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San Antonio issues order to 'stay home, work safe' in latest measure to slow coronavirus spread

Some businesses are exempt from the order, and residents can still go to the store for necessary supplies as always.

SAN ANTONIO — Following the lead of several states and communities across the nation – including Dallas County and the City of Waco – Mayor Ron Nirenberg issued what he called a “stay home, work safe” order for San Antonio , beginning at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday and lasting through at least April 9. 

The order specifically mandates that Alamo City residents "stay home and only leave their homes to perform allowed activities." It applies to the entirety of Bexar County. 

"It's safer for you, and it's safer for the community," Nirenberg said. 

Residents can still leave their home to obtain food and other supplies, work at a business that is exempt from the order, and engage in outdoor activities and exercise while still maintaining social distancing. 

Grocery stores and other businesses “providing essential services” and some others necessary for “ordinary home life to continue” are exempt from the mandate. See the full list here.

“These are painful steps, we know," Nirenberg said. "But they are necessary to protect life and safety. We are looking ahead to recovery—our goal is to get there as quickly as possible.” 

He added that he will ask city council on Tuesday to have the order extended through April 9.

The order comes one day after Gov. Greg Abbott announced he was leaving the decision of a shelter-in-place up to local leaders, pointing to the dozens of Texas counties that have not reported positive coronavirus cases. The latest numbers from Bexar County officials show there are at least 57 cases of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, in Bexar County. 

There is also one confirmed death: A woman in her 80s who had underlying health issues passed away on Saturday.

Nirenberg’s order represents the latest steps taken by the city to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Earlier this month, he ordered the temporary closure of various non-essential businesses – including bars, gyms and movie theaters – while also suspending dine-in operations at restaurants. 

As some supplies have become harder for shoppers to find in recent weeks – most notably toilet paper and some food items – Nirenberg once again emphasized that hoarding is “unnecessary,” adding that the supply of food and groceries is still steady.

“Stay at home, stay healthy, protect your neighbors," he said. "We will get through this together.”

Read the full emergency order here.

We’re continuing to bring you the latest information on the novel coronavirus’s impact local, statewide and nationally. Here’s more recent coverage: