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San Antonio, Bexar County announce “Stay Home, Work Safe Order”

UPDATE 6:12 p.m.:

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff announced Monday the “Stay Home, Work Safe Order,” which is aimed at keeping the coronavirus from spreading.

They have ordered non-essential businesses to close, and residents are ordered to remain at home, unless they’re procuring necessary goods or exercising outdoors, as long as they stay at least six feet away from others.

Restaurants will continue to provide take out and drive-thru service. Gas stations, grocery stores and convenience stores will remain open.

The order does not apply to individuals  who provide ‘essential services,’ such as law enforcement officers, first responders, healthcare workers, utility and public works employees and grocery store employees.

“You must stay at home,” Nirenberg said at the announcement.

The mayor said the order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday and the San Antonio city council is expected to extend the emergency order so that it will remain in effect until April 9th.

Actions not expressly permitted in the order will no longer be allowed.

Exempted activities are:

  • Health and safety activities, including obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional or veterinarian, or obtaining supplies needed to work from home.
  • Acquiring necessary supplies, like getting food, consumer products, pet supplies and other products needed to maintain the safety, sanitation and operation of homes.
  • Outdoor activities like walking, biking, hiking, or running — as long as you maintain six feet distance from others.
  • Doing work for an exempted business.

Exempted businesses include:

  • Health care services
  • Government functions
  • Education and research
  • Infrastructure
  • Transportation — public transportation, vehicle repair, distribution and vehicles for hire
  • IT services
  • Food, household staples retail
  • Services for economically disadvantaged people
  • Services to maintain operations of homes, including mail/shipping; trash collection; hotels; plumbers, electricians, exterminators, moving services; and professional services like accounting.
  • News media
  • Financial institutions
  • Childcare services
  • Worship services
  • Funeral services
  • CISA sectors

READ THE FULL ORDER HERE

Wolff said he is hopeful people will comply on their own, but will enforce the ordinance if necessary.

Violators could face fines and up to 6 months in jail.

Access to restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations will remain the same.

ORIGINAL:

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Mayor Ron Nirenberg is expected to make an announcement this evening and he’s expected to order residents to stay home, with several exceptions.

Dallas County was the first in Texas to issue a shelter in place order banning all public and private gatherings outside of a home, and shutting down non-essential businesses.

San Antonio and Bexar County could be next.   Nirenberg met with Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff today to talk about tougher restrictions and a news conference is scheduled at 6 this evening.

Local officials won’t call it a shelter-in-place order.  Instead, they’re referring to it as a “Stay Home, Work Safe”order.

Before the official announcement, the Bexar County District Attorney’s office this afternoon instructed much of its staff to follow the order and stay home.

” However, some of our staff are necessary for the purposes of protective orders, magistration, grand jury presentations , intake review of new arrest cases and limited court hearings for pending cases,” said District Attorney Joe Gonzales.  “When necessary, our staff may contact victims and witnesses by phone to discuss cases but will not meet face-to-face as long as the threat of COVID-19 remains in Bexar County.”

To apply for a protective order, you can  call 210-631-0100 to begin the process. Applicants who meet the required legal criteria will come to the Family Justice Center by appointment only to sign a sworn affidavit. Applicants may also fill out the intake form online here: https://bexarcountyprotectiveorders.org/apply-online. The form may be submitted online or by mail.

“In the last week, we have reduced our staffing in an effort to limit face-to-face contact and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now, in a stricter move to protect our staff and the community, we have no choice but to do what most are being asked to do: stay home. Even with a limited staff, our focus continues to be the safety of our community,” said Gonzales.

 


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