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.
Here’s what we know …
Friday, May 1
10 a.m. — Housing assistance applications open for residents outside city limits
The Bexar County Housing Authority will start accepting applications today for residents outside the San Antonio city limits who need help paying housing costs due to a COVID-19 related job loss.
That includes assistance with rent, mortgage payments, utilities and other necessary payments.
Residents that live in the 26 suburban cities as well as the unincorporated areas of Bexar County can begin submitting applications by 10 a.m. today.
Applications can be found at habctx.org or 210-940-1180.
12:01 a.m. — Phase one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order goes into effect
Retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls will begin welcoming customers today, as Governor Greg Abbott’s most recent executive order is implemented and eases coronavirus restrictions.
All businesses reopening are allowed to operate at 25% capacity and must enforce social distancing measures. Phase two of the Governor’s plan — which could be rolled out as early as May 18 — would expand that capacity threshold and include more businesses, but only if the state doesn’t see a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases over the next two weeks.
Simon Property Group, the biggest mall operator in the U.S., is reopening Ingram Park Mall and 48 of its other properties starting today.
North Star Mall and the Shops at La Cantera will reopen Tuesday, with hand-sanitizing stations and social distancing measures in place. Seating areas in the food court will remain closed.
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said the city will reopen BiblioTech by Monday, to provide residents with free wifi, printing and computers.
The digital publishing library will be open weekdays from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Masks and social distancing measures are required.
Thursday, April 30
6:45 p.m. — City outlines progress, warning indicators for upcoming weeks
Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported 1,374 total confirmed cases, up 48 from yesterday. Of the 1,374 cases, 688 people still have the virus and 638 have recovered.
There have been two more deaths, bringing the total to 48. Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the hospital numbers remain in “strong shape.”
In the county jail, 59 inmates and 28 staff members have tested positive.
Assistant City Manager Dr. Colleen Bridger gave a brief overview of how the city will measure its progress in the coming weeks.
The progress indicators include sustaining a decrease in number of positive tests; the ability to perform tests for all people, ultimately growing from the current 1,600 daily test capacity to 3,000; to do effective contact tracing; and a health system stress score, which quantifies the availability of hospital beds, ventilators, etc.
Bridger explained the city will monitor the virus’s doubling time, which is currently 2.5 weeks; the percentage of tests that are positive, which is currently under 7%; and the health system stress score. If any of these factors worsen, the city will take that as a warning indicator.
6:13 p.m. — Watch today’s daily briefing
To read Thursday’s entire COVID-19 brief, click here.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines
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