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April 21: San Antonio Officials Say 30% Of Confirmed Cases Have Recovered

Medical workers wearing protective masks and suits treat patients at the pulmonology unit at the hospital in Vannes where patients suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated.
Stephane Mahe | Reuters
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Medical workers wearing protective masks and suits treat patients at the pulmonology unit at the hospital in Vannes where patients suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated.

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 ...

Tuesday, April 21

6:30 p.m. — Updates of recoveries and plans to reopen

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said that 325 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the San Antonio area, which equates to 30% of confirmed cases in the area.

Members of the new economic transition team were also announced. There are about 20 people on that committee made up local businessowners. Kevin Voelkel is the president of Toyota Manufacturing Texas in San Antonio and will serve as one of the co-chairs. Julissa Carielo is the president of Tejas Premier Building Contractors and is the other co-chair.

City officials also announced the following updates:

  • 1,080 confirmed cases in the San Antonio area
  • 39 deaths in the San Antonio area 
  • 29 confirmed cases among Bexar County Jail inmates

6 p.m. — Watch today's daily briefing

2:30 p.m. — Rep. Henry Cuellar requests funding

U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar and Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico have asked U.S. House leadership to send additional money to southwestern border communities through upcoming COVID-19 relief funds.

U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar represents Texas' 28th Congressional District.
Credit Shelley D. Kofler / Texas Public Radio
U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar represents Texas' 28th Congressional District.

The representatives sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer requesting the Southwest Border Regional Commission to be included in any future COVID-19 stimulus packages. The letter states funding the full amount of $33 million dollars to the commission would help fund infrastructure projects and create jobs in southwest communities.

The SBRC was originally created to deal with economic distress in the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.

“Our vibrant border community is critical to economic health in southern New Mexico,” said Torres Small.

“While day-to-day life has changed overnight, many families and local businesses are working hard to adapt. The Southwest Border Regional Commission, previously authorized with bipartisan support, would help provide stability and relief in communities along the southern border.”

12 p.m. — San Antonio tech leaders to host "digital campfire"

San Antonio's technology industry is hosting an online series of stories and interviews featuring SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez, HEB chief digital officer and CEO of the delivery app Favor, Jag Bath and Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

The full slate is here. Alongside the presentation is a fundraiser to provide broadband access to 100 low-income families within SAISD.

The event starts at 4 p.m. today

11:30 a.m. — 6 San Antonio firefighters test positive for COVID-19

A statement fromt the San Antonio fire department reports there are six firefighters who have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 52 other uniformed firefighters who are under quarantine.

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 hope — no, I don't hope — we will have a plan 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 among Bexar County Jail inmates

6 p.m. — Watch today's daily briefing

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

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