COVID-19 Live Blog: Bars Can Open In San Antonio Today For State’s 2nd Phase Of Reopening


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.

Friday, May 22

12:01 a.m. — Bars, bowling alleys, other businesses begin reopening

Bars, bowling alleys, zoos and aquariums, and other businesses can begin welcoming customers again today.

As part of Governor Greg Abbott’s “Open Texas” plan, the businesses will be allowed to operate at 25% capacity and should enforce social distancing.

Dancing and other close-contact interactions are discouraged at bars and customers should be seated at tables. Customers must be kept 6 feet apart at bowling alleys, bingo halls, and roller skating rinks.

Restaurants are also included in the Governor’s latest phase of his reopening plan, now being allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Previously, restaurants were cut off at 25% capacity.

The Governor’s office released a series of checklists intended to serve as a guideline for the latest slew of businesses reopening.

Another round of reopenings will come May 31, including youth summer camps and certain professional sports, but in-person spectators will not be allowed.

Thursday, May 21

6:30 p.m. — Universal testing continues in nursing homes

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported 2,371 total cases in the San Antonio area, up 49 from yesterday.

Of the new cases, 26 are from community spread and six are from congregate settings. There are 17 cases that have not yet been categorized.

There has been one new death, bringing the total to 64.

In local hospitals, there are 82 confirmed cases and 17 under investigation. There are 40 people in intensive care and 20 on ventilators.

Nirenberg reminded that the city is working through universal testing in congregate settings. Of the 65 nursing homes in the San Antonio area, 28 have been fully tested, with a priority of facilities which have confirmed cases.

1,624 nursing staff and 1,263 residents have been tested. Nirenberg said he hopes all 65 will be tested by the end of next week.

Nirenberg explained that the city’s “Stay Home, Work Safe” order has been extended until June 4. He said the order is aligned with Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order.

The city’s reopening will be phased.

Testing sites will be open on Memorial Day, and Nirenberg said the city will not be restricting any parks and asked that people comply with social distancing measures and mask recommendations.

6:10 p.m. — Watch today’s daily briefing

4:35 p.m. — Cases in Bexar County jail continue to drop

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar says COVID-19 positive cases at the jail continue to drop.

According to Salazar, 127 inmates were listed as positive today but recoveries continue to climb.

237 inmates have recovered and more than 2,000 of the 3,000 inmates have been tested. Twenty-seven deputies are currently positive.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines

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