Coronavirus Outbreak

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Officials in the San Antonio area have imposed a partial curfew through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in an effort to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, which continues to surge across Texas.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff on Wednesday night announced a curfew prohibiting people from gathering outside their homes from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The restrictions exclude people seeking services from a business, according to a joint statement from the city and county.

“This limited curfew is aimed to help reduce the impact on our hospital system,” said Wolff, the top county official. “We encourage everyone to play it safe this holiday weekend and don’t let your guard down.”

The curfew begins Thursday night and extends through Monday morning. It also requires restaurants to close for dining from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., although they may continue to offer takeout. Those who violate the order could face a fine up to $1,000.

Leaders in the El Paso area ordered a similar curfew Tuesday.

The San Antonio curfew was set to take effect as Texas health officials reported 12,423 new COVID-19 cases and 206 more deaths linked to the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Texas has confirmed more than 1 million coronavirus cases, although the actual number is believed to be far higher because many people haven’t been tested and some who get the disease don’t show symptoms.

Hospitalizations for the virus have continued to climb across the state in recent weeks. On Thursday, 8,706 Texans with COVID-19 were hospitalized, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal. The vast majority of people recover.

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