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
INFORMATION CURRENT AS OF 4:30PM
SAN ANTONIO (March 11, 2020) — The City of San Antonio has provided the following for residents seeking information about preventing the spread of COVID-19. Currently, there are no community spread cases in Bexar County or the City of San Antonio. The only confirmed cases are individuals who were brought to Lackland Air Force base under a federally mandated quarantine, and those individuals have been in isolation for treatment. Therefore, the risk of infection remains low.
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
- Have groceries and personal items in stock in case you get sick and need to stay home for a period of time
- 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.
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.
Social distancing is a practice in which people maintain safe distances from each other and avoid direct contact with high touch items in the community. Here are six ways to practice social distancing:
- Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect your home regularly, including routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
- Keep a six-foot distance from others in public settings.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places like elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand if you must touch something.
- Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places and avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
Public service announcements on social distancing, prevention and testing are available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language here.
Local COVID-19 testing
On Tuesday, March 3, 2020 the San Antonio Metro Health Laboratory received tests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The laboratory has completed the validation study and reporting verification and is capable of running tests as of Monday, March 9, 2020. At this time, Metro Health Laboratory has the capacity to test 500 individuals.
In addition to public health laboratory testing, commercial laboratory testing is also now available from Quest and LabCorp, but are limited in supply in Bexar County/San Antonio. Both laboratories, per Texas Department of State Health Services, are first rolling out testing strategy and supplies in California and Washington, followed by the remainder of the country. Both laboratories are requesting providers to collaborate with their public health departments to determine which individuals should be tested. The turnaround time for these test results is 24-48 hours. Both commercial laboratories and ordering physician would be required to notify Metro Health immediately with any positive results.
Texas Governor Abbott asked Texas health insurance providers to waive costs associated with COVID-19, including deductibles on testing and telemedicine visits, penalties and restrictions for necessary out-of-network services and referral requirements. Additionally, insurers were asked to cover costs for necessary medical equipment, allow extra time to file claims and authorize payment to pharmacies for up to a 90-day supply of any prescription medication for individuals, regardless of when the prescription was filled.
Testing b-roll and photos are available here.
Metro Health is able to provide community presentations for organizations and groups including information about what to do to prepare and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The presentations are available in English and Spanish. All requests can be made by emailing COVIDemail@example.com with details regarding the request. Presentations can also be provided through a web or teleconference format.
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.
Information regarding COVID-19 is also available in American Sign Language at this link: http://sat.ahasalerts.com/ActiveAlerts.aspx?id=1334