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May 7: San Antonio City Council Allocates $79 Million Of Federal Fund To Help Economy

The San Antonio City Council approved to give $25 million to residents in need on Thursday, April 23.
Joey Palacios | 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, May 7

6:37 p.m. — City Council outlines allocation of federal emergency aid

Today, San Antonio reported 1,805 total confirmed cases, up 44 from yesterday. Of the new cases, two are from the Bexar County jail (one inmate and one staff member).

There is one new death, bringing the total to 54. The total number of recoveries is 867, up 33 from yesterday.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported good numbers in local hospitals:

  • 63 positive cases
  • 20 people under investigation
  • 38 people in ICUs
  • 21 people on ventilators

Nirenberg also said hospital capacity is also good, with 78% of ventilators and 32% of staffed beds available.

Today, City Council met to discuss the federal coronavirus relief fund, $270 million emergency assistance. Nirenberg said San Antonio has outlined a strategy that will prioritize keeping people in their homes, as well as training and educating workers.

County Judge Nelson Wolff said the council voted today and specifically allocated $79 million of the emergency fund. Of that $79 million, half will go to workforce training, 20% will go to household stabilization support ($15.8 million), 10% will go to fixing the digital divide for community members ($7.9 million), and another 10% will go to business support.

Wolff also mentioned some money would be allocated to modifications for facilities (6.9%) and elections (2.4%).

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

4:45 p.m. — Community spread in Kerr County 

The first cases of community spread have been confirmed in Kerr County. The three new cases — reported on Tuesday — bring the county total to eight. Statewide, COVID-19 cases continue to climb as businesses reopen.

Pam Burton is an infection preventionist with the Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrville.

"People still be vigilant, and be careful about what they're doing," she said. "I realize that places are opening up. We have loosened some restrictions, but there's still caution that goes with that."

Burton encouraged people in Kerr County to stay home if they can until the infection curve is flattened. She encouraged Kerr County residents to visit the Peterson Health website for information on prevention and other resources. 

1:15 p.m. — Violent crimes down in Bexar County, but there's likely low reporting 

Violent crime is down across Bexar County nearly 25% since the stay-at-home orders for COVID-19 went into effect.  But Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar warned these numbers are likely deceptively low.

“For example, family violence, child abuse — things like that — won't necessarily be reported until after the pandemic is up. Until after the lockdowns are up (when) families are able to separate from each other and we’re able to get some of these reports made,” he said.

Violent crime is only down a little more than 2% from last year at this time. Property crimes are down 19 % during COVID but only 1.9% year over year. Car and truck thefts are up over 3% from last year.

11 a.m. — Update on surrounding counties

Cases in Comal County reached 65 Thursday after four more residents tested positive for the COVID-19.  Forty-four people have recovered.  Six deaths have been reported.  There are 15 active cases.

Atascosa County confirmed two additional cases Wednesday for a total of 22. There are 12 residents who have recovered and there's been one reported death related to the virus.

The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed 90 cases in Guadalupe County, 34 in Wilson County and 20 in Medina County.

There 17 COVID-19 cases in Kendall County. Both Uvalde and Bandera Counties report six cases each.

Wednesday, May 6

6:40 p.m. — New walk-up testing sites announced

There have been 1,761 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the San Antonio area, up 84 from yesterday. Of those 84 new cases, 54 are from the Bexar County jail.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported one new death, bringing the total to 53.

A total 834 people have recovered; 874 people still have the virus.

Nirenberg also reported:

  • 60 positive cases in hospitals
  • 27 under investigation in hospitals
  • 34 people in intensive care
  • 21 people on ventilators

Today, the Metro Health Department announced two new walk-up testing sites, one at Las Palmas Library (515 Castroville Road) and one at Woodlawn Lake Park (1103 Cincinnati Ave). Both have no cost and require no appointment.
Sheriff Javier Salazar of the Bexar County jail said 42 people from the jail have recovered. The jail has seen 301 positive cases in total, including inmates and deputies.

There have been a total of 259 inmates who have tested positive. Of those, 222 were asymptomatic. Salazar said the positive cases seem to be leveling off.

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

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines

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