Breaking News
More () »

SA Coronavirus Timeline: March 17-20, 2020

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

SAN ANTONIO — Editor's note: The above video was originally published March 17, after San Antonio's fourth confirmed case. That number has continued to rise.

These are the facts:

  • There have been at least 212 known cases of coronavirus in Texas and five reported deaths from COVID-19 as of 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 20.
  • 18 of those cases have been from the quarantine at JBSA-Lackland in San Antonio. Metro Health has reported 29 confirmed positive cases in San Antonio as of 5:30 p.m. Friday; eight of them are "community-transmission" cases.
  • Most school districts in the San Antonio area have closed at least until April 3. Some may be out longer. Here's our list of school closings. And check our full list of free meals offered by some of the districts during the school closure.
  • As of Friday, March 20, at least 5,277 people in the state have been tested, according to the Texas Tribune.

List of canceled events | School closures | College and University closures | Coronavirus Q&A

Real-time updates:

Friday, March 20

7:10 p.m.

The University Health System announced it's further tightening visitor restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Earlier this week, three UHS employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 

5:30 p.m.

With the San Antonio Zoo forced to close for at least the next 30 days due to coronavirus, the non-profit has furloughed a majority of its employees. Meanwhile, the zoo is asking for donations to assist in essential animal care. Their emergency fund can be accessed here.

4:30 p.m.

Three more personnel members at Joint Base San Antonio test positive, bringing the total number of confirmed cases within the JBSA community to seven. 

4:00 p.m.

Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller confirmed that a St. Luke Church employee tested positive for COVID-19 in a video message posted on social media. In it, he also stresses the importance of conducting Easter Weekend services in April, while prioritizing live-streaming and limiting in-person congregations to no more than 10 people.  

3:20 p.m.

The Kendall County Office of Emergency Management and the City of Boerne reports its second case of coronavirus in the community. Local leaders were notified Friday of the positive test.

1:30 p.m.

Eight of the 29 confirmed coronavirus cases in Bexar County were the result of community transmission.

1:00 p.m.

VIA announced they will suspend fare collection on public transportation in San Antonio until at least April 1. 

12:45 p.m.

With schools closed by state mandate, South San ISD and NEISD boards approved resolutions to pay district employees during the emergency closure.

12:00 p.m.

The Texas Supreme Court has issued an emergency order suspending residential evictions in the state for a month unless there is a threat of physical harm or criminal activity.

9:35 a.m.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the Trump administration has decided to push the income tax filing date to July 15 from April 15. 

9:30 a.m.

A second positive case of coronavirus has been confirmed by officials in Comal County. The Office of Public Health is looking into the patient’s recent history and contacts to figure out how they contracted the novel coronavirus. The patient has self-quarantined since receiving the positive test, which was confirmed late Thursday to the Office of Public Health.

8:30 a.m.

U.S. stock indexes were mixed in early trading Friday, shedding some of their gains from a day earlier as Wall Street rounded out another turbulent week.

7:20 a.m.

The San Antonio Area Foundation has teamed up with United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, the City of San Antonio and multiple partners to assist nonprofit organizations with their efforts amid the coronavirus, by setting up the COVID-19 Response Fund.   

6:10 a.m.

Members of President Donald Trump's economic team will convene on Capitol Hill today to launch negotiations with Senate Republicans and Democrats racing to draft a $1 trillion-plus economic rescue package amid the coronavirus outbreak.  

5:30 a.m.

Eleven BCSO deputies return to work after an inmate tests negative for coronavirus; the inmate was tested after being medically treated by a UHS physician that tested positive for coronavirus.

Thursday, March 19

10:30 p.m.

Cameron County officials confirmed their first travel-related case of coronavirus. It is a 21-year-old male who traveled to Ireland and Spain between March 5 and March 12..

9:55 p.m.

Two Department of Public Safety employees have tested positive for coronavirus, DPS reported Thursday evening. The department says they are following CDC guidelines and that public safety is DPS's number one concern.  

8:20 p.m.

Valero announced Thursday evening that the company's foundation had committed $1.8 million to support communities in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

7:30 p.m.

Mi Tierra has launched a temporary market in downtown San Antonio in an effort to keep neighbors fed and supplied, even as its restaurant closes down for the next few weeks.

5:30 p.m.

Bexar County authorities say eleven deputies are on administrative leave “out of an abundance of caution” after a chain of contact connecting them to a local doctor who was confirmed to have the coronavirus earlier this week.

That doctor, who is quarantined in their home, had recently tended to a Bexar County inmate housed at the hospital. 

