Coronavirus update San Antonio, July 29: City, county leaders send Gov. Abbott letter to clear up confusion on reopening schools

TEA, AG Ken Paxton issue guidance, creating mixed messages, leaders say

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 Wednesday night.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Nirenberg reported 38,930 total COVID-19 cases and 342 total deaths in Bexar County, as of Wednesday, an increase of 946 new cases. Seven new deaths were reported today.
  • City officials also reported that 1,007 patients are hospitalized, 389 are in the intensive care unit and 269 are on ventilators. There are 12% of staffed beds available and 40% of ventilators available.
  • Nirenberg and Wolff said they sent a letter (see below or click here) to Gov. Greg Abbott to clear up the mixed messages coming from the Texas Education Agency and Attorney General Ken Paxton.
  • The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District issued a health directive to delay the start of in-person learning until at least Sept. 7. The leaders said they want the governor to make a decision and either reinforce local authority or rescind the health directive.
  • Wolff said if Abbott decides to rescind the directive, he hopes local school districts will comply voluntarily with the guidance issued by Metro Health on reopening schools. However, the county has already been met with pushback from some local schools.
  • Wolff said many districts across the state are facing a similar situation as those in Bexar County due to the mixed messages.
  • During the briefing, TEA Commissioner Mike Morath released a statement regarding school funding and the reopening of campuses. Click here to read Morath’s statement and guidelines.

Nirenberg and Wolff’s letter to Abbott below (app users/newsletter recipients, click here to see the letter):

WATCH: Nirenberg discusses letter to governor during Q&A
Mayor Ron Nirenberg shares his frustration over the fight to require schools to only provide remote learning until at least after Labor Day.
Track daily spikes in COVID-19 cases in San Antonio, Bexar County

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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.