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SA Coronavirus Updates: April 15

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

SAN ANTONIO —

For the latest updates, head over to our April 16 real-time blog.

These are the facts:

  • There have been at least 15,492 cases of coronavirus in Texas and 364 reported deaths from COVID-19 as of 1:20 p.m., Wednesday, April 15, according to Texas HHS.
  • City leaders say there are 890 confirmed positive cases in San Antonio as of 6:15 p.m. on April 15. 37 people have died, while 147 have recovered.
  • Governor Abbott issued an executive order telling people to stay home unless working in an "essential service" or doing an activity deemed essential. Here is what that means.

Coronavirus Q&A | SA's "Stay Home, Work Safe" order | List of companies still hiring |Shopping times for seniors | School districts offering free meals 

Wednesday, April 15

9:45 p.m.

Bexar County authorities report two more deputies have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to 22. 

6:15 p.m.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bexar County has increased by 75 Wednesday to 890 confirmed positive tests, according to San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. 37 people have died.

The mayor said 147 residents have now recovered from COVID-19. 77 patients remain hospitalized. 

5:20 p.m.

Officials announced six new positive cases of coronavirus in Hays County Wednesday. 109 residents have been confirmed to have COVID-19 in the county; 43 patients have recovered.

Zavala County officials reported the county's first case of coronavirus. According to the county,  the individual contracted the virus while traveling within the state of Texas and is currently isolating at home with mild symptoms.

4:40 p.m.

A Texas district judge approved the temporary loosening of restrictions no which voters qualify to submit mail-in ballots, in light of the ongoing pandemic. Normally, those seeking an absentee ballot had to be 65 years old or older, have a disability or illness, be out of a given county during an election or be in jail. 

4:20 p.m.

Lawyers for the Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center have responded to District 4 Commissioner Tommy Calvert's letter, calling his allegations "completely false and defamatory."

2:40 p.m.

The Bexar County Sheriff's Office announced that six additional sheriff's deputies have tested positive for coronavirus. BCSO said their administration is completing contact tracing for all positive tests within the department.

20 BCSO deputies have now tested positive for coronavirus. as of 2:40 p.m. Wednesday. A civilian employee, a dispatcher, and a facilities maintenance employee within BCSO have tested positive for COVID-19. 8 inmates have also tested positive for coronavirus.

2:08 p.m. 

Officials have reported the 17th death at the Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center following a coronavirus outbreak. A total of 74 residents and 28 staff have tested positive for coronavirus since the outbreak began. 

1:00 p.m.

On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will announce a plan to eventually reopen the Texas economy, the governor's office has confirmed. Abbott previously said the state is working with the White House on the process and any reopening would have to be gradual. The expected executive order will discuss "how we're going to go about this process of opening up businesses, and that must include the appropriate medical strategies to make sure that we are not going to be increasing the spread of the coronavirus," Abbott said.

11:30 a.m.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Tommy Calvert said that the Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is understaffed as they fight a coronavirus outbreak that has already killed at least 16 residents. He asked Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff to have the patients moved to the Texas Center for Infectious disease so they can receive "proper care."

In a letter sent on Wednesday, Calvert attached a staffing sheet that showed days with two nurses and one CNA taking care of 50 elderly coronavirus patients. Staff at the facility told him it had been three or more days since some residents had been bathed.

"These patients are not being fed, given liquids, having their waste properly taken care of, and are being left to die," Calvert wrote. "These are my constituents and this is not acceptable care to me nor the people WE represent."

10:45 a.m.

The City of Kerrville, Kerr County, and local leadership partners will be hosting the latest COVID-19 Community Update at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 16. The event will be conducted via ZOOM and will be televised live.

You can view the COVID-19 Community Update at 10:30 a.m. on the City's broadcast channel (Spectrum Channel 2) or on the City’s Live Stream at https://kerrvilletx.gov/1328/Kerrville-City-Channel.

10:30 a.m.

Comal County on Wednesday confirmed four new COVID-19 cases for Comal County’s total to 43.

The patients are two residents of New Braunfels and one each from Garden Ridge and Bulverde. Two are in their 20s, one is under 19, and one is in their 40s. All are home-isolated.

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

  • 531 tests conducted
  • 43 positive tests
  • 416 negative tests
  • 72 results still pending

Of the 43 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Comal County, the location breakdown is:

  • 14 from New Braunfels or the immediate area
  • 8 from the Bulverde area
  • 5 from eastern Comal County
  • 4 from north of Canyon Lake
  • 3 from south of Canyon Lake
  • 2 from Garden Ridge
  • 2 from Fair Oaks Ranch
  • 2 from the Spring Branch area
  • 2 from southwest Comal County
  • 1 from central Comal County

9:07 a.m. 

