Death toll rises, hospitalizations decline in Bexar County, San Antonio

11 additional deaths, 478 new COVID-19 cases announced Friday

People wearing a face masks for protection against COVID-19 pass a business that has reopened in San Antonio, Thursday, May 14, 2020. Texas attorney general Ken Paxton has warned officials in San Antonio, Austin and Dallas that the cities could face lawsuits if they do not relax coronavirus measures he says go further than state law allows. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – On Friday, officials reported 478 more COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths in Bexar County and San Antonio. This brings the total case count to 27,525 and the death toll to 240 in the area.

This comes after an eye-popping 5,501 cases were announced Thursday. However, of Thursday’s numbers, 691 were new, whereas the others were from a backlog that was a result of kinks in the communication process with the state.

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There is a silver lining in hospitalization news, as city leaders announced a fourth straight day of declining COVID-19 hospitalizations on Friday.

Nirenberg said 1,166 are hospitalized due to COVID-19, down from 1,202 on Thursday.

Of those patients, 436 are in the intensive care unit, up from 430 on Thursday. Ventilator use also slightly increased, with 298 patients using them, up from 277 on Thursday.

As of Friday, 11% of staffed hospital beds are available and 45% of ventilators.

School districts in San Antonio cannot reopen schools for on-campus face-to-face instruction until after Sept. 7, according to a directive issued Friday by the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

Students will have access to academics via virtual learning and teachers can use classrooms for video streaming, as long as they are alone in a classroom and school occupancy doesn’t exceed 10%, according to the directive.

To learn more about the directive, click here.

The Texas Education Agency also announced Friday that school districts could receive more time to utilize online-only learning for the upcoming fall school year.

School districts can now temporarily limit in-person classes for the first four weeks of school, which is an extension of one week, compared to past guidance.

After that, school instruction can remain remote for another four weeks if needed, with a board-approved waiver request to the agency, according to a previous KSAT 12 report.

Schools will still have to provide in-person instruction to students who have don’t have access to internet or adequate resources to learn from home, according to the TEA.

Read also:

Thousands of City of San Antonio employees will work remotely through end of the year

Texas Education Agency: Schools can teach online-only for up to 8 weeks at beginning of year

Texas attorney general says religious private schools ‘need not comply’ with local health orders to close

Coronavirus hospitalizations could level off in San Antonio, projections show, but officials warn residents to stay vigilant

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