Important Updates about COVID-19
(formerly known as novel coronavirus):
We are continuing to monitor the
COVID-19 situation globally and would like to share the following
information to help prevent the spread of illness in San Antonio.
Currently, there are no community spread cases in Bexar
County or the City of San Antonio. The only confirmed cases are
individuals who were brought to Lackland Air Force base under a
federally mandated quarantine, and those individuals have been in
isolation for treatment. Therefore, the risk of infection remains
In this issue of The City of San Antonio's Economic Development Department and
Small Business Office newsletter, we will be sharing
updated information about the on-going COVID-19 (formerly
known as novel coronavirus). Featuring essential health
tips, City's most up-to-date press release, and the recently
released small business presentation. Please read below for more
details or visit the Metro Health webpage.
Yesterday, Mayor Nirenberg and
City Council convened a special City Council meeting to discuss
response and preparedness to COVID-19 and placement of evacuees at
Lackland Air Force Base.
Metro Health released a
presentation to give an update to the small business community on
COVID-19 as of March 9th and informed businesses on ways to
click the image above to view this presentation.
The Small Business Development
Center has developed an emergency preparedness kit and presentation
to help small business owners prepare for disasters. Click the
image above to view the briefing.
The Small Business Administration announced today
a plan to provide up to $2 Million in Disaster Assistance Loans
for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Metro Health is able to provide community
presentations for organizations and groups including information
about what to do to prepare and prevent the spread of
COVID-19. The presentations are available in English and
Spanish. All requests can be made by emailing COVIDemail@example.com with
details regarding the request. Presentations can also be
provided through a web or teleconference format.
If you're planning to travel outside the U.S., be
aware of COVID-19 travel advisories and restrictions. Guidance on
international travel changes as the virus situation develops.
Check for the latest information before you travel or plan a
Residents are encouraged to download the Ready
South Texas app, available in the iTunes and Google Play stores, to receive
updates on the COVID-19 situation in San Antonio. Additionally,
residents can text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive SMS text message
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 the San Antonio Metro Health Laboratory
received tests from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC). The laboratory has completed the validation
study and reporting verification and is capable of running tests
as of Monday, March 9, 2020. At this time, Metro Health
Laboratory has the capacity to test 500 individuals.
In addition to public health laboratory testing, commercial
laboratory testing is also now available from Quest and LabCorp,
but are limited in supply in Bexar County/San Antonio. Both
laboratories, per Texas Department of State Health Services, are
first rolling out testing strategy and supplies in California and
Washington, followed by the remainder of the country. Both
laboratories are requesting providers to collaborate with their
public health departments to determine which individuals should
be tested. The turnaround time for these test results is 24-48
hours. Both commercial laboratories and ordering physician would
be required to notify Metro Health immediately with any positive
Texas Governor Abbott asked Texas health insurance providers to
waive costs associated with COVID-19, including deductibles on
testing and telemedicine visits, penalties and restrictions for
necessary out-of-network services and referral requirements.
Additionally, insurers were asked to cover costs for necessary
medical equipment, allow extra time to file claims and authorize
payment to pharmacies for up to a 90-day supply of any
prescription medication for individuals, regardless of when the
prescription was filled.
The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has
opened a COVID-19 hotline for residents to ask questions about
the virus. The hotline is available in English and Spanish.
Residents can call 210-207-5779. (Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00
p.m.) Information for the public is also available at: www.sanantonio.gov/health/2019ncoronavirus.
Social distancing is a practice
in which people maintain safe distances from each other and avoid
direct contact with high touch items in the community. Here are
five ways to practice social distancing:
contact with people who are sick
high-touch surfaces in public places like elevator buttons,
door handles, handrails, handshaking, etc. Use a tissue or
your sleeve to cover your hand if you must touch something
Wash your hands
after touching surfaces in public places and avoid touching
your face, nose, eyes, etc
especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Risk of exposure to
respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded,
closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are
people in the crowd who are sick
disinfect your home regularly, including routine cleaning of
frequently touched surfaces
continues to be a much more serious issue in the U.S. than
COVID-19. There is a higher
incidence for elderly and people with chronic health
conditions. Therefore, slowing the potential spread of
the virus will help protect people at higher risk.
people become infected with COVID-19?
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person
to others through:
droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing;
contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your
mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; and
Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had
mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
At this time, CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear
in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.