State of disaster, public health emergency issued for San Antonio, Bexar County over coronavirus

Declarations from mayor, county judge prohibit quarantined individuals from entering San Antonio, Bexar County

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Nelson Wolff issued a local state of disaster and public health emergency for San Antonio and Bexar County on Monday.

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Nelson Wolff issued a local state of disaster and public health emergency for San Antonio and Bexar County on Monday.

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The city declaration, filed under state law, also ordered that anyone quarantined for the coronavirus at Lackland be prohibited from entering the City of San Antonio “until further notice,” Nirenberg said.

The mayor proclaimed the state of disaster and public health emergency would be in effect for seven days unless continued or renewed by the city council.

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Wolff issued his own declaration a few hours and mirrors that of the city’s, which prohibits quarantined individuals from entering San Antonio. In addition to San Antonio, the county declaration includes the 26 other communities in Bexar County.

“This is not meant to alarm people. I think we’ve got good health officials here, but we’ve had problems with the CDC and how they’ve handled things and we’re not appreciative of putting our people at risk,” he said at an afternoon news conference.

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Mayor Ron Nirenberg, County Judge Nelson Wolff and Metro Health Department officials discuss the latest developments on the COVID-19 situation in San Antonio.

The declarations come hours after city officials held a press conference about a coronavirus patient who was released into the community for about 12 hours. Officials said the woman met the criteria for release after testing negative for the virus twice. Both of the tests were administered more than 24 hours apart, but a separate lab test that was pending when she was released revealed a positive test result.

During the 12 hours of her release, she visited a local mall and hotel, the mayor said.

City officials released a timeline of the patient’s activity while she was out in the community.

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Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff will hold a news conference to make an announcement regarding the coronavirus.

According to the emergency order, the declaration activates the City of San Antonio’s emergency management plan.

The declaration “authorizes the City to commandeer or use any private property, temporarily acquire, by lease or other means, sites required for temporary housing units or emergency shelters for evacuees, subject to compensation requirements.”

It also authorizes the city to take actions “including quarantine, examining and regulating hospitals, regulating ingress and egress from the City, and fining those who do not comply with the City’s rules,” the declaration states.

Mayor Nirenberg also prohibited any quarantined person, or previously quarantined person, from entering or travelling through San Antonio until further notice.

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About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.