SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s Note: Watch the entire briefing in the video player above. Newsletter recipients can click here to access the video.
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 Thursday night.
Here are a few of the highlights:
- Nirenberg reported 5,550 total COVID-19 cases and 92 total deaths in Bexar County, as of Thursday, an increase of 408 new cases.
- City officials also reported that 267 patients are hospitalized, 92 are in the intensive care unit and 40 are on ventilators.
- Nirenberg urged young people to follow CDC health guidelines to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus as there is a “staggering increase” in cases and hospitalizations. “A hospital stay is not cheap if you do survive,” he said.
- Nirenberg said local officials have been in contact with school districts about plans for the fall. He said, however, that only the state or school districts could require masks for students and staff members.
- Wolff said the county has purchased 1 million masks to distribute to business owners starting next week. Registration will begin this Friday. Click here for more information.
- Dr. Dawn Emerick, director of the Metropolitan Health District, said the health authority is seeing an increase in COVID-19 testing demand. “We want people to get tested,” she said. She’s asking people to register online to set up an appointment for testing.
- Emerick said the county now has a potential capacity of 6,400 tests per day starting today. She said the popup testing sites that opened today had long lines, and they were out of tests by noon. Metro Health will expand popup sites to two more days starting next week, according to Emerick.
- Metro Health is hiring for temporary positions for the COVID-19 Response Team. Click here for more information.
- Eric Epley, with the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council, said hospitals have the capacity to deal with patients right now, but the current statistics trend is concerning. He said more younger people are also being hospitalized.
- Epley said staffing at hospitals is becoming a concern as the increase of hospitalizations continues.
Track daily spikes in COVID-19 cases in San Antonio, Bexar County
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE FROM KSAT: