Fiesta vaccination events averaged fewer than 8 patients per clinic
San Antonio Metropolitan Health officials say the 21 pop-up vaccination clinics held at Fiesta events netted just 155 vaccinations - an average 7.38 people per clinic held. The lackluster turnout came as the city is trying to reinvigorate vaccination efforts.
In final COVID-19 briefing, mayor says more than 50% of San Antonio population fully vaccinated
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said 1,073,367 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 834,259 are fully vaccinated. He said more than 50% of the local population is now fully vaccinated.
Health care providers in San Antonio halt Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after clot reports
The City of San Antonio has announced that local vaccine providers will stop administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control recommended to pause inoculations due to blood clots.
As vaccine eligibility widens, some vulnerable Texans are still fighting for access
Calling it a “dire situation” for herself and others like her, White became panicked at the idea of Texas opening its eligibility to all Texas adults this week. Then on Monday, hours after the state expanded eligibility to millions of Texans ages 16 and older, she finally left a desperate voicemail at Hill Country Memorial and got her callback. The move by the state to open eligibility triggered efforts in some cities to preemptively increase options for those who might fall through the cracks in the crush of newly eligible recipients. “Quite a few things have come together to make this the right time to open up vaccine eligibility,” Garcia said. Cities have responded to issues of vaccine inequality by prioritizing vulnerable Texans and Black and Hispanic residents.
San Antonio City Council approves vaccine registry for ages 65+
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio seniors will soon be able to sign up for a vaccine registry, which could make it easier for them to get an appointment. The San Antonio City Council members present voted unanimously Wednesday afternoon. AdIt could take three to four weeks to develop and open up the registry, Bridger said, which the city will develop with Health Access San Antonio (HASA), a local, health information organization. So Courage, along with District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran and District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval, called for a special city council meeting to address it again. “Once ready, the registry will make it significantly easier for residents 65 years and older to obtain a vaccine appointment.”
58% of Bexar County residents 65 or older have received COVID-19 vaccine
SAN ANTONIO – Recent vaccine analysis shows 58% of Bexar County residents 65 years of age and older and 30% of residents age 16 or older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. San Antonio Assistant City Manager Dr. Colleen Bridger attributed the numbers to Metro Health and community partners reaching out to vulnerable populations to make sure residents had access to vaccine appointments, educational information and are connected to resources needed. “We are very proud of the collaboration that has taken place with all vaccination providers here in Bexar County to ensure the health of our residents. We will continue our pursuit of having over 70% of our population vaccinated by the end of the summer to achieve a safer and healthier community. Our fight against COVID 19 is not over, but we are making really great progress,” said Dr. Colleen Bridger, Assistant City Manager.
Vaccine waitlist expected to be discussed during city council committee Tuesday
SAN ANTONIO – With all Texans 50 years old and over now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the pool of people anxiously looking for appointments has grown larger. On Tuesday, one alternative will come up again - the creation of a vaccine registry or waitlist. The city council’s Community Health and Equity Committee is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday. While a vaccine waitlist is not on the official agenda, it is expected to be discussed. The District 9 councilman brought up the registry idea at least twice in February city council meetings.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, March 1: Leaders report 288 new COVID-19 cases; positivity rate drops to 5.6%
SAN ANTONIO – 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 Monday night. Nirenberg reported 196,816 total COVID-19 cases and 2,670 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 288 new cases as of Monday. City officials also reported that 464 patients are hospitalized, 199 are in the intensive care unit and 110 are on ventilators. Nirenberg said the positivity rated has dropped to 5.6%, down from 7.5% last week. AdThe COVID-19 Risk Level is now “mild.”COVID-19 Risk Level: 3/1/21 (COSA/Bexar County)Dr. Colleen Bridger, assistant city manager and interim Metro Health director, says the city doesn’t expect the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to arrive until at least next week.
Tuesday’s 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccinations at Alamodome rescheduled due to shipping delay
SAN ANTONIO – Anyone scheduled to receive the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Alamodome on Tuesday will be rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 25, at the same time because of a delay in the shipment of the vaccines, city officials announced on Monday. “Due to last week’s winter weather, vaccine shipments across the United States have been delayed,” said Dr. Colleen Bridger, assistant city manager. “We understand that some may be concerned about the extended time between their second dose but we are within CDC guidelines to ensure the vaccine will still work with no issues. If you have questions, you can email COVIDemail@example.com or call the COVID-19 Hotline at (210) 207-5779. In addition to Tuesday’s appointments needing to be rescheduled, most of last week’s appointments were rescheduled.
Some Bexar County businesses can now increase occupancy to 75% under Gov. Abbott’s executive order
FILE - In this May 27, 2020, file photo, visitors to the River Walk pass a restaurant that has reopened in San Antonio. Abbott’s order, some Bexar County businesses are now able to increase their occupancy to 75% after coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have continued to decrease over the last week. Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced in Friday’s coronavirus briefing that area hospitals have dropped under 15% of total COVID-19 hospitalization rates for seven consecutive days. The city of San Antonio has 8% of available beds and 61% of available ventilators. Abbott’s order, as San Antonio and Bexar County “is no longer considered an area with high hospitalizations.”For more information, visit the city’s website at covid19.sanantonio.gov.
