CONTACT: 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 (July 31, 2020) – The following is the City of San Antonio’s position in response to the State of Texas’s announcement regarding the power of local health authorities.
The City of San Antonio continues to disagree with the Attorney General and Governor’s legal analysis of the Texas Health and Safety Code. State law grants the local health authority powers beyond quarantine, namely powers to institute preventative measures. This is the same state law that gives the Governor the authority to revoke the health directive, which he did not do that in his statement today.
However, in the interest of providing clarity for parents, teachers and school staff ahead of the start of the semester, Bexar County Health Authority Dr. Junda Woo, with input from other health experts and school stakeholders, will issue an amended health directive late next week. The amended directive will include recommendations that will guide school districts on safe restarting of in-person instruction.
The new directive will be based upon health indicators and will include guidelines for school systems to rely upon to decide when to increase their capacity for in-person instruction. The amended health directive will also include required reporting of COVID-19 infection data to Metro Health to monitor the health of individual schools.
Dr. Woo and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District will continue to collaborate with local school systems, parents and students to establish these guidelines. The City will gather community feedback during next week’s COVID-19 & Schools Virtual Town Hall, which is scheduled for Wednesday August 5 at 7 p.m.
The bottom line is that the Governor’s statement today does not change the severity of COVID-19’s impact to our community. San Antonio and Bexar County are currently experiencing substantial community transmission. Cases amongst young people continue to rise. Just this week, 12% of cases were among those under 18, up one percent from the previous week. Our hospital system remains under severe stress and the patients who are treated in these hospitals are from San Antonio and its surrounding communities.
The goal of an amended health directive is to relieve the confusion and uncertainty for families, teachers and school administrators and to provide recommendations and health indicators for schools to consider as they return to in-person instruction.
COVID-19 and Schools Virtual Town Hall
- Wednesday August 5, 7 p.m.
- Watch or listen live on the City’s website, the City’s Facebook page, channels AT&T 99, Grande 20, Spectrum 21 and digital antenna 16.1. Residents can also listen live by dialing 210-207-5555 and selecting option 1 for English or option 2 for Spanish. The meeting will feature live audience polling during the meeting.
FOUR WAYS TO SIGN UP FOR COVID-19 ALERTS
- Download the Ready South Texas app, available in the iTunes and Google Play stores
- Text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive SMS text message updates
- Follow @COSAGOV on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Bookmark covid19.sanantonio.gov
Public service announcements are available here.