‘It became a very deadly two months for us,‘: Mayor Nirenberg says on June, July COVID-19 surge

Nirenberg is urging residents to not get complacent even though COVID-19 numbers are decreasing

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio and Bexar County is seeing a downward trend in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, compared to the surge in June and July.

Currently in Bexar County, COVID-19 cases total 42,531 and the death toll is currently 432, as of Saturday.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg joined Leading SA on Sunday and said the last two months have been deadly for San Antonio with the sudden uptick in COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations.

“You saw hospital numbers were in great shape back in April and May, and just how quickly our cases started to accelerate in June and July. And, it became a very deadly two months for us,” Mayor Nirenberg said.

The COVID-19 transmission is still high in the San Antonio area, with a positivity rate around 15%. Mayor Nirenberg said it’s important that the community helps decrease that number before the start of the school year.

“The transmission in the community is still quite high and we’ve got to work together to bring that down before school starts. And because we know that that’s going to introduce more activity in the community and we’ve got to get that transmission rate down below 5%,” Mayor Nirenberg said.

According to the city of San Antonio’s website, the risk level in the community is still in the red zone, indicating it is severe/critical. Residents are still urged to stay home whenever possible to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

Mayor Nirenberg said once the positivity rate decreases to 5%, it’ll be safer for the community to be out and about. However, until then, residents are urged to not let down their guard.

“Once we get that positivity rate down below 5%, once we see the 14-day sustained decline of cases and we also see the doubling rate of cases... in our community go up, then it’ll be safe. But it ties that timeline to a set of warning indicators that people could see on the website,” Mayor Nirenberg said.

Even though the latest numbers are encouraging in San Antonio’s fight against the pandemic, the mayor is reminding the community to not get complacent.

“The work that we’ve done over the last two months has started to pay off in terms of bringing this hospitalization rate under control. Well, we see how quickly things can get out of control, and we also see the devastation it’s wrought economically and psychologically on our communities across the country. We’ve got to work together, continue to slow the spread and stop the spread of coronavirus while the scientists and medical professionals work on a vaccine. Until there is a vaccine, we’re going to have to live with some modified behaviors, including keeping physical distance and wearing face masks when you’re in public,” Mayor Nirenberg said.

The full interview with Mayor Nirenberg can be viewed in the video player above.

Read also:

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Gov. Abbott extends State Disaster Declaration for all Texas counties for COVID-19

About the Authors:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

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