This post has been updated to reflect the latest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Antonio
Mayor Ron Nirenberg on Wednesday ordered the temporary closure of bars and restaurant dining rooms in San Antonio, joining other major Texas cities in taking preventative measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In San Antonio, there are now 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, the Metropolitan Health District reported late Wednesday. Visit Metro Health’s website for more info.
Nirenberg’s order goes into effect at midnight tonight and will last for seven days. At a press conference late today, he said City Council will extend the closures by 30 days at its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday.
The measure also applies to breweries and wineries.
Earlier in the day, Judge Nelson Wolff said in a press conference that bars and restaurants should remain open as long as they practice sound social distancing methods. Nirenberg, in response to a reporter’s question about Wolff’s comments, described the situation as rapidly changing.
“We have to make extra steps to make sure we are safe from this disease,” Nirenberg said. “This is about saving lives at the end of the day.”
Restaurants will be allowed to sell meals to-go via carry out, drive throughs or delivery service.
The edict also closes gyms, bowling alleys, theaters, bingo halls, and “indoor commercial amusement businesses.”
He added that fines will be assessed to businesses that don’t comply.
Grocery stores will remain open, as will child care facilities, places of worship, funeral homes, museums, office spaces, hotels, hospitals, shelters, shopping malls and other retail businesses.
Nirenberg’s declaration says people may still gather in single buildings, “as long as 50 people are not present in any single space at the same time,”
“This work is just beginning,” Nirenberg said. “We will get through this and we will get through this together. This is the hour the city of San Antonio needs us the most and we will rise to this challenge.”
If you own a small business and are in need of relief, long-term, low-interest Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are available to those who qualify. Visit the SBA’s website for more info.