4:10 p.m.

Judge Wolff said there will be penalties put in place for those who price gouge items, ranging from medicine to necessities. There could be a $1,000 fine or 180 days in jail if violated.

3:50 p.m.

Metro Health officials say the number of confirmed cases in Bexar County is now 29, six of which have been classified as "community-transmission" cases. Eight of the cases are travel-related, another four are close-contact cases and 11 are still under investigation.

3:15 p.m.

Three more members of the Joint Base San Antonio community have received positive coronavirus test results. A release from JBSA officials states all three cases are travel-related. Public health officials are currently investigating possible contact with the patients while the three remain in isolation.

To date, four cases of coronavirus at JBSA have been confirmed.

3:00 p.m.

Toyota announced Thursday that production at all North American plants would be suspended until April 6. The company opened its San Antonio production center more than 15 years ago.

2:50 p.m.

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

2:30 p.m.

After careful consideration, the San Antonio City Council voted to extend bar and restaurant closures for the next 30 days.

12:10 p.m.

Doctor tests positive for coronavirus at Stone Oak-area hospital. 

11:49 a.m. 

Kendall County confirms first case of coronavirus. Additional information is expected to be released as it becomes available.

10 a.m.

The San Antonio City Council is holding a meeting to provide updates on the city's response to the coronavirus.

9:03 a.m.

TLU nursing students exposed to coronavirus at San Antonio-area hospital.

8:13 a.m. 

City Base Entertainment closing until further notice.

6:15 a.m.

The Dow Industrial Average and S&P 500 futures were flat Thursday morning as shares opened higher in Europe. 

6:00 a.m.

China's health ministry says the virus epicenter of Wuhan and its surrounding Hubei province have reported no new cases. The ministry said Thursday that results over the past 24 hours showed 34 new cases, all detected in people arriving from abroad.

5:30 a.m.

Old Navy has announced it will close all stores starting Thursday in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Returns for items bought between Jan 1 and March 31 have been extended to July 1.  

Wednesday, March 18

10:00 p.m.

Terry Corless owns four different establishments along the River Walk like Murphy's Sports Bar. On Wednesday, he tearfully laid off 200 employees. Several other River Walk establishments had already closed ahead of the midnight deadline to close non-essential businesses.

8:30 p.m.

New numbers from Metro Health show 25 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the San Antonio area; the cause of 13 positive cases are still under investigation, though the city has yet to confirm a case of community spread.

Metro Health has tested a total of 135 San Antonians, yielding 111 negative results.

6:00 p.m.

The company that owns Ingram Park Mall and San Marcos Premium Outlets announced they would close at 7 p.m. Wednesday, and remain closed until March 30, due to coronavirus concerns. 

5:30 p.m.

A University Hospital nurse and a resident physician have tested positive for coronavirus, according to University Health System. A spokesperson for the hospital said both cases are travel-related, and both patients are currently isolated at home. University Health System said they are investigating possible contacts so anyone potentially exposed can self-quarantine.

5:00 p.m.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg has ordered that, effective midnight Wednesday night, dine-in services at restaurants will be suspended; additionally, bars, bowling alleys, fitness centers and other "non-essential businesses" will close. 

4:00 p.m.

Governor Abbott says he will make an announcement Thursday about potential further statewide action to combat the new coronavirus.

3:45 p.m. 

San Antonio Food Bank launches 'Neighbor Helping Neighbor' relief effort. 

3:30 p.m.

The owner of two shopping areas in South Texas says they will close due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Simon Properties said in a press release that San Marcos Premium Outlets and Ingram Park Mall will both close at 7 p.m. Wednesday and remain closed until March 29.

3:27 p.m.

The City of Floresville has announced that they will temporarily discontinued water shutoffs for nonpayments. "During these unsettling times, water is a critical resource and no Floresville resident will be left without access to clean water," 

2:30 p.m.

Freeman Coliseum opens as a pre-approved testing site.

1:45 p.m.

Governor Greg Abbott says the number of statewide confirmed coronavirus cases is at 83, and the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is now three. 

12:40 p.m.

Stocks fell sharply on Wall Street and trading has halted  for 15 minutes after the S&P 500 fell 7% on Wednesday afternoon. 

12:20 p.m.

Bexar County suspends bond hearings through at least May 1, citing "an unnecessary or unreasonable risk to participants, the court staff and the public."

11:30 a.m.

The first positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Comal County, a travel-related case in which the patient self-quarantined immediately upon their return.

10:00 a.m.

