WATCH: Four new models coming to city’s COVID-19 website, assistant city manager says

Coronavirus update from San Antonio Mayor Nirenberg, Bexar County Judge Wolff 4/14/20

SAN ANTONIOEditor’s Note: Watch the entire briefing in the video player above.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff updated the community about the local response to COVID-19 in their daily briefing Tuesday night.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Nirenberg reported 815 COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths in Bexar County, as of Tuesday. He said 89 patients are in the hospital, 54 are in intensive care, 38 are on ventilators and 141 have recovered. Forty-nine cases are under investigation. The county has 76% of ventilators available and 41% of beds available.
  • Nirenberg confirmed Westover Hills Rehabilitation and Healthcare has pulled out of a plan to house COVID-19 patients from nursing homes. This was the city and county’s choice facility, and officials had been pushing for patients to go there ever since it was announced the location would be available.
  • Nirenberg said Westover Hills officials notified local leaders after the decision was made. He said he was told the decision was made because of scrutiny and political backlash that the company received. Now the city and county will have to evaluate the situation, the leaders said. Neither the city nor the county selected Westover Hills and River City to house these patients. They facilities were chosen by management companies.
  • Leaders had been told the Westover Hills facility was empty, but they said it turned out that it was only a wing of the facility that was available for the patients.
  • Wolff said Westover Hills also complained about the media coverage it was getting after it was selected as a facility to house the patients. It’s unclear if another facility will be used.
  • Wolff said eight inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Bexar County Jail. He said five tests were pending. He also said officials hope to have 100% testing capacity for any inmates showing symptoms by Thursday.
  • Nirenberg spoke about the firefighter who tested positive for COVID-19. He said a contact tracing investigation is underway.
  • Assistant City Manager Dr. Colleen Bridger joined Nirenberg and Wolff today to talk about four different models that would be coming to the city’s COVID-19 website on Wednesday. She said the models would be frequently updated as more data becomes available. The models will measure peak number of infections and projected total cases for our area.
  • Bridger said two of the models are from researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio, one is from management consulting firm Oliver Wyman and the other is from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
  • Bridger said some data models estimate the peak of infections in our area to happen between late April and mid-May, but she said things could change as more data becomes available. She also said the models predict total infections to grow between 1,100 and more than 10,000.
  • She said the UTSA models include social distancing efforts in the area. She also said none of the models are tracking COVID-19-related deaths.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

County executive order in effect until April 30:

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