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May 4: 'We've Flattened The Curve,' San Antonio Officials Cautiously Report

An alternate care facility at Freeman Coliseum.
Kathleen Creedon | Texas Public Radio
An alternate care facility at Freeman Coliseum.

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, May 4 

10 p.m.  — Bexar County inmate dies of COVID-19 

An inmate of the Bexar County Jail has died of COVID-19 according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

Clifford Childs, 66, had underlying health conditions and was admitted to University Hospital on April 17 after testing positive for the virus.

“At approximately 5:17 p.m., the family of Inmate Clifford Childs, 66, made the decision to remove him from life support,” the statement said. “Although the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office makes final determination for the cause of death, preliminarily, Childs’ death is believed to be related to COVID-19 complications.”

7 p.m. — Metro Health Director says San Antonio has flattened the curve

On Monday's daily COVID-19 briefing, Dr. Dawn Emerick of Metro Healthsaid the latest data shows good news for the San Antonio area.

"People keep asking, 'Is it over, is it over?'" she said. "It’s never over, but what we can say is, when we’ve been talking about flattening the curve — we’ve done that."

Emerick explained the "curve" — that's been popularly referred to by epidemiologists — is in the shape of a classic bell curve and measures the onset of illness. The San Antonio area is seeing a decrease in confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths, which means we're on the other side of the curve according to Emerick.

She cautioned, however, that residents must still be careful.

"We can’t go back to the way we were in December or November," she said. "It’s good news, but we’re not done."

Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Judge Nelson Wolff also encouraged residents to continue wearing masks in public when they're within 6 feet of other people.

When asked, Nirenberg said he believes the City of San Antonio has issued 63 violations and 34 citations to either individuals or businesses not following emergency declaration orders. The mayor said he's not interested in additional enforcement, though.

"I don't think we can arrest this problem away," he said, adding that saving lives should be encourgement enough to stay safe.

Officials also reported: 

  • 1,652 new confirmed COVID-19 cases

  • 34 of the 39 new cases are inmates at the Bexar County Jail

  • No new deaths, leaving the total at 48

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

5 p.m. — National Guard to offer testing sites in Fredericksberg, Kerrville

The Texas National Guard's coronavirus testing unit will come to Fredericksburg on Tuesday. No doctor's note is required, but only symptomatic people can receive tests and an appointment is required.

There are four confirmed cases in Gillespie County, and more than 32,000 cases. Across the state there have been less than 500,000 tests performed. 

The mobile testing unit will also be in Kerrville this Friday. To make an appointment for either testing drive, call 830-992-9218 or visit txcovidtest.org to make an appointment. 

3 p.m. — Update on surrounding counties

Comal County reports no new COVID-19 cases since last week.  The total remains at 58.  There have been six reported deaths related to the virus and 41 recoveries.

Wilson County has 33 confirmed cases, 13 of which have fully recovered.

Guadalupe County’s case count climbed to 86.  Thirty-eight people have recovered.

Atascosa County has 19 cases and Kendall County reports 16 confirmed cases.

The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed 20 cases are confirmed in Medina County. Six cases are confirmed in Uvalde and Bandera Counties, respectively.

9 a.m. — BiblioTech branches reopen to the public

Bexar County’s all-digital library, BiblioTech, will reopen its branches beginning today, and will remain open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Under an executive order issued last week by Governor Greg Abbott, BiblioTech can only operate at 25% capacity.

Visitors are asked to wear a mask and follow staff guidelines for proper social distancing. BiblioTech is also requesting only one person per household in the branch whenever possible.

Sunday, May 3

6:35 p.m. — A third of Bexar County jail inmates are in isolation

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported 1,613 total cases, up 28 from yesterday. Of those 28, 13 are inmates in the Bexar County jail.

There has also been an increase in recoveries — with the total at 756 — but 809 people are currently fighting COVID-19.

In hospitals, 59 have tested positive, 22 are under investigation, 34 are in intensive care and 20 are on ventilators. Nirenberg said the capacity of hospitals is still good, with 39% of beds and 79% of ventilators available.

The mayor reported no new deaths today; the total stands at 48.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said that there continue to be cases at the jail, though today’s confirmed case number is the lowest in the past three days, at 13.

There are 207 cases at the jail; 29 are in the infirmary and five are in the hospital. Thirty-eight guards have tested positive and 10 civilians. In total, there have been 30 recoveries.

Of the 3,056 inmates, 1,213 are in isolation, according to Wolff.

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

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines

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