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Officials Celebrate SA Ready To Work Initiative To Help Retrain People Affected By Shutdowns

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TPR

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In addition to COVID-19 case numbers, Texas Public Radio is updating information on 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.

San Antonio

Health officials reported 100 new cases of COVID-19 in the San Antonio area. There have been 54,295 total cases in the area since the public health crisis began.

One new death was reported. The area has lost 1,074 people to COVID-19.

There are currently 228 COVID-19 patients in local hospital (+3). There are 85 people in intensive care (+2) and 30 on ventilators (-6). Hospital capacity stands at 15% of staffed beds and 73% of ventilators available.

Made with Flourish

Around 50 local and state elected officials and community leaders on Saturday endorsed passage of Proposition B, the SA Ready To Work initiative, on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The initiative calls for the redirection of $154 million in sales tax revenue from aquifer protection to retrain local workers who lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of August, 68,000 workers were collecting unemployment.

It does not involve a sales tax increase.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg warned the virus was not done taking a toll on the local economy.

“As permanent business closures rise," he said, "it's estimated that some one quarter of the jobs lost amid the pandemic might never come back."

Local leaders said many of those job losses hit one of the city’s biggest industries -- leisure and hospitality. Nirenberg said those workers can learn higher skills for higher paying jobs offered now by employers.

The head of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation said there are plenty of job openings in the area despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but the local workforce needs the skills to fill those positions.

Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, the foundation's president and CEO, explained that “manufacturing is hiring, tech is hiring, professional services are hiring, healthcare is hiring. But sadly when you look at those that are unemployed in San Antonio, I think we are still sitting at about 68,000 as of August, the skill match is what is challenged."

Many of those 68,000 unemployed people worked in tourism and leisure related industries. Both the city and county offer programs meant to create a better-trained workers for higher paying jobs.

City leaders also encouraged local voters to approve the use of sales taxes on November 3rd to fund workforce development programs.

Made with Flourish

The first major convention since the outbreak began this weekend at the convention center.

Thousands of people attended the Phil Waldrep Ministries “Women of Joy” gathering.

Health officials prepared the convention center for large gatherings.

Attendees received temperature checks at the door, and they were warned that anyone not following COVID-19 protocols could be removed from the convention center.

Made with Flourish

Bexar County Precinct 2 Commissioner Justin Rodriguez announced that the county will give away a quarter of a million masks to small businesses on Thursday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Freeman Coliseum.

Business owners can register at bexar.org.

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Texas

On Saturday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported more than 3,283 new cases across the state, along with 121 new deaths from COVID-19. The total number of cases in Texas has surpassed more than 733,000 since March.

There are more than 3,200 patients with COVID-19 in Texas hospitals, and more than 15,000 people have died in the state.

Made with Flourish

National and International

Find the latest national and international updates on COVID-19 from NPR's live blog

Find more information at Johns Hopkins coronavirus resource center.