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San Antonio Metropolitan Health District confirms third travel-related case of COVID-19 in San Antonio

Communications and Public Affairs: 207-7234
Published on Sunday, March 15, 2020

San Antonio Metropolitan Health District confirms third travel-related case of COVID-19 in San Antonio

Metro Health rolls out CDC approved changes to COVID-19 testing criteria

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


For media planning purposes: future COVID-19 case confirmations will be released daily by 4:00 p.m.



SAN ANTONIO (March 15, 2020) — The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) is currently investigating a third confirmed travel-related positive COVID-19 case. The individual recently traveled to Spain. This brings the number of travel-related COVID-19 cases in San Antonio to three.

“As testing capacity has increased, we are getting clearer and more rapid assessment of any potential occurrence of travel-related infections. This will continue to increase the effectiveness of our efforts to get our community through this pandemic safely,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.


A detailed contact tracing investigation for this individual is already taking place and affected individuals will be notified. The individual is in isolation from the public. This confirmed case of COVID-19 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.


“The three cases we have confirmed are travel-related, and we are working to contain the spread,” said Metro Health Director Dawn Emerick. “Our community can help minimize the spread of the virus by practicing good hygiene habits, social distancing and staying home if they are sick.”


New COVID-19 Testing Criteria:
Patients should seek medical care from their primary care physicians or urgent care providers if they do not have a primary care physician. Patients should not contact Metro Health directly to request testing as a health care provider must order the test.


Patients should not go to emergency rooms to seek COVID-19 testing. COVID-19 Testing criteria:

  1. Patient shows fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness such as cough or shortness of breath and the patient has had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case within 14 days of symptom onset
  2. Patient shows fever and signs/symptoms of a lower respiratory illness and significant respiratory illness and patient is a health care worker and first responder, who has had close contact with a strongly suspected COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset
  3. Patient shows fever and signs/symptoms of a lower respiratory illness and other significant respiratory illness has been excluded (such as flu); and patient has risk factors that puts the individual at high risk or poor outcomes or is a health care worker or first responder
  4. Patient shows severe acute respiratory illness such as pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome, which requires hospitalization and has a negative flu diagnosis and no source of COVID-19 exposure has been identified or is a health care worker or first responder


Extended COVID-19 Hotline Hours:
Metro Health has extended the hours of its COVID-19 hotline. The hotline is available in English and Spanish. Residents can call 210-207-5779. Hotline hours are Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Information for the public is also available at:

Bexar County Standard Possession Orders
The Bexar County Civil District Judges will enforce custody arrangements relating to Standard Possession Orders for Spring Break pursuant to the originally published school calendars.


Municipal Court information:

  • All trials scheduled for March 16, 2020 through April 23, 2020 will be reset for a later date. Individuals will receive notification by mail.
  • Individuals needing to appear in court are urged to contact the court first to inquire about resolving their matter(s) without having to appear in person. Persons may use the online payment system: or by emailing with name, date of birth, current address, citation number and a phone number.


City Council Committee Meetings
All City Council Committee meetings scheduled for this week, with the exception of Audit and Accountability, have been cancelled. City Council will not meet for a special session, today, March 15, 2020.

Council will convene for its regularly scheduled B session and A session meetings.



Mayor Ron Nirenberg issued a Public Health Emergency Declaration. The declaration can be found here.


City Manager Erik Walsh authorized the following City schedule and service delivery changes and is encouraging all City employees to work remotely when possible. All other services will continue to operate normally, unless noted below.

City Closures

  • 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



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. 


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.

Categories: City News, Health, COVID