SAN ANTONIO – As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to increase in San Antonio, Mayor Ron Nirenberg on Thursday urged people to spend their Easter weekend at home.
During the daily COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, Nirenberg said that the number of coronavirus cases in Bexar County has jumped to 615, an increase of 61 from the previous day.
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, city and county officials are closing parks, where most families typically spend their Easter holiday.
“This is holy week. it’s a time when we normally see a long of congregation and coming together,” Nirenberg said. “We need people to understand with the gravity of a pandemic that we need to care for each other by social distancing and staying at home.”
Park police and sheriff deputies will be patrolling parks to make sure the order is being followed.
The COVID-19 death toll also rose on Thursday, from 20 to 22.
Nirenberg said one victim was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions, while the other was a woman in her 60s with underlying health conditions.
The mayor also confirmed that three more residents of Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation were hospitalized today. The nursing home was the source of a COVID-19 outbreak that infected more than 70 people.
In total, 10 of those nursing home residents are hospitalized and four of them are on ventilators.
Investigations are still underway to determine exactly how the virus spread through the home, but Nirenberg praised Metro Health officials for how they’ve handled the situation.
“We’ve established a good standard that other cities are going to model on how to contain a localized outbreak,” Nirenberg said.
While everyone hopes for a return to normalcy soon, Nirenberg stressed that officials “can’t be premature with how we get back to normal life.”
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE FROM KSAT: