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May 30: Protests In San Antonio As Mayor, Judge Deliver COVID-19 Briefing

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.

Saturday, May 30

6:10pm: Watch today's briefing from San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WF5CO67zLU

Metro Health reported 189 new COVID-19 cases in Bexar County Saturday. Mayor Ron Nirenberg stressed that the new cases did not come in all one day, but are a result of a backlog in testing results.

Total cases since the outbreak began stand at 2,825.  There was one new death. A white female in her 90’s passed away at a hospital.  The total death count stands at 73.

As the mayor and county judge delivered their nightly COVID-19 briefing, a large crowd of demonstrators marched from their rally in Travis Park to the San Antonio Police Headquarters.

The demonstration was held to condemn the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis.

Read TPR's ongoing coverage here.

4:00 p.m. -- Justice Dept takes on sexual harassment

The Department of Justice is cracking down on sexual harassment in housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has impacted the ability of people to pay rent on time and has increased the lack of home security.

Anyone who has witnessed or is a victim of sexual harassment at the hands of a property owner, manager, or maintenance worker is asked to report that conduct to the Justice Department.

Harassment by a housing provider may be a violation of federal law.

Complaints can be emailed to the Civil Rights Division at FairHousing@USDOJ.gov.

3:30 p.m. -- Libraries reopen on June 16

All San Antonio Public Library locations will begin contact-free pickup services, while nine locations will also offer computer access, beginning on June 16

Contact-free pickup of reserved library books and materials at the Central Library and all branches will occur during specific service hours.

Book drops will be reopened at all locations. The library system will also offer expanded phone, chat, and online reference, increased outside Wi-Fi availability, expanded e-programming and online assistance.

The nine locations offering appointment-only computer access are Westfall, Carver, Schaefer, Mission, Pan American, Cortez, Johnston, Bazan and the Collins Garden branches.

2:00 p.m. -- Financial help for housing still available

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said Friday that city and county COVID-19 financial aid for housing costs was still available.

Wolff said county help is intended only for those who are in a mortgage or rental bind because of the virus, and their applications for assistance must prove that.

“We’ve had about 544 eligible ones requesting somewhere around $2 million, but our problem has been in documentation," he explained. "It has been slow coming in."

For more updates about housing assistance, follow TPR's special blog tracking the latest opportunities to find and offer help.

11:00 a.m. -- Nursing home testing almost done

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Friday a round of universal testing for COVID-19 at San Antonio nursing homes was almost done.

“We have now tested 100% of 62 of our 67 nursing homes," he said, "so that is going very well. Expect the completion of that within the next few days.”

Gov. Gregg Abbott ordered nursing homes to be universally tested across the state because congregate settings are known hot spots for the virus.

Assisted living centers are the next target of universal testing. Positive cases in nursing homes and assisted living centers are reported as part of the general local numbers.

10:00 a.m. -- Backlog in local testing

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Friday there is a huge backlog in local testing results at the state level.

About 6,000 local test results were expected to be reported soon. Not all will be positive, but he said misleading spikes will appear in the reported numbers.

“We are going to see a spike in the number of positives," he explained, "but the important thing to remember is when we see those spikes, those are not cases that all of a sudden happened today. They have been happening over the last few weeks. They’re just starting to get reported from the state."

Nirenberg also reported 60,000 San Antonio area residents have now been tested for the virus.

For more updates about when and where to get tested, to give blood or how to get job, food and housing assistance, follow TPR's special blog tracking the latest opportunities to find and offer help.

9:00 a.m. -- A&M System will reopen 11 campuses

The Texas A&M University System will reopen 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 on 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.

8:00 a.m. -- Bexar County offers kits for businesses

Bexar County will offer free Plexiglass kits for small businesses located outside San Antonio city limits to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

County officials said business owners who have pre-registered at bexar.org before the giveaways will receive a confirmation email to pick up one of the Plexiglass kits.

The Plexiglass creates a barrier between customers and employees.

The first giveaway is on Monday from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Freeman Coliseum.

Additional Plexiglas distribution sites will be made available in each county precinct. Small businesses in the unincorporated areas of the County and suburban cities may register for other essential items at bexar.org.

For more updates about how the overall business community has adjusted to the realities of the coronavirus crisis, follow TPR's special blog that is tracking the latest developments.

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.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines

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