WHEREAS, in December 2019 a novel coronavirus, now designated COVID-19, was detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Outcomes have ranged from mild to severe illness, and in some cases death; and
WHEREAS, on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization Director General declared the outbreak of COVID-19 as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), advising countries to prepare for the containment, detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of onward spread of the disease; and
WHEREAS, United States nationals were transported from Wuhan City, China to several secure locations within the United States identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland (Lackland) in San Antonio, Texas, in order to ensure the health and wellbeing of those persons; and
WHEREAS, on February 7, 2020, 91 Americans evacuated from Wuhan City, China (Cohort 1) arrived at Lackland, with one person diagnosed with the virus and transported to a local hospital; and
WHEREAS, on February 17, 2020, the CDC evacuated 144 passengers from a cruise ship docked in Japan (Cohort 2) to Lackland; and
WHEREAS, on February 20, 2020, 90 evacuees from Cohort 1 were released from quarantine and returned to their homes; and
WHEREAS, the vast majority of persons in Cohort 2 were released from quarantine at Lackland on March 3, 2020; and
WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared that the COVID-19 outbreak should be characterized as pandemic; and
WHEREAS, a third Cohort of 149 persons was transported to Lackland via two planes on March 11th and 12th; and
WHEREAS, City staff and personnel continue to work with state and federal authorities to coordinate response efforts regarding those persons remaining at TCID and placed at Lackland; and
WHEREAS, the identification of “community spread” cases of COVID-19 in the United States signals that transmission of the virus is no longer strictly limited to travel; and
WHEREAS, travel-related and direct contact cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Bexar County/San Antonio area; and
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, Greg Abbott, the Governor of the State of Texas, issued a proclamation that declared COVID-19 as an imminent threat of disaster; and
WHEREAS, on March 15, 2020, the CDC issued revised guidance regarding social distancing and mass gatherings of 50 or more people; and
WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, the CDC issued further revised guidance that persons should avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people; and
WHEREAS, the City acknowledges and supports the decisions and efforts made by SAWS and CPS to not disconnect services to persons during the time of this emergency; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, the mayor is designated as the emergency management director of the City of San Antonio, and may exercise the powers granted to the governor on an appropriate local scale; and
WHEREAS, a declaration of local disaster and public health emergency includes the ability to reduce the possibility of exposure to disease, control the risk, promote health, compel persons to undergo additional health measures that prevent or control the spread of disease, including isolation, surveillance, quarantine, or placement of persons under public health observation, including the provision of temporary housing or emergency shelters for persons misplaced or evacuated, request assistance from the governor of state resources, and access funds available for disaster relief and reimbursement at the state and federal level; and
WHEREAS, I, Ron Nirenberg, the Mayor of the City of San Antonio have determined that extraordinary and immediate measures must be taken to respond quickly, prevent and alleviate the suffering of people exposed to and those infected with the virus, as well as those that could potentially be infected or impacted by COVID-19;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED BY THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO:
1. That a local state of disaster and public health emergency is hereby declared for the City of San Antonio pursuant to §418.108(a) of the Texas Government Code.
2. Pursuant to §418.108(b) of the Government Code, the state of disaster and public health emergency shall continue for a period of not more than seven days from the date of this declaration unless continued or renewed by the City Council.
3. Pursuant to §418.108(c) of the Government Code, this declaration of a local state of disaster and public health emergency shall be given prompt and general publicity and shall be filed promptly with the City Clerk.
4. Pursuant to §418.108(d) of the Government Code, this declaration of a local state of disaster and public health emergency activates the City of San Antonio’s emergency management plan.
5. Pursuant to §418.020(c) of the Government Code, this declaration authorizes the City to commandeer or use any private property, temporarily acquire, by lease or other means, sites required for temporary housing units or emergency shelters for evacuees, subject to compensation requirements.
6. Pursuant to §122.006 of the Health and Safety Code, this declaration authorizes the City to take any actions necessary to promote health and suppress disease, including quarantine, examining and regulating hospitals, regulating ingress and egress from the City, and fining those who do not comply with the City’s rules.
7. By this Declaration, I declare all rules and regulations that may inhibit or prevent prompt response to this threat are suspended for the duration of the incident, and authorize the City Manager to exercise all emergency powers as are available to address this emergency.
8. I authorize the use of all available resources of state government and political subdivisions to assist in the City’s response to this situation.
9. Pursuant to the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, I, Ron Nirenberg, as Mayor of the City of San Antonio, in coordination and consultation with the Local Health Authority, and Director of the Metropolitan Health District further issue further guidance and restrictions set out within the Declaration Regarding Public and Private Gatherings attached hereto as Exhibit 1, and incorporated herein.
10. The Local Health Authority and Director of Health may update restrictions set out in Exhibit 1 as necessary to respond to the evolving circumstances of this outbreak during the duration of this Declaration and any extension by the San Antonio City Council without the issuance of a new Declaration.
11. As Mayor, I further reserve all other authority and powers conferred by state law to respond as necessary to this situation.
This proclamation shall take effect immediately from and after its issuance.
ORDERED this 18th day of March, 2020.
MAYOR RON NIRENBERG
City of San Antonio, Texas