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Coronavirus in San Antonio timeline for May 20

Facts not fear: KENS 5 is tracking the latest headlines and updates about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

SAN ANTONIO — To access the May 21 real-time update blog, click here.

These are the facts:

  • There have been at least 51,323 cases of coronavirus in Texas and 1,419 reported deaths from COVID-19 as of 3:30 p.m. on May 20, according to Texas HHS.
  • City leaders say there are 2,322 confirmed positive cases in San Antonio as of 6:13 p.m. on May 20. A total of 63 people have died related to the coronavirus.
  • Governor Abbott's order for a "phased in" reopening of the Texas economy got underway Friday, May 1, and further phases are expected. You can find more information about that here.
  • Per city orders, most San Antonians need to wear a mask or cloth covering in public areas where social distancing is difficult or not possible. Click here for more information.


Credit: KENS

We're tracking how many coronavirus cases are confirmed in Bexar County each day from the time San Antonio Metro Health began reporting cases more than two months ago. Graphing those daily case numbers along a 14-day moving average provides an accurate picture of the curve in the San Antonio area and the direction we're heading amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, May 20

9:30 p.m.

A total of 106,000 COVID-19 cases were reported to the WHO over the last 24 hours, the most in a single day since the pandemic began. The worldwide total of confirmed cases is expected to reach 5 million by Thursday

8:00 p.m.

By the numbers: 63 Bexar County residents have died from coronavirus, as of Wednesday evening. 63% of residents who've contracted the virus are below the age of 50.

6:15 p.m.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported that an additional 44 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Bexar County on Wednesday, bringing the total to 2,322. Meanwhile, one new death from COVID-19 complications was reported, bringing the local death toll to 63.

4 p.m.

The number of lab-confirmed coronavirus cases in Texas rose by about 1,400 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 51,323. In addition, 50 additional deaths were reported by the state; the death toll is now 1,419.

Credit: TEGNA

12:45 p.m.

City health officials announced the locations of four additional walk-up sites where San Antonio residents will be able to get tested for the coronavirus this month. 

On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, free testing will be available at the Palo Alto College gym (on West Villaret Boulevard) and Nellie Reddix Center (on Sid Katz Drive) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. 

Later in May, testing will also be held at the welcome center of San Antonio College (on North Main Avenue) and Highland High School (on Elgin Avenue) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day on May 28 to May 30. 

While the city isn't asking residents to schedule an appointment ahead of time, officials say no more than 175 people will be able to receive tests at each location, each day.

11:35 a.m.

San Marcos officials say the community's popular riverfront parks will be among the next areas to reopen to recreators, seven days a week, beginning Friday. The city is urging visitors, however, to continue practicing social distancing and good hygiene whenever possible, as well as encouraging the use of a face covering.

Playgrounds, basketball courts, and all park pavilions will stay off-limits and closed for now. 

More information can be found here.  

10:50 a.m.

Texas will distribute several shipments of the drug remdesivir to five San Antonio hospitals; the drug was approved by the FDA earlier this year as an effective treatment for coronavirus patients. 

10 a.m.

The U.S. has reported over 1.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 91,938 deaths, according to John's Hopkins University.

9:09 a.m.

The San Antonio Police Department reported the latest numbers within the department:

Sworn Officer COVID-19 positive: 6

Officers in quarantine: 3

Civilians in quarantine: 3

Total SAPD Personnel Quarantined: 6

12:33 a.m.

study from Europe suggests an alternating cycle of 50 days of strict lockdown followed by 30 days of relaxing of restrictions may be an effective strategy for keeping COVID-19 deaths down and keep damage to economies at a minimum. But fully relaxing restrictions could overrun hospitals and put the death toll in the millions. 

Tuesday, May 19

8:30 p.m.

An employee at an H-E-B on the south side has tested positive for coronavirus, according to the store's website.

The employee was last in the McCreless Market H‑E‑B plus! at 4100 South New Braunfels on May 5.

"All directly affected partners at the location have been notified and the store has been deep cleaned and sanitized multiple times since then," the store's website said.

6:20 p.m.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg has extended the city's "Stay Home, Work Safe" order through 11:59 p.m. on June 4, pending approval from the San Antonio City Council. The measures strongly encourage city residents to wear a cloth face covering while in public and minimize social gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household.

