San Antonio's 4th Declaration of Public Health Emergency, What does it mean?
Wednesday, Mayor Nirenberg, issued another emergency declaration, this is the 4th one as we navigate the novel coronavirus. He has ordered that restaurant dining rooms close and ordered bars to do the same.
Drive-thru, delivery and takeout orders are allowed. The neccessary businesses allowed to remain open to assist during this time are grocery stores, gas stations and a few more.
This was a tough decision, Nirenberg explained. But, the slow of this spreading virus demands action.
The 4th declaration (shown below) will be valid for 7 days with the Mayor and City Council having the ability to extend it to 30 days.
Story updated: March 19, 2020 @ 10:33 am
Mayor orders third declaration under coronavirus
During times of uncertainties, our emotions may get the best of us but we must remain calm. As of Monday afternoon, the U.S. death toll is 69 from the COVID-19 virus and health officials are ramping up testing resources. Many are likening the virus less serious than other pandemics in history such as the influenza.
The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has urged the cancellation of gatherings of more than 10 people for the next 7 days here in San Antonio, as proclaimed by the Mayor Monday evening, while the west coast's San Fransisco Mayor ordered his residents to 'shelter in place' for 3 weeks. The Novel Coronavirus is being dealt with differently across the nation. Schools and Universities have closed their campuses leaving some college students nowhere to live or go as they may be studying from abroad. Parents may have to find alternative child care or a way to work from home, if their company is still open at this time. The World Health Care Organization (W.H.O.) is desperately looking for a vaccine for the COVID-19 strain. Big corporations such as Nike, Urban Outfitters, Abercrombie & Fitch and more close brick and mortar storefronts. The companies all stressed that their online stores would remain open, though some have said shipments could be delayed as employees work remotely.
Monday night, Texas leaders closed the doors of the Alamo, this is definitely real. Governor Abbott stated that Texas would significantly ramp up its ability to test people for COVID-19 this week. With many cities around the nation shutting the doors and having residents shelter in place (stay at home), Mayor Nirenberg is not to that point yet. He instituted further restrictions on events and groups after a University Health Hospital Doctor became the 4th travel related coronavirus patient in San Antonio.
Closures of businesses, to include restaurants, slashed their hours while some movie theatres have closed their doors indefinitely.
See full Declaration HERE
During the news conference, Gov. Abbott explained how he expected to have the resources to test at least 10,000 people per week. Here in San Antonio is Texas' first mobile testing site since last week.
“By the end of this week, everyone who needs a COVID-19 test will be able to get a COVID-19 test,” Abbott said.
"But not just anyone can get tested. Health care workers, first responders, Texans older than 65 and those showing symptoms beyond a cold or flu who require hospitalization will get first priority." Abbott continued.
“You can’t just drive up like you would drive up to Whataburger and order a cheeseburger, you can’t drive up to this and order a COVID-19 test,” Abbott said.
Nirenberg signed the new public health emergency order Monday evening, prohibiting public and private gatherings of more than 50 people. Before, the limit was groups/gatherings of more than 500 people.
Although the limit is set at 50 the order strongly urges no more than 10.
In times of crisis, a timeless quote from the late Fred Rogers tends to emerge again and again on social media: "Look for the helpers".
His mother reminded him to find these people in times of tragedy and anxiety, and it continues to ring true because of the man who made the comment.
"You can always find people who are helping," he said. Fred Rogers died in 2003.
As the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to shape Americans new daily 'normals' – affecting how, when and where we work, if we do at all. Some are saying they are feeling sick or anxious from the seemingly endless deluge of bad news; worrying if their families and communities will be directly affected. We are all in this together, hand in hand. There is a resource to help and people in this community and city who have hearts full of love and light. This is a time to remember what is important and to be responsible. Some may think the Novel Coronavirus is a 'hoax' or just being blown way out of proportion. Either stance you take, one thing that we all have in common is the susceptibility to this virus. The chart shown here, as of March 16th, will show us how very real this is.
The best we can do is calmly hunker down and learn how to navigate through this time the best we can as families, as a community and as a city.
You may find the Mayor's Full Third Declaration of Public Health Emergency, signed on March 16th HERE.