San Antonio, Bexar County officials to hold COVID-19 briefing as infection levels surge

Briefing slated to begin at 2:30 p.m.

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SAN ANTONIO – With coronavirus infection levels growing, San Antonio and Bexar County officials will hold another news conference on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.

The briefing will be livestreamed in this article.

Bexar County COVID-19 cases continue to climb and send more people to the hospital amid a nationwide resurgence of the virus.

Statistics released Tuesday showed sharp jumps in key indicators over the previous set of numbers released on July 21, six days earlier. The seven-day average for new cases leapt up 62%, from 363 to 589, and the number of people with COVID-19 in the hospital jumped up 47%, from 397 to 585, of which 182 are in the ICU.

The hospital numbers are more than quadrupled the week between June 23 and June 29 when there was a weekly average of 135 COVID-positive patients in area hospitals and 44 in the ICU.

The positivity rate for COVID-19 tests also continued to shoot up. It jumped from 13.5% for the week ending July 16 to 17% for the week ending July 23. Less than a month earlier, it was only 3.8% for the week ending June 25.

The new numbers come the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backtracked on its mask recommendations and suggested that even vaccinated people should wear them indoors in areas where the virus is considered to be spreading quickly. By the CDC’s tracker, that includes Bexar County and much of Texas.

In a news conference last week, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg urged unvaccinated residents to “forget the disinformation” and sign up for their shots.

Last week, Metro Health reported 75% of people 12 years and older had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 62.1% were fully vaccinated. Those rates only moved incrementally in Tuesday’s update, to 75.5% and 62.5%, respectively.

About the Authors:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.