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Real-Time Updates: San Antonio has the capacity to conduct 3,000 tests per day; Texas begins 'Phase 2' towards reopening

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

SAN ANTONIO —

These are the facts:

  • There have been at least 48,693 cases of coronavirus in Texas and 1,347 reported deaths from COVID-19 as of 3:25 p.m. on May 18, according to Texas HHS.
  • City leaders say there are 2,213 confirmed positive cases in San Antonio as of 6:13 p.m. on May 18. 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

Monday, May 18

7:30 p.m.

Officials confirmed five additional COVID-19 cases in Guadalupe County Monday, bringing the total cases to 114. 

91 county residents have recovered from coronavirus, while 23 residents continue to battle the virus. According to the county, five members of the same household have tested positive for coronavirus since Friday.

7:00 p.m.

San Antonio ISD announced that they will be hosting 2020 graduation ceremonies at outdoor Alamo Stadium beginning in June.

For the purposes of social distancing, each student will only get two guest tickets and one parking space. Everyone there must wear a mask, and seating will be organized to keep people six feet apart. A schedule for each school can be found here.

6:30 p.m.

Assistant City Manager Colleen Bridger announced Monday that San Antonio now has the capacity to conduct 3,000 coronavirus tests a day, though the city does not have that kind of demand. Testing will continue to target congregate settings such as nursing homes. Bridger also said she expects the number of asymptomatic tests to increase 

6:13 p.m.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported that an additional 93 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Bexar County on Monday, bringing the total to 2,213. Meanwhile, no new deaths from COVID-19 complications were reported; the local death toll stands at 62. In all, 50% of the total cases in Bexar County have recovered.

5:07 p.m.

Hays County officials reported 13 new positive coronavirus cases since Saturday, bringing the total lab-confirmed cases in the county to 235. Additionally, 152 residents have now recovered from the coronavirus; the county has seen three fatalities from the virus.

3:25 p.m.

Texas Health and Human Services announced the latest coronavirus numbers Monday. HHS now reported 48,693 cases of coronavirus in Texas and 1,347 reported deaths. 

It is estimated that 28,371 Texans have recovered from COVID-19, as of Monday afternoon.

3:01 p.m.

As part of his second phase to reopen the state, Governor Greg Abbott announced a new list of what can reopen, including some Texas businesses that can resume starting today.

1:15 p.m.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar gave an update on the latest coronavirus numbers for the inmates at the Bexar County jail:

  • 392 inmates in total have tested positive.
  • 296 are active positives.
  • 13 are in recovery.
  • 62 have made a full recovery.
  • 1 inmate has died.
  • 1,620 inmates have been tested in total.
  • 1,016 have tested negative.

Salazar said most of the positive cases are asymptomatic and he called that "disturbing" because it could mean that coronavirus is spreading more in the community than people may think.

11:04 a.m.

The San Antonio Police Department released its latest number of cases related to the coronavirus:

Sworn Officers COVID-19 positive: 6

Officers in quarantine: 3

Civilians in quarantine: 5

Total SAPD Personnel Quarantined: 8

10:34 a.m.

The San Antonio Fire Department released its latest number of cases related to the coronavirus:

SAFD uniformed COVID-19 positive: 6

SAFD uniformed in quarantine: 2

SAFD civilians in quarantine: 0

Total SAFD personnel quarantined: 2

6:32 a.m.

China will provide $2 billion over two years to fight the coronavirus pandemic, President Xi Jinping said Monday, rallying around the World Health Organization and its efforts even as the Trump administration has slashed funding for the U.N. health agency

Sunday, May 17

6:15 p.m.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported Sunday night that there are currently 70 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, plus 18 more under investigation for COVID-19 symptoms. Of those, there are 31 in the ICU and 16 on ventilators.

The county did not report COVID-19 case and death numbers this weekend but will resume Monday evening, Nirenberg said.

Precinct 2 County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez said there have been 1,611 overall COVID-19 tests at the Bexar County Jail. There have been 319 positive tests with no symptoms, and 74 positive tests with symptoms. No inmates have been hospitalized.

Small businesses with 25 or fewer employees can get an "essential items" bag from the city with items to help them promote healthy interactions with customers. The bags include a touchless thermometer, masks, gloves, plexiglass coverings, and more.

Paul Basaldua, who contracted COVID-19 and recovered from it, is encouraging others who have recovered from the disease to donate plasma. Each bag of plasma can help save 1.25 people, so four bags could save five COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms.

People can donate plasma 14 days after the end of COVID-19 symptoms. Contact 210-731-2719 or covid19@southtexasblood.org.

3:15 p.m.

There have been at least 47,784 cases of coronavirus in Texas and 1,336 reported deaths from COVID-19 as of 3:15 p.m. on May 17, according to Texas HHS.

12:32 p.m.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is declining to criticize local leaders amid images of crowded bars and boardwalks in areas where coronavirus restrictions are being lifted. 

8:10 a.m.

Tattoo shop owners across Texas are wondering when they'll get the chance to welcome customers again. They believe they should have been added to the list of re-openings with hair salons and barbershops because they follow similar regulations. Here's what many owners are saying.

6:11 a.m.

Starting Monday, Uber is reminding customers of its new policy; The ridesharing app will now require drivers to send photographic proof that they're wearing a mask each day. Passengers have to wear them, too.

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.

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.

FOR PREVIOUS UPDATES, CLICK HERE 

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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.