Coronavirus: The latest updates in San Antonio, Texas

SAN ANTONIO —

These are the facts:There have been at least 21,944 cases of coronavirus in Texas and 561  reported deaths from COVID-19 as of 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, according to Texas HHS.City leaders say there are 1,167 confirmed positive cases in San Antonio as of 6:15 p.m. on April 23. A total of 43 people have died related to the coronavirus, and 361 people have recovered.Governor Abbott's order for a "phased in" reopening of the Texas economy is already underway. He also announced that schools will stay closed for the remainder of the school year.Per city orders, most San Antonians now have to wear a mask or cloth covering in public areas where social distancing is difficult or not possible. Click here for more information.

Coronavirus Q&A | SA's "Stay Home, Work Safe" order | List of companies still hiring |Shopping times for seniors | School districts offering free meals 

Friday, April 24 

6:30 a.m. 

Retail is trying to make a comeback in Texas. Starting today all non-essential businesses that have been closed will be allowed to open with curbside pickup. It is the first step in a slow re-opening of Texas businesses. 

6 a.m. 

President Donald Trump will be holding a signing ceremony today for a bill providing a nearly $500 billion infusion of coronavirus spending, rushing new relief to employers and hospitals buckling under the strain of a pandemic that has claimed almost 50,000 American lives and one in six U.S. jobs. 

12:01 a.m.

There were more than 869,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States around 12 a.m. Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 49,000 deaths in the U.S., with 80,000 recoveries. Over 4.6 million tests have been conducted nationwide.


Thursday, April 23

7:30 p.m.

Two more Bexar County jail inmates have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, as have two more deputies, according to county authorities. But a dozen deputies in all have fully recovered and are back at work. 

In all, 31 county deputies have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and 36 inmates. 

6:30 p.m.

While discussing how the city is deciding how to use a $270 million CARES Act allocation from the federal government during Thursday's briefing, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the lack of guidance on how to use the funds has been "aggravating."

"It has been a start-and-stop (response), at best, with some of the measures coming out of D.C.," Nirenberg said. 

6:15 p.m.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported an additional 41 cases of the novel coronavirus that were confirmed in Bexar County, bringing the total to 1,167. Meanwhile, four new deaths from COVID-19 complications were reported, bringing the local death toll to 43. 

In all, 361 county residents have recovered from the virus. 

5:45 p.m.

Congress approves $500 billion in new federal aid, largely for hospitals and healthcare workers across the country strained by the coronavirus pandemic. 

4:45 p.m.

Hays County reports four additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community, bringing the total there to 147. Meanwhile, a large influx of 325 negative results is being attributed to the clearing of a local backlog; in total, 1,141 residents in Hays County have tested positive for the virus. 

4:15 p.m.

Two additional free coronavirus testing locations are opening this week on the south and west sides of San Antonio. The Texas MedClinic drive-thru site, located at 2530 SW Military began testing today. This location will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Patients must call 210-233-5970 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to be screened before testing.

A drive-thru testing clinic at the Walmart on 8923 W Military Drive will open Saturday, April 25 and operate seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Testing at this site is reserved for people who exhibit symptoms of coronavirus, as well as first responders and health care providers. Those eligible for testing can make an appointment here. 

According to the city, the new test sites will provide testing "to the underserved and minority communities."

“These new COVID-19 test sites will provide accessible testing at no charge to areas of our community that have experienced historic access to care barriers and provider-deserts,” said San Antonio Metro Health Director Dawn Emerick.

“If you are experiencing symptoms, please schedule a test. Symptoms such as a dry cough and fever are indicators that you might be infected. Knowing your COVID-19 status will protect the health of others around you.”

3:45 p.m.

Comal County officials said that testing for the general public will expand in the county this week. The county's drive-thru testing center is taking appointments over the phone for members of the public, including those who can't access a doctor.

“Anyone who thinks they need a COVID-19 test can call 830-312-7980, and the nurses at that number will help set them up a telemedicine appointment to make sure they meet testing criteria and – if they do – get an order for a test,” said Cheryl Fraser, Comal County’s director of public health.

 “We want to make sure everyone in our community who needs a test can get one, regardless of whether they have immediate access to a doctor.”

Additionally, the county said they have received thousands of personal protective equipment -- including 8,000 masks -- for primary care physicians who may treat patients with coronavirus.

1:12 p.m.

The San Antonio City Council approved a measure today to create the #COVID19 Emergency Housing Assistance Program, and expand funding for previously provided funds. In total, it's over $17 million in direct assistance to the public. 

12:51 p.m.

The San Antonio Fire Department reported the latest coronavirus numbers in the department. 

SAFD Uniformed COVID-19 positive: 6
SAFD Uniformed in quarantine: 49
SAFD Civilians in quarantine: 0
Total SAFD Personnel Quarantined: 49

12:30 p.m.

SWBC is looking to fill more than 50 job openings across multiple divisions. Since April 1, SWBC has hired over 50 new team members to help keep up with rapidly developing changes and demand in the financial services industry. 

SWBC has 25 openings for Call Center Representatives. Half of the group will start on May 11, and the other half will start on May 18. SWBC is also actively looking to fill over 25 positions across a variety of divisions, including Mortgage, Financial Institutions, Information Technology, Investments, and Insurance Services.

Click here for more information.

9:55 a.m.

Comal County released the following information regarding coronavirus cases: 

"As of Thursday morning, the Office of Public Health has received reports of the following test information:

653 tests conducted48 positive tests579 negative tests26 results still pending

Of the 48 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Comal County, the location breakdown is:

17 from New Braunfels or the immediate area8 from the Bulverde area5 from eastern Comal County4 from north of Canyon Lake3 from south of Canyon Lake3 from Garden Ridge3 from the Spring Branch area2 from Fair Oaks Ranch2 from southwest Comal County1 from central Comal County"

9:23 a.m.

The San Antonio Police Department provided the following information regarding coronavirus cases in the department:

"Sworn Officer COVID-19 positive: 6

Officers in quarantine: 2

Civilians in quarantine: 5

Total SAPD Personnel Quarantined: 7"

7 a.m.

There were more than 842,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States around 7 a.m. ET Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 46,000 deaths in the U.S., with 76,000 recoveries. Over 4.4 million tests have been conducted nationwide.

Worldwide, there have been  2.64 million cases and more than 184,000 deaths.

6:45 a.m.

A new round of weekly jobless claims is due on Thursday morning and it's expected to be in the millions again because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the new report isn't expected to be record-setting like when the virus first impacted the economy.

CNBC reports that economists expect claims for the week ending April 18 to be around 4.3 million. If the estimates are correct, a record 26.5 million Americans will have applied for unemployment within five weeks, according to USA Today.

FOR PREVIOUS UPDATES, CLICK HERE 

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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

The air by coughing or sneezingClose personal contact, such as touching or shaking handsTouching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.Help stop the spread of coronavirusStay home when you are sick.Eat and sleep separately from your family membersUse different utensils and dishesCover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.Lower your riskWash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.Avoid close contact with people who are sick.Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.The CDC recommends wearing a mask or cloth face covering if you have to be out due to an essential service or essential activity such as going to the grocery store.If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.


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