San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg signed another addendum to his emergency health declaration that will mandate that businesses require all employees and visitors to “go through a pre-screening involving symptom questions” and conduct “temperature checks for indoor facilities,” in addition to the current face-covering requirement.
“The rapid acceleration of COVID-19 cases in our community requires additional vigilance,” said Mayor Nirenberg. “We all have to stay serious about thwarting the spread of the coronavirus. We can’t afford to let up or be complacent.”
Furthermore, the city is prohibiting large gatherings of 100 or more people, both indoor and outdoor.
Exceptions to the order include services listed on federal guidance, religious services, local government operations, child-care services, and youth camps.
No exception was listed for protests.
The order is effective at noon Thursday, July 2, and has no set end date.
Two weeks ago on June 17, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff issued the first local executive order in the state requiring businesses to mandate masks for employees and customers. Businesses that do not comply can be fined up to $1,000 per violation.
Wolff reportedly will require the same temperature checks and health screenings as Nirenberg’s new order, but the most recent update to Wolff’s order on June 25 only includes a prohibition on gatherings of more than 100 people.
Both the June 17 and June 25 orders state that businesses “may also include” measures such as “temperature checks or health screenings,” in addition to the face mask requirement.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the trauma service area encompassing the San Antonio region (which also covers much of the rural border area in Southwest Texas) has seen a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations since early June, but the intensive care (ICU) capacity has remained steady.
Likewise, the data published by the City of San Antonio shows an increase in the number of coronavirus hospitalizations. Growth in the total number of patients has notably outpaced the number of patients requiring ICU or ventilators.
Update: Wolff has published a new order, NW-12, which requires temperature checks and health screenings beginning on Wednesday, July 1. The county order is in effect until Wednesday, July 15 unless extended or terminated early.
View the San Antonio order below.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.