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Express-News readers’ top questions about coronavirus in San Antonio answered

Are house cleaners allowed to clean homes?
Yes. The mayor’s stay-at-home order exempts those who provide building cleaning and maintenance, as well as those who maintain the safety, sanitation and operations of homes.

Keep your distance, though. Exempted service providers still must follow social distancing requirements .

Is wearing a full motorcycle helmet with shield effective as a surgical mask?
In the absence of a mask, the CDC recommends that health care workers use a “face shield” that covers the entire front and sides of the face, extending down to the chin. Hopefully, this crisis will not necessitate that nurses wear motorcycle helmets.

Mayor Nirenberg's order says that wherever we are and whatever San Antonio News we do, we have to stay at least 6 feet apart from other people. What about when my wife and I and our little boy go out for a walk around the block, which we do several times a day? Do WE have to observe social distancing?
The mayor’s order allows members of a household or a single-family living unit to gather. However, it also requires that people who use shared or outdoor spaces to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from any other person.

Use common sense and keep your distance from other people to avoid infection.

The big fear is that our hospitals will be overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases. Is there any indication that this is happening?
Not yet. Appearing Tuesday on CNN, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the city’s hospitals were “in good shape right now.” His stay-at-home order is meant to ensure this status doesn’t change.

I am an Uber Eats driver. Am I in the essential group of people that can work?
Yes. Businesses that ship or deliver food directly to homes are exempt from the mayor’s order, as well as those that offer food pick-up options.

Will golf courses remain open under the mayor’s order?
Yes, outdoor golf courses may remain open. But golfers should follow social distancing guidelines and limits to the number of people allowed to gather — no more than 10.

Does the mayor’s order mean I can't visit non-sick family members who live in San Antonio?
The order allows you to care for a family member in another household. However, the order also prohibits all public or private gatherings outside a single household.

So unless you are looking after a family member’s health and safety, you should not visit other homes.

What is ‘community spread’?
Community spread occurs when someone has become infected with the novel coronavirus but health officials don’t know how or where the person was infected.

As of Monday, there were 57 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bexar County. Sixteen were due to community spread.

Social distancing, the practice of avoiding crowds and public places while staying several feet away from other people, can slow or stop community spread, according to health experts.

Gov. Greg Abbott has activated the Texas National Guard in response to the outbreak. What could its members do in response to the threat?

The National Guard was founded in 1636 as a citizen force to defend against hostile attacks.

If deployed to respond to the pandemic, the Texas National Guard would mobilize “as needed to different locations,” Abbott told KVUE, an Austin TV station. That could include directing traffic at drive-through testing facilities or assisting at hospitals.

Are play dates safe? My kid needs some social interaction; how can I arrange it without putting him or anyone else at risk?

Social distancing restrictions are tightening across the country as the crisis continues to escalate.

With orders to sequester increasing, play dates are no longer advisable. While kids are less likely to become seriously ill from the virus, infected children can spread it to populations who are at higher risk of severe illness.

Can you survive coronavirus? Is it a death sentence? What percentage of people diagnosed with the condition die? Does the survival rate vary much by age group?

Infection by the virus is not a death sentence. Still, the coronavirus could kill hundreds of thousands of Americans or more.

Many health experts expect a fatality rate of about 1 percent, and even more, Press Release Distribution Services In San Antonio are likely to die in places where sick patients overwhelm hospitals. Already, doctors in the United States are warning of dwindling supplies.

Data suggest that the oldest Americans are most likely to die from the virus. Yet the disease can also seriously sicken younger people. In the United States, almost 40 percent of those who have needed hospitalization are 20 to 54, according to the CDC.

I’ve been reading headlines about Congress and the president sending checks directly to Americans to offset people’s loss of work and income. How would that work, and where does it stand?

On Monday, U.S. senators were sparring over the details of a $1.8 trillion economic rescue measure, with Democrats insisting on stronger protections for workers. The package could include cash payments to households, but its outcome was in limbo.

Are seniors receiving free deliveries from H-E-B? What are the qualifications? How does it work?

H-E-B has launched a partnership with the food delivery app Favor that caters to people 60 and older. It allows for same-day delivery, but the service isn’t “free” — it entails a $10 tip that goes directly to the contract workers delivering the food.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, seniors can call a hotline (1-833-397-0080) and place their orders. Ordering is also available through the Favor app.

H-E-B is asking that Texans respect the senior program and use it only if you are 60 or older. Anyone can order curbside pickup or home delivery from H-E-B for a fee of $4.95, but those services must be scheduled days in advance due to high demand.

I keep hearing we are going on a lock down like California. Is this true, and do we need to double up on groceries? Would that mean H-E-B and gas stations closing down, not just restaurants?

Local leaders have issued a stay-at-home order prohibiting residents from leaving their houses except for necessary business, starting at midnight Tuesday. Essential operations such as grocery stores and gas stations will remain open, and restaurants will remain open for takeout and delivery.

Residents are allowed to exercise outdoors while keeping an appropriate distance from one another. Violations of the order could result in fines or jail time.

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