As COVID-19 cases rise, San Antonio mayor says he's stepping up business enforcement

Mayor Ron Nirenberg discusses the city's pandemic enforcement efforts during Tuesday's press briefing. - YouTube / City of San Antonio
YouTube / City of San Antonio
Mayor Ron Nirenberg discusses the city's pandemic enforcement efforts during Tuesday's press briefing.
As the city reported its highest COVID-19 hospitalization rate since August, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said city officials will no longer write warnings to businesses that fail to comply with pandemic-related public health rules.

Instead, code compliance officers will issue citations for first offenses, and when appropriate, shut down noncompliant businesses, the mayor said at Tuesday night's press briefing. The city has also hired additional officers so it can step up enforcement.

As evidence of the get-tough approach, Nirenberg said the city has revoked the certificate of occupancy for strip club XTC Cabaret, which he said had been cited six times for violations. The closure marked the third time the city has revoked a business' license for noncompliance.

"So, I want to remind businesses that if individuals or customers on your premises are not doing their part, you can and you should ask them to leave,"  he said.

Metro Health reported 75,718 total COVID-19 cases and 1,337 total deaths in Bexar County on Tuesday, an increase of 1,127 new cases and two new deaths. The seven-day moving average of cases jumped to 669.

Local hospitals took in 80 new COVID-19 patients Tuesday, bringing the total to 513. The aggregate number hasn't exceeded 500 since August 21, when 520 people with coronavirus infections were under hospital care.

Nirenberg reiterated a call for residents to keep their Thanksgiving gatherings "small and smart" to avoid worsening infection rates and hospitalizations.

"Folks, these numbers are going up exponentially now," he said. "So, take notice and think long and hard about any activities you want [to do] that would put you or your loved ones at risk."

The U.S. reported 2,028 COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, marking the highest one-day death toll from the coronavirus the country has reported since early May, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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