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April 17, 2020
Dear Neighbors,
I want to thank all District 7 residents for their patience and compliance with the City’s Stay Home,Work Safe Order. I know it is not easy, but right now, it is necessary to slow the spread of the virus.

Until then, the Mayor has called for more measures to protect public safety, described below.

City Now Requires Residents Wear Masks in Certain Public Places
The City is now requiring residents to wear cloth masks when in places like grocery stores and pharmacies, and requiring businesses to provide masks for employees who come in close contact with the public. Here are how to instructions from the CDC.

Remember, save the medical grade masks for our medical professionals on the frontline.

In addition, the updated order limits the number of people inside essential businesses (like grocery stores) to 25 percent of the limit listed on their certificate of occupancy by April 20.

Mayor, Judge announce Transition Task Force
Mayor Nirenberg and Judge Wolff announced the creation of a COVID-19 Health Transition Team to examine data, medical science, and recommend the circumstances necessary to safely ease restrictions. A crisis of this magnitude requires us to rely on the collective wisdom of our community’s medical and public health experts. I commend the Mayor and Judge in pulling together this team and am grateful to serve as the team’s liaison to City Council.

While going ‘back to normal’ isn’t yet on the horizon, it’s critical that we take this time to prepare and develop a plan. Just this week, City Council learned that the City’s rent and mortgage assistance hotline received over 5,300 calls from residents in need. The need is great, and with so many households facing financial instability and uncertainty, we must be ready to begin rebuilding our local economy as soon as it is safe to do so.

I want to thank the members of the task force in advance for volunteering their time and expertise, and look forward to serving as their liaison to City Council.

Researchers forecast peak of COVID-19 between late-April and mid-May
This week, four different groups of researchers used computer models to estimate that San Antonio’s COVID-19 cases would likely peak in the next couple of weeks. Their models also indicate that staying home and practicing social distancing are saving thousands of lives. These models are being updated as more data on cases and their outcomes become available.

You can view the models and their conclusions here.
Recordings of District 7 March 27 Tele Town Hall Available Now
The District 7 Office held two tele town hall on the coronavirus outbreak on March 27. Audio recordings from the events are available now for anyone who was not able to participate. You can listen here. Additionally, all questions we received during the calls are available here with responses.

Spike in Domestic Violence Reports
We learned recently that the San Antonio Police Department received nearly 20 percent more calls about family violence last month compared to March of last year. If you or a loved one are experiencing signs of domestic violence there are resources available for you:

  • People who need help or shelter from family violence should call 911 for life threatening emergencies.
  • To make a safety plan or report suspected abuse, call 210-207-SAPD.
  • Family Violence Prevention Services can provide support for those seeking shelter by calling 210-733-8810.
  • To apply for a protective order, call 210-631-0100 to begin the process. Applicants who meet the required legal criteria will come to the Family Justice Center by appointment only to sign a sworn affidavit. Starting today, applicants may also fill out the intake form online here: The form may be submitted online or by mail.

We will get through this, together, San Antonio.
Yours in public service,
Local COVID-19 Updates

  • As of April 16, there are 959 cases of COVID-19 in San Antonio. There are 328 cases of community spread. This means that the diagnosis cannot be traced to travel or close contact with an infected individual. There have been 37 deaths attributed to the virus in San Antonio. Of those cases, 196 cases have made a full recovery.

  • The Stay Home, Work Safe order now requires certain exempt businesses, such as grocery stores, warehouse stores, and big-box stores to limit the number of people inside their establishments to 25 percent of the limit listed on their certificate of occupancy, by April 20.

  • The City of San Antonio worked with several researchers and organizations to provide predictive models that outline the local impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. To view these models, Click here.

  • Please continue practicing social distancing and frequent hand-washing. Please remember that public or private gatherings with people outside of one's household are expressly prohibited by the Stay Home, Work Safe Order.

  • If you think you have seen a violation of the Stay Home, Work Safe Order, please call 210-207-SAPD or email 

City Updates

  • The Department of Human Services has created a Homeless Hotline for those in need. Callers can discuss their current circumstances and receive counseling and education regarding available resources. Reach out at 210-207-1799 for resources.

  • The City of San Antonio furloughed 270 municipal employees on Wednesday, April 8 due to decreases in tax revenue from tourism. “We value these employees and they remain a part of our team during these very challenging times,” City Manager Erik Walsh wrote.

  • Animal Care Services is now pivoting focus to high priority calls involving confirmed public safety issues and critical animal welfare in an effort to balance service and safety during this time. Animals involved in bites will still be quarantined or tested for rabies via a modified quarantine process approved by the state.

