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SA Coronavirus Updates: April 16

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

SAN ANTONIO — For the most recent coronavirus-related information, head over to our real-time updates blog.

These are the facts:

  • There have been at least 16,455 cases of coronavirus in Texas and 393 reported deaths from COVID-19 as of 6:00 p.m., Thursday, April 16, according to Texas HHS.
  • City leaders say there are 918 confirmed positive cases in San Antonio as of 6:15 p.m. on April 16. Thirty-seven people have died, while 176 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  

Thursday, April 16

10 p.m.

Despite earlier declarations from city leaders, officials say its new mandate on the mandatory use of cloth face coverings in San Antonio won't go into effect on Monday, in order to allow ample time for residents to make or purchase a mask. 

6:20 p.m.

The city amends its stay-home order to mandate that all residents 10 years of age or older wear a cloth face covering in most public settings. The order is effective immediately. 

6:15 p.m.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bexar County has risen to 918 confirmed positive tests, according to San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. 37 people have died.

The mayor announced a jump in recoveries, from 147 to 176 residents. 705 patients are continuing to fight coronavirus.

4:45 p.m.

Hays County is up to 117 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus after officials reported eight more diagnoses on Thursday. Forty-eight have recovered, two are currently hospitalized and one resident has died. 

3:10 p.m.

Gold's Gym announced that due to the impact of coronavirus, they will permanently close 30 locations across the country, including three in San Antonio.

The locations on Evans Road, Prue Road, and in Hill Country Village will all be shutting down for good, according to identical posts on their respective Facebook pages.

11:49 a.m. 

Bexar County Sheriff's Administration confirms two more cases of coronavirus amongst the jail's inmate population. This brings the total number of inmates who have tested positive for coronavirus at the jail to 10.

11:35 a.m.

Flower kits with virtual workshop are designed to give San Antonians something Fiesta-related to do while social distancing.

10:16 a.m.

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

Sworn Officer COVID-19 positive -6

Officers in quarantine - 7

Civilians in quarantine- 5

Total SAPD Personnel Quarantined- 12

9:15 a.m.

The San Antonio Fire Department reported the following information about coronavirus cases as of April 15:

SAFD Uniformed COVID-19 positive -3
SAFD Uniformed in quarantine - 47
SAFD Civilians in quarantine- 1
Total SAFD Personnel Quarantined- 48

Fire officials say they are increasing the amount of staff in quarantine in an "aggressive effort" to stop the spread of the virus. 

Later in the day, SAFD Chief Charles Hood provided the following statement: 

“As part of our proactive efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19 within the SAFD, all firefighters assigned to the station that has had three positive cases will be placed on quarantine. This quarantine will be for 14 days from the last shift worked by each of these firefighters. 

"The fire station and all fire apparatus have also been deep cleaned and disinfected as part of this effort. Protecting the health and safety of our SAFD family and that of the community we serve will always be paramount; the quarantine of these firefighters will in no way effect our service delivery.”

9:04 a.m.

Spoetzl Brewery, the brewer of Shiner Bock, is giving the love back to Texans by donating $500,000 to the Texas Restaurant Association’s relief fund. The announcement came Thursday morning, describing the relief fund as a way to provide immediate financial relief to Texas’ independent restaurateurs with funds designed to safeguard employee jobs impacted by COVID-19.

7:48 a.m.

The wave of layoffs that has engulfed the U.S. economy since the coronavirus struck forced 5.2 million more people to seek unemployment benefits last week. Roughly 22 million have sought jobless benefits in the past month — easily the worst stretch of U.S. job losses on record.

6:30 a.m 

The United States has 638,111 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been 30,925 deaths and 52,640 recoveries in the U.S. More than 3.2 million tests have been conducted. 

6:00 a.m.

A report of new jobless claims for last week is due out today and millions of people are again expected to have been added to the unemployment rolls. CNBC reports that economists expect claims for the week ending April 11 will be around 5 million.  

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.


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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.