WATCH: San Antonio mayor, county judge announce changes coming to safety orders after governor’s announcement

Coronavirus update from San Antonio Mayor Nirenberg, Bexar County Judge Wolff 4/27/20

SAN ANTONIOEditor’s Note: Watch the entire briefing in the video player above. Newsletter recipients can click here to access the video.

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 Monday night.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Nirenberg reported 1,275 COVID-19 cases and 44 deaths in Bexar County, as of Monday. He said 59 patients are in the hospital, 34 are in intensive care, 16 are on ventilators, 39 cases remain under investigation and 42% of cases have recovered.
  • Nirenberg and Wolff discussed the changes to Gov. Greg Abbott’s order and said they would be making adjustments to the city and county orders after a meeting on Tuesday between the City Council and Commissioners Court. The leaders said their orders will comply with the governor’s changes.
  • Wolff said the governor made the right call when limiting capacity for non-essential businesses to 25% as the state reopens. However, he said Abbott’s worst decision was not requiring residents to wear face masks.
  • Nirenberg said the city and county will need to continue monitoring the health data available after the state begins to reopen in its first phase to make sure the area is does not see a spike in COVID-19 cases. “We will do everything in our power to contain it,” Nirenberg said when asked what he would do if there is a surge in new cases. "We’re not going to risk life and safety at all.”

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  • Nirenberg said the city and county will still need to limit public gatherings and continue to make face coverings mandatory. However, after the governor’s announcement, the leaders said they could not give people citations for not following the mandatory face mask requirement.
  • Wolff said the county could go to businesses and work with them to require the use of face masks in their establishments if necessary.
  • Nirenberg said the city and county plan to scale up contact tracing as the state begins to reopen.
  • Wolff mentioned that an apartment complex had locked out some 50 residents out of their homes. He said the moratorium on evictions is still in place, and he will continue to work on orders to keep people in their homes amid the pandemic.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March. The first case confirmed in the U.S. was in mid-January and the first case confirmed in San Antonio was in mid-February.

ADDENDUM TO STAY HOME, WORK SAFE ORDER (Newsletter subscribers, click here to view.)

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About the Author:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes breaking news, COVID-19 coverage, personal finance stories on the "Money: It's Personal" series, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" series.