San Antonio Mayor Responds To Fears About Spread Of Coronavirus

Mayor Ron Nirenberg says evacuees from cruise ships and elsewhere may be sent to their home states for quarantine to ease the burden on his city.

By Jill AmentMarch 12, 2020 4:28 pm, ,

As a second federal charter of American travelers made its way to a military base in San Antonio on Thursday, more local residents there are worried about  their risk of being infected with COVID-19.

And calming fears while trying to make sure the city has access to better testing resources is becoming a full-time job for San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

“As the community spread issue becomes pretty clear in other communities, other cities, … we are in heightened awareness and preparedness,” Nirenberg says.

Since February, more than 200 Americans who had been traveling in China and Japan since the coronavirus outbreak have been evacuated to Lackland, now a federal quarantine center. So far, 11 have tested positive, including one woman who, after being cleared to leave, spent two hours at a local shopping mall before being placed back in quarantine.

The episode has sparked more unease in San Antonio. Nirenberg says that situation “has been rectified,” and evacuees who are brought to Texas go to the Texas Center for Infectious Diseases in San Antonio.

“All of that [care] happens in isolation,” he says.


Written by Caroline Covington.