San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and other local officials updated the community about the local response to COVID-19 in their daily briefing Monday night.
Here are a few of the highlights:
- San Antonio reached a new grim milestone as the case count surpassed 20,000 on Monday. Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced 565 new cases and 11 deaths. The victims ranged in age from 40 to 80.
- City officials also reported that 1,267 patients are hospitalized, 421 are in the intensive care unit and 257 are on ventilators. There are 10% of staffed beds and 45% of ventilators available.
- Last week’s positivity rate, the percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive, went up compared to the previous week. Nearly 25% of tests came back positive and the city’s risk level is between severe and critical, Nirenberg said. “We are nowhere near the sustained decline in new COVID cases,” he said.
- Despite the pandemic, schools are still set to reopen. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff expressed serious concerns with how it will impact the pandemic in San Antonio. “This is going to be a problem,” Wolff said. “Teachers are going to be in a vulnerable position.” Wolff is calling on the Texas Education Agency to give local school districts more flexibility in determining how to reopen safely.
- San Antonio and Bexar County businesses can apply for the LiftFund recovery grant, with more than $24 million available. Applications will be accepted starting Monday until July 27. Interested business owners can learn more about the grant here.
- Nirenberg and Wolff are hoping for more local control to limit mass gatherings in Bexar County, calling it a key factor in reducing the virus’ spread.
- When asked about what those restrictions would look like, both leaders said they’d be comfortable with keeping San Antonio at the state’s Phase One of reopening. That would mean retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls would have to cut capacity to 25%.
- Last week, reporting showed deteriorating living conditions in River City Care Center, the nursing home tapped by the city to house COVID-19 patients. Assistant City Manager Colleen Bridger said the complaints about quality of care fall under the state’s jurisdiction and not the city’s. City officials can only step in if COVID-19 containment guidelines are not being followed.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE FROM KSAT: