‘Exponential surge’ continues — 650 new coronavirus cases in Bexar County, 881 people hospitalized

Joshua Fechter

San Antonio officials reported 650 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday as the virus’ rapid spread continued to put pressure on area hospitals.

No new deaths were reported, leaving Bexar County’s total at 109 since the start of the pandemic.

The confirmed new cases brought the county’s total to 10,797.

San Antonio-area hospitals were treating 881 COVID-19 patients, an increase of 79 since Sunday.

Some 274 patients were in intensive care as of Monday, and 154 were on ventilators. Both numbers have doubled within the last week, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said at the daily city-county coronavirus briefing.

“Unfortunately, we are still experiencing an exponential surge in our community,” Nirenberg said. “We must act swiftly, we must act collectively to contain this virus.”

On ExpressNews.com: COVID-19 surge pushes San Antonio hospitals toward breaking point

The mayor pointed to statistics showing increased infections and hospitalizations among younger people.

“Half of the people infected with COVID-19 who end up in the hospital have no underlying health conditions,” Nirenberg said. “Young people are not invincible.”

The region’s hospitals are under high stress, Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said.

The time it takes for the total number of COVID-19 cases to double now stands at 13 days, well below the 18-day warning marker that local health officials had established.

Just a few weeks ago, it took more than a month for total cases to double.

On ExpressNews.com: Live coronavirus updates for San Antonio

The positivity rate — the percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back test positive — is now at 20.1 percent for the week for Bexar County. For most of May, the figure hovered around 3.5 percent.

The surge in new cases and hospitalizations led Wolff and Nirenberg to call on Gov. Greg Abbott to give them authority to enact their own measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus — including new stay-at-home orders.

At the San Antonio Police Department, 56 officers have COVID-19, up from 6 cases a month ago. An additional 95 officers and civilian employees remain in quarantine, SAPD said.

At the San Antonio Fire Department, 24 sworn employees have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those, 18 currently have the virus. An additional 24 employees are quarantined.

On ExpressNews.com: 18 hours inside a COVID intensive care unit

At the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, 15 jail deputies had COVID-19 as of Sunday. An additional 24 jailers were awaiting test results.

Twenty-four H-E-B employees in San Antonio tested positive over the weekend, according to the grocery chain.

That brings to more than 100 the number of H-E-B employees at San Antonio stores with confirmed coronavirus infections.

Staff writers Emilie Eaton and Priscilla Aguirre contributed to this developing report. Check back with


for updates.

Joshua Fechter is a staff writer covering San Antonio government and politics. To read more from Joshua, become a subscriber. jfechter@express-news.net | Twitter: @JFReports

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