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Friday, June 26, 2020

San Antonio Metro Health Director Resigns as City Grapples With Record COVID-19 Numbers

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 10:31 AM

click to enlarge Metro Health Director Dawn Emerick addresses reporters at a news conference about COVID-19. - CITY OF SAN ANTONIO
  • City of San Antonio
  • Metro Health Director Dawn Emerick addresses reporters at a news conference about COVID-19.
San Antonio Metro Health Director Dawn Emerick has resigned as concerns mount that the city's record number of COVID-19 cases could outstrip hospital resources.

In an email, City Manager Erik Walsh said he received Emerick's resignation Thursday night. He did not give a reason for her departure.

"Clearly, the timing is not good, but we wish her well in her future endeavors," Walsh said. "The COVID-19 emergency has revealed the depth of talent that exists within our health department, which will continue to lead the public health response."

Walsh said he's now working on a reorganization plan with Assistant City Manager Dr. Colleen Bridger, Metro Health's previous director. Bridger, herself, has announced plans to leave the city in July.

On Thursday, Bexar County tallied 638 new COVID-19 infections, the single largest daily increase since the public health crisis began. Local leaders warned that at the current pace, the county could reach 1,900 hospitalizations by mid-August, far exceeding its hospital capacity.

“I have concerns about who’s going to take her [Emerick’s] place,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff told the Express-News. “I have confidence in Erik Walsh and I have confidence in Colleen Bridger, and I think they’ll work it out.”

Emerick took over as Metro Health director in January, arriving from Oregon just before coronavirus evacuees from Wuhan, China, were quarantined at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

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