May 18: South Texas Blood & Tissue Center Urges Citizens To Donate | Texas Public Radio

May 18: South Texas Blood & Tissue Center Urges Citizens To Donate

May 18, 2020

This Post is Archived: Find the newest information on COVID-19 in San Antonio at the links below.

Texas Public Radio is updating the latest information on COVID-19 in the San Antonio area, along with how local businesses are adjusting, how you can help those in need and what you can do to stay entertained at home. TPR is also providing live updates on the Rio Grande Valley.

Monday, May 18

6:45 p.m. — 2,213 cases confirmed in San Antonio

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said a total of 2,213 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in San Antonio. That includes confirmed cases from this weekend: 72 from Friday, 16 from Saturday and five from Sunday.

Of those new cases, 37 are from the Bexar County Jail and five are from nursing homes.

Nirenberg also announced the city now has the capacity to administer 3,000 tests daily — a benchmark set by the city's health transition team.

6 p.m. — Watch today's daily briefing

2 p.m. — More Texas businesses prepare to reopen

Texas continues the phased reopening of its economy today as Governor Greg Abbott is expected to announce additional businesses that will be allowed to re-welcome customers. 

Offices, non-essential manufacturers, gyms, and exercise facilities may open their doors but must operate at 25% capacity and observe other safety guidelines.

The Governor’s office released a checklist for businesses reopening their doors, which includes health protocols for employees and sanitization guidelines for facilities.

Governor Abbott’s announcement this afternoon comes two days after the state saw it’s highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a single day since the outbreak began. There were 1,801 confirmed cases across the state on Saturday alone.

More than 700 of those were workers in meat-packing plants in the Texas panhandle where the Governor deployed one of his surge-response teams to test thousands of plant workers. 

The Governor assures Texans that the state has what it needs to address these spikes.

12:30 p.m. — Update on surrounding counties

Comal County confirmed one additional case on Monday, bringing the total 71. There are 56 people wo have recovered from the virus and there have been six deaths reported.

Atascosa County confirmed 30 cases Thursday, with 17 recoveries and only one death related to the virus.

The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed 110 cases in Guadalupe County, 36 in Wilson County, and 50 in Medina County.

There are 21 COVID-19 cases in Kendall County. Both Uvalde and Bandera Counties report six cases each.

12 p.m. — James Avery plant reduces operations

James Avery Artisan Jewelry plans to lay off 82 employees at a manufacturing facility in Fredericksburg. Some of them have the option to work at the Kerrville Craftsman Center.

The notice comes after the Kerrville-based company furloughed more than 2,000 employees in early April, which affected sites in Fredericksburg, Hondo, Comfort and Kerrville.

The foundry and store in Fredericksburg will stay open.

Sunday, May 17

6:50 p.m. – South Texas Blood & Tissue Center urges citizens to donate

Metro Health's data team has been working "24/7" according to Mayor Ron Nirenberg, and is taking part of this weekend off work. Because of that, there aren't new case numbers to report.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reviewed the trends in case counts overtime. May 1 and 2 showed the highest number of case counts per day (both days had 100+ cases).

Though daily case numbers decreased after May 2, Nirenberg noted that the daily numbers have increased in the past few weeks due to universal testing in the jail and in nursing homes. Overall, Nirenberg said the percentage of total tests that are positive has dropped since early May.

There are currently 88 people in local hospitals due to COVID-19: 70 have tested positive, and 18 are under investigation.

There are 31 people in intensive care and 16 on ventilators.

Precinct 2 County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez noted that jail numbers have remained relatively flat. Of 1,611 inmates who have been tested, only 393 have tested positive (319 without symptoms and 74 with symptoms). No inmates are currently hospitalized.

Rodriguez said that the city is working to offer smaller businesses assistance with essential items, including bags with touches thermometers, masks, gloves, etc. Additionally, there will be a meeting on Tuesday to discuss further allocation of CARES Act funding.

Paul Basaldua, a former COVID-19 patient, spoke about the importance of donating plasma. He and Elizabeth Walton, CEO of the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, urged former COVID-19 patients to donate plasma, as well as all citizens to consider donating blood.

Walton said the Blood and Tissue Center has had 120 blood drives canceled. The drives were planned for this summer and would have yielded 4,000 units of blood. To recuperate those losses, the center will host a blood drive at the Alamo Dome May 21–23 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Appointments are required and can be made on the Blood and Tissue Center’s website.

6:10 p.m. — Watch today's daily briefing

5:15 p.m. — Migrants, Volunteers Prepare For Possible COVID-19 Outbreak At Mexican Border Camp

Medical experts and volunteers at a migrant camp in Matamoros worry that COVID-19 could spread like wildfire among the more than 1,500 people living there if the virus makes its way into there.

Read more about how the camp is preparing for an outbreak here.

9:30 a.m. — Update on surrounding counties

Comal County confirmed two additional cases last week bringing the total 70. There are 56 people who have recovered from the virus and there have been six deaths reported.

Atascosa County confirmed 30 cases Thursday, with 17 recoveries and only one death related to the virus.

The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed 101 cases in Guadalupe County, where 83 have recovered. There are 36 cases reported in Wilson County, and 45 in Medina County.

There 20 COVID-19 cases in Kendall County. Both Uvalde and Bandera Counties report six cases each.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines

CORRECTION: An entry on this blog about James Avery Artisan Jewelry incorrectly reported how operations were changing. It should've said that the Fredericksburg manufacturing facility was closing, which would impact about 80 workers. They have the option of working at the Kerrville Craftsman Center. If they decline that option, they will be offered a benefits and salary package. The foundry and store in Fredericksburg will stay open.

TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.