Encouraging decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations, says San Antonio Emergency room doctor

KSAT Q&A: Hospitalizations, another possible spike, flu season

SAN ANTONIO – The current scene at San Antonio hospitals is much different than that of about a month ago, said emergency room Doctor Robert A. Frolichstein during KSAT’s Q&A session on Tuesday’s 6 o’clock news.

On July 24, city officials reported 1,059 patients hospitalized. On August 25, 458 hospitalizations were reported.

“It’s encouraging that we’re seeing decreases, but it’s still out there and we’re still seeing patients in the emergency department with COVID. Not as frequently, but importantly, just as sick as they were. The severity of illness is not really changing at all, just the frequency,” Frolichstein said.

According to models released by the city, a continual decline in coronavirus hospitalizations is expected as long as San Antonio continues to follow the safety guidelines currently in place. But Dr. Frolichstein warns with some children returning to classrooms and the Labor Day holiday approaching, another spike in cases could be on the horizon.

“[It] feels the same as mid to late May where we felt like we maybe had a handle on things and then Memorial Day hit and things took off,” he said. “I have the same concern with Labor Day coming up and back to school. Frankly, I think we’d be naive to think we won’t see a resurgence probably around the first of October somewhere around there. We just hope it will not be as severe as what we saw this summer.”

With some school campuses back in session, are hospitals preparing for more pediatric cases?

“There are definitely plans to be able to care for normal illnesses we see in addition to COVID,” Frolichstein said. Illnesses such as the flu, which Frolichstein says is another big concern going into the fall months.

Related: San Antonio pediatrician urges people to get flu vaccine early to avoid ‘twin pandemic’

“I think it’s so important. If people don’t get the flu vaccine, then we’re setting ourselves up for a pandemic of flu in addition to the pandemic of COVID,” Frolichstein explained.

Catch up on all of the latest KSAT Q&As here or watch them live at 6:30 p.m. and on the Nightbeat.

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