San Antonio region to host 2021 NCAA Women’s basketball tournament; Here’s everything to know
SAN ANTONIO – The NCAA officially named San Antonio host of the 2021 Women’s Division I basketball tournament to be held throughout March and early April. San Antonio city officials and the NCAA worked for months to determine the logistics of hosting the tournament in a single region. Official team travel parties with a maximum of 34 individuals will arrive Tuesday, March 16, and Wednesday, March 17, in San Antonio. The University of the Incarnate Word, the University of Texas at San Antonio and San Antonio Sports will serve as hosts for the 2021 Women’s Final Four. The Alamodome hosted the Women’s Final Four in 2002, 2010, and the 2011 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Final Four.
Metro Health director nixes central registry for vaccine sign-ups
Courage used the opportunity to once again call for a citywide, central registry for which residents could sign up and be notified when it’s their turn to get the shot. Currently, residents must try to call or register online at each of the individual vaccine providers whenever new doses become available. A central registry, Courage argued, would help residents feel secure in the knowledge they’d eventually be in line to get vaccinated. Ad“We need to be able to reassure them that they will be contacted by call or email when their time comes to receive the vaccine. They’ll know where to go, they’ll know when to go and what to be prepared for when they get there,” Courage said.
Vaccine appointments for Monday at Alamodome pushed back due to delay in Pfizer shipment
SAN ANTONIO – Due to a delay in the city of San Antonio receiving a shipment of the Pfizer vaccine, scheduled appointments at the Alamodome for Monday, Jan. 18 will be pushed back, according to city leaders. The shipment has been delayed from the manufacturer, which is Pfizer. We ask for your continued patience.”The date of the rescheduled appointments could be subject to change, depending on when the delayed shipment is received, according to city officials. For now, all other appointments that are scheduled for later in the week are not affected by the delay. RELATED: Here’s how to register for the COVID-19 vaccine in San Antonio when appointments are available
Metro Health, WellMed to reopen COVID-19 vaccination registration, receive 9,000 more doses each
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and WellMed have each received 9,000 more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Metro Health, which received a shipment of the Pfizer vaccine, will begin booking appointments Friday for the Alamodome next week. To avoid the overwhelming rush of residents seeking appointments that occurred with the first series of Alamodome appointments, the City of San Antonio will make appointments available on a rolling basis. The registration system will continue to reopen as appointments become available due to cancellations. WellMed received 9,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine for distribution next week.
‘Almost a level of hysteria:’ Demand for vaccine in San Antonio continues to far surpass supply
San Antonio – City officials say the bottleneck in providing COVID-19 vaccinations to Bexar County residents continues to be the supply of vaccine doses. Bridger said that describes about 60% of Bexar County residents. Not all of those who got slots may even be Bexar County residents, though. It’ll just take a little bit of time.”Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff have asked Gov. Though all the mass vaccination slots are currently filled, a Metro Health spokeswoman said residents should continue to check the city’s vaccination site.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg says he's waiting his turn to get his COVID-19 vaccination
Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Monday that he is not jumping ahead in the COVID-19 vaccine line. Scarce supply of the coveted COVID-19 vaccine appointments has left thousands of San Antonians trying and trying and trying again to get a chance to roll up their sleeves. Assistant City Manager Colleen Bridger, who oversees the Metro Health Department, told the San Antonio Express-News they're pushing the state for more doses. Wolff, who qualified due to his age, allowed local media to be present on Dec. 30 as he got his first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at University Health. Also on Monday, Governor Greg Abbott provided an update for the state's vaccine rollout from Arlington, where one of Texas' 28 vaccination hubs is located.mysanantonio.com
Alamodome mass vaccination site to administer 9,000 COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the week
SAN ANTONIO – More than 1,000 COVID-19 vaccines were administered on the opening day of the Alamodome mass vaccination site Monday. San Antonio officials say they are more than confident the vaccination site will administer 9,000 vaccines by the end of the day Saturday. City officials were provided a tour of how the vaccination site will function. “My hope is that we have 30,000 doses a week,” Bridger said. “We started with one big testing site and then three big ones and then micro testing sites.
Registration for COVID-19 vaccine at Alamodome site full in just a matter of minutes
SAN ANTONIO – Registration to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Alamodome’s mass, no-cost COVID-19 vaccination site is currently full, according to the city’s website. The 9,000 available slots for next week were taken within six minutes of registration opening, according to city officials. Only 1,500 eligible residents per day can receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and the vaccine clinic officially opens on Monday. But, city officials reassured those who are unable to register that more vaccine doses will be on the way in the coming weeks. We’ve reached out to city officials for more insight on the vaccine registration and we’ll bring more updates as they become available.
City of San Antonio to convert Alamodome into mass, no-cost COVID-19 vaccination site
SAN ANTONIO – The City of San Antonio will begin mass distributing Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to those who are eligible starting this week. The city is converting the Alamodome into a no-cost mass vaccine site, starting Monday. The site will be in operation Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. but registration to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is currently full, according to the city’s website. “The vaccination site at the Alamodome is an important step forward in our fight to eradicate the pandemic. This site will accelerate the vaccination process and help us provide protection for San Antonio residents as soon as possible,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg in a statement.
