Screen Capture / TVSA
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff addresses the press while a sign language interpreter translates.
At a Monday evening press conference, San Antonio and Bexar County officials ordered residents to shelter in place for nearly three weeks to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday and remain in place through April 9, unless extended.
Under the order, residents will be allowed to go to grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and emergency rooms. They would also be allowed to leave their houses and exercise. Businesses deemed essential would be allowed to continue operating.
However, other non-essential gatherings are prohibited under penalty of fines and up to six months of jail time. Non-essential travel is also prohibited.
"These are painful steps — we know — but they're necessary for life and safety," San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.
Need more details? The city's complete order is available online
The order comes after Bexar reported its first COVID-19 death
over the weekend. On Monday afternoon, local health officials announced that 57 case of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the county.
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said the restrictions will allow the area to avoid an outbreak that overwhelms hospitals and health care facilities.
On Sunday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott decided not to implement a mandatory statewide lockdown. However, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued a countywide shelter-in-place order
that same day.
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