Bexar County’s confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 17, totaling 157 on Sunday night, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said at a daily press briefing. There were zero additional deaths, meaning the death toll remains at five.
Fifty of the 157 coronavirus patients have been hospitalized, according to data posted on the city’s website, and 35 patients remain there, the mayor said.
Authorities have determined that 61 of the confirmed cases are due to travel-related causes and 55 are from community transmission, meaning health officials can’t determine where the diagnosed patient became infected. There are 21 confirmed cases attributed to close contact with someone who was already diagnosed. The remaining 20 cases remain under investigation.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 2,552 confirmed cases in Texas and 34 deaths as of Sunday at 12:45 p.m.
The United States remains the country with the most coronavirus cases in the world, reporting roughly 140,000 cases and 2,467 deaths as of Sunday evening, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Research Center.
Nirenberg again emphasized that a spike in confirmed coronavirus cases could be coming as more test results become available.
“Over the next week you’re going to see the testing capacity really ramp up, both in terms of the test results that we get back, because remember we still have the federal backlog,” Nirenberg said. “It takes three to five days from the federal lab to get those test results in. That’s why we are warning the public that we are going to see a spike in cases and infections.”
Sunday evening marked the end of the first weekend San Antonio and Bexar County residents have been living under a “Stay Home, Work Safe” order. Nirenberg and Wolff announced the order Monday night and the restrictions went into place at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.
The order was put in place to emphasize social distancing as a way to slow the spread of coronavirus. Grocery stores and other essential businesses remain open, but residents are expected to remain home unless they are traveling to an essential business or work at one.
Outdoor exercise is still permitted under the “Stay Home, Work Safe” order, but Nirenberg cautioned against congregating in parks Sunday evening, saying he could be forced to close parks if residents don’t follow social distancing guidelines.
“We have observed congregating in our public parks this weekend,” “That’s not good, it is not allowed. You should go out and get fresh air, but congregating in parks or anywhere else is not permitted.
“If you do not implement social distancing, we will be forced to take stricter measures such as closing our parks.”
On Sunday, many residents spent time outdoors, with some walking on trails at Hardberger Park or dining at picnic tables in Brackenridge Park. Playgrounds around the city were marked off with yellow caution tape due to a change implemented Friday night that closed basketball courts, outdoor exercise equipment, playgrounds, skate plazas, and splash pads.
During the City and County’s Sunday night briefing, Nirenberg urged residents to seek help with counseling, food insecurity, housing, unemployment, or utilities at the city’s resident assistance website.
The mayor also foreshadowed the City’s surge management response this week in preparation for hospital capacity being tested as more coronavirus cases are confirmed. He did not specify where an additional medical facility would be placed but said the City and County are working to stand up an alternative facility not currently part of a brick and mortar hospital.
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On Sunday, Gov. Greg Abbott expanded travel restrictions into Texas and said he would move to “stop the release of dangerous felons” as more coronavirus cases are confirmed statewide.
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Abbott expanded a required two-week self-quarantine for anyone flying into Texas from New Orleans or Connecticut, New Jersey, or New York to include a mandated 14-day quarantine for anyone driving into the state from Louisiana and for those flying in from Miami, Atlanta, Detroit, and Chicago, along with the states of California and Washington.
The governor announced the changes at a news conference in Austin, but the text of the executive orders was not immediately available, according to the Texas Tribune.