San Antonio’s weeks long surge in coronavirus cases continued Sunday, with officials reporting 1,021 new cases and two new deaths.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases rose to 980, up from 961 Saturday. The average was 774 a week ago, and 476 a week before that.
The two deaths were a man in his 80s and a man in his 90s, both residents of the Brookdale Nacogdoches nursing home. They died in the last two weeks.
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Officials also reported 18 backlogged deaths from between July 10 and Nov. 15. There are currently 139 deaths under investigation.
Since the pandemic began nearly nine months ago, 86,916 San Antonians have been infected with the coronavirus, and 1,397 have died from it.
“The coronavirus is in all parts of our community, and the number of new COVID-19 cases is significantly high,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “We must protect each other and ourselves.”
In an effort to more quickly identify active coronavirus cases, the city has expanded its testing efforts. San Antonio’s testing sites have tested more than 175,700 people in the last six weeks, more than the total from the previous 14 weeks combined.
But more widespread testing is not necessarily the reason for the surge in daily case numbers. Bexar County’s test positivity rate has been increasing steadily since early October, and has hovered above 9 percent for the last three weeks, a first since August.
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Nirenberg urged residents to continue engaging in safe practices in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and avoid overwhelming hospitals ahead of the holidays.
“Wear masks, keep your distance from people outside your household and avoid large gatherings,” he said. “Taking these measures is the way for us to stop the spread of the virus. Let’s enjoy the holiday season safely.”
San Antonio’s hospitals were treating 576 coronavirus patients Sunday, the same number as on Saturday despite the fact that 61 new coronavirus patients were admitted in the last 24 hours. Thirty-four patients were from El Paso, where the pandemic has overwhelmed hospitals and required the installation of temporary morgues.
Of the total, 204 coronavirus patients were in intensive care, slightly fewer than the 208 on Saturday, and 105 were using ventilators to help them breathe, up from 104 Saturday.
The city is offering free walk-up testing for symptomatic individuals at the Ramirez Community Center and the Cuellar Community Center every day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Freeman Coliseum offers drive-thru testing for those with symptoms every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are required.
Those with no symptoms can get tested for free at the Ramirez and Cuellar community centers weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., as well as the AT&T Center weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are not required.
A list of other testing locations can be found on the city’s coronavirus website.
Andres Picon is a staff writer covering San Antonio education. To read more from Andres, become a subscriber. email@example.com | Twitter: @andpicon