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April 18: AT&T To Help East Side Residents Get Free Wifi

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.
Other NPR stations that are part of The Texas Newsroom are also live-blogging, including Houston Public Media,  KERA in Dallas and KUT in Austin. 
The statewide coronavirus hotline is 2-1-1, and San Antonio's Metro Health hotline is 210-207-5779.

Here's what we know ...

Saturday, April 18

6:13 p.m. — 992 cases confirmed

Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced that the number of fully recovered COVID-19 patients is 256, which accounts for a quarter of the cases in San Antonio.

There has been one new death, bringing the total number to 38.

Seventy-eight patients are in the hospital and 63 people are awaiting test results. Fourty-four patients are in the ICU and 24 on ventilators, the lowest number reported so far, according to Nirenberg.

County Judge Nelson Wolff explained the Spurs are stepping up to help citizens without internet on the East Side. Starting Monday, the AT&T Center will open up a parking lot for people to use for free wifi.

As for the Bexar County jail, there are no new positive cases, but seven people under investigation.

3:00 p.m. — San Antonio lenders talk PPP and what's next

The U.S. Treasury announced this week that all $349 billion of pandemic relief money for small businesses had run out.

Thousands of businesses across the country, unable to access the funds, are wondering what happens next.

The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, is expected to get another infusion of funds soon, but in the meantime, what should people expect from banks?

TPR's Paul Flahive spoke with financial experts about how they're adjusting to the rollercoaster situation.

For more updates about how the overall business community has adjusted to the realities of the coronavirus crisis, follow TPR's special blog that is tracking the latest developments.

1:45 p.m. — Hispanic Caucus to DHS: Stop turning away kids at the border

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus called on the Trump administration this week to stop turning away hundreds of unaccompanied children at the border.

Unaccompanied children are normally taken to shelters operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. But the coronavirus pandemic led the administration to close the southern border last month to non-essential traffic.

The Department of Homeland Security has since been rapidly expelling thousands of migrants to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, chaired by San Antonio Congressman Joaquin Castro, asked DHS to follow safeguards Congress created to protect children from exploitation and human trafficking.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted nearly 18,000 removals in March.

For more updates from the border region, follow TPR's special blog that is tracking the latest developments.

1:00 p.m. — Situation in nearby counties

Comal County reported no new cases of COVID-19 Friday. The total number of cases remained at 43. The county reported six deaths.

Guadalupe County's count of 53 cases remained unchanged on Friday.

Wilson County has reported 19 confirmed cases and one death, and six people have recovered. Kendall County reported 14 confirmed cases.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 15 cases in Medina County, with two reported deaths; and 10 in Atascosa, with one reported death. There were four confirmed cases in Bandera County.

12:00 p.m. — More blood drives coming this week

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is hosting several blood drives at locations that allow for proper social distancing.

Drives are scheduled today at Miltown Historic District in New Braunfels and tomorrow at MacArthur Park Church of Christ off Loop 410 on the Northeast Side.

Drives are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at the Embassy Suites by Hilton on Landmark Parkway on the Far Northwest Side.

On Wednesday and Thursday, drives will be held at the City of Schertz Community Center.

Drives are by appointment only at Southtexasblood.org.

For more updates about when and where to give blood and how to help in other ways, follow TPR's special blog that is tracking the latest developments and announcements.

11:00 a.m. — More COVID-19 cases in the RGV

Cameron County has reported 279 cases. That's an increase of 100 in a week.

Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. expanded the county's shelter-in-place order Friday.

“We will be extending our shelter in place order until May the 4th," he said, "which is the date that the governor had previously.”

Five people have died of coronavirus-related illness in Cameron County. At least four of those came from outbreaks at two nursing homes.

Treviño said Friday Cameron County has not yet seen a downward trend in the number of positive cases.

For more updates from the border region, follow TPR's special blog that is tracking the latest developments.

10:00 a.m. — Castro urges federal officials to help nursing homes

San Antonio Congressman Joaquin Castro calls on federal officials to track coronavirus cases at the nation's nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Castro and 77 other House Democrats wrote a letter Friday to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Seema Verma.

The letter urges Azar and Verma to work with states, localities, and private labs to collect and publicly report data on the number of long-term care residents affected by COVID-19.

Castro says, according to CDC estimates and news reports, 1 in 5 coronavirus deaths are related to nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

An outbreak at San Antonio's Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has claimed at least 17 lives.

Friday, April 17

6:20 p.m. — 959 total confirmed cases, 1,800 tests cleared

Mayor Ron Nirenberg and County Judge Nelson Wolff were joined in Friday's briefing by Anita Kurian, San Antonio Metropolitan Health assistant director.

Nirenberg announced that the city has finally cleared the "log jam" or about 1,800 tests from the federally contracted lab.

"So, there has been a slight jump," Nirenberg said. "But the numbers are showing some sort of trending, which is good."

Twenty more people have recovered since yesterday's briefing, bring the total to 196 recoveries. There were no new deaths today.

There are 80 patients total in San Antonio hospitals with COVID-19, with 48 additional people pending test results and 47 in intensive care. Twenty-five patients are on venitlators, which Nirenberg said is the lowest number reported recently.

6:15 p.m. — Watch today's daily briefing

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