Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

The state of COVID-19 in 2024

Jenna Taylor

It has been four years since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020. The week following the announcement, institutions and organizations worldwide shut down to curb the extent of the virus, affecting billions of lives. Much has occurred since daily and weekly reports slowed down, despite WHO maintaining COVID-19 is still a pandemic. Here is a summary of events and the current state of COVID-19 at a city, state and national level.

San Antonio

The first confirmed COVID-19 case in San Antonio — and in Texas — occurred on Feb. 13, 2020, within a group of evacuees from China at Lackland Air Force Base. Mayor Nirenberg proactively declared a public health emergency on March 2, the same day city officials sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), demanding the federal agency raise standards for releasing quarantined people. Nirenberg banned future evacuees from entering San Antonio. 

Following the WHO’s declaration, the Spurs suspended further games, Fiesta was canceled and postponed until 2022 and many schools and workplaces went remote. On Dec. 14, 2020, UT Health received 6,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. By Jan. 9, 2021, mass vaccination sites were created at the Alamodome and the WellMed Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Center on the south side. 

By the end of 2020, San Antonio had 118,057 total COVID-19 cases and 1,538 deaths from the virus. As of March 5, 2024, there were 754,187 cumulative cases and 6,262 confirmed total deaths. Bexar County stopped updating COVID-19 data dashboards on March 12 due to “COVID-19 no longer being a reportable condition as of March 1, 2024.”


“I am at this moment declaring a state disaster for all counties in the state of Texas,” announced Governor Abbott on March 13, 2020. The Texas Supreme Court halted evictions on March 19, and unemployment rates spiked 860% the following week. In June, Abbott insisted that closing Texas would be “the last option.” That November, Texas breached 1 million cases and Abbott reiterated at least twice that there would be no lockdown.

In January 2021, the number of COVID-19 cases passed 2 million. By February, 1 million Texas residents were fully vaccinated, and on March 10, 2021, Abbott removed the mask mandate and re-opened businesses to 100% capacity. Several businesses maintained their COVID-19 policies. After California, Texas had the highest number of confirmed cases in the country. On Aug. 17, Abbott tested positive for COVID-19. The city of Austin announced the end of the COVID-19 National Public Health Emergency Declaration in alignment with national agencies on May 11, 2023. “The end of the national public health emergency unfortunately does not mean the end of COVID-19,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes of Austin-Travis County Health Authority. 

Between March 6, 2020, and the latest report published on Jan. 15, 2024, 9,030,821 confirmed and probable cases were reported in Texas. For 2024, 38,018 confirmed and probable cases have been reported. 

United States

The CDC began investigations into the then-unknown illness on Jan. 5, 2020, following a report to WHO by China two days earlier. The first confirmed infections were reported in Illinois on Jan. 24. On March 27, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), providing $1,200 checks to support Americans financially, expanding funding to state and local governments and more. Other federal acts paused student loan repayments indefinitely. By the end of August, new cases would average over 1,000 a day and total cases were over 5.4 million. On Oct. 2, Trump tested positive for COVID-19. 

Meanwhile, Pfizer and Moderna progressed in a COVID-19 vaccine, testing to be at least 94% effective after several trials. Both options were authorized for emergency use by Dec. 18. The Department of Health & Human Services had announced in September that vaccines would be free of charge. By the end of the year, the death toll had surpassed 300,000, and 2.8 million people had received the first dose. 

By the end of January 2021, over 23 million doses had been administered. In February, the death toll surpassed 500,000 and the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine was approved for emergency use. In January 2022, the United States reported the highest daily total worldwide, with almost 1 million new COVID-19 cases. June recorded over 84 million infections and slightly above 1 million deaths. 

As of March 10, the total number of cases is 103,804,263, or about 1 in 3 Americans, who have had COVID-19. The death toll is 1,123,836.

 Worldwide, 676,609,955 people have had COVID-19, and 6,881,955 have died. The total number of vaccine doses administered internationally is 13,338,833,198.

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About the Contributors
Faith Kouadio
Faith Kouadio, Staff Writer

Faith (she/her) is a public health major with a minor in information systems. Despite choosing to pursue studies in these specific fields, she enjoys writing and communications and hopes to incorporate them as a key part of her career. She believes in an increasingly information-heavy world, everyone has a duty to responsibly disseminate information – contributing to the Paisano is her small way of accomplishing this.

If you ask Faith what movie she saw last night, she will have a new answer every time. Other than watching movies, she enjoys listening to and collecting music and traveling. Having grown up in the Toronto region, Texas is one stop from the many places she has called home. After her anticipated graduation in Spring 2024, she’s excited to see where life takes her next.

Jenna Taylor
Jenna Taylor, Magazine Editor
Hi! I am Jenna (she/her) and I am a senior communication major as well as the Magazine Editor for both of the Paisano's 2023 magazines. I love writing and graphic design and am grateful to spend my last year with my fellow editors and staff members!

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