UPDATE: March 19, 2020 @ 10:33:
PLEASE SEE THE UPDATED COVID-19 DECLARATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY HERE
Good evening, San Antonio.
Early this morning, I received confirmation of the first positive COVID-19 case among San Antonio residents. The patient in question is isolated and this case is travel-related, as the patient has a recent travel history outside the state of Texas. As it relates to the patient's travels and whereabouts leading up to their diagnosis, the investigation is ongoing.
Last night I initiated the issuance of a Public Health Emergency Declaration, and signed it this morning. I also ordered that we activate our region's Emergency Operations Center to allow for the best possible response in our community.
This declaration is designed to limit large public gatherings.
There are currently outstanding community tests. I will provide critical updates as I receive more information.
Governor Abbott's press conference included kudos to the City of San Antonio for launching the state's first drive-through testing center — exclusively for testing healthcare and emergency personnel on the front lines. This center will prove to be invaluable as we work to ensure San Antonio is running at full strength.
The Fiesta Commission, with support of the City of San Antonio, has voted to postpone the entirety of Fiesta to November 5 - November 15. I want to thank the Fiesta Commission for arriving at a difficult, but necessary solution. I support them 100%, and appreciate that this follows in line with the Public Health Emergency Declaration.
All area public ISDs will close next week, March 16 - March 20. Please get in touch with your student's school district - or follow their social media channels - to ensure you have the most current information.
All San Antonio area universities and colleges have extended Spring Break by one week. There will be no classes March 16 - March 20. Please check your student portals and emails for the most current information.
The virus itself has a lipid envelope - essentially meaning that it's encased in fat. This is why washing your hands with soap and water is just as effective as disinfectants. Soap breaks down that outer fatty layer and destroys the virus. Please wash your hands after touching any public surfaces.
Please practice social distancing. Avoid crowds and gatherings. Cancel non-essential travel if possible, and keep your distance from folks when you're in public.
If you're feeling sick, stay home and call your doctor. They'll be able to provide the next best steps. Avoid immediately going to the emergency room to limit exposure to our healthcare professionals. We need all of our facilities operating at full strength.
St. Patrick's Day festivities - including the river parade - and the Tejano Music Awards Fan Fair are canceled. Before you venture to any venue, please check their websites or give them a call. There will be a variety of closings announced in the coming days.
Please avoid hoarding. H-E-B has assured me that they will have enough supplies for our community so long as we are responsible in our purchasing habits. This is not a weather disaster. Water services are not at risk of being shut off and it is perfectly fine to drink SAWS tap water.
This is a time for employers to reconsider their attendance policies. Our community needs to come together with the utmost compassion. Please consider reviewing workplace policies that require proof of illness, and give thought to implementing the ability for your employees to work remotely.
San Antonio COVID-19 Updates:
Updates in American Sign Language:
Local COVID-19 Hotline: 210.207.5779
CPS Energy, SAWS and SAHA are providing critical relief during our COVID-19 response. Our utilities are suspending service disconnections and SAHA is suspending evictions for public housing and Beacon residents. Balances will continue to accrue, and you can still pay your bills online.
I want to thank my Council colleagues and our local, state and federal partners for their diligence and responsiveness during this trying time.
San Antonio is a resilient and compassionate city.
I know we will get through this.
Thank you for the privilege of serving you,