SAN ANTONIO – As Bexar County COVID-19 numbers remain in the thousands, city and county leaders are doubling down on the severity of large gatherings ahead of Super Bowl Sunday.
The Warnings from San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff come after San Antonio police issuing several citations to a home in the 7000-block of Autumn Park. According to records obtained by KSAT, the homeowners hosted a party with 100 people on Saturday.
In addition to underage drinking citations issued, Nirenberg said police gave out 36 $250 fines. The 36 people cited for COVID-19 violations were seen not masking and not social distancing.
“Citations were issued for masking and those are individual citations that are now part of the state and local orders,” Nirenburg said on Tuesday during the daily COVID-19 briefing.
Disappointed with that setting, Nirenburg said the more people violate the protocols in place, the more it will cost them if they are caught.
“The penalty for additional citations is more fines. So, I don’t think that is preferable for anybody when it is as simple as putting on a mask,” Nirenberg said.
He said it is even more frustrating, especially with health officials determining that the bulk of community transmissions happen inside people’s homes.
“It is the same scenario that we are talking about with house parties,” Nirenberg said. “It is not a good idea. Even if you did get away with it. What is likely to result, even if you don’t have a fine, is a lot of people getting sick. I have too many people I know personally and throughout the community who are able-bodied and relatively young and in good health and who have ended up in the hospital, ICU or worse. So, don’t become a statistic and don’t be the reason someone is in the hospital.”
Health officials say each infection gives the virus a chance to change and possibly become easier to transmit or be more dangerous.
“We’ll end up in an arms race that we don’t want to be in and having to make new vaccines and having to get new boosters,” said Dr. Junda Woo with Metro Health. “We can avoid that by doing all of the things we know we are supposed to do.”
With Superbowl Sunday on the horizon, city and county officials are highly stressing the importance of keeping your gatherings small to immediate family.
They are also encouraging social distancing to watch the game safely.