Health officials removed 43 Texas residents from active monitoring for the Ebola virus at midnight Monday, giving them the all-clear.

The Texans were placed on the watch list after coming into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die from Ebola in the US. Duncan passed away Oct. 8.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins stressed that these people absolutely do not have the virus and should be welcomed back into the community with open arms.

"There's zero risk than any of those people on the list have Ebola," he said.

Jenkins noted in particular that eight school children who are finally returning to class after three weeks of being monitored for Ebola infection shouldn't be spurned by classmates. He stressed that "the world is watching Dallas," and encouraged the community to not be afraid of those who were cleared.

Texas Governor Rick Perry said he welcomed the news with "guarded optimism."

Rick Perry
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

"Continuous vigilance in confronting this threat and the cooperation of those affected is what has brought us to this point, and we look forward to the day when the remaining individuals can also be removed from active monitoring."

Also cautiously optimistic is Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who said: "We cannot be relieved. We are still in a situation where we are cautious."

Rawlings confirmed that some 120 people are still being actively monitored for Ebola.

So far, two Dallas healthcare workers who cared for Ebola "Patient Zero" Thomas Eric Duncan -- Amber Vinson and Nina Pham -- have contracted Ebola. They are both currently isolated and being treated.

In the weeks following Duncan's death, there have been Ebola scares in Lubbock and Amarillo. There have been no confirmed Ebola cases in either city.

[via ABC]

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