San Antonio mayor posts picture of lunch visit to North Star Mall following coronavirus concerns

Visit was apparent act of goodwill toward mall

Mayor Ron Nirenberg poses outside North Star Mall March 5, 2020. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg posted photos on his social media pages of his visit to North Star Mall Thursday, just days after the mall closed for cleaning following news that a woman who tested positive for novel coronavirus had visited the shopping center.

“Had a great lunch at North Star Mall! Thank you for being so welcoming to my office. I can already tell it’s going to be a busy Spring Break,” Nirenberg’s post said.

Photos show Nirenberg posing near the mall’s iconic cowboy boots as well as eating inside the food court and walking through the mall.

The visit was an apparent act of goodwill toward the mall that unwittingly was thrust into the spotlight this week.

“He wanted to remind everyone that the mall is open for business, and it is a great place to relax, do some shopping and enjoy a meal," said Bruce Davidson, communications director for the Office of Mayor Nirenberg.

The mall closed Monday for a deep cleaning after officials were notified that a woman, who was evacuated from Wuhan, China last month, was prematurely released from quarantine. The woman visited North Star Mall on Saturday and checked into a Holiday Inn Express near the San Antonio International Airport before a pending test revealed a “weakly” positive result for coronavirus.

Officials: Coronavirus patient returned to isolation after visiting North Star Mall, checking into hotel near SA airport

Adding insult to injury, it was revealed that federal health officials had planned to drop off released quarantined cruise ship passengers at the mall on Tuesday,. The plan was changed after city officials filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against the CDC.

Those passengers were instead taken to the airport and to a rental car facility.

Tourism officials have expressed concern over the impact of the virus on San Antonio’s tourism industry.

Despite the mayor and county judge’s declaration of a state of disaster and public health emergency this week, community leaders and health officials have proclaimed that the threat of exposure to the general public remains low.

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