Judge Nelson Wolff and other Bexar County officials lay out their plans to promote safety and stability amid coronavirus.

8:45 a.m. 

President Trump announced that the U.S. will be closing the northern border to Canada.

8:30 a.m.

San Antonio now has two drive-thru facilities for coronavirus testing. The first one is in the Medical Center and the second is in at the Freeman Coliseum. There are strict requirements to get tested.

6:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump has sent lawmakers a $46 billion emergency funding request to help the government fight the coronavirus. It reverses cuts proposed just last month to the Centers for Disease Control, the front-line agency in fighting the battle. The request, delivered overnight Wednesday, would deliver more than $20 billion for the military and for veterans health care.

Tuesday, March 17

10:20 p.m. 

A second Texan has died from the coronavirus. Pat James, 77, was tested Saturday, a day before he died. His is the first confirmed death related to the novel coronavirus in Tarrant County.

9:30 p.m.

An inmate at the Bexar County jail has been tested for the coronavirus, officials told KENS 5 Tuesday evening.

According to a spokesperson with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, a male inmate exhibited flu-like symptoms earlier Tuesday. He was immediately isolated in a negative pressure at the main jail, where he is being evaluated.

9 p.m.

Regarding the latest numbers from Metro Health, city officials said the rise in coronavirus cases is "exactly what we expected." The city confirmed in a news release that there are still no community-spread cases of COVID-19.

7:45 p.m.

New Braunfels Mayor Barron Casteel has issued a declaration of local disaster. This declaration activates the city's emergency management plan and gives the city authority to take actions necessary to limit the spread of the virus and emergency powers to suspend laws to address the emergency.

6:40 p.m.

Governor Greg Abbott waived some regulations and directed that the Texas Department of Insurance issue an emergency rule relating to telemedicine care for patients with state-regulated insurance plans. This will allow telemedicine visits for those patients to be paid the same as in-office visits for insurance purposes.

6:30 p.m.

There are now 11 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bexar County, according to Metro Health. An update on their website said that 58 people have been tested so far. Four cases are travel-related, four are through close contact, and the other three are under investigation.

6:20 p.m.

San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson signed a new order banning public gatherings of more than ten people. Bars are being closed until at least April 1, and restaurants are being asked to limit dining areas to no more than ten people.

6:15 p.m.

Barshop Jewish Community Center announced it will close until April 3. 

5:20 p.m.

Alamo Heights officials announced they're taking extra precautions to promote social distancing and minimizing in-person interactions, including limiting the trash pickup schedule and closing city hall temporarily. 

4:40 p.m.

Officials in Medina County confirmed their first case of coronavirus—a woman in her 50s who immediately self-isolated after returning from traveling abroad. 

3:45 p.m.

A fifth confirmed coronavirus case in San Antonio is under investigation by Metro Health. It's unclear if the latest case is travel-related.

3:00 p.m.

Four Brooklyn Nets including Kevin Durant have tested positive for coronavirus. The Spurs played in Brooklyn on March 6.

1:20 p.m.

Several San Antonio school districts have extended their temporary closure until April 3. Districts had planned to resume classes on March 23 after an extended spring break. Click here for an up-to-date list of school closures. 

1 p.m.

To help prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus, many restaurants in the San Antonio area are offering discount to-go or carryout options. Click here for a list of restaurants.   

12:45 p.m. 

Gov. Greg Abbott said as of March 17, Texas was up to 64 confirmed cases of coronavirus across 19 counties. Abbott also reported the state's first coronavirus-related death, involving a man in his 90s in Matagorda County. Abbott said 1,264 Texans have been tested and "that number will continue to increase dramatically." The governor said he was confident the state would be able to test 10,000 people per week by the end of this week.

12:30 p.m. 

Gov. Greg Abbott announced he had activated the Texas National Guard to be prepared to assist with response efforts for COVID-19. According to the governor's office, this preparative measure will ensure that the Texas National Guard can assist in various forms throughout the state when needed. 

7:30 am.

Shares on the three major Wall Street indices were fluctuating Tuesday morning after spending hours up more than 3%. It follows the worst one-day point loss in Dow Jones history -- the third time in a week that such a record was set.  

6 a.m.

Bath and Body Works announced it will close all U.S. stores. Their staff will still continue to be paid; products will be sold online.

For previous updates, click here.

RELATED: Coronavirus Q&A: What San Antonio needs to know to stay safe

RELATED: Live updates: Events canceled or postponed in the San Antonio area due to coronavirus concerns

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, hot 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.

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.

Before You Leave, Check This Out