Coronavirus update San Antonio, June 19: Mayor Nirenberg says best gift for Father’s Day is to stay away amid COVID-19 case uptick

Most COVID-19 cases coming from bars, gyms and car dealerships, officials say

SAN ANTONIOEditor’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 Friday night.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Mayor Nirenberg reported 5,962 total COVID-19 cases and 96 total deaths in Bexar County, as of Friday, an increase of 412 new cases.
  • Hospitalizations are also on the rise and city officials also reported that 322 patients are hospitalized, 101 are in the intensive care unit and 50 are on ventilators.
  • The positivity rate for the virus has also seen a significant increase. Over the last week, Nirenberg said the rate went from 4% to 19%. This means that those that are showing up for COVID-19 testing, 19% of those tests are positive for the virus.
  • With Father’s Day weekend coming up, Nirenberg said the best gift to give fathers is to “stay away this weekend.” He urged residents to keep their distance, to not host family gatherings and to stay home to help limit the spread of the virus.
  • Hospital capacity is posing a concern to city leaders as COVID-19 numbers continue to increase rapidly. Dr. Colleen Bridger, assistant city manager, said more young patients are being admitted for the virus and if the city continues to see the surge that it’s currently seeing, it “could be a problem.” Bridger said hospitals may need to cut back on elective procedures and other steps may need to be taken if this continues.
  • Bridger said with all of the reopenings across the state, officials expected to see a climb in COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations. However, she said, “I don’t think any of us fully understood this spike would be as serious as it is.”
  • Nirenberg said hospitals are starting to see the majority of new COVID-19 cases coming in from bars, gyms and car dealerships. If you’re in one of those places, Nirenberg said it’s important to wear masks and maintain physical distance.
  • Health officials are also concerned because they said many people who are testing positive for COVID-19 are not returning their phone calls and are not allowing them to do contact tracing. Bridger said if you test positive, it’s important to get back in contact with medical staff to see who else may be at risk of contracting the virus.
  • Testing capacity for COVID-19 in San Antonio is operating at max capacity, according to Bridger. As of Thursday, over 4,000 tests were administered. However, health officials will soon be increasing the testing capacity to 5,200 and it’s estimated to stay at this rate daily.

Track daily spikes in COVID-19 cases in San Antonio, Bexar County


About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.