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 12:00 PM
SAN ANTONIO (March 14, 2020) — The Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) is currently investigating a second confirmed travel-related positive COVID-19 case. The individual recently traveled to Japan and had a history of underlying health issues that placed them at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19. This brings the number of travel-related COVID-19 cases in San Antonio to two.
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 receiving treatment. 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.
Metro Health announces new COVID-19 testing protocol: (attached)
Metro Health received authority from the State of Texas to exert local control to revise its COVID-19 testing protocol. This authority allows Metro Health to make testing more accessible and enables them to adjust criteria as needed to adapt to the community conditions.
Previous testing protocols required a person under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 to have a travel history from China or Iran. The revised protocol removes travel history requirements from the criteria for testing.
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.
- 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
- Patient shows fever and signs/symptoms of a lower respiratory illness and significant respiratory illness, such as the flu, has been ruled out and the patient has risk factors that place them at a high risk of poor health outcomes or the patient is a health care worker or first responder
- 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
Metro Health extends 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: www.sanantonio.gov/health/2019ncoronavirus.
BEXAR COUNTY ISSUES PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY DECLARATION
On Friday, March 13, 2020, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff issued a declaration of public health emergency. Key highlights include Judge Wolff directing County officials and medical staff to implement enhanced screening and monitoring processes and procedures for detection of COVID-19 at the Bexar County Adult Detention Center, all jury panels are suspended by special order of Administrative Judge Ron Rangel, and directing rental property owners to temporarily suspend evictions for at least the next 30 days.
Additionally, Bexar County Commissioners Court will hold a Commissioners Court meeting on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 10 a.m. Items of note include discussion and consideration of Public Health Emergency declaration extension and discussion of health and infectious diseases consultant services to assist County offices in preparation and response to COVID-19.
REMINDER: CITY SCHEDULES & SERVICE DELIVERY
Yesterday, 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.
- 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
RESOURCES 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.
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.