FDA warns Curative COVID-19 test may produce false-negative results
To reduce the risk of false-negative results, the FDA says COVID-19 test administrators must perform the test in accordance with its authorization and as described in the FDA’s Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers, which can be accessed by clicking here. A negative result does not exclude the possibility of COVID-19,” the FDA says on its website. Curative tests are used at a number of the city’s testing sites. San Antonio Assistant City Manager and interim Metro Health Director Dr. Colleen Bridger said the city testing sites use Curative tests only for symptomatic people. “Per the FDA’s emergency use authorization of these tests, the City has been using Curative tests for symptomatic individuals.
Seniors may be eligible for vaccination, but it doesn’t mean doses are available in Bexar County
SAN ANTONIO – Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine is far outpacing supply in Bexar County, even as a majority of the region is already be eligible to be vaccinated. About 60% of the Bexar County population is estimated to fall into that second group, said Colleen Bridger, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District’s interim director and the city’s pandemic incident commander. And while the state data, which lags behind the actual situation on the ground, shows 31,026 of the 73,050 doses have been administered in Bexar County, that doesn’t meant the rest are up for grabs. University Health is advising patients not to show up at the vaccination site, as each person must be prescheduled. H-E-B , which had dozens of Bexar County pharmacies receive vaccine shipments, posted , which had dozens of Bexar County pharmacies receive vaccine shipments, posted an update Sunday stating its pharmacies had either already administered or scheduled the doses received so far.
San Antonio expected to receive 40,000 more COVID-19 vaccine doses within the next week
PfizerMetropolitan Health District officials say the San Antonio area will receive an additional 40,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines within the next week, completing its initial 90,000-dose allocation.As of Tuesday, Bexar County has received 50,000 vaccine doses and inoculated more than 31,000 people in critical populations, according to Metro Health officials. Those first in line are frontline medical workers and residents of long-term care facilities. "The more people we vaccinate, the more vaccines we’ll receive. "Subsequent tiers in line for inoculations include people 65 and older, frontline essential workers and those 16 and older with medical conditions that put them at higher risk for severe COVID-19 complications.Bexar County's vaccination plan is available on its COVID-19 Portal . Metro Health officials said they'll continue to update residents as they learn more about the state and federal distribution vaccine-distribution plans.sacurrent.com
Remaining 40K COVID-19 vaccine doses expected to arrive within the next week, Metro Health says
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is continuing to work with state and local leaders to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. As of Tuesday, the Bexar County area received approximately 50,000 doses of the vaccine, and more than 31,000 people in the county have been vaccinated, according to Metro Health. “The remaining 40,000 doses of the initial 90,000-dose allocation for Bexar County is expected to arrive within the next week,” Metro Health said in a statement on Wednesday. However, early in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program, there will be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine. Supply will increase into 2021.”The COVID-19 vaccination plan for Bexar County can be found on the COVID-19 Portal.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Dec. 30: Leaders report 1,323 new COVID-19 cases, 17 new deaths
SAN ANTONIO – 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. Nirenberg reported 115,685 total COVID-19 cases and 1,538 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 1,323 new cases as of Wednesday. City officials also reported that 1,136 patients are hospitalized, 331 are in the intensive care unit and 165 are on ventilators. Wolff received his COVID-19 vaccine today at University Hospital. Dr. Colleen Bridger, assistant city manager and interim Metro Health Director, said there are currently 90,000 COVID-19 vaccines allocated for Bexar County.
Why is the COVID-19 pandemic hitting San Antonio’s south and west sides hardest?
SAN ANTONIO – Dr. Steven Argumedo is saddened by how hard the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the West Side where he grew up and the South Side where he now works. “It was a ticking time bomb waiting to happen, unfortunately,” the lifelong San Antonian told KSAT at the WellMed Primary Care Clinic where he works. The three city council districts that represent the south and west sides of San Antonio - 3, 4, and 5 - have the three highest COVID-19 case rates and, combined, make up almost half of the city’s deaths - 568 out of 1,188 through November. Interim San Antonio Metropolitan Health District Director Colleen Bridger echoed the link to underlying health issues. “What we’re seeing is a leveling out across the city - of, you know, the north half of the city is catching up with the south half, rather than the south half slowing down.”So whatever side of the city you live on, you still need to take precautions.
