Coronavirus update San Antonio, June 26: Total COVID-19 cases in Bexar County nearing 9,000

City leaders also announced a significant jump in hospitalizations

SAN ANTONIOEditor’s Note: Newsletter recipients can click here to access the video of the daily briefing.

The novel coronavirus surge in San Antonio continued Friday, as officials announced 405 new COVID-19 cases during the nightly briefing.

The additional cases brings Bexar County’s tally to 8,857 cases. One new death was reported, and the death toll is now at 105.

Hospital capacity is still posing a concern for city and health officials, as 71 more COVID-19 patients were admitted. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said 699 patients are hospitalized. Of those patients, 221 are in the intensive care unit and 117 are on a ventilator. Nearly 66% of ventilators are available, while 26% of staffed beds remain available.

Statewide, Gov. Greg Abbott began to roll back some of his current reopening guidelines on Friday.

The governor issued a new executive order that states bars and similar establishments whose receipts consist of 51% or more of alcohol sales must close by noon on Friday. However, they can still stay open for delivery and takeout.

It’s unclear when the establishments can reopen.

RELATED: Gov. Greg Abbott says bars must close by noon, restaurants to scale back capacity

Also, starting on Monday, area restaurants will have to limit their capacity from 75% back to 50%, under the governor’s order.

The following is a breakdown of today’s city and county briefing, which you can see in the video player above:

  • Nirenberg said the city and county orders have been updated to follow Abbott’s new order. He said the governor was moving in the right direction when he decided to halt the reopening of the state.
  • Nirenberg said Dr. Colleen Bridger, assistant city manager, will stay with the city until a new Metropolitan Health District director is found. She had announced she would be leaving the city in July previously. “I fully trust Erick Walsh as our city manager” to find a suitable replacement, Nirenberg said.
  • Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said, “I have confidence we’ll have a good transition” to a new Metro Health director.
  • Nirenberg said city and county representatives are stepping up mask enforcement in businesses. “We’re in the midst of the worst spike or cases we’ve ever seen ever,” he said. “Mask up, San Antonio.”
  • Metro Health Deputy Director Jennifer Herriott said officials are taking precaution and preparing the Alternative Care Facility at Freeman Coliseum. Wolff said an outside company was hired to run that facility.

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About the Authors:

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

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes breaking news, COVID-19 coverage, personal finance stories on the "Money: It's Personal" series, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" series.