San Antonio has passed a morbid milestone in the current global pandemic: the city's first death due to coronavirus, aka COVID-19.
According to a news release, a woman in her 80s died on March 21 while being treated at the Brooke Army Medical Center. It was noted that the patient also had underlying health issues, though details of those conditions were not released.
Despite being one of the first U.S. cities to accept coronavirus patients in quarantine back in February, this is San Antonio's first death due to the virus.
“Today’s tragic development illustrates the importance of the aggressive steps we are taking to thwart the spread of COVID-19. Stay home unless you must go out. Follow the health experts’ guidelines,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg in a March 22 release. “We can all play a role in saving lives through social distancing and healthy behaviors. Together we will overcome this challenge.”
San Antonio and Bexar County remain under fairly strict public health guidelines, including a citywide public health emergency that runs through April 18.
Last week, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff issued an executive order limiting public gatherings to 10 people or less, suspending evictions for rental property owners for the next 30 days, suspending foreclosure proceedings for the next 30 days, and addressing price gouging including penalties. That order also expires on April 18.
“It is very important for our community to continue to take precautions, practice safe distancing, stay at home when you feel sick, and wash your hands often," said Wolff. "We are working hard to slow the spread of this virus and are keeping the interests of Bexar County residents, and our families first and foremost. Your cooperation during this time is of the utmost importance and I thank you for your helping us by doing your part.”
City leaders are urging anyone who believes they have been exposed to the virus and have symptoms to call their physician or an urgent care clinic. Those who cannot afford a doctor’s visit may call Metro Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 210-207-5779.