Metro Health departures part of largest exodus of public health leaders in American history
San Antonio Metro Health has gone through several changes in the past few months. SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department finds itself undergoing another transition during the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Sandra Guerra, who had served as Metro Health’s interim deputy public health director since October, also stepped down from that post and is now helping Metro Health in a part-time role. Since April, amid the greatest public health crisis in a century, 181 state or local public health leaders have resigned, retired, or been fired. Collectively, the loss of expertise and experience has created a leadership vacuum in the profession, public health experts say.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Dec. 8: Leaders report 1,294 new COVID-19 cases, 9 new virus-related deaths
SAN ANTONIO – 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 Tuesday night. Nirenberg reported 89,940 total COVID-19 cases and 1,406 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 1,294 new cases as of Tuesday. City officials also reported that 646 patients are hospitalized, 220 are in the intensive care unit and 114 are on ventilators. The school COVID-19 risk level is “high.” Dr. Junda Woo, medical director of the Metropolitan Health District, issued an amended health directive on Tuesday with guidance for public and private schools. View the health directive below or click here:
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Dec. 7: Leaders report 1,210 new COVID-19 cases; positivity rate now 15.7%
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff updated the community about the local response to COVID-19 in the daily briefing Monday night. Nirenberg reported 88,196 total COVID-19 cases and 1,397 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 1,210 new cases as of Monday. Nirenberg says the positivity rate has increased to 15.7%, up from 9.2% last week. The overall COVID-19 risk level remains at “moderate.”Kurian says since the hospital stress score has remained static, it has kept the risk level at “moderate” for this week. “If you want to stay open, then you should contact TABC” to be able to serve food, Wolff said to bar owners.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Dec. 6: Leaders report 1,021 new COVID-19 cases, 2 new virus-related deaths
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reported 86,986 total COVID-19 cases and 1,397 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 1,021 new cases as of Sunday. Two new deaths were reported today. The city’s total case count includes 70 backlogged cases. There were also 18 backlogged deaths reported, ranging from July 10 - November 15. City officials also reported that 576 patients are hospitalized, 204 are in the intensive care unit and 105 are on ventilators.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Dec. 5: Leaders report 694 new COVID-19 cases, 1 new virus-related death
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reported 85,895 total COVID-19 cases and 1,377 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 694 new cases as of Saturday. One new death was reported today. City officials also reported that 576 patients are hospitalized, 208 are in the intensive care unit and 104 are on ventilators. COVID-19 Update - December 5 576 in the hospital battling this disease. Please keep them and... Posted by Mayor Ron Nirenberg on Saturday, December 5, 2020As of Friday, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the case numbers are expected to increase next week, as that’s likely when the city will see the impact from Thanksgiving.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Dec. 4: Leaders report 1,316 new COVID-19 cases, 4 new virus-related deaths
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff updated the community about the local response to COVID-19 in the daily briefing Friday night. Nirenberg reported 85,201 total COVID-19 cases and 1,376 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 1,316 new cases as of Friday. Four new deaths were reported today. City officials also reported that 587 patients are hospitalized, 207 are in the intensive care unit and 126 are on ventilators. Nirenberg said the South Texas Blood Bank is in dire need of blood donations and is urging San Antonians to donate.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Dec. 3: Mayor reports 760 new COVID-19 cases, 1 new virus-related death
SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s Note: Watch the entire briefing in the video player above. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg updated the community about the local response to COVID-19 in the daily briefing Thursday night. Nirenberg reported 83,885 total COVID-19 cases and 1,372 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 760 new cases as of Thursday. City officials also reported that 593 patients are hospitalized, 198 are in the intensive care unit and 104 are on ventilators. There were 74 new admissions to the hospitals in the last 24 hours.
Assistant City Manager, interim Metro Health Director Dr. Colleen Bridger to leave city job in January
SAN ANTONIO – Dr. Colleen Bridger, assistant city manager of San Antonio and the Metropolitan Health District’s interim director, has notified City Manager Eric Walsh that she will be leaving her post in January. Bridger had initially planned to leave the city in mid-July to launch a private consulting business. However, she took over as interim director of Metro Health after director Dr. Bridger had served as Metro Health director between March 2017 and July 2019 before being appointed assistant city manager. Walsh issued the following statement after the announcement of Bridger’s departure:“Colleen has done an outstanding job while facing extraordinarily challenges.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Dec. 2: Leaders report 1,499 new COVID-19 cases, 9 virus-related deaths
SAN ANTONIO – 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. Nirenberg reported 83,125 total COVID-19 cases and 1,371 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 1,499 new cases as of Wednesday. Nine new deaths were reported today. City officials also reported that 580 patients are hospitalized, 192 are in the intensive care unit and 103 are on ventilators. The mayor also urged people to donate blood as there is a dire need for blood during the pandemic.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Dec. 1: Leaders report 452 new COVID-19 cases, 5 new virus-related deaths
SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s Note: Watch the entire briefing in the video player above. 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 Tuesday night. Nirenberg reported 81,626 total COVID-19 cases and 1,362 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 452 new cases as of Tuesday. Wolff said there are currently 76 COVID-19 patients from El Paso in San Antonio hospitals. The school risk level is currently at “moderate.”School Risk Level: 12/1/20 (COSA/Bexar County)Eric Cooper, CEO and president of the San Antonio Food Bank, said his organization is serving 120,000 people each week.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Nov. 30: Leaders report 1,117 new COVID-19 cases; positivity rate down to 9.2%