  • Applying for utility assistance just got easier! The Department of Human Services has created this online application to help you get started with utility expenses.

Community Updates

  • The Texas Health and Human Services Department has launched a statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic at 833-986-1919. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • Starting today, April 18, the Food Bank will be holding Farm Fresh Saturdays. Sign up to visit their produce market and secure a box of local produce. If you are home bound and in need of food, please call the San Antonio Food Bank at (210) 431-8326 to pre-register or click here.

  • Faith is a critical part of life for many, and especially during trying times, like those we are experiencing. During this time of grave health risk, health authorities respectfully urge that religious worship and prayer service continue to be carried out via telephone, internet, or otherwise alternative means, to ensure the health protection of congregation members and greater community. If your place of worship is in District 7 and would like some assistance setting up a conference call or video meeting, please contact our office at 210-207-0870.

  • Northside Independent School District will continue to extend distance learning until the end of the academic school year, June 4. This is in response to Governor Abbott's announcement earlier today.

  • Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Public Safety Office (PSO) will provide $38 million in federal funds to local units of government in Texas. 

  • Governor Greg Abbott announced that Goldman Sachs and the LiftFund, along with other community development financial institutions (CDFIs), are partnering to provide $50 million in loans to small businesses in Texas that have been affected by COVID-19.

  • VIA has made changes to its schedule. Monday through Friday, all VIA Routes will be on a Saturday Schedule. Click on the link above for more information.

  • Texas State Parks have closed for the time being in order to maintain the safest environment for visitors, volunteers and staff. 

  • All senior center members enrolled in the Senior Nutrition Program will receive food assistance on Monday and Thursdays. District 7 Senior's enrolled in the Senior nutrition program can visit the Doris Griffin Center to receive meals.

  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress is intended to assist business owners with needs they have right now. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available for business owners needing assistance.

  • The Texas Workforce Commission has been experiencing a high volume of calls within the last weeks. If you are having trouble applying for benefits, reach out to the office of Senator Jose Menendez at 210-733-6604. 

As a reminder, please be mindful of where you receive your information. Trust only reliable news sources that provide the latest and most accurate information.
D7 Highlight: Helmy Associates
They may resemble welder’s shields a bit, but the face shields being manufactured at District 7’s Helmy Associates & Co., Inc., wield a critical form of protection for medical professionals. You have probably noticed clear plastic face shields in hospital television footage on COVID-19. Mona Helmy, the CEO of Helmy’s, came up with the idea of applying her company’s thermomoulding technique to the creation of her company’s line of this valuable tool. The other components of the shield are supplied by San Antonio companies, a nice bonus for the city. Now her company is working around the clock to provide shields for San Antonio and elsewhere. District 7 is proud to have Helmy Associates & Co., Inc. working for the safety of our community.

We are forever indebted to those in the medical field: hats off to them… and Helmy face shields on!

If you know of a business or group in District 7 deserving recognition for their work during this crisis, please inform us by writing to Additionally during this time, please try to support local businesses in your area.
D7 Highlight: Ellen Riojas Clark's Virtual Art Exhibits
The Guggenheim. El Prado. MOMA. Le Louvre. The McNay. Casa Azul. Ellen Riojas Clark’s Facebook page.

Most of the world’s great art galleries are not currently open due to a deadly virus that coincidentally resembles an Alexander Calder masterpiece, but one can still go on an exciting virtual art stroll thanks to District 7’s very own Dr. Ellen Riojas Clark.
In a socially distant conversation (aka telephone call), Ellen revealed that she came up with the idea to host virtual art exhibits after viewing local artist Joan Frederick’s Facebook page and ruing that her work could not be seen by a larger audience. So Ellen enlisted help and is now the curator of a weekly virtual art exhibit on Thursdays from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Her first exhibit featured Joan’s work and her second featured work by Elizabeth Rodriguez. Upcoming weeks will feature works by Luis Balderas, then John Picacio, and then Mary Agnes Rodriguez. Ellen and her team have put together a list of over fifty visual artists to feature; some local and some from places such as Spain, Cuba, and Mexico.

If you would like to participate in the Virtual Art Exhibit, write Ellen on Facebook to receive an invitation to join the fun. And if you really like the art, it’s available for purchase and there is a depository for the previous ones. As Ellen says, “We’ll see how it goes!” If you know Ellen, you know it will go exceptionally well—and we thank her for this gift.
Meet Your Neighbor: Fr. Tony
Shakespeare would have called him a learned fellow, but to those who know him, he is simply Father Tony.

