May 29: San Antonio Official Says 2nd Wave Is Normal, But No Indication It Will Be Soon
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.
Friday, May 29
6:35 p.m. — Bottleneck in state labs will bring increase in case numbers
Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported 2,636, up 53 from yesterday. Of those cases, 32 are from the community, two are from congregate settings, and 19 are pending determination.
There has been one new death, bring the total to 72.
Nirenberg said hospitalization numbers have gone down: There are 91 patients in local hospitals. Of those, 40 are in intensive care, and 25 are on ventilators.
Many tests have bottlenecked at the state level, which will bring an increase in reported numbers in the next coming days, according to Nirenberg. However, those numbers will not affect hospitalization numbers.
On Monday, Bexar County will distribute supply kits to small businesses at Freeman Coliseum as the City of San Antonio did earlier this week.
The city has now fully tested 62 of the 67 assisted living homes in San Antonio, as a part of the universal testing ordered by Governor Greg Abbott. Nirenberg said he expects to finish in the next few days.
The San Antonio area has also crossed the 60,000-test mark. Nirenberg said that as testing capacity has risen, so has the number of tests administered by the city.
6:10 p.m. — Watch today's live briefing
3:45 p.m. — Texas A&M system announces fall plans
The Texas A&M University System will be reopening its 11 campuses this fall, including Texas A&M-San Antonio.
The System’s board of regents approved plans to reopen safely during the coronavirus outbreak Friday, with a focus on limited classroom capacity. The plan calls for periodic testing, and requires students and staff to certify that they have not been infected with the virus.
Universities will be tasked with prioritizing which classes most require in person settings, and which can be offered online.
Universities also have the option to adjust their academic calendars in order to end the semester before Thanksgiving.
A&M-San Antonio has not yet announced its individual fall plans.
2:30 p.m. — SAISD offering meals through the summer
San Antonio Independent School District will continue to provide meals during the summer through August 7 as part of Texas’ nutrition program.
Meals will be available at curbside locations at select schools and at select SAISD bus stop locations.
The summer program will offer meals at no cost to children ages 18 years and younger. No application is required and all participants are eligible regardless of whether they are enrolled in a summer program or not. Also eligible for free meals are students who continue to be enrolled in school past the age of 18, but under the age of 21, and who are identified as disabled through a special education program.
During June, curbside pickup is available on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to Noon.
Bus stop distribution runs Monday through Friday with varied times very. Learn more here.
Thursday, May 28
6:32 p.m. — Hospitalizations continue to increase gradually
Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported 2,583 cases, up 58 from yesterday. Of the new cases, 17 are from the community, two are from congregate settings, and 39 are still pending determination.
There has been one new death, bringing the total to 71.
Nirenberg explained that the number of hospitalizations is one of multiple indicators of the city’s progress with the containment of COVID-19. In the past few days, hospitalizations have increased.
In local hospitals, there are currently 95 positive cases in local hospitals. Of those, 41 people are in intensive care and 22 are on ventilators.
County Judge Nelson Wolff said the jail is looking good in terms of cases, with just two inmates in the infirmary. However, Wolff did mention his concern that there are 335 inmates in the county jail who should have been transferred to the prison system. Wolff said each of those inmates costs the city $20,000 a day and have brought the total number of inmates to roughly 3,400 inmates in the jail.
Director of Metro Health Dawn Emerick said the two pop-up testing centers that opened today saw more than 250 tests. The site at San Antonio College tested 146 people, and 131 people were tested at Highlands High School.
Emerick said she anticipates a rise in positive tests due to increase testing in congregate settings and because of the gradual reopening of the city. Though it’s typical for infectious diseases to have a second wave, Emerick said, there’s no indication that wave is “around the corner.”
6:10 p.m. — Watch today's daily briefing
5 p.m. — VIA announces fare collection plan
VIA will start collecting fares again on June 1.
Fare collection was suspended shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak began to maintain social distance.
Customer information and ticket windows reopened on Wednesday, May 20 for pass and ticket sales.
VIA continues a maximum load of 16 passengers on its buses for social distancing purposes. Bus operators and riders are required to wear masks and buses are frequently disinfected.
VIA remains on its essential services schedule. It adjusts bus routes and hours, moving several routes to a Sunday schedule and adding frequency to others that continue to see high ridership.
1 p.m. — Theme parks plan to reopen
Splash Town has announced plans to open on June 13, becoming the first theme park in the city to do so. Water zones at Jellystone Parks across Texas will be open for the summer camping season starting Friday, May 29. That includes its dinosaur-themed water zone at Canyon Lake and its 19,000 square foot water zone and waterslides in Kerrville.
Schlitterbahn in New Braufels plans to open mid-June.
Morgan’s Wonderland reports it will be closed for the remainder of 2020. Six Flags-Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld San Antonio both remain closed.
10 a.m. — City initiative aims to collect tens of thousands of face coverings
The City of San Antonio's "Covered with Compassion" initiative aims to collect 50,000 new cloth face coverings. Donations of cloth masks, scarves, bandanas and handkerchiefs will be distributed to marginalized communities in San Antonio.
The initiative partners with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to encourage its members and the entire business community to help reach the goal.
Donations of cloth face coverings can be dropped off Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at TriPoint at 3233 N. St. Mary's St.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines
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