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.
Thursday, May 28
6:32 p.m. — Hospitalizations continue to increase gradually
Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported 2,583 cases, up 58 from yesterday. Of the new cases, 17 are from the community, two are from congregate settings, and 39 are still pending determination.
There has been one new death, bringing the total to 71.
Nirenberg explained that the number of hospitalizations is one of multiple indicators of the city’s progress with the containment of COVID-19. In the past few days, hospitalizations have increased.
In local hospitals, there are currently 95 positive cases in local hospitals. Of those, 41 people are in intensive care and 22 are on ventilators.
County Judge Nelson Wolff said the jail is looking good in terms of cases, with just two inmates in the infirmary. However, Wolff did mention his concern that there are 335 inmates in the county jail who should have been transferred to the prison system. Wolff said each of those inmates costs the city $20,000 a day and have brought the total number of inmates to roughly 3,400 inmates in the jail.
Director of Metro Health Dawn Emerick said the two pop-up testing centers that opened today saw more than 250 tests. The site at San Antonio College tested 146 people, and 131 people were tested at Highlands High School.
Emerick said she anticipates a rise in positive tests due to increase testing in congregate settings and because of the gradual reopening of the city. Though it’s typical for infectious diseases to have a second wave, Emerick said, there’s no indication that wave is “around the corner.”
6:10 p.m. — Watch today's daily briefing
5 p.m. — VIA announces fare collection plan
VIA will start collecting fares again on June 1.
Fare collection was suspended shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak began to maintain social distance.
Customer information and ticket windows reopened on Wednesday, May 20 for pass and ticket sales.
VIA continues a maximum load of 16 passengers on its buses for social distancing purposes. Bus operators and riders are required to wear masks and buses are frequently disinfected.
VIA remains on its essential services schedule. It adjusts bus routes and hours, moving several routes to a Sunday schedule and adding frequency to others that continue to see high ridership.
1 p.m. — Theme parks plan to reopen
Splash Town has announced plans to open on June 13, becoming the first theme park in the city to do so. Water zones at Jellystone Parks across Texas will be open for the summer camping season starting Friday, May 29. That includes its dinosaur-themed water zone at Canyon Lake and its 19,000 square foot water zone and waterslides in Kerrville.
Schlitterbahn in New Braufels plans to open mid-June.
Morgan’s Wonderland reports it will be closed for the remainder of 2020. Six Flags-Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld San Antonio both remain closed.
10 a.m. — City initiative aims to collect tens of thousands of face coverings
The City of San Antonio's "Covered with Compassion" initiative aims to collect 50,000 new cloth face coverings. Donations of cloth masks, scarves, bandanas and handkerchiefs will be distributed to marginalized communities in San Antonio.
The initiative partners with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to encourage its members and the entire business community to help reach the goal.
Donations of cloth face coverings can be dropped off Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at TriPoint at 3233 N. St. Mary's St.
Wednesday, May 27
6:30 p.m. — City surpasses 2,500th case
Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported 2,525 cases, up 45 from yesterday. Of the new cases, seven are from the community, 13 are from congregate settings, and the remaining 25 are pending categorization.
There has been one new death, brining the total to 70.
As Nirenberg has mentioned at the past few briefings, there remains a slight uptick in hospital numbers. Despite the increase in hospitalizations, the patients who are admitted are moderately ill. Nirenberg said that — along with other positive indicators like strong hospital capacity, high doubling rate, low positivity rate — demonstrates that the city is progressing.
There are 92 people in local hospitals: 39 in intensive care and 19 on ventilators.
Tomorrow is the first of three days of pop-up testing at Highlands High School and San Antonio College. Both sites will be open 10 a.m.–2 p.m. tomorrow through Saturday.
Today, the city passed out safety supply kits to over 5,000 small business, Nirenberg reported. He said the city is focused on a “safe and vigorous” reopening of the economy and that the kits will allow small businesses to help with that mission.
6:10 p.m. — Watch today's daily briefing
10:30 a.m. — Big Bend plans reopening next month
Big Bend National Park may begin a phased reopening as early as June 1.
Scenic driving, bicycling, day hiking and day float trips down the Rio Grande are among the initial activities being proposed.
According to a statement, the final decision to gradually reopen the park for day use will be guided recommendations from health and safety experts.
The 800,000-acre park in West Texas has been closed since April 3. About 463,000 people visited Big Bend last year.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines
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