San Antonio Calls On Governor To Clarify TEA's Contradiction About Opening Schools In Fall | Texas Public Radio

San Antonio Calls On Governor To Clarify TEA's Contradiction About Opening Schools In Fall

22 hours ago

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San Antonio

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported 946 new cases in the San Antonio area on Wednesday, which brings the total case count to 38,930 since March. Because daily reports rely on lab results, the city will start to report a seven-day moving average. The seven-day average on Wednesday was 768 cases.

There have been seven new deaths, 342 total.

Hospitals remain under severe stress with 1,007 patients (-38), 12% of staffed beds available and 40% of ventilators available. There are 389 patients in intensive care (-24) and 269 on ventilators (-14).

 

Recently, there has been an increase in pediatric cases — cases of people 18 and under. This has made city and county officials wary of opening schools too early.

“We’re about to enter August, and it’s either going to be a good month for us, turning it around, or we’re going to continue to have problems,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

Both city and county officials have been supportive of the decision to delay schools until September. Wolff said August will be a “determining month” because of this.

 

 

Up until earlier this week, the Texas Education Agency said it would fund schools if legally ordered to close campuses. However, the TEA has changed its stance and now said it will not fund schools closed solely because of Bexar County’s health orders.

“The one person that can iron out this whole mess is the governor,” Nirenberg said. “So we’ve asked him to reinforce the message and the authority of our local public health authority, or rescind the directive. One or the other, but this confusion has to end.”

Nirenberg said a letter has been sent to Governor Greg Abbott for him to again speak up on the power of local health authorities to decide when and how schools start up.

“The one person that can iron out this whole mess is the governor, so we have asked him to reinforce the message and the authority of our local health authority or resend the directive, one of the other, but this confusion has to end,” he said.

The letter was sent after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued guidance that school boards — not health officials — are to determine school start up matters.

Nirenberg said Metro Health is letting science best determine when schools reopen for in-class instruction. He said the city remains firm on no-in person instruction until after Labor Day.

Texas

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Bexar County has had 497 deaths, 162 more than what the county itself reports.

Dr. Junda Woo, medical director for Metro Health, said the county has spoken with state officials, and there is no clear reason for the discrepancy.

She said both the state and county have been using the same process, so the next step is to compare the two lists side-by-side.

As of Wednesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported more than 403,300 confirmed cases across the state — with Harris, Dallas, Tarrant and Bexar counties consistently among those reporting the highest numbers of cases.

More than 6,100 people have died in Texas.

There are more than 9,500 patients with COVID-19 in Texas hospitals.

National and International

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Find the latest information from Metro Health here