San Antonio reports 144 new coronavirus cases, two more deaths

Peggy O’Hare

San Antonio and Bexar County officials reported a modest number of newly diagnosed coronavirus cases Thursday, along with two more deaths from COVID-19.

Only 144 new cases of the virus were reported. The local area’s risk level continues to be classified as “low” and holding steady.

As of Wednesday, 77 percent of Bexar County’s population 65 and older had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 41 percent of residents in that age group had been fully vaccinated, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.

A full quarter of eligible Bexar County residents of all ages have been fully vaccinated.

“The vaccines that we are getting here in Bexar County are going into arms a lot faster than we’ve seen in other cities,” Nirenberg said.

University Health, the county’s hospital system, has now given more than 300,000 coronavirus vaccinations to people, including 6,747 doses on Wednesday alone, said Bexar County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores.

As the health system continues to vaccinate people 16 and older at the Wonderland of the Americas mall, it’s now partnering with local colleges to give the public easier access to the shots, Clay-Flores said.

This includes a new vaccine site that operates on weekdays at St. Philip’s College Library on the East Side, which is expected to vaccinate 5,000 people per week. Another site soon will be launched in conjunction with Texas A&M University-San Antonio on the South Side, Clay-Flores said.

“As far as Texas allocations, the federal government will be sending about 8,000 more Pfizer shots next week than we received this week,” she said. “But the amount of Moderna vaccines are the same for next week. Johnson & Johnson is still limited — and we continue to try to get more of those.”

As the local area receives more vaccines, it can schedule more appointments, Nirenberg said.

“To this point though, we have not been receiving the share of doses that we think this region is justified,” he said.

The city’s seven-day rolling average of new cases stands at 187 — close to the average of 190 new cases reported one week ago and far below the average of 1,361 new cases reported just two months ago, on Feb. 5.

In mid-January, the city’s and county’s seven-day rolling average of new cases stood above 2,000, while the local area’s risk level was classified as “severe.”

The two latest Bexar County residents to succumb to the virus died within the past 14 days. They were a white man in his 60s and a Hispanic woman in her 40s. Both died at Methodist Hospital.

Bexar County currently has more than 2,000 active cases of the virus, according to Metropolitan Health District statistics.

On Thursday, 199 patients who tested positive for the virus were being cared for in San Antonio hospitals — an increase of four since Wednesday.

Among those hospitalized, 84 were being monitored in intensive care units, while 26 were on ventilators to help them breathe.

The number of local residents who have been vaccinated against the virus continue to climb steadily. As of Wednesday, 341,895 people had been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in Bexar County, while 558,995 people had received their first dose.

Since the pandemic began more than a year ago, 208,606 Bexar County residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, while at least 3,222 of them have died. Metro Health is still investigating 144 more deaths of local residents that have been reported by the state health department.

More than 200,000 Bexar County residents have recovered after being infected.

In nearby Comal County, public health officials reported five new coronavirus cases Thursday, but no new deaths.

Comal County currently has 176 active cases of the virus. Eight Comal County residents sick with COVID-19 are currently hospitalized.

Since the pandemic began, 9,815 Comal County residents have tested positive for the virus, and 9,328 have recovered, a recovery rate of 95 percent. Public health officials report that 311 of them have died.

Across Texas, state health department officials reported 3,177 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and 92 more deaths.

Nearly 2,900 people confirmed to be sick with COVID-19 are currently being cared for in Texas hospitals.

pohare@express-news.net | Twitter: Peggy_OHare


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