The novel coronavirus surge in San Antonio continued Wednesday, as officials announced 347 new COVID-19 cases during the nightly briefing.
The addition brings Bexar County’s tally to 7,814 cases, roughly 60% of which are still active.
Four new deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 104.
While hospital capacity remains relatively stable, the number of COVID-19 patients in the system continued to rise. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said 555 patients were hospitalized, up from 518 on Tuesday. Of those patients, 164 are in the intensive care unit and 82 are on a ventilator. Nearly 70% of ventilators are available, while 25% of staffed beds remain available.
Statewide, Texas saw its second consecutive day of more than 5,000 new cases.
Bexar County has already instituted a local order, mandating that employees and customers wear masks inside a business. Businesses caught in violation of the order could face a fine of up to $1,000.
Due to the surge in cases, city officials moved to limit outdoor gatherings, banning any that are larger than 100 people. Shortly after the city’s decision, Judson Independent School District canceled all of its planned in-person graduations.
The following is a breakdown of today’s city and county briefing, which you can see in the video player above:
- San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said, “this virus has a grip on the state of Texas” and described similar issues that other metropolitan areas in the state are facing due to COVID-19.
- Nirenberg said there have been 15 violations since the mask order went into effect. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says the county continues to check on local businesses and enforce the order, as well as educate employers.
- Wolff described his encounter with a customer at a Lowe’s on Wednesday that escalated after Wolff asked the man to wear a mask. “We’ve all got to respond to this and do what we can to protect other people,” Wolff said.
- Mario Martinez, an assistant director of the Metropolitan Health District, said the health authority is still looking for case investigators and encouraged applicants to visit the city human resources website for more information.
- Health officials are urging people to answer Metro Health’s calls during. Martinez said case investigators will usually call from a 210 phone number, followed by the prefix 207.
- Nirenberg also reminded residents to fill out the city’s budget survey at SAspeakup.com.