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Real-time updates: San Antonio says more housing, rent relief is available for those seeking it

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


These are the facts:

  • There have been at least 46,999 cases of coronavirus in Texas and 1,305 reported deaths from COVID-19 as of 3:15 p.m. on May 16, according to Texas HHS.
  • City leaders say there are 2,120 confirmed positive cases in San Antonio as of 6:13 p.m. on May 15. A total of 62 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

Saturday, May 16

8:30 p.m.

A report from TOP Data shows Texas ranks low for job availability amid the pandemic, with 647 job postings for every 100,000 residents in the state. 

7:50 p.m.

The principal and employees at a Northside ISD school are self-isolating after a fellow employee claims to test positive for coronavirus.

Northside ISD told KENS 5 that the employee was at the campus of Health Careers High School Friday along with staff who were closing out the campus for the school year.

6:35 p.m.

At the daily coronavirus briefing on Saturday evening, local leaders said there is more aid available for San Antonio residents seeking relief for rent, mortgage, utility or internet access, fuel, and groceries. As of Friday morning, more than 7,300 applications were received, according to Neighborhood and Housing Services Director Veronica Soto. 

More information on those resources, as well as how to fill out an application, can be found here.

Meanwhile, while local leaders said new case numbers for the weekend wouldn't be provided until Monday, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Judge Nelson Wolff lamented the "mixed messages" being disseminated in regards to the importance of wearing masks while in public. 

6 p.m.

The city says Metro Health officials will be taking a break from providing the latest local case numbers over the weekend. There is still a daily update set for Saturday evening. 

3:20 p.m.

The state reported 1,801 additional lab-confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus among Texans on Saturday, bringing the total to 46,999. There are also now a total of 1,305 coronavirus-related deaths, up 33 from Friday. 

The 1,801 new cases amount to the biggest single-day jump in novel coronavirus diagnoses in Texas. The spike can at least partially be attributed to an outbreak in Amarillo; according to state leaders, at least 700 newly confirmed cases were reported in that community alone. For a few weeks, the state has been working to begin testing employees of meatpacking plants in the area, and the results are now being reported, the state says. 

Credit: Tegna

12:57 p.m. 

The fifth veteran from the Frank M. Tejeda Veterans Home has passed away from coronavirus, according to an update from Floresville Mayor Cissy Gonzalez-Dippel.

There are 14 residents and 9 staff at the home for a total of 23 people. As of Saturday, May 16 1 resident has recovered from coronavirus, while 5 others have died. 7 of the 9 staff members have also recovered. 

9:41 a.m.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says if you’ve tested negative for COVID-19 with an Abbott ID NOW Point-of-Care test, you might have to be re-tested because early data show potential inaccurate results that may return false negatives.

Friday, May 15

8:45 p.m.

House Democrats pushed through a massive $3 trillion coronavirus relief package meant to help shore up a U.S. economy in freefall, but it faces resistance from the Republican-led Senate and White House. The bill would send $1 trillion to local governments' aid, as well as another round of $1,200 checks to individual Americans. 

7:30 p.m.

The Texas Restaurant Association painted a grim future for Lone Star State eateries, saying that nearly 10% have closed during the ongoing pandemic, without plans to reopen. 

7 p.m.

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday ordered that evictions and debt collections can resume in May after the court system temporarily put a hold on both during the ongoing pandemic. Eviction hearings can resume as soon as Tuesday, but some Texan tenants may be protected for a few more months through federal aid and moratoriums. 

6:13 p.m.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported that an additional 79 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Bexar County on Friday, bringing the total to 2,120. Meanwhile, three new deaths from COVID-19 complications were reported, bringing the local death toll to 62. In all, 1,071 county residents have recovered from the virus.

5:40 p.m.

J.C. Penney, which had been struggling financially just before the coronavirus pandemic started, announced Friday it would file for bankruptcy while closing some stores.

4 p.m.

Calling the effort "Operation Warp Speed," President Donald Trump on Friday said the government would use "every plane, truck and soldier" at its disposal to distribute coronavirus vaccines that he hopes are ready by year's end.

3:30 p.m.

The number of lab-confirmed coronavirus cases rose by about 1,300 in the state on Friday, bringing the new total to 45,198, according to state health officials. The death toll rose to 1,272.

2:30 p.m. 

Baptist Health System will be enforcing new rules come Monday, May 18. 

The BHS visitation policy will be relaxed to allow one designated support person to accompany each patient.

2:17 p.m. 

The Kendall County Office of Emergency Management and the City of Boerne is reporting a new case of coronavirus. This brings the total number of cases in the county to 21.

1:40 p.m.

VIA announced that they will resume collecting fares on June 1. They had suspended fare collection to prevent crowding at the entry points on buses.

Ticket windows will reopen on May 20, and tickets can also be purchased online. Passengers are required to wear a mask, and information on schedules and routes can be found here.

1:00 p.m.

La Cantera Resort & Spa announced that they will reopen to welcome guests on June 3. Guests will be able to make hair and nail appointments, and the company has put in place new standards to limit the potential spread of coronavirus.

11:06 a.m. 

Comal County officials confirm two more cases of coronavirus bring the total number of cases in the county to 70.

10:00 a.m.

A food service employee in Medina Valley Independent School District is quarantining after having direct contact with a family member who has tested positive.

The employee worked in the kitchen at Potranco Elementary, which will be shut down for two weeks and sanitized. All employees who had contact with that employee are self-quarantining at home as well.

"For today’s meal service (May 15), food will be brought from another site and we will set up in the Potranco Elementary parking lot to distribute food," said a letter from MVISD Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Rohrbach. "Starting on Monday, May 18, the meal service at Potranco Elementary will move to Loma Alta Middle School for two weeks."


RELATED: List of San Antonio gyms and fitness studios set to reopen Monday, May 18

RELATED: Trump unveils 'Operation Warp Speed,' predicts COVID-19 vaccine by year end

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.