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May 12: San Antonio Will Likely See Rise In COVID-19 Cases Once Asymptomatic People Are Tested

Alternate Care Facility at Freeman Coliseum.
Kathleen Creedon | Texas Public Radio
Alternate Care Facility at Freeman Coliseum.

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, May 12

6:45 p.m. — Total number of recoveries passes 1,000

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported that the total number of cases in Bexar County is now 1,942, up 22 from yesterday. Of the new cases, two are from the community, three are from the county jail, and six are from congregate settings. Eleven cases are pending determination.

The total number of recoveries is now 1,028, which is 53% of the total positive cases.

Forty-four percent of cases are still being treated. There are no new deaths today, and the total stands at 57.

In local hospitals, there are

  • 66 positive cases
  • 20 cases under investigation
  • 43 people in intensive care
  • 27 people on ventilators

San Antonio has begun doing universal screening in all longterm care facilities. Fifteen facilities have been tested so far. River City Care Center has been operating as a cohort facility for residents who have tested positive. There are currently 19 residents isolated there.

Nirenberg, County Judge Nelson Wolff and City Attorney Andy Segovia responded to a letter from Attorney General Ken Paxton. The letter — released earlier today — criticizes San Antonio and Bexar County’s approach to reopening the city,  calling it “unlawful” and in conflict with the governor’s executive order.

Nirenberg, Wolff and Segovia each emphasized that San Antonio’s order — in its most recent form and its earlier forms — is consistent with the governor’s order. Read more about their response here.

5:50 p.m. — Watch today's daily briefing

4:15 p.m. — Thunderbirds to show support of essential works with show tomorrow

A group of F-16 fighter jets will cut a path across San Antonio Wednesday to honor essential workers, medical providers and others battling COVID-19.

The Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team has crafted their route around major hospitals and should be visible a little after 1 p.m.

A map of the Thunderbirds’ route is available online.

4:10 p.m. — New outbreaks in multiple nursing homes

Four San Antonio nursing homes are experiencing new outbreaks of COVID-19. San Antonio Metro Health announced the four facilities have between five and 17 cases between staff members and residents.

The four nursing homes are Advanced Rehab Live Oak, Rio at Mission Trails, Pecan Valley Nursing Home and Legend Oaks West. Michelle Vigil, metro health spokeswoman, said residents who have tested positive are isolated in separate wings or have been moved to a single facility, River City Care Center.

“So the goal is the second someone is identified as a positive patient is to immediately separate them from everybody as quickly as possible; same thing for employees if an employee is found to be positive they are immediately removed to avoid further contamination within the facility," she said.

Southeast Nursing and Buena Vida Nursing are considered closed cases as they have had no new cases in 14 days according to Metro Health. Metro Health said there are three additional nursing facilities being investigated for outbreaks.

1:30 p.m. — Toyota plan in San Antonio starts to open

Toyota has begun ramping up manufacturing operations at its North American plants, including the facility in San Antonio.

The factories began opening on Monday, one week later than originally planned, after shutting down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Toyota stated it intends to gradually resume its manufacturing operations in compliance with federal health and safety guidelines, and local and state ordinances where its facilities are located.

The company reports the health and safety of its employees and stakeholders remain a top priority and they've implemented new protocols at all of their North American manufacturing plants to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Toyota says it will continue to follow all safety guidelines and monitor vehicle demand as it carefully ramps up production.

7 a.m. — Update on surrounding counties

Cases in Comal County remains at 65 as of Monday. There are 48 patients who have completely recovered, and there have been six deaths have been reported.  There are 11 active cases in the county.

Atascosa County confirmed 27 cases Monday, with 13 recoveries and one death related to the virus.

The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed 97 cases in Guadalupe County, 36 in Wilson County and 32 in Medina County.

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

Monday, May 11

6:30 p.m. — 1,920 confirmed cases in the San Antonio area

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said there are now 1,920 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the San Antonio area. There are no new cases reported at the Bexar County Jail.

He also confirmed the death of the Southeastern Nursing and Rehabilitation Center employee brings Bexar County's total to 57. A total of 978 people in the San Antonio area have recovered.

San Antonio and Bexar County officials said that people without symptoms can now be tested for COVID-19. Once this is underway, they said, there will likely be an increase in positive cases.

6 p.m. — Watch today's daily briefing

4:35 p.m. — Southeast Nursing employee dies of COVID-19

An employee of the Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center died of COVID-19 according to officials with the City of San Antonio. The patient was an African American woman in her 60s with underlying medical conditions.

An outbreak was first reported at the facility in early April.

Data fromMetro Health on Sunday night shows there were previously 18 deaths related to COVID-19 reported at the facility. Bexar County reported a total of 56 deaths.

2:05 p.m. — Catholic church services to open May 19

Read more about parish openings here.

2 p.m. — Archbishop offers blessing, prayer during flyover

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller will fly over San Antonio today to bless the city and pray for protection from the coronavirus pandemic.

García-Siller is also expected to announce a reopening date for parishes and public weekend liturgies before he takes off for the two-hour flight.

The Archbishop will be seen in the 1942 SNJ-4 "Ole Yeller" flying 1,000 feet above ground. Takeoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the plane will be visible from 30 scheduled locations.

1:30 p.m. — Testing expands to asymptomatic people

San Antonio Metro Health officials announced that COVID-19 testing will expand to asymptomatic individuals Monday.

Local health care providers, drive-thru locations and the San Antonio Fire Department’s Mobile Integrated Healthcare Program are partnering to bring the community free accessible testing, while prioritizing underserved communities.

Previously, residents were required to show symptoms of the disease, which included a fever, dry cough, chills, amongst other symptoms of COVID-19.

Starting Monday, individuals will have access to testing even if they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms.

12 p.m. — Update on surrounding counties

Cases in Comal County remains at 65 as of Monday morning. There are 48 patients who have completely recovered and there have been six deaths have been reported.  There are 11 active cases in the county.

Atascosa County has 22 confirmed cases, with 13 recoveries and only one death related to the virus.

The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed 90 cases in Guadalupe County, 34 in Wilson County and 21 in Medina County.

There 18 COVID-19 cases in Kendall County. Both Uvalde and Bandera Counties report six cases each.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines

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