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Coronavirus update San Antonio, May 22: Officials discuss reopening of bars in Texas, testing numbers at walk-up sites

‘Virus is still out there,’ Mayor Nirenberg reminds residents

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 Friday night.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Nirenberg reported 2,392 COVID-19 cases and 66 deaths in Bexar County, as of Friday. Thirteen cases are from the community and one is from congregate settings. There were no cases reported by the Bexar County Jail today, according to the mayor.
  • City officials also reported that 73 patients are hospitalized, 41 are in the intensive care unit and 21 are on ventilators.
  • Nirenberg said gradual increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the area cannot be attributed to increased testing. However, he said the city is watching the data closely. “Reminds us all that the virus is still out there,” he said. Health officials continue to monitor progress and warning indicators to make sure the county is in good shape in terms of infections.
  • Nirenberg said testing at local nursing homes should be done by the end of next week.
  • Nirenberg said Code Enforcement was out at Cowboys Dance to remind owners of the operating guidelines under Gov. Greg Abbott’s rules. Many people were seen not practicing social distancing or wearing face coverings while waiting to get into the venue last night. Click here to read that story.
  • Nirenberg and Wolff said local governments can take action or shut down a business if the owners are not complying in good faith under the governor’s guidelines. Wolff said business owners could be held liable if they’re not following state guidelines.
  • Jennifer Herriott, the assistant director of the Metropolitan Health District who oversees the COVID-19 hotline and walkup testing sites, said one of the walkup testing sites hit capacity yesterday, with 176 tests, and saw less people today. She said another location only administered 76 tests today. Metro Health workers are informing community members near testing locations about the free service, Herriott said.
  • Herriott said those needing transportation to testing sites can call the COVID-19 hotline at 210-207-5779 to make arrangements.

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