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SA Coronavirus Updates: April 17

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

For the most recent updates, visit our April 18 real-time updates blog.

These are the facts:

  • There have been at least 17,371 cases of coronavirus in Texas and 428 reported deaths from COVID-19 as of 6:00 p.m. on Friday , April 17, according to Texas HHS.
  • City leaders say there are 959 confirmed positive cases in San Antonio as of 6:15 p.m. on April 17. A total of 37 people have died related to the coronavirus, while 196 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  

Friday, April 17

6:20 p.m.

Local leaders confirm a fifth San Antonio firefighter has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 

6:15 p.m.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reports an additional 41 confirmed cases of the virus in the San Antonio metro, bringing the total local number to 959. The death toll from COVID-19 complications remains at 37. 

"What you're doing is working, so stay the course," Nirenberg said in his daily briefing alongside County Judge Nelson Wolff. "Stay home and save lives. We're not out of the woods yet."

6:10 p.m.

Officials in Atascosa County report the county's first death from coronavirus complications, identifying the victim only as an elderly man."

5:20 p.m.

After Gov. Abbott announced that all schools in Texas will stay closed for the rest of the academic year, the UIL followed suit by "canceling all remaining 2019-2020 spring activities and state championships," including practices and workouts. 

4:20 p.m.

County authorities say they will quarantine a specific section of the jail as seven of the 15 total COVID-19-positive inmates are housed there. Three deputies who work in the annex also tested positive for the virus. 

2:43 p.m.

BCSO reported an additional five inmates have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Bexar County Jail to 15.

11:35 a.m.

The San Antonio Fire Department reported the following information Friday about firefighters who have tested positive for coronavirus and those who are in quarantine. The information is from April 16th, 2020.

SAFD Uniformed COVID-19 positive -4

SAFD Uniformed in quarantine - 53

SAFD Civilians in quarantine-0

Total SAFD Personnel Quarantined- 53

10:51 a.m.

BCSO has reported a detention deputy testing positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of deputies who have tested positive to 21.

At this time, BCSO has not determined where the source of the infection originally occurred.

8:25 a.m. 

The San Antonio Police Department has provided an update on their numbers as of today:

  • Sworn Officer COVID-19 positive -6
  • Officers in quarantine - 5
  • Civilians in quarantine- 3
  • Total SAPD Personnel Quarantined- 8

7 a.m.

With a road map to now go by from President Donald Trump, Gov. Abbott will announce today his plan to gradually re-open Texas. He's expected to hold a news conference at noon, which will be streamed here on KENS5.com.

Earlier this week, he announced he would be going over details on jump starting the economy but emphasized it would be gradual and not everything would open all at once.

5:45 a.m. 

There have been 671,331 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of Friday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been 33,284 deaths and 56,236 recoveries. More than 3.4 million tests have been conducted. Worldwide, there have been 2.16 million cases, 144,000 deaths, and 544,000 recoveries.

Thursday, April 16

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 starting Monday, April 20.

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.  


RELATED: Coronavirus Q&A: What San Antonio needs to know to stay safe

RELATED: US job losses grow as Trump offers governors plan for states to reopen

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.