San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and other local officials updated the community about the local response to COVID-19 in their daily briefing Friday night.
Here are a few of the highlights:
- Nirenberg reported 18,602 total COVID-19 cases and 166 total deaths in Bexar County, as of Friday, which is an increase of 923 new cases. One additional death was reported and officials said it was a man in his late teens with underlying health conditions.
- City officials also reported that 1,240 patients are hospitalized, 416 are in the intensive care unit and 248 are on ventilators. There are 10% of staffed beds available. Officials said if we dip below the 10% capacity in San Antonio hospitals, we may have to utilize the 80 beds available at Freeman Coliseum.
- Nirenberg said one in four COVID-19 positive patients are in the 20-29 age group, which is around 25% of cases. Just this last week, over 4,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Bexar County and four or five people that have succumbed to the virus this week were under the age of 40, officials said.
- On Monday, positive COVID-19 test results will be broken down, comparing San Antonio to other cities. The two tests that will be examined are the Antigen test and the PCR test. Both of these tests will determine if someone has the coronavirus; however, the Antigen test is done through the mouth and the PCR test is more commonly known as the nasal swab. Both of these tests are counted in the daily total of positive cases.
- The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center will hold a major screening event to test people for COVID-19 antibodies. Nirenberg said there will be more information on the event in the coming days. As of Friday, around 6,100 patients have recovered from the virus; however, only 150, or 2%, have donated plasma, officials said. Anyone who is able to donate plasma is urged to contact the STBTC.
- San Antonio leaders requested in a letter for the Brooke Army Medical Center to accept COVID-19 patients in an effort to help alleviate hospital capacity in the area. However, Nirenberg said the request was declined. Limited details are available as of yet.
- Another federal task force team from the U.S. Army is expected to arrive in San Antonio next week to help the city’s COVID-19 response. Officials said they expect 85 team members to arrive.
- One positive piece of COVID-19 related news in the city is that Nirenberg said there has been a downward trend over the last few days in EMS calls and transports for COVID-19 related patients. Still, he said residents need “to keep their guard up.”
- Fiesta 2020 has been canceled, as of Friday. Nirenberg said the decision wasn’t made lightly, however, it was the safest option for San Antonians. “Folks who have been watching the course of this pandemic over the last month or so have viewed this as an inevitability... We have to look at the danger it could impose.” The celebration has been rescheduled for April 15 - 25 in 2021. Nirenberg said he’s optimistic it will go on as scheduled and said, “We’re hoping we’ll have a vaccine by then.”
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