On March 23, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff issued separate but joint Stay Home, Work Safe orders to help curb the spread of COVID-19. The order goes into effect on Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 pm through April 9.
The order mandates that all residents must stay in their residence unless it's to obtain essential services, such as getting food or medicine. Additionally, all non-essential businesses must close.
All non-family/family-unit gatherings, including social activities and religious services, are now banned. Previously, groups were limited to less than 10 people.
As part of the order, residents may still go outside to do things like exercise, hike, or walk their dog, but they must maintain a six-foot distance from other people. Restaurants, breweries, and wineries are allowed to continue takeout or drive-thru options. Dining rooms must remain closed.
The following are considered essential retail services and will remain open:
- Grocery stores
- Big-box stores
- Gas stations
- Liquor stores
- Convenience stores
- Farmers markets
- Hardware stores
- Auto repair shops
- Bike repair shops
- Dry cleaners
- And "businesses that supply products for working at home"
Other critical industries, including infrastructure and utilities, information technology companies, charitable organizations providing shelter for humans and animals, and media outlets, may remain open. Read the full order here.
“If we do this right — and right away — we suffer fewer consequences in the long term, such as loss of family, friends or neighbors who may be particularly vulnerable right now. If we do this right — and right away — we also position our community to emerge from this crisis more quickly. We give our businesses and institutions an earlier opportunity to begin the recovery process. So, I’m asking every single one of us — every San Antonian, every Bexar County resident — to do our part to halt the spread of the virus," Nirenberg said the release.
As CultureMap Dallas reported, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has not issued a statewide shelter in place order, but has banned all elective medical, dental, and surgical procedures in an initiative to increase the number of hospital beds in Texas.
As of March 22, Bexar County had 57 reported cases of COVID-19 and one death.