6:13 p.m.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported that an additional 65 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Bexar County on Tuesday, bringing the total to 2,278. Meanwhile, no new deaths from COVID-19 complications were reported; the local death toll remains at 62. 

5:41 p.m.

A federal judge on Tuesday opened a path for a massive expansion in absentee voting in Texas by ordering that all state voters regardless of age qualify for a mail-in ballot during the coronavirus pandemic.

5:00 p.m.

Maverick County Judge David Saucedo announced the first coronavirus-related fatality in the county, an 83-year-old man with underlying health conditions.

There are now 89 cases in the county, according to Texas HHS.

4:23 p.m.

Northside Independent School District's superintendent Dr. Brian Woods announced the district has decided to hold 'contactless graduations' in June, instead of waiting until July as was previously considered. He cited students who are moving away, starting jobs, or headed off to the military as a reason to go with the earlier date.

4:05 p.m.

Officials announced more than 1,200 new coronavirus cases and 22 fatalities from the virus over the last 24 hours. That's more than double the new active cases versus Monday. Meanwhile, 998 Texas residents recovered from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bring the total number of recoveries in the state to 29,359.

Credit: TEGNA

3:45 p.m.

Officials with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department announced that a youth development coach at the Gainesville State School has tested positive for coronavirus. According to TJJD, the employee left campus on May 8 for an unrelated medical issue and has not been on campus since. The department is now conducting contact tracing, as well as testing all the youth in the dorms where the employee worked over the last two weeks.

No other staff members or youth at the school have shown symptoms of coronavirus, TJJD said.  

3:20 p.m.

The City of San Antonio plans to hand out coronavirus safety supply kits to help small businesses and nonprofits prepare to open.

The “Greater. SAfer. Together. Supply Pickup Day” will be held on May 27 at the Alamodome. The supplies in each kit include one non-contact thermometer, two gallons of hand sanitizer, and face masks. Click here for more details.

2:15 p.m.

The following information was released by Comal County regarding coronavirus cases:

As of Tuesday morning, the Comal County Office of Public Health has received reports of the following test information:

  • 1,339 tests conducted
  • 72 positive tests
  • 1,184 negative tests
  • 72 results still pending

Of the 72 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Comal County, the location breakdown is:

  • 26 from New Braunfels or the immediate area
  • 12 from the Bulverde area
  • 12 from north of Canyon Lake
  • 7 from eastern Comal County
  • 3 from south of Canyon Lake
  • 3 from Garden Ridge
  • 3 from the Spring Branch area
  • 2 from Fair Oaks Ranch
  • 2 from southwest Comal County
  • 2 from central Comal County

1:45 p.m.

The world cut its daily carbon dioxide emissions by 17% at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic shutdown last month, a new study found.

But with life and heat-trapping gas levels inching back toward normal, the brief pollution break will likely be “a drop in the ocean" when it comes to climate change, scientists said.

Read more here.

11:50 a.m.

The University Interscholastic League says they are working with state officials to allow Texas high schools to begin limited athletic workouts and marching band activities in June.

According to a statement from the UIL, the activities are scheduled to resume on June 8, with approval from proper officials.

10:45 a.m.

USAA has announced it is supporting military members, their families and local communities affected by the coronavirus pandemic by donating more than $6.3 million in national and local organizations.

The donations will provide funding across four main areas: financial support for military families, food insecurity in San Antonio and USAA campus locations, COVID-19 medical research and equipment and help to bridge the “digital divide” providing low-to-moderate income students and families access to online working and education.

9:59 a.m.

Comal County confirmed its 72nd case of COVID-19. The case is a resident from central Comal County in their 60s who is hospitalized in New Braunfels.

With six deaths and 56 recoveries, the county now has 10 active coronavirus cases and two of them hospitalized.

8:13 a.m.

The San Antonio Police Department released the following numbers related to coronavirus cases within the department.

Sworn Officer COVID-19 positive -6

Officers in quarantine - 3

Civilians in quarantine- 6

Total SAPD Personnel Quarantined- 9

7:01 a.m.

There are more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. and more than 90,000 deaths related to the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

5:54 a.m.

US President Donald Trump tweeted a letter he had sent World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, outlining "serious concerns" with the UN body's coronavirus response.

Trump said “the only way forward” is if WHO “can actually demonstrate independence from China.”


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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • The CDC recommends wearing a mask or cloth face covering if you have to be out due to an essential service or essential activity such as going to the grocery store.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.