San Antonio mayor urges residents not to ‘let Labor Day mirror the Fourth of July’ with COVID spread

‘Mask up like you buckle up,’ Commissioner Wolff says

Visitors, some wearing masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19, ride a river barge along the River Walk, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in San Antonio. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared masks or face coverings must be worn in public across most of the state as local officials across the state say their hospitals are becoming increasingly stretched and are in danger of becoming overrun as cases of the coronavirus surge. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (AP)

SAN ANTONIO – Fearing a spike in COVID-19 cases following the last major holiday of the summer, officials in San Antonio are warning people to not let their guard down this Labor Day weekend.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg issued another plea on social media Thursday night after his daily coronavirus briefing, urging people to avoid large crowds and wear a mask when heading out.

“We can’t let our Labor Day mirror the Fourth of July,” he said, referring to a time period when Texas was setting new records for virus cases and hospitalizations. “Things are moving in the right direction, but we’ve seen first-hand how quickly they can turn around.”

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Stay safe this weekend, San Antonio.

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On Thursday, the city reported an increase of 157 new COVID-19 cases and 16 new deaths, bringing the total to 47,070 cases and 851 total fatalities.

Thursday’s reported deaths occurred between July 14 and Sept. 2. The 7-day moving average of cases is now 180.

City officials also reported 344 patients are in the hospital, 155 are in the intensive care unit and 87 are on ventilators. Texas surpassed 13,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths on Thursday.

To help encourage social distancing, city parks will stay closed from 11:59 p.m. Friday- 5 a.m. Tuesday, and county parks will stay closed from 9 p.m. Friday-9 a.m. Tuesday. Running, walking and biking will be allowed on trails.

“The rest, relaxation and recreation are all well-deserved but we still have to be careful,” Nirenberg said. “Our families, friends and neighbors are all counting on us to do our part.”

During Thursday’s briefing, Precinct 3 County Commissioner Kevin Wolff said if people choose to hold a get-together over the weekend, that they choose an outdoor space and avoid places with poor ventilation.

Instead of large food spreads, he says, consider packaged meals and utensils. Nonetheless, wear a mask around people especially around vulnerable populations.

“So mask up like you buckle up if you’re going to be doing stuff this Labor Day weekend, and let’s protect each other and make sure we don’t run into another spike,” he said.

About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.