SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio and Bexar County's joint Stay Home, Work Safe mandates, which have been in effect since March 24, have been extended once again—this time through 11:59 p.m. on May 19.
The development, largely expected as the number of local coronavirus cases continues to rise and residents navigates the economic fallout, was announced just before Wednesday's daily briefing led by Mayor Ron Nirenberg and County Judge Nelson Wolff.
The extension essentially means most residents must continue to wear face coverings while in public settings and businesses not deemed essential must keep their doors closed, at the risk of incurring a $1,000 fine or jail time. It also applies to the county-mandated hold on evictions.
“This is to ensure we can do our jobs to protect the public and that we can get through this period of containment of COVID-19 as quickly as possible," Nirenberg said.
What will be different, come Friday, is that retail businesses, restaurant dining rooms and theaters will be able to operate once again under Gov. Greg Abbott's latest plan on gradually reopening the state. But those businesses must comply with certain temporary protocols to compromise with continuing to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including limiting in-person occupancy to 25% of normal levels and keeping facilities clean.
In the Wednesday announcement, local officials said staying home is still the best thing residents can do in the fight to curb the coronavirus.
"We know you're going to be moving around a lot more than you did before," Wolff said at the briefing, alluding to the impending reopening of some businesses. "But we really encourage those to stay at home who are facing health issues. They are the most vulnerable."
Wolff added that anyone who comes to county facilities for now must wear a face covering, and their temperature will be taken at the door.
Bars, fitness centers, bowling alleys, arcades, public swimming pools, tattoo studios, piercing studios and barber shops are among the businesses that must remain closed across Texas.
The virus has infected more than 1,300 in the metro, and it has killed 46.
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