The World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, 2020. On that day, Texas A&M University-San Antonio announced the one-week extension of spring break. The remainder of the spring semester continued remotely on March 23.
Bexar County took action by issuing “Stay Home, Work Safe” on March 23, 2020, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and allow for social distancing. This prohibited public and private gatherings, only allowed certain businesses to operate, suspended evictions and foreclosures for 30 days and included other restrictions
San Antonio residents learned to live virtually while essential workers had to work through it.
As the year went on, orders extended, masks became a necessity in businesses, video conferencing and social distancing became a normality. Cases began to spike and hospital numbers also increased.
However, progress is being made. Three vaccines — Moderna, Pfiezer and Johnson & Johnson — are now available in the U.S. and are being distributed to the public in phases. Texas has fully vaccinated 11% of its population and over 22% of Texans have received their first dose, as of March 22.
San Antonio and Bexar County had a positivity rate of 2.6% on March 8, their lowest since the pandemic began. This occurred just before Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s mask mandate removal and 100% reopening plan kicked into full force on March 10.
Businesses are now allowed to operate at full capacity and masks are not required. However, businesses have the choice on whether or not to enforce masks.
A&M-San Antonio is still requiring face masks on campus, according to a March 4 email from University Communications.
This story was updated on March 24 at 1:10 p.m. to add a COVID-19 timeline.