Staffing for critical city services impacted by COVID-19 surge in San Antonio

More than 800 City of San Antonio staff members are out because of COVID-19, and City Manager Eric Walsh says he’s keeping a close eye on all staff numbers to ensure there is no disruption to city services.

Walsh said the number of city employees out sick or in quarantine continues to increase.

“We are prepared and monitoring to make adjustments to city services,” he said.

The city reports 845 out of more than 12,500 city staff are out to do COVID-19. That includes uniformed staff. The San Antonio Police Department reports about 6% of its officers are out due to COVID-19. Additionally, about 5% of firefighters are out sick.

Methodist Healthcare, Baptist Health System, and University Health report a high number of COVID-19 infections among clinical staff.

Dina Perez-Graham, vice president and associate chief nursing officer of Trauma and Emergency Services for University Health, said the surge of virus cases is taking a toll on staff members.

“Every time we think we’re going to get a lull, it picks back up again,” Perez-Graham said. “Our teams are working like crazy to cover our shifts. They make ends meet helping one another. They are strong but tired.”

The Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC) said help is on the way, and more than 400 state nurses will begin arriving Friday.

The new CDC guidelines on quarantine will also help ease the burden for staff. Click here to learn more about the new guidelines.

Some hospitals, like University Hospital, provide on-site COVID-19 testing with quick test results to check if hospital staff members are sick.


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