk to others.”

Georgetown ISD says all schools will remain open and all events will be held as scheduled.