Health Transition Team to release report on reopening San Antonio businesses

Elizabeth Ruiz

Texas MedClinic drive-thru test site/Photo courtesy of COSA

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News — The COVID-19 Health Transition Team offering guidance to  San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff on  reopening local businesses has released a multi-phase plan.

“Reopening our economy is not without risk,” said Dr. Barbara Taylor, team chair.  “In order to avoid a resurgence of COVID-19 in our community, we must be diligent, look out for members of our community who are most at risk, and remember that we are all in this together.”

Taylor will present to the San Antonio City Council and Bexar County Commissioners in a rare joint session at 1 Tuesday afternoon.

The proposal is based on several factors, including a sustained decline in new cases of COVID-19, increased testing, effective contact tracing, and surge capacity, including sufficient hospital space, workforce, and PPE for healthcare workers.

The recommendations also take into account those who are medically at risk, as well as low-income communities, communities of color, and other marginalized communities.

The team recommends continuous monitoring to determine whether increased public health measures are needed, including a return to prior orders and restrictions.

Councilwoman Ana Sandoval, chair of the Community Health and Equity Committee, served as City Council’s liaison to the health transition team. Commissioner Justin Rodriguez served as the liaison for Commissioners Court.

Team members include Dr. Dawn Emerick, City of San Antonio Metro Health Director; Dr. Junda Woo, City of San Antonio Metro Health Medical Director; Dr. Ruth Berggren, UT Health San Antonio infectious disease specialist; Dr. Bryan Alsip, University Health System Chief Medical Officer; Dr. Cherise Rohr-Allegrini, public health consultant; Dr. Tom Patterson, Chair of Infectious Disease, UT Health Science Center; Dr. Carrie DeWitt, group manager and infectious disease physician; Dr. Sharon Ong’uti, UT Health San Antonio Fellow; Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, UT Health San Antonio; Dr. Kenneth R. Kemp, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Pastor Antioch Missionary Baptist Church; Zan Gibbs, City of San Antonio Office of Equity Director; Rita Espinoza, City of San Antonio Metro Health; Michele Durham, BEAT AIDS Coalition Trust, and Dr. Jason Morrow, Medical Director of Inpatient Palliative Ca


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