San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff updated the community about the local response to COVID-19 in their daily briefing Sunday night.
Here are a few of the highlights:
- City officials also reported 296 patients have recovered from the virus as of yet, 81 patients are in the hospital, 41 patients are in intensive care and 24 patients are on ventilators.
- Mayor Nirenberg said the city currently has 79% of its ventilators available and 35% of its hospital beds.
- Beginning at midnight, all residents 10 years of age or older will be required to wear a face covering or mask when out in public. By Monday, businesses must also provide face coverings to employees who are in close contact with coworkers or the public. Exceptions to the rule include exercising, driving alone or with a household member, eating, drinking, etc.
- Judge Wolff says the majority of deaths in San Antonio and in the nation are patients with underlying health conditions. He reminded residents to eat healthier, exercise and make sure to take care of yourself as the virus continues to spread.
- The outbreak of the coronavirus in the Bexar County Jail has affected only male inmates as of yet, according to Judge Wolff. Staff is still working to contain the outbreak.
- The city of San Antonio hasn’t yet seen a surge in cases or hasn’t hit its peak as of yet, according to Nirenberg. The city did act early on in promoting social distancing and urging residents to stay at home; however, we haven’t peaked in cases as of yet.
- Judge Wolff said as a nation, we weren’t ready for the COVID-19 pandemic. “We weren’t ready for testing and other nations are moving far beyond us. (We were) totally unprepared for what was coming at us,” said Judge Wolff.
- Wolff is urging Texas legislators and the federal government to expand Medicaid to help those that do end up contracting the virus seek treatment when needed. He said action needs to be taken to assist those with medical costs.
- Health officials say beginning next week, additional entities will be able to provide testing for COVID-19 in San Antonio. They said that could begin Wednesday or Thursday.
- The city is still expected to see its peak at the end of April or early May. Health officials are urging residents to get tested for the virus if they do experience any symptoms.
- The public health transition team is expected to present to the city council and court a set of reopening recommendations during the week of April 27th. Mayor Nirenberg said he believes the city will still need to meet a set of conditions and circumstances before it begins the reopening process.
WATCH: Bexar County judge provides update on COVID-19 situation at jail
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.
ADDENDUM TO STAY HOME, WORK SAFE ORDER (Newsletter subscribers, click here to view.)
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE FROM KSAT: