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Mayor warns parks may shut down if people continue violating social distancing rules

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News)-Metro health reports 157 cases of COVID-19 in Bexar, but the death toll stands at 5.   Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Sunday that 35 patients remain hospitalized. Twelve are in intensive care and 11 are on ventilators.

Sixty-one are travel related and 55 of the cases are related to community transmission, which means it’s unknown where the patients came in contact with the virus.

“The community spread shows exactly why it’s so crucial that everyone stays  at home to reduce the opportunities for the virus to spread,” said Nirenberg.  “This is a clear call for vigilance.”

Since last week, there have been 670 calls to the San Antonio Antonio Police Department’s non-emergency line at 210-207-SAPD about businesses violating the “Stay Home, Work Safe” order.  Police and code enforcement officers have conducted site inspections and observed 476  violations.

“Thankfully, all business owners that we have contacted agreed to comply with the order,” said Nirenberg, adding that no citations have been issued.

He also said there have been complaints about people congregating in parks.

“You should go out and get fresh air, but congregating in parks or anywhere else is not permitted,” said Nirenberg. “If you do not implement social distancing we will be forced to dictate stricter measures such as closing our parks.”

At this time, parks are open, but basketball courts and playground equipment are off limits.

Nirenberg says violating the social distancing measure is not only a violation of the law, it is an affront to those on the frontlines who are working hard to keep members of our community alive.

Saturday, the mayor announced that the city would not lift the camping ban at city parks during Easter week.

The mayor says COVID-19 has hit our community in more ways than one.  With many  San  Antonians not working, there’s a growing concern about how to pay bills and buy groceries.   Nirenberg announced a Resident Assistance page.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff shared some information he got from the Bexar County Hospital District concerning how long COVID-19 lasts on various surfaces.

“If you have something on your fabrics, it takes 3 hours for it to decay.  If it’s on copper and wood it takes 4 hours.” said Wolff.

He said the coronavirus can live on cardboard for 24 hours,  42 hours on metals, and 72 hours on plastic.   He says it can be destroyed by soap and hot water, and hand sanitizer with at least 65 percent alcohol.

Wolff advises area residents to dehumidify their homes because  COVID-19 lives longer in moisture.

“If you can stay dry, warm and in a bright environment, that helps a great deal,” he said.

Wolff also is urging us to eat healthy, and if you don’t have allergies, get outside and exercise or work in the garden.


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