San Antonio restricts gatherings at parks, closes bars and won’t reopen pools as planned

The city is closing bars and some park facilities due to uptick of COVID-19 cases

San Antonio restricts gatherings at parks, closes bars and won’t reopen pools as planned

SAN ANTONIO – The City of San Antonio is closing bars, restricting gatherings at city parks and will not be opening pools as previously planned, the city announced Friday.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said he was making a third addendum to the city’s eighth Emergency Health Declaration in line with Governor Greg Abbott’s latest executive order.

“Gov. Abbott’s decision to close bars and reduce restaurant capacity is a step in the right direction, and I have updated my order to include those restrictions,” Nirenberg said in a statement. “Combined with residents wearing masks and practicing social distancing, these actions will help slow the acceleration of COVID-19 infections.”

The San Antonio Metro Health Department reports 405 new cases and one additional death today, bringing the totals to 8,857 cases and 105 deaths.

The city said in a statement that it had “experienced an exponential rise in the number of daily COVID-19 cases, a significant increase in the number of patients hospitalized, in the ICU, or on ventilators due to COVID-19 complications.”

Mayor Nirenberg’s latest addendum includes the following updates:

  • Restaurants (defined as establishments that have less than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages) will keep their occupancy at 75% until 12:01 a.m. on June 29, 2020, at which time these restaurants may only operate at up to 50% of the total listed occupancy.
  • Bars may not allow patrons. However, they may allow drive-thru, pick up or delivery options for food and drinks.
  • Rafting and Tubing Services may not operate, including rental of rafts or tubes and transportation of people for the purpose of rafting or tubing.
  • Hospital and Surgical Procedures Every hospital within the City of San Antonio shall postpone elective surgeries that are not medically necessary.

Additionally, City Manager Erik Walsh announced the following changes to city-owned park properties:

  • Beginning daybreak tomorrow, Saturday, gatherings of more than 10 will be prohibited in any city park or plaza.
  • Pools and splash pads will not reopen next Friday, as previously planned.

Read also:

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Related: Gov. Greg Abbott orders Texas bars to close again and restaurants to reduce to 50% occupancy as coronavirus spreads

Related: San Antonio Mayor Nirenberg, City Council hear update on COVID-19 impact amid spike in cases

Related: San Antonio health chief steps down, saying city needs to appoint a person of color

About the Author:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.