‘We’re in trouble’: Residents receive emergency alert as COVID-19 cases surge in Bexar County

San Antonio-area phones buzzed with a mobile alert ahead of the Christmas holiday

Image of alert sent out to San Antonio residents. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Office of Emergency Management has issued an emergency alert Tuesday night urging the public to slow the spread of COVID-19 as cases surge ahead of the holiday season.

The City of San Antonio and Bexar County reported a record number of confirmed new COVID-19 cases — 1,717 — minutes before the alert went out around 7 p.m.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said the rising cases have put a strain on hospitals in the South Texas region as cases and deaths continue to wreak havoc on Texans.

The alert urged all residents to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 by staying home, avoiding non-essential outings and wearing a mask, particularly as the Christmas holidays approach.

The emergency alert reads as follows:

The Wireless Emergency Alert message sent was as follows: More than 1700 new COVID-19 cases today. More than 900 patients in the hospital. The virus is spreading and causing high stress on hospitals.

Slow the spread https://bit.ly/3nGa9RK Más de 1700 casos de COVID-19 hoy. Más de 900 pacientes hospitalizados.

El virus sigue propagándose causando estrés en los hospitales. Pare el contagio.

Nirenberg said he is encouraging the public to avoid behaviors and situations that spread the virus, in order to control the surge locally.

”With COVID-19 cases increasing in our community at an alarming rate, it is crucial to stay disciplined to beat the virus,” Nirenberg said. “By avoiding behaviors and situations that spread the coronavirus during the holiday season, we will slow the spread of COVID-19 and speed up our return to normal. Protect yourself and your loved ones. Keep wearing masks, keep your distance and keep COVID-19 at bay.”

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said positivity and hospitalization rates continue to rise, putting the area in danger.

“Our positivity and hospitalization rates are continuing to rise,” Wolff said. “We’re in trouble, Bexar County. I am pleading with all of you as we start the holidays. Please celebrate only with those in your immediate family and household. This virus spreads so easily between people. We want everyone to enjoy a very merry holiday season but please do it safely. Do not let your guard or your mask down.”

According to a statement by local officials, area hospital systems currently have some capacity, but “the community needs to slow the spread of the virus so that hospitals can keep up.”

For more information on reducing exposure to COVID-19, including guidelines for safe family and friends gatherings to minimize exposure, click here.


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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.