3/13/20 COVID-19 UPDATE

Dear Chamber Members and Partners:

Today has been a busy news day in San Antonio, and I wanted to share with you the latest information we have surrounding the Coronavirus. This morning, Mayor Ron Nirenberg held a press conference where he declared the imposition of a State of Public Health Emergency (which will expire in seven days) as a result of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 outside of the evacuees at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. It is important to note that this was not a Community spread case, but rather an individual who traveled outside of Texas and returned to San Antonio feeling ill. The individual is in home quarantine with their family for the next 14 days. The Mayor’s declaration is designed to help limit the spread of the virus in our community, and it prohibits holding public events with 500 people or more and discourages holding public events with 250 people or more. It is anticipated that our San Antonio City Council will take-up a measure next week and vote to potentially extend the emergency declaration for an additional 30 days.

In line with the Mayor’s declaration, the Fiesta San Antonio Commission announced that Fiesta 2020 will be postponed to November 5-15, 2020.

Your Chamber has been closely monitoring the Coronavirus situation abroad, in the United States and particularly here in Texas and San Antonio. With the first COVID-19 case confirmed in our City, we must continue to take precautions for our safety and that of our co-workers and families; however, we cannot live in fear. We must instead be prepared and ready to deal with the situation armed with knowledge. While there is still much to learn about this virus, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Texas Department of State Health Services, and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District are all excellent resources businesses and families can turn to when looking for more information on the virus.

The San Antonio Business Community must also implement simple and effective procedures in the workplace, such as requiring sick employees to stay home, washing your hands frequently, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your sleeve in order to prevent or minimize the spread of any illness. While these straightforward practices will not prevent the virus from coming here, they will indeed help prevent the spread the virus and will keep you, your family and your co-workers safe.

In support of the Health Emergency Declaration, and in anticipation of the City Council extending the declaration, the Chamber will be postponing several upcoming events, including:

  • Business Connections Mixer, scheduled for March 19

  • United State of the City, scheduled for April 3

  • Spring Salute Senior NCO Reception, scheduled for April 14

  • Tech Trek, scheduled for April 21

Additionally, we will work with the Chairs of our Councils and Committees to develop immediate plans for our work program for next week and either reschedule or hold meetings virtually. The bottom line is that our Business Community is still Open for Business, although we must be thoughtful in modifying our practices in order to minimize risks associated with the spread of the virus and illness in general.

The safety of our community, membership, and staff is the top priority for the Chamber, and we will continue to monitor the ever-changing situation and be providing additional information and resources on Monday in our Chamber Today Newsletter.

San Antonio is a caring and resilient City. Together, we will get through this community challenge and be more united and focused than ever.

Richard Perez

President and CEO

San Antonio Chamber of Commerce

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