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San Antonio public health officials issue recommendations against indoor dining and gatherings

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A medic pulls on gloves as she gets ready to work at a mobile testing site in the Texas Hill Country. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CHARLES SPIRTOS
  • Wikimedia Commons / Charles Spirtos
  • A medic pulls on gloves as she gets ready to work at a mobile testing site in the Texas Hill Country.
Calling November a "critical month" for containing COVID-19 infections, Metro Health issued recommendations Monday urging residents to avoid gathering and dining indoors with anyone not a member of their household.

The directive came Monday evening as Bexar County reported 1,117 new COVID-19 cases and as health officials nationwide continue to warn that the recent Thanksgiving holiday is likely to bring a surge on top of a surge. 

Locally, 587 coronavirus patients are hospitalized. Of those, 182 are in intensive care and 99 are on ventilators.

“As the cold weather approaches, and in the wake of Thanksgiving gatherings, we are expecting our case numbers to climb through the end of the year. This is a critical month,” said Dr. Junda Woo, Metro Health's medical director.

The new directive urges residents to opt for outdoor dining and take-out service instead of using restaurant dining rooms. In the workplace, people should take meals in separate spaces or outdoors.

“We are asking people to be more selective about how they dine and how they gather with others until we’re on the other side of this surge," Woo said. "When you have to be around others, try to bring in fresh air by opening a window or increasing ventilation. Bundle up, mask up and stay safe.”

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