Coronavirus update San Antonio, July 7: City rolls out new caller ID feature to aid COVID-19 contact tracing

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 Tuesday night.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Nirenberg reported 15,880 total COVID-19 cases and 137 total deaths in Bexar County, as of Tuesday, an increase of 778 new cases. Five new deaths were reported today.
  • City officials also reported that 1,235 patients are hospitalized, 389 are in the intensive care unit and 221 are on ventilators.
  • Nirenberg said said the hospital system continues to be under high stress. Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says 25% of patients in local hospitals are coming from outside of the county.
  • Nirenberg said the city has rolled out a new caller ID feature to aid with contact tracing since a lot of people are not answering their phones. Starting today, COVID-19 calls from the city will show up on caller ID as “SA Health Department,” he said.
  • Dr. Colleen Bridger, interim director of the Metropolitan Health District and assistant city manager, said the caller ID feature has been in the works for some time, but the city’s phone system is complicated and slowed down the rollout. However, she said the feature came sooner than expected.
  • Bridger said the city is also working on a COVID-19 text messaging system for residents.
  • Bridger said the number of case investigators and contact tracers is growing every day due to the rising cases in our area.
  • When asked about using the Texas Center for Infectious Diseases for COVID-19 patients, Bridger said the goal is to increase staffing at hospitals before resorting to using the center.
  • Bridger said the city is working on expanding shelter capacity for the homeless population to avoid an outbreak.
  • Dr. Ian Thompson, with CHRISTUS Santa Rosa, said the nurses brought in from outside of Bexar County have been absolute lifesavers. However, he said the hospital system across San Antonio is still strained.
  • Thompson said COVID-19 deaths of people in the age range of 20-29 may be less common because they have better immune systems. However, he said that doesn’t mean that those in that age range who contract the virus won’t have lasting effects, such as kidney or lung damage.

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


About the Author

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.

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