Diagnosed with the coronavirus, Justice Luz Elena Chapa of San Antonio’s Fourth Court of Appeals is doing well and has disconnected from email and social media as she attempts a full recovery at home.

“Let’s stay the course. Our short-term sacrifice is the price we should all be willing to pay for the benefit of all. Please stay home,” said a Facebook post by Chapa, who didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment. “Our family is in this with you.”

Chapa has been battling the virus since she returned from a March family vacation in Utah, reported the San Antonio Express-News. Her fever spiked to nearly 103 degrees, and a test later confirmed she had COVID-19.

Although Utah didn’t have a confirmed case of community spread at that time, Chapa was careful on the spring break trip. She and her husband and three children used Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves and masks, the article said. Nevertheless, her symptoms began when she got home.

Her staff attorneys, Beth Crabb and Michael Ritter, wrote in a joint statement that the justice is doing well, and both of them are healthy and safe.

“We, together with the rest of the Fourth Court of Appeals, are working remotely and continuing with the court’s work,” they said.

Clerk of the Court Michael Cruz wrote in an email that Chapa’s illness hasn’t impacted the court’s operations.

“The last time Justice Chapa was at the courthouse was 27 days ago on Friday, March 6, prior to her trip to Utah, and she has not returned since, so none of our employees were exposed,” Cruz said. “Additionally, you will be happy to know that we have had no employees report any symptoms or sickness related to COVID-19, and we have zero additional reports of any employee at the Fourth Court of Appeals testing positive for COVID-19.”

The legal community in San Antonio is concerned about the justice, who is highly social and well-liked by lawyers, said June Moynihan, executive director of the San Antonio Bar Association. A discussion about Chapa comes up every time Moynihan talks with her staff or other attorneys, she noted.

“A lot of people know her and love her,” Moynihan said. “We are all just a little freaked out.”


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