Coronavirus update San Antonio, Aug. 17: Bexar County COVID-19 risk level improves to ‘moderate'

Social distancing efforts paying off as new cases, hospitalizations dip

SAN ANTONIOEditor’s Note: Watch the entire briefing in the video player above. Newsletter recipients can click here to access the video.

The COVID-19 curve in Bexar County appears to be flattening as Bexar County’s risk level indicator improved to moderate for the first time since a surge in cases begin in June.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff shared the news Monday night during their daily coronavirus briefing.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Nirenberg reported 70 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the cumulative total to 44,122. Nirenberg also reported 19 new deaths, bringing the local death toll to 617.
  • Hospitalizations, which rose slightly on Sunday, dipped back down on Monday. Officials reported 603 Bexar County residents are hospitalized due to COVID-19, down from 612 on Sunday. Of those patients, 267 are in the intensive care unit and 188 patients are on ventilators.
  • Along with the declining hospitalizations, several metrics local health experts are following have improved greatly since the surge in cases began early this summer. The county’s positivity rate is down to 11.3%, which is still far off from the 5% goal, but a steady improvement from prior weeks. Because of the improving situation, the risk level is now “moderate.”
City of San Antonio Risk Level (KSAT)
  • The mayor urged caution even as the situation continues improving. “It’s taken a Herculean effort on it to get these numbers to start moving in the right direction,” he said. Residents should continue to social distancing to avoid new cases from spiraling out of control as it did just weeks after Memorial Day.
  • A San Antonio bar, The Well, was cited for violating the city’s emergency orders on Saturday night. Videos there showed overcrowding, something Nirenberg said was “horrible.” “I was angered by what I saw on the tape,” Nirenberg said, “not just for the blatant disregard ... but also on behalf of all the other small business owners in the community that are trying to do it the right way.”

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