March 31, 2020
AN LGBTQIA COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO COVID-19
A CALL TO STAY IN PLACE THROUGH APRIL 9, 2020
*potentially longer if COVID-19 continues to spread
¡STAY HOME SAN ANTONIO!
Beloved Members of the LGBTQIA Community,
We, the undersigned, as community members and organizations of and for the LGBTQIA Community, recognize that
1) on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, advising countries to take extraordinary measures to contain the spread of this potentially deadly virus;
2) on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic with devastating impact around the globe;
3) on March 16, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance that all persons should avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people;
4) on March 19, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a public heath disaster in Texas, calling for the closure of all bars, restaurants, and gyms throughout the state and prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people.
5) on March 23, 2020, Ron Nirenberg, the Mayor of San Antonio, in Bexar County, Texas, issued Public Health Emergency Order No. 5, with the specific order to stay at home through April 9, 2020.
6) Additionally, on March 23, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff issued Executive Order NW-03, directing all persons within incorporated and unincorporated Bexar County to stay home to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This order, unless otherwise noted, is effective through April 9, 2020.
7) on March 25, 2020, the San Antonio Metro Health District confirmed 84 cases of COVID-19 and 3 deaths from COVID-19.
8) On March 30, 2020, San Antonio Metro Health District confirmed 168 cases of COVID-19 and 5 deaths from this virus. 89 of those cases were travel related while 57 were community transmission. The death rate increased by 1 for a total of 6 deaths.
COVID-19 IS A PANDEMIC AFFECTING THE ENTIRE U.S.
WE MUST TAKE IT SERIOUSLY
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
While local, regional, and state leaders have implemented measures to promote and protect our public health, we must take a lesson from the history of our community when confronted with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. We must work with that knowledge until we know more. What we do know is that –
• COVID-19 is a virus that is fast-spreading and highly transmittable, mostly by close contact with others and through touch
• There is no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. There is no CURE!
• Our own immune system has no natural anti-bodies to fight COVID-19
• Currently, testing is very limited
• Our local health care system will be severely challenged, even overwhelmed, to meet the needs of those who contract COVID-19 in addition to the needs of all other patients without COVID-19 who will require medical care
• Older adults and those with compromised immune systems are among the highest risk and will have special challenges recovering from the virus
• Although there is no specific data available to accurately assess the risk COVID-19 presents to individuals with HIV/AIDS, it is an underling condition that is in the higher risk category for severe illness.
• COVID-19 can kill you by making it increasingly difficult to breath
• Social/physical distancing and self-quarantine works and is currently the only steps we can take to protect ourselves!
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND TAKE CARE OF THOSE YOU LOVE
BY STAYING HOME
We implore you to follow the guidelines of medical professionals and the Public Health Emergency Orders through April 9, 2020. There is much we don’t know about this virus. But what we do know, we must use to make the best decisions for our community. This is our call to save livelihoods and lives.
So please, take these steps to promote our health and well-being.
• Stay at home. If you do not live with the person, do not visit.
• Do not gather in groups of 10 or more
• Practice social/physical distancing
• When out in public, maintain a distance of at least six feet
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• If you do not have soap, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% alcohol is recommended)
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Avoid contact with people who are ill or have symptoms such as a high temperature, cough, or shortness of breath
• Stay home when you feel sick, including not going to work
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Please follow these guidelines. We are here to build a thriving and healthy LGBTQIA COMMUNITY!
Ad Hoc Lead Group
Maria Salazar, President, Orgüllo de San Antonio, LGBTQIA LULAC Council, #22198
Robert Salcido, Executive Director, The Center – Pride Center San Antonio
Brad Veloz, Anel Flores, & Rev. Naomi Brown, LMSW, Mayor’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee
Andrea Figueroa, Executive Director, Martinez Street Women’s Center
Dr. Erik Rodriquez, President, LULAC Lambda, LGBTQ LULAC Council, #11125
Jorge Estevez, Direct Action Network San Antonio
Carlos Soto, Community Organizer
Chad Reumann, Regional Director, PGLAG Southern Region
Graciela Sanchez, Executive Director, Esperanza Peace and Justice Center
James Poindexter, Secretary/Parade Director, Pride San Antonio Inc.
Kimberly Anderson, President, PFLAG San Antonio,
David Laidbacker-Luna, President, Fiesta Youth
Gregory Casillas, Life Skills Program Manager, Thrive Youth Center
Carlos Carmona, Board of Directors, San Antonio Aids Foundation
Mara Posada, Director of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood South Texas
Marc Hernandez, Living Positive
Mary Helen, Mujeres Unidas
Olivia Youngblood, Founder Queer Diaries
Vanessa Rodriguez, founder Social Donations
H. Drew Galloway, MOVE Texas
Erika Gonzalez and Rebel Mariposa at MangoLuna
Jennifer Falcon, Direct Action Network San Antonio
David Jordan Cisneros, Direct Action Network San Antonio
The Center – Pride Center San Antonio
Emperor & Empress 28, Alamo Empire
San Antonio Stonewall Democrats
Pride Caucus of Bexar County Democratic
Orgüllo de San Antonio, LGBTQ+ LULAC Council, #22198
Trans Power SA
NAGLREP San Antonio
Binders for Brothers SA
SA Trans Brothers
Society for the Study of Gloria E. Anzaldua
San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Queer Voices Speak Out
Rudy Rosales, Texas State LULAC Director
Maria Salazar, Attorney & Community Activist
Dr. Norma Cantu
Marisa Gonzalez, Community Organizer
Agosto Cuellar, Designer
Azul Barrientos, Musician
Anel Flores, A&N Flores
Mike Rendon, Mike’s Hair Lounge
Rebel Mariposa, La Botanica
Alex Galindo-Cantu, Salud Fitness
Movement Mortgage, Irene Galindo-Cantu
Sweet Chelas, Maricela Olguin
Very That, Cristina Martinez
Sources for this statement include:
Portals/0/Files/health/ COVID19/Website%20Docs/ Emergency%20Declaration%20No.% 205.pdf?ver=2020-03-23-175107- 393 (Mayor’s Emergency Declaration #5)
(Bexar County Declaration NW – 03)
gpa/News/ArtMID/24373/ ArticleID/18611/Mayor-Ron- Nirenberg-issues-new-public- health-emergency-declaration- prohibiting-mass-gatherings- of-50-people-or-more
files/press/EO-GA_08_COVID-19_ preparedness_and_mitigation_ FINAL_03-19-2020_1.pdf