Coronavirus update San Antonio, May 12: Mayor, county judge dismiss ‘political’ letter from attorney general’s office

City attorney: Local health order ‘mimics’ governor’s language

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 Tuesday night. See the full video in the player above.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Nirenberg reported 1,942 COVID-19 cases and 57 deaths in Bexar County, as of Tuesday. Nirenberg also said 66 patients are hospitalized and 20 more cases are under investigation. Fourty-three patients are in the intensive care unit and 27 patients are on ventilators.
  • More than half, 53% in all, have recovered from COVID-19.
  • Nirenberg and Wolff expressed their displeasure with a letter from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office, which accused the city and county of overreaching in its local emergency orders when it came to language on face masks and religious services.
  • Nirenberg said “it’s frustrating that a letter from the (attorney general), which is a political letter from a politician, is reported as fact.” Wolff said he doesn’t understand why the attorney general’s office issued the letter. “I just don’t know why this happened but it’s unfortunate. It’s a lot of mixed signals.” Both said they don’t feel any conflict with Texas Governor Greg Abbott, but with the political interpretations of the attorney general.
  • San Antonio City Attorney Andy Segovia said local orders “mimics” the governor’s language and clearly states they are in compliance with the statewide order. “Our intent is not to pick a fight (with the state)," he said.
  • San Antonio also released new data about COVID-19 infections in nursing homes, where testing has ramped up. Up to 300 residents and staff have been tested for the virus. Residents who test positive are isolated at River City Care Center. All 39 positive cases associated with nursing homes have been previously included in the overall number of reported cases in the county, a city spokesman told KSAT, though it has not been presented through location-by-location breakdowns.
  • With hurricane season around the corner, Nirenberg talked about a recent simulation conducted by the city’s emergency operation center that included a mix of hurricane and pandemic scenarios. “San Antonio can rest well knowing we’re prepared for any kind of scenario.”

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