For members of the media, please contact:
Laura Mayes, City of San Antonio (210) 207-1337
Michelle Vigil, City of San Antonio (210) 207-8172
For questions from the general public, please contact:
COVID-19 Hotline (210) 207-5779
San Antonio Metropolitan Health District confirms investigation of a travel related case of COVID-19 in San Antonio
Mayor Ron Nirenberg issues public health emergency declaration; City issues information about service delivery and schedules
INFORMATION CURRENT AS OF 4:30 PM
SAN ANTONIO (March 13, 2020) — The Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) is currently investigating a confirmed travel-related positive COVID-19 case. The individual has a travel history in the United States including California.
The City hosted a COVID-19 news conference this morning. The news conference can be viewed in English here and Spanish here.
A detailed contact tracing investigation for this individual is already taking place and the information will be shared with the public when it is complete. The individual is in stable condition and is continues to be self-quarantined. This is not a community-spread case. A community-spread case indicates that infection has been spread from a person who did not have exposure to the illness or a travel history.
In response, Mayor Ron Nirenberg issued a Public Health Emergency Declaration. The declaration can be found here.
“The fact that we now have a case of COVID-19 in our city is not surprising,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “To limit the spread of the virus, the Declaration of Public Health Emergency will prohibit gatherings of 500 people or more. We are strongly advising that people do not have gatherings of 250 or larger, but if you do you will need to take precautions outlined by the CDC.”
Mayor Nirenberg added, “With the guidance of our excellent health professionals, we have been preparing ourselves for this day and taking precautions. And I am confident our prevention efforts have helped and will continue to do so.”
While this virus continues to be studied, according to the CDC, COVID-19 has a high transmission rate but it also has a low mortality rate. According to current data, those who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not exhibit major symptoms that would require hospitalization and tend to have a successful recuperation.
“We need to stay the course as a community and continue to prepare, take precautions, practice social distancing and take extra care to safeguard our most vulnerable populations,” said Metro Health Director Dawn Emerick. “Metro Health will continue to follow up with the individual who tested positive and conduct an extensive contact tracing investigation to identify all exposures and make the appropriate recommendations based on our risk assessment. Bottom line: we are aware of the presence of the virus and all steps are being taken to keep it isolated.”
The City of San Antonio has also scheduled a special meeting of the City Council for Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. The meeting is scheduled as a placeholder, should the Council need to take possible action on the COVID-19 response. The City of San Antonio will communicate with the public should the meeting date or time change.
CITY SCHEDULES & SERVICE DELIVERY
City Manager Erik Walsh authorized the following City schedule and service delivery changes and is encouraging all City employees to work remotely when possible. Unless noted below, all other City services will continue as normal.
- All Libraries are closed to the public from March 14 thru March 22
- All Senior Centers will be closed to the public from March 14 to March 22. Meals to seniors will be available for pick up or delivered by the City
- Pre-K 4 SA centers are closed from March 16 to March 20
- Head Start centers located at SAISD and Edgewood School Districts are closed from March 16 to March 20
- Parks and Recreation after school activities are closed
- Parks Spurs Youth Basketball League is cancelled from March 14 to March 20
- Municipal Court has postponed all March juvenile court mediations and all campus-based truancy forums. Additionally, all jury trials have been suspended through April 23
- Café College will be closed from March 14 through March 20
- City owned and operated VITA sites will be closed from March 14 through March 20. For drop off options please call 211
- City owned galleries and museums will be closed to the public from March 14 to March 20
City Sponsored Events Cancelled
- All City hosted events are cancelled through March 20
Community Meetings Cancelled
- Boards and Commissions, Zoning Commission, Boards of Adjustments, Planning Commission, Building Standards Board, Historic and Design Review Commission, Housing Commission, Library Board of Trustees, and others are cancelled from March 14 thru March 27
- All City hosted neighborhood and community input meetings are cancelled from March 14 to March 22
SCHOOL CLOSURES AND INFORMATION
For specific information about each entity, please contact them directly.
- All or substantially all Bexar County area school districts will close March 16 – March 22; please check with your school district for exact information.
- Pre-K 4 SA centers are closed from March 16 to March 20
- Trinity University will extend its spring break through March 22 and close its residence halls for full-time occupancy for the rest of the spring semester. On March 23, the University will transition to synchronous remote teaching for all classes for the remainder of the spring semester.
- UTSA will extend spring break by one week. Classes will resume on March 23 through remote teaching and learning.
- Alamo Colleges will extend spring break by one week. Classes will resume on March 23 through remote teaching and learning.
- Texas A&M University San Antonio has extended spring break through March 23. Classes will resume on March 23 through remote teaching and learning.
- St. Mary’s University is extending spring break by one week. Classes will resume on March 23. The university will prepare for the possibility of remote teaching and learning and will announce any changes at a later date.
- Our Lady of the Lake University has extended spring break through March 23.
FIRST RESPONDER DRIVE THROUGH COVID-19 TESTING
Today, Governor Greg Abbott announced that San Antonio will house the state’s first drive through COVID-19 testing facility. At this time, this facility is not open to the general public and is intended to serve as a testing facility for first responders, public safety and health care personnel who meet qualifications for testing.
The drive through is located in San Antonio. An exact location has not been released at this time. Testing approval and validation of employee symptoms is required by each organization in order to schedule an appointment. Organizations will schedule testing on behalf of the employee. Those who are being tested must meet the testing criteria and/or exhibit symptoms. Test results will be produced within 24 to 48 hours.
INFORMATION FOR THE PUBLIC
Residents are encouraged to download the Ready South Texas app, available in the iTunes and Google Play stores, to receive updates on the COVID-19 situation in San Antonio.
Additionally, residents can text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive SMS text message updates.
The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has opened a COVID-19 hotline for residents to ask questions about the virus. The hotline is available in English and Spanish. Residents can call 210-207-5779. (Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) Information for the public is also available at: www.sanantonio.gov/health/2019ncoronavirus.
Public service announcements on social distancing, prevention and testing are available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language here.
Posters, guidance letters and other materials are available at this link.
Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions, such as lung or heart disease, diabetes seem to be particularly susceptible to COVID-19. Older adults should take the following precautions:
- Make a plan to prepare yourself if you get sick
- Know who will take care of you if your caregiver gets sick
- Talk to your doctor to have enough medication on hand if you get sick
- Stay informed on what is happening locally and avoid crowds
- Call your doctor immediately if you develop warning signs such as difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, or blueness of the lips or face.