Here’s your local coronavirus update for , .
Sixty-five more residents have contracted the novel coronavirus, officials reported Thursday, bringing the local caseload to more than 3,000. No new deaths were reported.
Twenty-four of the new cases came from the broader Bexar County community while two cases came from group settings such as the Bexar County Adult Detention Facility and senior care facilities. Thirty-nine of the cases remained under investigation.
The number of patients hospitalized increased by three Wednesday to 93. Of those, 36 are in intensive care and 19 are on ventilators.
Here’s a look at the confirmed cases as they have charted day by day.
Tobin Center gets go-ahead to reopen
Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest announcement of reopening plans included fine arts performing halls, officially giving the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts a green light to reopen after June 10 at 50 percent capacity.
As already planned, the Tobin Center will reopen June 12 for a presentation of the movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood starring Tom Hanks, limited to 250 patrons with socially distanced seating.
Other currently scheduled events for June include free Fitness on Will’s Plaza at 9 a.m. June 13, and at 7:30 p.m. the Agarita string quartet will present what might be the first live performance of classical music in the U.S. since the coronavirus pandemic shutdown. A Community Celebration with Agarita: Reinventing the Concert Experience will include collaborators from past and canceled performances.
“As we all witness the most monumental and abrupt transition the performing arts has ever seen, we are thrilled to help navigate the way back to safe, live performances,” said violinist Sarah Silver Manzke.
On June 27, the 9 a.m. free fitness program on the plaza will continue, and the Sing Sisters Sing trio will perform at 8 p.m. in the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater.
Other fine arts performance halls in San Antonio, including the Majestic and Empire Theatres, have not yet announced reopening plans.
- Four months ago, Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s biggest political concern was passing a transit tax. Then the world changed. Nirenberg now leads a city that must recover from the economic collapse wrought by the coronavirus, on top of existing inequalities that he said must be solved.
- San Antonio resident Linda Sanchez’s two adult daughters are both essential workers, her oldest daughter a nurse at a local hospital. It’s been months, writes Sanchez in the latest edition of How We Cope, since her family has been together.
- The coronavirus pandemic has served to highlight how San Antonio’s deep-rooted economic and health inequities set the groundwork for the underlying health conditions we see today, writes Councilwoman Ana Sandoval (D7), as she calls for using coronavirus relief funding to address long-term public health challenges in San Antonio.
Here’s what else is happening
Most businesses can open at 50% capacity in third reopening phase
Virtually all businesses will be able to open at 50 percent capacity beginning immediately, Gov. Greg Abbott declared Wednesday as the state begins its third phase of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On June 12, restaurants will be able to increase their capacity from 50 percent to 75 percent, according to the order.
In a statement, Abbott said the new positive cases seen in the state are largely emanating from “isolated hot spots,” such as nursing homes, jails, and meat-packing plants. He said the State will continue to employ its surge-response teams to contain those hot spots while opening Texas.
“As we begin Phase III, I ask all Texans and Texas businesses to continue following the standard health protocols and to heed the guidance of our state and federal officials who continue to closely monitor COVID-19,” he said. “If we remain vigilant, we will continue to mitigate the spread of this virus, protect public health, and get more Texans back to work and their daily activities.”
Businesses at Market Square reopen
The approximately 100 small businesses that occupy the Farmers Market building and El Mercado will reopen Wednesday, according to a press release from Market Square.
The businesses will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Merchants recommend that customers wear face coverings and practice social distancing.
Villa Finale reopening delayed; Artpace open by appointment
The Villa Finale museum and gardens had previously announced a reopening date of June 2, but has postponed its reopening until July 7 “at the earliest,” said Executive Director Jane Lewis in an email announcement.
The delay will allow planning for staff and visitor safety, and additional time to develop online and in-person interpretive programs.
“Nonetheless, we view this as an opportunity to develop even better programs and interpretations of the museum and to deliver them in imaginative ways,” Lewis said.
