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Ask The Mayor: San Antonio Pandemic Response So Far, Next Steps Fighting COVID-19

Dominic Anthony
Texas Public Radio

Life as we knew it is being held hostage by the coronavirus pandemic. When the outbreak reached San Antonio, local leaders took decisive action to slow the virus’s spread. 

As of Tuesday evening, there were a reported 1,307 confirmed coronavirus cases in San Antonio, with a recovery rate of 43.9%. Forty-four people have died from COVID-19.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg's frequent briefings with Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff have been a reliable source of information for updates about COVID-19 case numbers, area hospital capacity, the ins and outs of protective restrictions currently in place, and best practices for residents to stay safe. 

It's been just over a month since San Antonio's Stay Home, Work Safe ordinancewas issued. Local leaders -- hopeful that social distancing will continue slowing the virus' spread -- are now discussing when and how to safely transition out of lockdown and cautiously return to some semblance of normal life. 

Restarting the economy and lifting the lockdown will be a delicate process that, if rushed or done irresponsibly, could result in a spike of new cases requiring another wave of restrictive orders. But the shutdown continues to hurt businesses and families struggling to make ends meet.

What strategies will local officials employ to reopen parts of the economy but also keep people safe? What's being done to give those affected by COVID-19 financial relief in the meantime? How has the outbreak affected the city's budget and services for San Antonio residents? 

How much confidence does Mayor Nirenberg have in the Governor's plan to reopen Texas' economy and the federal government's ability to pass another relief package to aid state and local governments?

What are the Mayor's immediate goals in battling the coronavirus and what will be the biggest challenges? What does the road to recovery look like for San Antonio? Where does he see the city a year from now? 

Guest: Ron Nirenberg, Mayor of the City of San Antonio

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, April 29.

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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dallas Williams is a Producer for The Source at Texas Public Radio. With a degree in Mass Communication — Broadcast Media, Dallas brings a unique perspective and a passion to producing a live, call-talk show.