‘You are saving someone’s life’ by masking up, Mayor Nirenberg says as San Antonio’s coronavirus death toll mounts

Liz Hardaway

Even as the number of new coronavirus cases appear to be decreasing slightly, more and more San Antonians are dying because of the disease.

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reported 1,684 new coronavirus cases Saturday — 563 fewer than reported the day before. The seven-day rolling average stood at 1,806 Saturday, decreasing by 165.

But the health authority also reported 18 new deaths Saturday, after two days of 17 deaths each. In one week, 176 people have died with COVID-19.

“Remember that by masking up and social distancing, you are saving someone’s life,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said at the daily coronavirus briefing Saturday.

Hospitalizations decreased for the fourth day in a row Saturday. With 18 fewer patients, the coronavirus patient count came to 1,375, making up 34.6 percent of total hospital patients. Some 174 of those were admitted within the last 24 hours.

Of those hospitalized, 414 were in intensive care and 252 patients were using ventilators to help them breathe, the same numbers reported Friday.

The coronavirus pandemic first started to spread among the city back in March. So far, it has infected 159,519 residents in Bexar County and killed 1,892.

The coronavirus deaths reported Saturday include a Hispanic man in his 30s, one in his 40s, one in his 50s and two in their 70s; two white men in their 50s, five in their 70s and one in his 80s; and a woman in her 70s whose ethnicity wasn’t given. All died in a hospital or were reported by the Medical Examiner’s Office. A Hispanic woman in her 90s died at home.

Other deaths include a Hispanic woman in her 50s, a resident of Lakeside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; a white woman in her 70s, a resident of Stone Oak Care Facility; and a white woman, unknown age, resident of the Village at Incarnate Word Assisted Living.

Vaccine woes

As San Antonians hold out hope for more vaccine, the few appointments that are available keep filling up in mere hours. University Health announced at 6 p.m. Friday it was scheduling appointments several weeks in advance. In less than four hours, all 24,240 future slots were filled.

On ExpressNews.com: FAQ: When and where Texans can get the COVID vaccine

Those who did secure appointments should check on University Health’s website on Fridays to see whether their vaccine is available that week. If University Health doesn’t receive the amount of vaccines it needs for a particular week, those appointments will be rescheduled.

City officials are aware of the intense frustration felt by San Antonians seeking to be vaccinated.

“Please keep up your vigilance as we work with our state and federal governments to make more vaccine doses available,” Nirenberg said Saturday. “There will be enough for everyone, but until then, please social distance, wear your mask and avoid gathering with those outside your households.”

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