The novel coronavirus surge in San Antonio continued Thursday, as officials announced 638 new COVID-19 cases during the nightly briefing, the single largest daily increase reported so far.
The additional cases brings Bexar County’s tally to 8,452 cases, roughly 60% of which are still active.
No new deaths were reported, and the death toll remains at 104.
Hospital capacity is still posing a concern for city and health officials. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said 628 patients were hospitalized. Of those patients, 202 are in the intensive care unit and 94 are on a ventilator. Nearly 68% of ventilators are available, while 25% of staffed beds remain available.
Statewide, Gov. Greg Abbott is temporarily pausing additional reopening plans, due to the rapid uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Abbott made the announcement Thursday. Businesses that are already permitted to open under previous reopening phases can continue operation at occupancy levels designated in previous phases, however, businesses are still expected to maintain minimum standard health protocols provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
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:
- Nirenberg called Thursday’s COVID-19 case count spike the largest single-day increase since the crisis started.
- Nirenberg said the hospital system as a whole is still under high stress. He said there are capacity issues in all urban areas of Texas. Click here to see the city’s progress and warning indicators.
- Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said 1/3 of the COVID-19 patients in the hospital are in the intensive care unit. “We could be in serious trouble if we do nothing,” Wolff said during the briefing.
- Dr. Junda Woo, medical director of the Metropolitan Health District, said the county is reaching “worst case scenario” circumstances due to the high number of hospitalizations. “Now is the time to pay attention and keep your distance,” she said. She also mentioned that local hospitals are feeling strain with more employees getting sick or having to quarantine.
- Wolff said 40,000 masks have been distributed to small business owners. The county is giving out 1 million masks to local businesses. Click here for more information.