SAN ANTONIO – 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 Monday night. Nirenberg reported 81,174 total COVID-19 cases and 1,357 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 1,117 new cases as of Monday. City officials also reported that 587 patients are hospitalized, 182 are in the intensive care unit and 99 are on ventilators. The positivity rate is at 9.2%, down from 10% last week. Wolff has said he would close bars again if the positivity rate is 10% for two consecutive weeks.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Nov. 29: Leaders report 888 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reported 80,057 total COVID-19 cases and 1,357 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 888 new cases as of Sunday. No new deaths were reported. The total case count also includes a backlog of 758 cases, according to health officials. Health officials also reported that 582 patients are hospitalized, 178 are in the intensive care unit and 96 are on ventilators. A curfew for San Antonio is still in effect, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. that will extend through Monday, Nov. 30.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Nov. 28: Leaders report 629 new COVID-19 cases, 1 new virus-related death
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reported 78,411 total COVID-19 cases and 1,344 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 1,661 new cases in three days. According to Mayor Ron Nirenberg, 812 new cases were reported on Nov. 25, 220 cases were reported on Nov. 26, and 629 cases were reported Saturday, totaling 1,661 new cases. A curfew for San Antonio is still in effect, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. that will extend through Monday, Nov. 30. They may continue to offer drive-thru, curbside or takeout service once the curfew begins after 10 p.m.Click here to learn more about the curfew. There was no city coronavirus briefing on Thursday or Friday of this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Nov. 25: Leaders report 1,032 new COVID-19 cases, 6 new virus-related deaths
SAN ANTONIO – 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. Nirenberg reported 76,750 total COVID-19 cases and 1,343 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 1,032 new cases as of Wednesday. City officials also reported that 543 patients are hospitalized, 175 are in the intensive care unit and 88 are on ventilators. Watch the recorded briefing in the player below, or click here if you’re reading KSAT’s coronavirus newsletter:Mayor & Judge COVID-19 Briefing: Nov. 25, 2020 We will be live for today's briefing from Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff to discuss the latest developments in the COVID-19 situation. Tune in Monday – Friday at 6:13 p.m. Posted by City of San Antonio - Municipal Government on Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Nov. 24: Officials report 1,127 new COVID-19 cases, 2 new virus-related deaths
SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s Note: Watch the entire briefing in the video player above. 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 Tuesday night. Nirenberg reported 75,718 total COVID-19 cases and 1,337 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 1,127 new cases as of Tuesday. City officials also reported that 513 patients are hospitalized, 173 are in the intensive care unit and 86 are on ventilators. School Risk Level: Week of 11/24/20 (COSA/Bexar County)The school risk level is “moderate” this week.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Nov. 23: Officials report 709 new COVID-19 cases; positivity rate now 10%
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 Monday night. Nirenberg reported 74,591 total COVID-19 cases and 1,335 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 709 new cases as of Monday. City officials also reported that 509 patients are hospitalized, 171 are in the intensive care unit and 80 are on ventilators. Nirenberg said the COVID-19 risk level for the area is moderate, with a 10% positivity rate. COVID-19 RISK LEVEL - 11/23/20 (COSA/Bexar County)The mayor is also urging people to donate blood.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, Nov. 22: Officials report 567 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Metropolitan Health District officials reported 73,882 total COVID-19 cases and 1,335 total deaths in Bexar County, an increase of 567 new cases as of Sunday. No new deaths were reported today. However, a backlog of 17 deaths, ranging from July 8 - Nov. 6 and 272 deaths reported by other health officials were added to the total number in the county. City officials also reported that 492 patients are hospitalized, 165 are in the intensive care unit and 84 are on ventilators. There are 14% of staffed beds available and 67% of ventilators available.
San Antonio extends free COVID-19 tests to asymptomatic individuals this week
click to enlarge Wikimedia Commons / U.S. NavyA medical technician swabs a patient at a COVID-19 testing site. The City of San Antonio is offering free COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic residents in Bexar County this week, KSAT reports A partnership between BioBridge Global and Community Labs has allowed the city to expand its testing capabilities. Before now, residents were required to show symptoms of COVID-19 to be tested.“Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at ways to bring FDA-approved, asymptomatic testing to our City’s test sites and I’m so pleased to partner with Community Labs to make this a reality,” Assistant City Manager and Interim Metro Health Director Dr. Colleen Bridger told the news station.The free testing will be available at the Ramirez Community Center and Cuellar Community Center from Tuesday, October 13 to Friday, October 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Appointments will be will be on a first come, first served basis, so plan accordingly.Individuals with or without symptoms will be able to obtain nasal PCR tests to determine if they have contracted COVID-19. The less invasive nasal PCR tests have been approved by the FDA for testing of asymptomatic individuals.sacurrent.com
San Antonio Developing COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Plan
San Antonio City Council on Wednesday reviewed the framework for the COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Plan, which will help prioritize federal, state, and other funding as the City responds to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic wreckage left in its wake. Based on Council feedback Wednesday, City staff will return next week to present a specific budget proposal for CARES Act funding. That will include an estimated $75 million for direct emergency response such as testing, tracing, and overtime for first responders. The plan identified 15 strategies and programs that will address four main program funding priorities: workforce development, small business grants and loans, housing security, and closing the digital divide. The City will be looking to limit overhead and technology costs by redirecting its existing resources, Walsh said.therivardreport.com
WATCH: San Antonio City Council to discuss plan for federal coronavirus relief funds
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, City Council and other city officials will meet Wednesday afternoon for a briefing on a plan on the use of federal funds during the pandemic. San Antonio, Bexar County extend Stay Home Work Safe order until June 4Council members will discuss a preliminary plan for use of the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund and will hear a presentation about the citys COVID-19 response priorities. Deputy City Manager Mara Villagmez and Assistant City Manager Dr. Colleen Bridger are expected to give the presentations. San Antonio hospitals to receive antiviral drugs to treat coronavirusSan Antonio and Bexar County will extend its emergency orders until June 4. The citys emergency order is pending city council approval.
