The novel coronavirus shows little sign of slowing down in the San Antonio area as three more people died and another double-digit increase in the daily number of new confirmed cases pushed the total to 723 on Saturday.
“We know these numbers can be discouraging,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said at the daily briefing, but he encouraged the public to keep their eye on the future. “Don’t give up on staying home and staying safe. We have some ways to go, but we’re taking actions and we are making a difference.”
A woman in her 70s died at St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital and two more residents of Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center succumbed to COVID-19, Nirenberg said, bringing Bexar County’s death toll to 27.
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There have now been 14 residents of the Southeast nursing center who have died. A virulent outbreak of the disease at the facility has infected at least 74 residents and 27 staff members.
Most of the residents have remained at the center, receiving care there. But some who tested positive became seriously ill and had to be taken to the hospital.
Second inmate infected
Also Saturday, County Judge Nelson Wolff reported that a second Bexar County jail inmate had tested positive for COVID-19.
The inmate, who had been held on a capital murder charge since March 17, was housed in a unit with minimal face-to-face contact with other inmates, Wolff said. Deputies who worked in the unit wore protective equipment at all times so their risk is believed to be low. The inmate is now in a negative-pressure cell.
Wolff said the inmate was not housed in the same area as the first inmate who tested positive, so it’s believed the two cases are separate. As of Saturday, the cause of the infection was not yet known.
On ExpressNews.com: First inmate tests positive for novel coronavirus at Bexar County jail
Of the 723 total cases, 263 were the result of close contact with someone who already had the virus. Another 232 were the result of community transmission and 156 contracted the disease while traveling outside the San Antonio area.
Nirenberg said 84 are in the hospital. Of those, 52 are in intensive care and 46 are on ventilators that are helping them breathe.
On the positive side, the number who have fully recovered jumped past 100 to 119, Nirenberg said.
Nirenberg also said there are more than 2,000 available hospital beds in Bexar County, and 80 percent of the local supply of ventilators are available for use.
Officially, there have been 6,212 tests conducted in Bexar County by Metro Health, private and military labs and 5,575 were negative. But health officials say there is a lag in private lab reporting, and Nirenberg said it’s estimated that more than 7,000 tests had actually been administered as of Saturday.
Kendall County reported one new COVID-19 case Saturday, bringing the county’s total to 11. Officials said the case is travel-related and the patient is a resident of Boerne. None of the confirmed cases was the result of community transmission, and no deaths have been reported.
Atascosa County, south of San Antonio, reported a new case Saturday, bringing thast county’s total to eight, according to the state’s COVID-19 page.
In Wilson County, Floresville City Councilwoman Marissa Ximenez confirmed on Facebook that a resident of the Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veterans Home had tested positive for COVID-19. Friday, Wilson had reported 10 cases and no deaths.
The number of confirmed cases in Comal and Guadalupe counties was unchanged Saturday at 37 and 47 confirmed cases in each county respectively, according to state statistics. Medina County was also unchanged at 12 confirmed cases.