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April 20: Health, Economic Transition Teams To Work Together To Reopen San Antonio

The order also asks that, if citizens are to leave the house, that they be safe.
Kathleen Creedon | Texas Public Radio
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed the 1,000 mark Sunday, with a total of 1,015 cases.

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.

Here's what we know ...

Monday, April 20

7:13 p.m. — A total of 28 Bexar County jail inmates, 24 deputies have tested positive

The Sheriff’s Administration reports five more Bexar County Sheriff’s Office employees and eight inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the five employees who tested positive, four are detention deputies and one is a civilian assigned to the clothing section at the Bexar County jail.
Two deputies who tested positive for COVID-19 have made a full recovery.
Eleven inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 have been relocated to the ‘Recovery Unit.’  That's where inmates are housed who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been symptom-free for 7 days.
To date, a total of 28 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. Currently, 24 deputies are positive for the virus.

6:30 p.m. — Health, economic transition teams will work together to reopen city

Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Judge Nelson Wolff will announce an economic transition team on Tuesday. This team, Nirenberg said, will work closely with the existing public health transition team. 

The new economic team will specifically focus on business operation tactics, but the public health team must first "set the rules of the road" according to the mayor.

Dr. Barbara Taylor at University of Texas Health in San Antonio is leading the health transition team. She said the team met this weekend to set priorities. On top of that list is to "protect human life."

"We know that health and economic inequity already exists in our community can be made worse (by COVID-19)," she said.

She said that's why the health and economic teams will be working closely together. 

"I think all of us working together hopefully — not hopefully — we will be able to come up with a plan by next week," Taylor said.

City officials also announced the following updates:

  • 1,029 confirmed cases in the San Antonio area
  • 39 deaths in the San Antonio area
  • 28 confirmed cases in the Bexar County Jail

6 p.m. — Watch today's daily briefing

12 a.m. — Mandatory mask policy goes into effect

All Bexar County residents over the age of 10 will be required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth when out in public.

The covering can be a mask or cloth of some kind. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg advises residents to not buy N95 surgical masks in order to preserve them for health care providers and first responders.

The masks must be worn in public spaces where the proper distance of at least 6 feet can’t be maintained.

Residents who violate the requirement may be issued a citation and could face a fine up to $1,000. Violations will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Sunday, April 19

6:13 p.m. — City crosses 1,000 mark with 1,015 total confirmed cases today

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Bexar County climbed to 1,015 as of Sunday. Nirenberg also confirmed an additional death, bringing the death toll to 39.

The most recent death was a Hispanic man in his 70s with underlying health issues. The patient was a resident at Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, the center of a local coronavirus outbreak. This marks the 18th death among the facility’s residents.

Five additional inmates at the Bexar County Jail are also among the most recent to test positive for the virus, according to Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. The latest cases brings the total number of confirmed cases among inmates to 20.

Nirenberg asked that citizen comply with the mandatory mask rules and take seriously the importance of social distancing.

"What you're doing is saving lives. We're keeping people healthy," Nirenberg said after thanking citizens for doing their part by staying home.

The number of community spread cases and close contact cases are the leading cause of the spread.

Health officials are calling for blood and plasma donations.  Contact the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center to make an appointment.

Call 3-1-1 for testing information.

To read yesterday's entire COVID-19 brief, click here.

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