Four more people died and 41 more tested positive for coronavirus in Bexar County, bringing the county’s death count to 43 and positive case count to 1,167, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Thursday.

All four individuals who died had underlying conditions. Two were in their 80s, one in her 90s, and one was in his 60s. One of the patients had been in hospice care at the hospital, Nirenberg said.

A staff member at the Pecan Valley Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center nursing home tested positive, and a co-worker who was exposed is under observation, Nirenberg said. The City was informed that staff at the American GI Forum National Veterans Outreach Program tested positive as well, Nirenberg said. The Rivard Report found that seven employees have tested positive so far.

“We are working with them through our localized outbreak containment measures,” he said.

The Bexar County Adult Detention Center continues to add to its coronavirus count as well, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said. Two more inmates tested positive, bringing the total to 36.

More than 1,000 inmates have been isolated from the rest of the population, Wolff added. There are areas where people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus are kept away from others who have not.

Complicating matters, “there’s something like 19 different classifications or whatever [of where you can be housed], depending on your offense,” Wolff said. “So it’s not an easy thing to do, but I think they’re doing as good a job as they possibly can.”

The jail has 199 inmates ready to be transferred to the state correctional system, Wolff said, but state prisons stopped accepting county jail inmates on April 13.

Both the City and County have shored up their finances to help residents in need of assistance during the coronavirus pandemic, the mayor and county judge said. City Council voted Thursday to approve a $25 million emergency housing assistance program for San Antonians during the coronavirus pandemic. County commissioners approved a $4 million emergency rental assistance program Tuesday.

The County also recently received $79 million in federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Wolff said. He plans on meeting with the 26 suburban mayors of Bexar County to discuss how to distribute that funding. 

The City of San Antonio received its CARES Act funding on Monday, mayor spokesman Bruce Davidson said. Though the City was given the lump sum of $270 million for COVID-19-related reimbursements, the government did not attach instructions on how to use that funding, Nirenberg said.

“The last thing we want to do is end up spending that money, and then being told we spent it in an ineligible way, and then we owe,” he said. “So we’re trying to work very hard to get those details from our federal partners. And then … we’re going to be looking for ways we can provide relief for our community.”

Jackie Wang

Jackie Wang is the local government reporter at the San Antonio Report.