San Antonio hospitals taking patients from El Paso as local CVOID cases rise


Oct. 26, 2020Updated: Oct. 26, 2020 7:51 p.m.


Divine Ayong seals a test in a biohazard bag after collecting a sample Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, at The University of Texas at El Paso's Fox Fine Arts building in El Paso. (Mark Lambie/The El Paso Times via AP)

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George Hernandez, president and CEO of University Health System (center) speaks as Mayor Ron Nirenberg (right) and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff (left) join the leaders of the county's four hospital systems as they give a press conference on the stress levels local hospitals are undergoing as a result of the surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

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Personnel prepare to conduct a COVID-19 test at the Texas Med Clinic Southwest drive-thru testing site of SW Military Drive, Thursday, June 25, 2020.

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Lisa Torres, left, goes to another patient after assisting a COVID-19 testing in the ER at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital Medical Center, on Tuesday, July, 14, 2020.

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In this file photo, two students walk into school on the first day of classes at a Boerne ISD school. Hondo ISD announced Monday that all students must return to in-person learning.

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Castle Hills Elementary School third grade teacher Elisabeth Myers connects with students virtually this summer (the school is year-round). Some parents want the choice to go back to school right away.

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Texas bars could be reopening soon, Gov. Greg Abbott hinted on Monday Oct. 5, 2020.

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San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff discuss developments after they announced the daily COVID-19 update on Sept. 28, 2020.

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Hospitals and health care workers across San Antonio were dealing with a surge of COVID-19 patients, starting in June and July. University Hospital in San Antonio is poised to perform double lung transplants for those people whose lungs were irreparably damaged by the coronavirus.

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Evelyn Menking keeps an eye on a patient’s vitals in Northeast Baptist Hospital’s COVID-19 intensive care unit in San Antonio last May.

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Covid Nurse Tracie Sandoval tends to a patient in one of four covid units at Methodist Hospital. San Antonio has had a massive influx of coronavirus patients into its hospital, on Thursday, June, 25, 2020.

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Oscar Cruz, 32, right, a sprinkler system installer, gets tested for the coronavirus at a walk-up site at Burbank High School last June. Nearly 350 people, some arriving before 4 a.m., lined up to get tested.

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Dr. Tamara Simpson, left, and two nurses rush a covid patient to the Covid Unit at the Northeast Baptist Hospital Covid Unit, on Friday, April 24, 2020.

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Assistant City Manager Colleen Bridger has been named as San Antonio's coronavirus czar.

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Superior Mobile Health EMT Dominique Sharp and George Lombardo take a COVID-19 positive patient out of a hospital to transfer to home hospice care on July 14, 2020 in San Antonio.

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San Antonio City Councilmember Greg Brockhouse, left, speaks with Cornerstone Church Pastor John Hagee before the start of a regular council meeting, Thursday, April 18, 2019. Brockhouse proposed a procedural move revisiting a contract that excluded Chick-fil-A restaurant from operating at the San Antonio International Airport. Several pastors were on hand in support of the move. The council voted against the move.

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A COVID-19 patient, already hooked up to a respirator, is rushed to a room that was prepared in the ER at Christus Santa Rosa Hospital in the Medical Center on July 20. The spread of the novel coronavirus appears to be slowing in Bexar County, but officials caution that it took less than 10 days to double the number of people in the hospital from 518 to 1,019 after restrictions were loosened in June and more than two months to get back under 500.

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Dr. Thomas Patterson talks with Christopher Morin, a COVID-19 patient in University Hospital on June, 2, 2020.

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Sophomore Monique Perez, a member of the cheer team and track team at Somerset High School, performs a coronavirus test at Somerset High School on Wednesday, participating in a pilot program for mass testing developed by the startup non-profit Community Labs.

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Workers investigate reports of COVID-19 this summer at the Alamodome. To bolster local contact tracing, offer training and aid the community, hire student health workers for this job.

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This article will be updated throughout the week with coronavirus case counts and other need-to-know information about the pandemic in San Antonio. 

October 26

S.A. taking cases from El Paso: As San Antonio hospitals began receiving El Paso intensive care unit patients by helicopter in hopes of relieving pressure on the hard-hit border city, Bexar County’s hospital admissions for COVID-19 rose by 11, officials said Monday. Additionally, officials reported 151 new positive cases of the coronavirus in Bexar County, bringing the cumulative total since the virus began to some 64,767. There were no new deaths.

October 25

Cases rise, school closes: The city-funded early childhood education program Pre-K 4 SA closed its East Education Center Sunday after four staff members and one student tested positive for the coronavirus.

The school made the announcement as San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reported 140 new coronavirus cases, increasing the total to 64,616 since the pandemic hit in mid-March.


Mark Dunphy is a breaking news reporter and general assignment writer. Follow him @m_b_dunphy.

Priscilla Aguirre is a general assignment reporter. Follow her work @CillaAguirre.

Madalyn Mendoza is a proud San Antonio native and reporter for Keep up with her work and what's buzzing in San Antonio @MaddySkye.

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