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April 30: San Antonio Continues Stay-At-Home Orders With 6th Emergency Declaration

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

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 ...

Thursday, April 30

6:45 p.m. — City outlines progress, warning indicators for upcoming weeks

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported 1,374 total confirmed cases, up 48 from yesterday. Of the 1,374 cases, 688 people still have the virus and 638 have recovered.

There have been two more deaths, bringing the total to 48. Nirenberg said the hospital numbers remain in “strong shape.”

In the county jail, 59 inmates and 28 staff members have tested positive.

County Judge Nelson Wolff said the city will reopen BiblioTech to give citizens access to free wifi, printing and computers. The digital publishing library will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Assistant City Manager Dr. Colleen Bridger gave a brief overview of how the city will measure its progress in the coming weeks.

The progress indicators include sustaining a decrease in number of positive tests; the ability to perform tests for all people, ultimately growing from the current 1,600 daily test capacity to 3,000; to do effective contact tracing; and a health system stress score, which quantifies the availability of hospital beds, ventilators, etc.

Bridger explained the city will monitor the virus’s doubling time, which is currently 2.5 weeks; the percentage of tests that are positive, which is currently under 7%; and the health system stress score. If any of these factors worsen, the city will take that as a warning indicator.

6:13 p.m. — Watch today's daily briefing

4 p.m. — City Council approves stay-at-home continuance

San Antonio’s stay-at-home orders will be extended until May 19 after the city council approved it 10-1.

“Stay Home and Work Safe” will continue to be the city’s motto as certain businesses begin to open up under the state’s orders tomorrow. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said it's still risky to reopen businesses.

“I think this is a risk we don’t need to take because the gating criteria that have been articulated by public health officials have not yet been met. We’re not testing enough,” said Nirenberg.

During the meeting, San Antonio Metro Health officials said they plan to conduct 3,000 tests per day by the end of June. It will also recruit 175 contact tracers to track virus spread among close contacts.

The city’s order still requires people to wear facemasks – something the state won’t allow to be enforced. Councilman Clayton Perry voted no due to the city’s facemask mandate.

2 p.m. — Updates on surrounding counties

Comal County confirmed one more COVID-19 case Wednesday, bringing the total to 55. There have been six reported deaths related to the virus and 36 recoveries.

Wilson County has 32 confirmed cases, 13 of which have fully recovered.  There have been three deaths.

Guadalupe County’s case count climbed to 80 this week, after officials confirmed seven additional cases Tuesday.  Fifty-two people have recovered.

Atascosa County reported three new cases on Wednesday, bringing its total to 19.  One person has died and 11 have recovered.

Kendall County reports 16 confirmed cases.

The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed 19 cases are confirmed in Medina County. Six cases are confirmed in Uvalde and Bandera Counties, respectively.

9 a.m. — Toyota pushes back opening

Toyota’s manufacturing plant in San Antonio will remain closed an additional week.

Toyota Motor Corp. previously announced it would resume operations by May 4. Reopening is now set for May 11 after company officials had “an extensive review with our supplier and logistics network.”

According to a statement, Toyota plans to gradually resume its manufacturing operations. The automaker said it will also comply with federal health and safety guidelines, and local and state ordinances where facilities are located.

That includes factory workers following social-distancing orders and having their temperatures taken daily.

San Antonio’s South Side Toyota plant employs nearly 3,000 workers and has been closed since March 23.

Wednesday, April 29

6:41 p.m. — Mayor Ron Nirenberg issues 6th public health emergency order

Mayor Ron Nirenberg and County Judge Nelson Wolff announced San Antonio’s sixth declaration of a public health emergency, which responds to Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order released on Monday.

San Antonio’s new order maintains the previous stay-at-home measures and mandatory face coverings. All businesses that are not deemed essential by Gov. Abbott are required to stop operations and close. Those deemed essential must follow the limitations in Abbott’s order.

The mayor also reported 1,326 confirmed cases, up 19 from yesterday. Of those cases, 636 have recovered.

There are two additional deaths today, bringing the total to 46.

Nirenberg reported a “modest decline” in hospitalizations: There are 55 people in hospitals with COVID-19, 35 being investigated and 36 in intensive care, up three from yesterday. There are now 20 people on ventilators, but the mayor said the city has plenty of available capacity.

6:13 p.m. — Watch Tuesday's daily briefing

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

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines

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