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May 14: State Appeals Court Expands Voters Who Qualify For Mail-In Ballots

David Martin Davies | Texas Public Radio
TPR News

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 ...

Thursday, May 14

6:48 p.m. — Bexar County surpasses 2,000th case

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported 2,041 confirmed cases, up 65 from yesterday. Of the new cases, 14 are from the community, eight from the Bexar County jail (seven inmates, one staff member) and 22 from congregate settings. The additional 21 are pending determination.

There has been one new death, bringing the total to 59. 1,051 people have recovered (51%), and 931 are still fighting the virus (46%).

There are 76 people in local hospitals with COVID-19-related illness: 65 who have tested positive and 11 under investigation.

There are 38 people in intensive care and 26 on ventilators.

County Judge Nelson Wolff announced that the 14th Court of Appeals voted to allow mail-in ballots for those concerned about COVID-19 in upcoming elections. In a 2-1 vote, the panel concluded that the coronavirus counts as a disability and is a legally valid reason to vote absentee.

6:10 p.m. — Watch today's daily briefing

2:30 p.m. — City Council votes down eviction ordinance

They San Antonio City Council voted down a 60-day "Right to Cure" ordinance meant to to protect tenants from evictions during the COVID-19 crisis.

The ordinance failed 5-6 and would have required landlords to give tenants 60 days to cure any inability to pay rent or come to an agreement before filing eviction.  Multiple council members expressed concerns of legal action against the city.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg says the city will not turn its back on people in need.

Last month, the city council approved a rental assistance program.

The Texas Supreme Court and Bexar County have a moratorium on eviction filings until next Tuesday. The federal government has its own moratorium until July 24, but that is only for rental units using assistance like Section 8 vouchers.

Read more about the vote here.

Wednesday, May 13

6:41 p.m. — Two more pop-up testing sites open

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported 1,972 total cases in Bexar County, up 30 from yesterday. Of those, 18 are from the community, three are from the jail and four are from congregate settings. Twelve additional cases are under investigation.

There has been one new death, bringing the total to 58.

Of the total cases, 1,050 people have recovered (53%), and 868 are still ill (44%).  

Currently, there are 67 positive cases in local hospitals, 14 cases under investigation, 36 people in intensive care and 27 people on ventilators.

Nirenberg said 547 of the total cases are from congregate settings — including the Bexar County jail and nursing homes. He added that community spread has decreased by a small amount in the past few weeks.

Nirenberg said in the next two weeks, San Antonio Fire Department will test all of the residents of 65 nursing homes. The City San Antonio began universal testing several weeks ago, but earlier this week, Governor Greg Abbott ordered universal testing throughout the state.

Two more pop-up testing sites will be open this week, one at Southside Lions and one at Claude Black Community Center. Neither spot requires an appointment. Hours for walk-up testing are now 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

County Judge Nelson Wolff said the jail has been faring well, with only six inmates in the infirmary and none in local hospitals.

Wolff and other county judges signed a letter to the governor about how the state is spending relief from the CARES Act. Wolff said the counties the judges represent — 11 of the 12 largest counties in the state — have 68.9% of positive cases but are only receiving 28.6% of the state’s nearly $11 billion.

5:45 p.m. — Watch today's daily briefing

5 p.m. — Governor announces teams to disinfect nursing homes

Governor Greg Abbott announced  that the Texas National Guard has activated teams to disinfect nursing homes in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The teams consist of Guardsmen from Joint Task Force 176. Each team is equipped with advanced personal protective equipment, ionized sprayers and vital oxide.

Facilities in Amarillo and Abilene will be the focus of the disinfection efforts at this time.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines

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