City of San Antonio and Bexar County Announce Stay Home, Work Safe Orders


SAN ANTONIO (March 23, 2020) — Today, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Judge Nelson Wolff issued separate but joint Stay Home, Work Safe Orders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The order is effective beginning at 11:59 p.m. on March 24, 2020 and if approved by City Council at this Thursday’s meeting, will last until 11:59 p.m. on April 9, or until it is either rescinded, superseded or amended.

“As you know, and as we expected, the number of positive cases is growing. We need to take additional steps now to slow the spread. The actions I announced today can be summed up as short-term pain in exchange for long term benefit,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

Mayor Nirenberg added, “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. Stay Home and Work Safe.”

“We are facing two major challenges—a public health challenge and an economic challenge.  We must work to together to balance the need to protect the public from the spread of COVID-19 as to not overwhelm our hospital system while trying to preserve jobs and people’s livelihoods by ensuring as many of our citizens remain employed and able to provide for their families,” stated Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

“This is a step that your local government can do but we need each and every one of our citizens to do their part so that we will get through this with the least amount of disruption.”

The City’s order is linked HERE.

The County’s order is linked HERE.

Stay Home Order

Beginning at 11:59 p.m. tomorrow, March 24, 2020, Mayor Nirenberg and Judge Nelson Wolff are ordering all individuals living within the City of San Antonio and the suburban cities within Bexar County to stay home and only leave their homes to perform allowed activities. There are four categories of allowed activities:

1.  Activities related to maintaining the health and safety of their family and their pets. Examples are seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication and visiting a health care professional. This includes caring for a family member or pet in another household.
2.  Activities to obtain necessary supplies for themselves, their family and household, including groceries or food (such as from curbside or drive thru pickup from restaurants), pet supplies and pet food, supplies needed to work from home and consumer products, such as toilet paper and cleaning supplies.
3.  Working for an exempted business or government that is providing services needed by the public during this crisis, which is explained in detail below.
4.  Outdoor activity, such as walking, running or cycling, but only if they maintain social distancing, such as staying six feet away from other people.

All individuals should remain home, except for when securing healthcare, purchasing food and basic supplies, exercising outdoors, or working to provide these basic services to the public.

All public and private gatherings consisting of anyone other than a person’s own household or family are prohibited.

Work Safe Order

The Mayor and Judge also ordered all businesses to close and stop operations other than allowing employees to work from home, maintaining security and maintenance of the business’ property and facilitating information technology services that allow employees to work from home.

Businesses and organizations that are providing products and services that are needed by the community during this crisis are exempted. The followed exempted businesses may continue operating, provided they exercise proper social distancing:

*   Healthcare operations, including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmaceutical companies and veterinary offices;
*   Government functions to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public, including first responders, military personnel; trash collection; and water and electric utilities;
*   Schools and education personnel supporting public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities who are facilitating distance learning;
*   Companies providing or maintaining infrastructure, such as the construction of public works, housing and other infrastructure that supports critical needs, such as water, sewer, gas and electricity, internet and telecommunications;

*   Businesses related to transportation, including gas stations, repair shops, car dealerships, manufacturers, public transportation, such as buses, taxis, ride-share companies and the airport;
*   Information technology companies that provide and maintain internet and telecommunications systems
*   Retail businesses that sell food, gas and household products, such as grocery stores, big box stores, farmers’ markets, laundromats and dry-cleaners;
*   Charitable organizations providing food, shelter and services to economically disadvantaged or vulnerable populations, including animals;
*   Hotels and other temporary residence facilities;
*   Businesses that provide home maintenance and other services that individuals need to work from home, such as mail and shipping companies, building maintenance, plumbers, electricians, exterminators and professional services, such as legal or accounting services necessary to comply with legally required activities, such as filing taxes;
*   News media, including newspapers, television, radio and other media outlets providing information to the public;
*   Financial institutions, such as banks, credit unions and title companies;
*   Childcare services;
*   Worship services, provided services are distributed by video, teleconference or other remote measures;
*   Funeral services;
*   Business and operations necessary to the 16 critical infrastructure sectors identified by the National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA.)

Only businesses and organizations that are providing these necessary products or services to the public during this public health crisis will be allowed to continue to operate. All other businesses shall close, but may allow employees to work from home.

Nursing Homes Order
The order prohibits nursing homes, retirement and long-term care facilities from allowing access to non-essential visitors unless they are providing medical assistance or visiting a friend or family member expected to pass away soon.

COVID-19 Testing
All public, private, and commercial laboratories operating within the City of San Antonio and performing COVID-19 testing shall report daily to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District the number of COVID-19 tests performed and the number of positive COVID-19 tests. This information will be used solely for public health purposes to monitor the testing conducted in the City and mitigate and contain the spread of COVID-19.

People who are sick should stay at home and not engage in any activity outside their residence unless related to treatment or healthcare. If a person or their family member believes they have COVID-19 they should consult with a physician. COVID-19 testing continues to be available to those who have been pre-approved by a doctor.

However, it is important to note that not everyone needs to be tested. A positive test does not change the medical treatment of the virus. Unless symptoms are severe or the patient is elderly or has other underlying health conditions, people who are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 should simply stay home, isolate, rest and recover. A positive test for COVID-19 will not change that.

Additional Orders
The order urges San Antonio residents to follow the orders of Governor Greg Abbott and avoid elective surgery and medical procedures.

The Mayor’s order also supports Judge Wolff’s order to suspend rental evictions and foreclosures for the next 30 days so that individuals who have lost their source of income can remain in their homes during this health crisis.

Today’s COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 case updates are shared daily at 4 p.m. on Metro Health’s lab processes tests for 29 counties and only Bexar County cases remain in the City’s total. As of today, there are 57 positive COVID-19 cases. Of those cases, 28 are travel-related, seven are close contacts of previously diagnosed cases, 16 were community transmission and two are under investigation.

Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions, such as lung or heart disease, diabetes seem to be particularly susceptible to COVID-19. Older adults should take the following precautions:

1.  Make a plan to prepare yourself if you get sick
2.  Know who will take care of you if your caregiver gets sick
3.  Talk to your doctor to have enough medication on hand if you get sick
4.  Stay informed on what is happening locally and avoid crowds
5.  Call your doctor immediately if you develop warning signs such as difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, or blueness of the lips or face.


1.  Download the Ready South Texas app, available in the iTunes and Google Play .
2.  Text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive SMS text message updates
3.  Follow @COSAGOV on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
4.  Bookmark

Public service announcements: on social distancing, prevention and testing are available here.


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