Coronavirus update San Antonio, May 18: Officials discuss expanding testing capacity to 3,000 per day, weekend COVID-19 cases
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 Monday night. Here are a few of the highlights:Nirenberg reported 2,213 COVID-19 cases and 63 deaths in Bexar County , as of Monday. Twenty-three cases are from the community, 37 are from the Bexar County Jail and five are from nursing homes. She said private labs were able to expand capacity, as well, helping the city reach its goal capacity of 3,000 tests per day. Wolff said the Bexar County area continues to do better in terms of infection rate than anywhere else in the state.
San Antonio Assistant City Manager Dr. Colleen Bridger to resign
SAN ANTONIO Assistant City Manager Dr. Colleen Bridger plans to resign from the City of San Antonio to launch a private consulting business in San Antonio. I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to apply a public health lens to many of the broader issues were facing as a community. Previously, she was named director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District in March 2017. San Antonio official explains rationale behind what it releases to public during COVID-19 pandemicColleen is a valued member of our executive team, and she has shown extraordinary leadership during this public health crisis, said City Manager Erik Walsh. For now, though, she remains a critical part of the Citys efforts, and her job responsibilities will not change.Prior to joining Metro Health, Bridger was director of the Stokes County, Gaston County and Orange County health departments in North Carolina.
Increased Jail Testing Cited As Bexar County Coronavirus Count Rises by 48
The total number of coronavirus cases in Bexar County jumped to 1,374, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Thursday. Much of that bump can be attributed to more testing at the Bexar County Adult Detention Center, Assistant City Manager Colleen Bridger said. Bexar County reported two additional deaths on Thursday, bringing the total number of coronavirus deaths so far to 48. A Bexar County detention deputy also died Thursday. Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said Thursday that 129 inmates total have tested positive at the jail; on Tuesday, that number was 64.therivardreport.com
Bexar County Coronavirus Cases Top 800 as Models Predict Virus Local Peak
Bexar Countys coronavirus cases surpassed 800 Tuesday as Assistant City Manager Colleen Bridger revealed that four models for the local course of the coronavirus pandemic show the local caseload could peak sometime between late April and mid-May. City officials reported a total of 815 positive cases of coronavirus Tuesday, an increase of 21 cases from the previous day, but no additional deaths. Bridger, who joined Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff at their daily coronavirus briefing, said the City will publish models Wednesday predicting future coronavirus cases based on localized data. At the Bexar County Adult Detention Center, a total of eight inmates have now tested positive, Wolff said. More than 30 inmates in Dallas County and 49 inmates at Harris County Jail have tested positive.therivardreport.com
A Month After First Local Coronavirus Case, No Clear End in Sight
One month after San Antonios first local coronavirus case, the number of new cases per day has risen, and the local economy is in freefall. A wave of restrictions and closures that San Antonio residents are still living under soon followed. During the next few weeks, San Antonio received shipments of thousands of coronavirus tests from the federal government. Local officials said those restrictions came from the federal agencies providing the tests. San Antonio also has not come anywhere close to the kinds of hospital bed shortages seen in other areas.therivardreport.com
As San Antonio Extends Emergency Order, 1 Council Member and a Vape Shop Object
San Antonio City Council voted 10-1 Thursday to extend through April 30 an emergency order that keeps nonessential businesses closed and implements social distancing requirements for residents to stem the spread of the coronavirus. I think its important that we have a coordinated communications plan going forward for the public, said Sandoval, who has a masters degree in public health from Harvard Universitys School of Public Health. Sandoval also wants Council members to be involved in public health conversations or at least made aware of decisions being made. Public health amid the pandemic is being addressed by experts in the Metropolitan Health District, area hospital systems, and regional agencies. They also challenged the Citys authority under the states superseding order, calling the designation of essential business arbitrary notions.Click here to read the demand letter.therivardreport.com
Local Coronavirus Case Count Climbs to 384; Death Toll Rises to 11
Two more Bexar County residents have lost their lives to the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths to 11 locally. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has increased to 384, up 42 from Friday, according to City officials. The increase in deaths and positive test results comes as the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District relaxed its testing criteria. In addition to relaxing testing criteria, City officials are hunkering down on orders aimed at keeping local residents safe, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said. We are making sure that businesses are following guidelines put in place to help keep [Bexar County] safe, Wolff said.therivardreport.com
88 More Locals Contract Virus; Officials Close Local Parks, Step Up Oversight
The number of positive coronavirus cases increased Friday to 342, an increase of 88 cases from Thursdays report. In addition, people who work at a nursing home in San Antonio can no longer work in more than one such facility at a time. We all need to do what we can to get through these few weeks to make sure we are not having more and more transfer in our community, Nirenberg said. Assistant City Manager Colleen Bridger told the Rivard Report on Friday that in an effort to increase testing availability, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District relaxed coronavirus testing criteria. If we issue a violation and [a business] continues to violate, certificates of occupancy will be revoked and we will close the business, he said.therivardreport.com
San Antonio Metro Health Relaxes Criteria for COVID-19 Tests
