58ºF

Coronavirus update San Antonio, June 22: Officials warn of overwhelmed hospital system if COVID-19 trends continue

Briefings to be held on weekdays

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 Monday night.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Nirenberg reported 7,156 total COVID-19 cases and 97 total deaths in Bexar County, as of Monday, an increase of 274 new cases. No new deaths were reported today.
  • City officials also reported that 446 patients are hospitalized, 124 are in the intensive care unit and 60 are on ventilators.
  • Nirenberg said local COVID-19 briefings will be held every weekday as the number of cases continues to rise.
  • Walk-up testing sites will be open Monday to Saturday to serve more people. Testing capacity in Bexar County has risen to at least 5,200 tests per day, Nirenberg said. Click here to find a testing site and make an appointment.
  • Nirenberg said the number of hospitalizations has more than doubled since last week, and the number of people on ventilators has more than tripled. He also said the positivity rate is at 17%, doubling time is now at 13 days and the stress level score is high. “People have let their guard down,” Nirenberg said. “We’re not out of the woods.”
  • The mayor said if hospitalizations continue to trend upward, the hospital system could be in trouble. “The numbers are not good,” he stated.
  • Dr. Anita Kurian, assistant director of the Metropolitan Health District, said, “We are going to be in deep trouble soon” if hospital numbers continue to go up. She said the number of staffed beds is diminishing.
  • Nirenberg said Metro Health is in need of case investigators. Those interested in these temporary positions are asked to apply online here.
  • Kurian said 57% of cases locally are related to close contact with someone who has COVID-19. She said time is of the essence when it comes to contact tracing because those people need to be found and quarantined as soon as possible. “We are waiting for folks to call us back,” she said, referring to contact tracing investigations.
  • Nirenberg and Kurian said there is a strategy in place to move COVID-19 patients into long-term acute care centers to free up hospital beds if trends continue.
  • Wolff said there is a new county effort to educate business owners and help them put up signs to remind people about wearing masks in local establishments.

WATCH: Business owners work to comply with new Bexar County mask order

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

MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE FROM KSAT:


About the Author: