Hospitals In 'High Stress' As Ventilator Capacity Dips Below 70% For 1st Time In San Antonio | Texas Public Radio

Hospitals In 'High Stress' As Ventilator Capacity Dips Below 70% For 1st Time In San Antonio

21 hours ago

In addition to COVID-19 case numbers, Texas Public Radio is updating information on how local businesses are adjusting, how you can help those in need and what you can do to stay entertained at home. TPR is also providing live updates on the Rio Grande Valley.

San Antonio

On Wednesday evening, Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported 347 new cases, bringing the total to 7,814. There have been four new deaths, two of which are from congregate settings. The total number of deaths is now 104.

23% of all COVID-19 deaths in San Antonio have been reported in the past 14 days.

There are 555 people who have tested positive in local hospitals, up 37 from yesterday. There are 18 more people in intensive care (164 total) and three more people on ventilators (83 total).

Hospitals are still at a “high stress” level, with 69% of ventilators and 25% of staffed beds available. The ventilator capacity dipped below 70% for the first time on Wednesday.

Nirenberg has amended San Antonio’s standing emergency order to prohibit outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people, consistent with the proclamation issued by Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday.

This restriction has 13 exceptions, including child-care services, museums and libraries, water parks, swimming pools, youth camps and local government operations.

“Those exemptions are state orders. What we’re trying to do with these restrictions is utilize every single tool we have with us to slow the spread,” Nirenberg said of the exceptions to the prohibition.

According to Dawn Emerick, Director of Metro Health, 81% of positive tests are symptomatic and 93% are from close contact and community transmission.

Registration for free testing at Freeman Coliseum is open but will close as the demand reaches capacity. The city urges those with health insurance to see a private provider for testing to allow available spaces for free testing for uninsured people.

Data also shows shifting demographics of COVID-19 patients. Around mid-April, the racial makeup of patients almost mirrored the makeup of San Antonio’s population.

Now, about 17% of all COVID-19 patients who have died are Black — even though they only make up 7.6% of all cases and 8.5% of the city’s population.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated the incorrect percentage of asymptomatic cases. 19% of positive tests have been asymptomatic.


As of Wednesday, there have been 125,921 total confirmed cases across Texas — with Harris, Dallas and Tarrant counties reporting the highest numbers of cases. Bexar came in fourth place.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there are currently more than 4,300 patients with COVID-19 in Texas hospitals. 

Texas began allowing its first businesses to reopen May 1.

National and International

Find the latest national and international updates on COVID-19 from NPR's live blog

Zoom in and scroll to find data on areas across the globe. Find more information at Johns Hopkins coronavirus resource center.

The CDC has provided COVID-19 guidelines in English and Spanish

Find the latest information from Metro Health here