We went with the least restrictive testing criteria that we could, Bridger said during a livestreamed interview event with the Rivard Report. The Freeman Coliseum is not intended to be the only testing site, Bridger said, as the City and Bexar County have plans to open more as needed. Unlike many communities, San Antonio has received regular shipments of tests from the federal government 5,000 a week for the past three weeks, Bridger told City Council on Thursday. Thats a total of 10,500 for San Antonio, yet only 1,500 tests have been administered at Freeman. By loosening the requirements for testing at the drive-thru site, Bridger expects there to be a significant increase in the numbers of local residents tested.therivardreport.com
Why No One Knows How Many Have Been Tested for Coronavirus in San Antonio
In San Antonio as is the case across much of Texas its currently impossible to know how many people have been tested for coronavirus, according to interviews with local health officials. On Monday, Texas MedClinic announced its offering coronavirus testing at its 19 urgent care clinics in the San Antonio area. University Health System and UT Health San Antonio also are offering testing for their patients through the University Health System lab, public relations manager Elizabeth Allen said. But when Metro Health officials met with representatives of multiple private labs on Monday, they found the message had not gotten through, Metro Health Director Dawn Emerick said. Metro Health has approximately 500 employees, with 75 percent of them currently focused on responding to coronavirus.therivardreport.com
'The long haul': Health experts outline future of coronavirus in San Antonio
Express-News health reporter ... more Photo: Kin Man Hui /Staff Photographer Photo: Kin Man Hui /Staff Photographer Image 1 of / 1 Caption Close 'The long haul': Health experts outline future of coronavirus in San Antonio 1 / 1 Back to GalleryOn Thursday, San Antonio officials confirmed community spread of coronavirus in the city. "We're probably in this for the long haul," said Dr. Anthony Hartzler, an infectious disease specialist with UT Health San Antonio. - Dr. Jan Patterson, infection control specialist with UT Health San AntonioOfficials expect cases in San Antonio to increase, rising sharply before tapering off. Experts hope it wont come to that in San Antonio, home to the respected Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council. Click here to read the complete Express-News deep-dive into the future of coronavirus in San Antonio.mysanantonio.com
San Antonio City Council Votes to Keep Bars and Restaurants Closed for 30 Days
Courtesy Photo / Fontaines Southern DinerSan Antonio City Council voted Thursday morning to extend the closure of bars and restaurants for 30 days while the city waits out the COVID-19 pandemic.Restaurants can continue operating drive-throughs, making deliveries and filling take-out orders for curbside pickup, however. Simultaneous with the council meeting, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order closing restaurants, schools and other gathering places, effective midnight Friday through midnight April 3. "Our staff is suffering, our public is suffering," said Gary Johnson, operations director at Frontier Enterprises, which operates the Jim's restaurant chain. Some of our customers come into our restaurants for three meals a day.sacurrent.com
San Antonio Officials Defend Staying Open as Other Cities Go Into Shutdown
As other state and local governments around the U.S. implement aggressive shutdowns to halt the spread of coronavirus, San Antonio officials on Tuesday explained their decision to keep most businesses open. As of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, San Antonio has 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among local residents. Greg Abbott announced San Antonio would the first Texas city to roll out a mobile coronavirus testing center. That meant San Antonio was ready to receive the states first mobile testing center when other cities werent, Nirenberg said. I think the Citys made a good decision in allowing businesses to stay open, said Geoffrey Bezuidenhout, president of the San Antonio Restaurant Association and owner of Picnikins Caf and Catering.therivardreport.com
Number of Coronavirus Cases in San Antonio Rises to 11
Metro Health is investigating what may have triggered the infections in the three remaining cases.All of the confirmed positive cases are travel-related or close contacts to travel-related positive cases. "These individuals were placed in quarantine because of their close contact to positive travel-related cases to minimize the potential for community spread. "Travel-related cases of coronavirus differ from community-spread cases, in which the source of infection is unclear. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years. If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current.sacurrent.com
Local Coronavirus Cases Surge As 11 Confirmed Positive
Just hours after City health officials confirmed a sixth case of coronavirus among local residents, the total confirmed count nearly doubled. Bexar County now has 11 confirmed cases, according to local surveillance data, all of which can be traced back to travel-related contraction. The increase came as local labs including Quest and Pro Lab reported positive test results to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department. Of the 11 positive cases, four were travel-related, diagnosed in people who traveled outside of San Antonio, and four were people who were in close contact with someone who was already infected. There are still no community spread cases of COVID-19, City officials said Tuesday evening.therivardreport.com
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg Blasts Federal Quarantine in Washington Post Interview
click to enlarge Sanford NowlinRon Nirenberg addresses the press at a 2019 city event. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg has unloaded on the Trump administration in the Washington Post , saying federal officials blindsided the city with its request to quarantine COVID-19 patients here.Its disconcerting, Nirenberg said in the article posted Monday night. Throughout the course of this, what Ive seen is that the lack of coordination at the highest levels of this presidents administration is simply stunning.So far, federal officials have quarantined more than 200 people at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. Another group of evacuees is expected this week Local officials in nearly every U.S. location that accepted novel coronavirus evacuees told thethey were surprised by the sudden federal quarantine requests. What happens if we say no? Assistant City Manager Colleen Bridger asked federal officials, according to the article.sacurrent.com
Job Training, Legal Help, Daycare: New City Report Looks at Tackling Poverty