The San Antonio Police Department shares an update on their number of coronavirus cases:

April 15th, 2020

Sworn Officer COVID-19 positive -6

Officers in quarantine - 10

Civilians in quarantine- 5

Total SAPD Personnel Quarantined- 15

The 6th positive case is a Detective with 34-years in the department and he is recovering at home. Metro Health completed the contact tracing for the 6th Police Officer who tested positive for COVID-19.  No work exposures were identified.

6:45 a.m.

As of Wednesday, about 80 million Americans will have received payments, the government says. Now the IRS has an online tool where you can track those payments as well as update your bank account info online.

The Internal Revenue Service announced over Easter weekend the first Economic Impact Payments, also known as coronavirus stimulus checks, were already being deposited into some taxpayers' bank accounts.

5:45 a.m.

There have been 582,607 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of midnight ET Tuesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. Of those, 23,628 have died and 44,261 have recovered. The U.S. has conducted more than 2.9 million tests.

Tuesday, April 14

8:30 p.m.

A resident at the Frank M. Tejada Texas State Veterans Home died while being treated for coronavirus at a San Antonio hospital, and another resident at the home has tested positive.

This is the first reported death of a Wilson County resident, and the total number of cases stands at 11.

7:00 p.m.

The City of Kerrville is projecting a budget shortfall of almost $3 million over the next six months due to the economic slowdown caused by coronavirus. Officials say it is driven primarily by a loss in sales tax revenue and hotel occupancy tax revenue.

As a result, the city is announcing a hiring freeze, delays and reductions to the city's street paving schedule, and budget cuts in all departments.

6:30 p.m.

A total of $61,753,516 in federal grants will be distributed between ten San Antonio colleges and universities to respond to the impacts of coronavirus on institutions, students and faculty.

Senator John Cornyn said in a release that the CARES Act authorized the grants, at least 50% of which must be used to provide emergency financial aid for students to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations.

6:15 p.m.

City leaders say no new coronavirus deaths were reported. The amount of cases, however, grew from 794 to 815. Another inmate was also diagnosed, bringing that total to eight. There are also 141 fully recovered patients in Bexar County.

5:45 p.m.

An already controversial decision to designate an East Side nursing facility as one of two places to cohort nursing home residents who contract the novel coronavirus grew even more contentious Tuesday, after the second facility pulled out of the agreement.

Initially, the River City Care Center on the city's east side and Westover Hills Rehabilitation and Healthcare on the west side were designated by the management companies of both facilities as locations where nursing home residents would be moved should they contract COVID-19.

Westover backed out of the agreement, leading local officials to say the city's east side and communities of color are shouldering a disproportionate burden.

4:00 p.m.

The City of Converse will be distributing free masks to residents tomorrow, one per adult as long as supplies last. Any resident who needs one can pick one up by driving through the old city hall parking lot at 403 S. Seguin on Wednesday between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

1:53 p.m. 

Kendall County and the City of Boerne have reported two new cases of coronavirus. This bring the total number of cases to 14. 

1:30 p.m.

In a San Antonio City Council video briefing, San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood noted that the number of potential coronavirus cases they are responding to has increased in the last week.

Credit: SAFD Chief Hood

Hood said that SAFD responded to 28 calls for possible coronavirus patients just yesterday and transported 17 people to the hospital, some very sick.

10:41 a.m. 

The San Antonio Police Department shared their updated numbers for coronavirus cases within SAPD: 

  • Sworn Officer COVID-19 positive -5
  • Officers in quarantine -13
  • Civilians in quarantine-7
  • Total SAPD Personnel Quarantined-20

10:37 a.m. 

Comal County confirms two new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 39. one patient is a Garden Ridge resident, marking the first case in the city, and the second patient if from southwest Comal County. Both are home-isolated. 

10:16 a.m. 

The Bexar County Sheriff's Administration has confirmed 5 more inmates have tested positive for coronavirus. This brings the total number of inmate cases to 7.

9:20 a.m. 

H-E-B updates product purchasing limits for food and non-food items. 

7:41 a.m.

After weeks of holding out hope the Tour de France would be able to go ahead as planned despite the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s most famous cycling race was finally added to the list of sporting events called off.

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.