SAN ANTONIO — New rules are coming for businesses after an alarming spike in new coronavirus cases.
Tuesday's jump is by far the biggest increase Bexar County has ever seen. There are 1,268 new cases. Officials are worried our local hospital capacity could run out within the next week or two. About 966 coronavirus patients are in the hospital right now. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said this is an extraordinary dangerous time, which is why a new public health order has been issued.
Starting on Thursday, if you're walking into a businesses you will be asked if you have symptoms. However, the biggest change is you will be required to get your temperature checked. And of course you will have to wear a mask. Meanwhile, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Judge Wolff are hoping Governor Greg Abbott will give them more power to slow the spread.
KENS 5 spoke to Governor Abbott and asked him about the letter Nirenberg and Wolff sent him on Monday, asking for more authority.
"We share some similar goals and that is slow the spread of the coronavirus, while maintaining public health and safety," he said. "However, at the same time there are ways in which we differ. Some of what they are asking for is to completely shut down the economy, and I think we need to be more strategic than that."
Local leaders want the governor to give them the authority to take additional measures in the fight against the coronavirus.
"We've got to work together to contain this virus," the mayor said. Or we we will be in some rough shape this time next week."
The mayor and the county judge said they want the economy open too. But, are asking for the ability to put potential 'Stay Home, Work Safe' restrictions in effect again.
"We want to act now, so we don't have to shut down the economy," Nirenberg said. "You wait too late and this virus is out of control we will be left with no other option."
The governor said it is a challenge because other leaders have abused their authority.
"At no time during this entire process did you hear the judge or myself ever threaten to put somebody in jail," the mayor said. "We are simply trying to get people to understand on working together to help slow down the spread of this virus, and save lives, that's it."
In terms of the new safeguards going into effect on Thursday, the mayor says they will be monitoring to make sure they're following the rules and will continue to take calls on violations.