A report recently released by the City of San Antonio provides 15 policy recommendations some broad-stroke, some specific for how to tackle poverty. Editors Note Disconnected is a series about economic segregation in San Antonio. More from this project Poverty Is a Storyline Binding Generations and Dividing a City More than 380,000 people in the San Antonio metropolitan area live below the poverty line. The reports recommendations use as a framework a 2019 report by the San Antonio Asset Funders Network, a group of private, public, corporate, and community foundation grantmakers. [The census data] gave us the opportunity to really start to have this conversation about poverty, Bridger said.therivardreport.com
National League of Cities Conference to Showcase San Antonio Policymaking
More than 3,000 city officials and professional staff will convene in San Antonio this week for the National League of Cities annual conference at the Henry B. Gonzlez Convention Center. City Summit includes educational content on pressing challenges facing city leaders and numerous networking activities in and around the host city, according to a press release. It puts San Antonio on the map, Nirenberg said. The summit also serves as a forum for National League of Cities members to select officers and board members to lead the group in 2020. Discounts apply to students, National League of Cities members, and first-time attendees.therivardreport.com
Cricket Fans, Players Applaud Start of Fields Construction at O.P. Schnabel Park
Bridger and two City Council members got the message, and two cricket fields are in the early stages of construction near O.P. Officials are hoping to have the new cricket fields on San Antonios Northwest Side ready for play in April. San Antonio already is home to several dozen cricket teams, including 10 in the San Antonio Cricket Association. Sol Hooda, the associations president, said he approached the City about providing cricket fields six years ago and was turned down. Cricket of San Antonio currently plays many of its matches at Tom Slick Park near Loop 410 and Highway 151.therivardreport.com
San Antonios Love Is Campaign Targets Domestic Violence
Thats not love.City officials launched a new Love Is public awareness campaign about domestic violence at a Tuesday news conference. It featured the public service announcement with members of City Council explaining what love is and what love is not. Thats because the reason that were here [is that] despite all our collective efforts to reduce and eliminate domestic violence, we have not done so yet. The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has been focused primarily on domestic violence prevention in addition to policy, Bridger said. Scott Ball / Rivard ReportOctober is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the City will continue its awareness efforts at the McNay Museums Second Thursday event on Oct. 10.therivardreport.com
Pattern of problems': City moves Catholic Charities to high risk' status, withholds funds
To date, the city has awarded Catholic Charities more than $235,000 in funding and in-kind donations this fiscal year. Catholic Charities CEO Antonio Fernandez was listed as a speaker at the event but did not show up. Since Catholic Charities was not responsive, the AG placed a hold on its funding in May 2018. Instead, Higgs released the following statement:In May, the City of San Antonio placed Catholic Charities in 'high risk' status following a financial audit. Catholic Charities promptly responded with a corrective action plan, which the City accepted, and is currently in compliance.
Bexar County's first court-ordered commission on domestic violence lays out bold strategy
SAN ANTONIO - Agencies and organizations across Bexar County are attempting to do their part to lower the region's record domestic violence statistics. Together, they've created a new, court-ordered domestic violence commission aimed at collectively stopping rampant abuse. So the question remains: Why isn't all of this working to bring down the domestic violence numbers? For the first time, a commission has formed involving local government leaders, the judiciary, law enforcement, prosecution, nonprofits and health care agencies. Bridger's focus on the commission is on prevention and she agrees that has to start with children in school.
Humanizing the Data: San Antonio Public Health Guru Colleen Bridger Moves Into Larger Role with the City
City Manager Erik Walsh was originally expected to make the promotion permanent no earlier than September 1.Its been a weird four months, right? Bridger asked rhetorically. Weve had the elections, weve had the legislature in Austin, weve had the runoff elections and now weve got some really stark challenges around the budget. She now oversees not just her old department but Parks and Recreation, Human Services and the Office of Equity.So far, Bridger seems to be hitting the mark. Nothing rocks her.Bridger also sees an opportunity to bring the data analysis that was her hallmark at Metro Health to other departments. Its just an incredible opportunity to be able to say were bringing this public health perspective into the day-to-day management of the seventh largest city in the United States.sacurrent.com
Former Metro Health Director Colleen Bridger Promoted to Assistant City Manager
click to enlarge City of San AntonioAssistant City Manager Colleen BridgerColleen Bridger, San Antonio's former public-health czar, has been named an assistant city manager after serving four months in an interim version of the post, a city spokeswoman has confirmed.City Manager Erik Walsh was originally expected to decide whether to extend the permanent job offer on September 1 or to allow Bridger to return to her previous position as director of Metro Health.In her new position, Bridger oversees not only her old department but Parks and Recreation, Human Services and the Office of Equity. In a conversation with theBridger said she sees the opportunity to help the departments work better together, especially on issues pertaining to public health.Its just an incredible opportunity to be able to say were bringing this public health perspective into the day-to-day management of the seventh largest city in the United States.Bridger was hired in 2017 to oversee Metro Health after serving as a county public-health director in North Carolina.Under her watch, San Antonio launched a data-driven program to address childhood trauma, considered an early trigger for school dropouts, addiction and chronic illness. She also oversaw the city's Tobacco 21 program, which raised the legal age for purchasing tobacco to 21.In her role as interim city manager, Bridger oversaw the establishment of the city's Migrant Resource Center, a downtown facility aiding people released by federal immigration authorities while they wait to process asylum claims.Colleen has a track record of leading key issues to the finish line," Walsh said in a written statement. Most recently, her management of the migrant resource center has been nationally lauded and the center has become a model for how to efficiently provide a humanitarian response to the influx of asylum seekers.sacurrent.com