Fr. Anthony “Tony” Pogorelc (POE-GORE-ELSE) hails from Milwaukee and joined Assumption Seminary on Woodlawn Ave in 2017 as the Coordinator of Pastoral Formation at Assumption Seminar, where he oversees service programs and internships. He also offers lectures on the sociology of religion in his role as the Sociology Scholar in Residence at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of St. Mary’s University. You might recognize him from mass at St. Mary’s or Our Lady of the Lake in non-COVID times.

San Antonio is a familiar city to the Father because, not only did he received his undergraduate degree from St Mary’s, but he once served as the parish priest of both St. Matthew’s and Holy Rosary.

The Father’s church work has taken him around the United States, from Washington, DC to the Bay area, and we are fortunate that his work has brought him back to San Antonio. Father Tony loves San Antonio: the art museums, Botanical Gardens, how manageable the city is, that you can take back streets and avoid the highways and reach destinations far from each other; and the people, “the people are important.” He is attached to relationships with people. And he is attached to getting exercise at Woodlawn Lake. So, if you see him there, give a wave… from a safe social distance, of course!
Stay Informed
Click any of the following buttons for reliable information about COVID-19. Additionally, you can text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive SMS text message updates.
Community Resources
The following buttons link to community resources should you need any assistance. If you need a service that is not listed below, please contact our office at 210-207-0870 or by email at
Federally Qualified Clinics
for Uninsured Persons
Local Job Listings
How You Can Help Your Neighbors
Looking for a way to help your neighbors during this time? Here are a few ideas:
The City has identified the following community volunteer opportunities:

  • Consider checking in on your neighbors, especially if they are elderly or have pre-existing medical conditions. Give them a call or send them a text message to let them know you're willing to help if they need it. If you're getting ready to go to the grocery store, consider offering to pick up items they might need.

  • Prepare hygiene kits for outreach to homeless persons. Individuals and families experiencing unsheltered homelessness may not have access to COVID-19 information or hygiene supplies. City of San Antonio Homeless Street Outreach Teams will deliver hygiene kits, assess needs, and connect people to services.
  • Hygiene kits for the street homeless population are needed. Hygiene kits will include, but are not limited to, the following: hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, soap, bottle of water, socks, and snacks. Items may be packaged in plastic grocery bags.
  • Hygiene kits can be delivered to your nearest SAPD SAFFE substation. Additional information at:

  • Deliver food to seniors with Meals on Wheels. Many seniors in our community depend on home food delivery while self-distancing. Volunteers are needed to deliver perishable and non-perishable food items to their homes.
  • Contact Meals on Wheels at or call (210) 599-7405 ext. 309.

  • Volunteer as an Elder Friend with Meals on Wheels. Homebound elderly individuals are in need of socialization and friendship.
  • Elder Friend volunteers typically serve three hours per week with a home-bound senior and do things such as play games, take a walk, run small errands or go out to eat as advisable.
  • Contact Meals on Wheels at or call 210-599-7405 ext. 309.

  • Volunteer with homeless service providers. Volunteers are needed to provide services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Volunteers assist with serving meals, sorting clothes, engaging with clients (arts/crafts, singing, etc.) and helping with everyday program operations.
  • Contact SARAH Volunteer Registration here.
  • Contact Have for Hope Volunteer Opportunities at or 210-220-2549 or here.

  • Plan grocery shopping strategically. Major grocers are overwhelmed with urgent shoppers while small grocers are under-shopped.
  • To redistribute the crowds, use NextDoor, or other social media, to organize your neighborhood’s shopping days. Note smaller grocers in your area as alternatives. Example: Odd house numbers shop Monday, Wednesday, Friday and even numbers shop Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Designate Sundays or a particular time window for elderly shoppers.
  • Participate by putting a sign with #taketurns in your window. Use #taketurns to spread the word.
Updates from Local Universities
District 7 Office
Work Arrangements
During this time, the District 7 Office is continuing to work for you. We are taking the following precautions to protect your health and ours:

  • We will remain accessible for your phone calls and emails.

  • We will begin calling into neighborhood association and HOA meetings, should you choose to host them. If you would like help hosting a video or conference call for your NA/HOA meeting, we can assist!

  • We are postponing office events for the time being.

We appreciate your understanding.
Our Offices
We are accessible for your phone calls and emails
Brass Professional Center
4414 Centerview Dr, Ste #160

Monday - Friday:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Closed for Lunch:
12:00 pm- 1:00 pm
Plaza de Armas
100 Military Plaza

Monday - Friday:
8:30 am - 4:30 pm