Artpace has reopened for visits by appointment, with face coverings required and limited occupancy. The contemporary art space is offering free one-year family memberships to first responders and health care workers to thank them for their work during the coronavirus outbreak.
Morgan’s Wonderland to remain closed through end of year
The accessible theme park Morgan’s Wonderland announced Thursday it would not reopen in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gordon Hartman, whose Gordon Hartman Family Foundation is the driving force behind the 10-year-old theme park, said the decision to forego reopening this year was “truly heart-wrenching.” Morgan’s Wonderland, located in Northeast San Antonio, caters to children with special needs and their families and includes a 25-acre water park called Morgan’s Inspiration Island.
“Many of our guests who come from all over the world are medically fragile and can’t risk potential exposure to the coronavirus,” Hartman said in a prepared statement Thursday. “Bottom line: The safety and well-being of our guests and employees are of paramount importance.”
Keeping the nonprofit park closed will result in an estimated $1.3 million loss, Hartman said.
Morgan’s Wonderland Camp, a camping facility for children with disabilities, will still open in 2021 in far North San Antonio as planned. A 3-acre accessible sports complex under construction next to the theme park could open this year for limited use once it’s completed, according to a news release.
The Pearl to reopen farmers market, food hall
The Pearl will reopen its Saturday farmers market on June 6, according to a Thursday press release.
The farmers market will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, beginning June 6. Customers can still take advantage of its curbside pickup service by ordering market products at pearlfarmersmarketcurbside.com. Pickup is available Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m., and online orders must be submitted by the previous Tuesday at midnight.
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There will be no seating or tables at the farmers market to prevent customers from gathering, and people cannot eat or sample products at the market, according to the release. Market vendors have pledged to wear masks, and hand sanitizer will be available for employees and visitors. Market visitors are asked to wear a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from people outside of their household. Pets should stay home.
The Pearl will also open the Bottling Department for in-person dining starting June 9. The food hall will only allow up to 50 percent of its occupancy limit inside and will be open from Tuesday through Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
McNay, Blue Star to reopen
The McNay Art Museum has announced that it will reopen its facilities, including outdoor spaces, to the public on June 26. Members can take advantage of two early access days, beginning June 24. Its H-E-B-sponsored free Thursday night hours resume July 2.
Exhibitions on view before the shutdown have been extended at least through August, while all public programming and events, including rentals, have been suspended through July 31.
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Museum Director and CEO Rich Aste said the museum’s landscaped grounds have “healing qualities” that can help to reduce stress. While still undergoing a planned redesign, the McNay campus “will be a perfect place to reconnect … and beat the pandemic blues together as one resilient and remarkable community,” Aste said.
Blue Star Contemporary also has announced a phased reopening of its art galleries, set to begin June 6 for members and donors, followed by opening to the general public June 11. Advance reservations will be required for all visitors. Blue Star will keep its galleries closed for First Friday monthly art walks through August, however.
Both institutions will require visitors and staff to wear face coverings while visiting and will observe strict social distancing and sanitization protocols.
Fiesta Noche del Rio canceled
Another longtime San Antonio tradition has fallen to the coronavirus pandemic. Fiesta Noche del Rio, the weekly summer celebration of all things Texan, has canceled its 64th season, citing the difficulties of safely performing during a pandemic. The season was to run June 12 through Aug. 8 with Friday and Saturday night performances along the downtown River Walk. Tickets already purchased will be refunded.
This is the first time the annual event has been canceled.
“We have made the responsible decision to cancel our performances,” said Heather Akkerman, Alamo Kiwanis Club executive director. “Our intent is to weather the storm and to plan a return in 2021.”
Started in 1957 by singer Rosita Fernandez, the event grew to entertain thousands, with annual proceeds benefiting local children’s charities including Childsafe and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Over 63 prior years, Fiesta Noche del Rio had raised nearly $3 million.