SAN ANTONIO – City Council and the Bexar County Commissioners Court will meet Tuesday afternoon for a briefing on the coronavirus response and share a new report on how they will reopen San Antonio and Bexar County.
The special meeting will be held virtually at 1 p.m. The meeting will be livestreamed in this article, but delays are possible. If there is not a livestream currently available, check back at a later time.
City and county leaders will hear the details of the COVID-19 Health Transition Team report, which was released prior to the meeting.
The plan offers guidance based on public health evidence, data, and expertise to re-open San Antonio and Bexar County. It also establishes a framework that includes a sustained decline in new cases of COVID-19, increased testing, effective contact tracing, surge capacity and sufficient hospital space, workforce, and PPE for healthcare workers.
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The guidance also acknowledges the challenges that COVID-19 presents for those who are medically at risk, including those with chronic illness, compromised immune systems, and in group living situations – as well as low-income communities, communities of color, and other marginalized communities, according to the news release.
The guide breaks down the reopening process in four phase. The first phase was the city and county’s “Stay Home, Work Safe” order which was put in place after community spread was confirmed in San Antonio.
The second phase “is a cautious step toward re-opening,” according to the report, where operations will gradually begin ramping up. During this phase, businesses will be operating a reduced capacity and it is recommended people who are working form home continue to do so.
During the second phase, gatherings should be limited to less than 50 people, according to the report.
Abbott said Monday that all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls in Texas would be allowed to open as long as they maintain only 25% occupancy and follow distancing guidelines. However, there is no requirement for them to open, he said.
Nirenberg said they will make adjustments as they receive public health guidance. The leaders said their orders will comply with the governor’s changes.
“We will be issuing new ‘Stay Home, Work Safe’ orders that are in compliance with the work that we’ve been doing here locally but also recognizing this new category of business,” Nirenberg said.
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Nirenberg reported 1,275 COVID-19 cases and 44 deaths in Bexar County, as of Monday. He said 59 patients are in the hospital, 34 are in intensive care, 16 are on ventilators, 39 cases remain under investigation and 42% of cases have recovered.
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March. The first case confirmed in the U.S. was in mid-January and the first case confirmed in San Antonio was in mid-February.
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