SAN ANTONIO – The state’s tally of Texans hospitalized due to COVID-19 dropped below 5,000 for the first time since June.
A total of 4,907 patients remain in hospitals as of Tuesday — an encouraging trend downward following a surge in July. During that month, the Texas Department of State Health reported hospitalizations had surpassed 10,000.
The state reported 181 additional deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total to 11,576. About 466,550 people in Texas have recovered from the virus.
In Bexar County hospitals, 458 were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Tuesday. Local officials confirmed 124 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, and 16 more deaths that occurred between July 21 and Aug. 18.
More than 385,000 residents were told to flee Beaumont, Galveston and Port Arthur, and more than 1,450 evacuees have arrived in San Antonio.
According to the San Antonio Fire Department, more are expected on Wednesday.
The city’s evacuation center at 200 block of Gembler Road opened to help process displaced Texans. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said hotels will also be available to shelter evacuees.
State officials said buses deployed to the coast were stocked with personal protective equipment and disinfectants, and that buses would make more trips and carry fewer passengers in order to keep people farther apart.
Virus testing teams will also be deployed to shelters “as soon as practical,” said Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Officials recommended that families ride out the storm socially distanced in hotels if possible, rather thank bunking up in shelters with others.
“The state and local governments are fully aware that they’re dealing with a pandemic while they’re responding to Hurricane Laura,” Gov. Greg Abbott said.