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San Antonio

What San Antonio-Area Residents, Businesses Need To Know About The Stay-At-Home Order

A photo of an empty Market Sqaure on March 20, 2020.
Nathan Cone | Texas Public Radio
A photo of an empty Market Sqaure on March 20, 2020.

Officials with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County have issued "Stay Home, Work Safe" orders to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the area. The orders by the city and county were issued simultaneously.

The stay-at-home order will go into place on Tuesday, March 24, at 11:59 p.m. and — pending city council approval — will last until April 9, at 11:59 p.m.

This order applies to everyone living within the City of San Antonio and the suburban cities within Bexar County. These residents are asked to stay home and only leave their homes to perform allowed activities. There are four categories of allowed activities:

  1. Activities related to maintaining the health and safety of their family and their pets.
  2. Activities to obtain necessary supplies for themselves, their family and household (groceries, curbside take-out, pet supplies, toilet paper, etc.)
  3. Working for an exempted business or government that is providing services needed by the public during this crisis.
  4. Outdoor activity, such as walking, running or cycling, but only if they maintain social distancing, such as staying six feet away from other people.

All public and private gatherings consisting of anyone other than a person’s own household or family are prohibited. 

RELATED | COVID-19 Live Blog: Here's What We Know |

The order also requires all businesses to close except the following:

  • Healthcare operations
  • Government functions to the public
  • Schools and education
  • Companies providing or maintaining infrastructure
  • Businesses related to transportation
  • Retail businesses that sell food, gas and household products
  • Charitable organizations providing food and shelter
  • Hotels and other temporary residence facilities
  • Businesses that provide home maintenance
  • News media
  • Financial institutions, such as banks, credit unions and title companies
  • Childcare services
  • Worship services, provided services are distributed remotely
  • Funeral services
  • Business and operations necessary to critical infrastructure sectors identified by the National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency.

San Antonio's order can be found here, and Bexar County's can be found here.

Businesses who violate the order can be subject to fines. Under the county’s order, any person in violation can face a fine up to a $1,000, or confinement for a period not exceeding 180 days.

A statement from the City of San Antonio on Tuesday said police officers will not pull people over if they’re outside their homes. Additionally residents do not need permission slips to prove they work for a business that’s allowed to remain open,

“We expect the public to follow the Stay Home order, and our enforcement efforts will focus on the businesses that should be closed, and that proper social distancing measures are being followed by those that are open,” the statement said.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Judge Nelson Wolff speak at a press conference about a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Credit Joey Palacious | Texas Public Radio
Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Judge Nelson Wolff speak at a press conference about a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said these measures are put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the area.

“If we do this right – and right away – we suffer fewer consequences in the long term, such as loss of family, friends or neighbors who may be particularly vulnerable right now,” Nirenberg said in a statement. “If we do this right – and right away – we also position our community to emerge from this crisis more quickly.”

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said the community is facing two major challenges: “a public health challenge and an economic challenge.” 

“I’ve never seen anything like this... We must work to together to balance the need to protect the public from the spread of COVID-19 as to not overwhelm our hospital system while trying to preserve jobs and people’s livelihoods,” said Wolff.

“This is a step that your local government can do but we need each and every one of our citizens to do their part so that we will get through this with the least amount of disruption.”

As of Monday evening, Bexar County has 57 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Sixteen cases of which are believed to be community spread.

Joey Palacios can be reached at Joey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules.

Bri Kirkham can be reached at Bri@TPR.org and on Twitter at @BriKirk.