San Antonio Hospitals Nearing 'Severe Stress' With 4,000 COVID-19 Cases Reported This Week | Texas Public Radio

San Antonio Hospitals Nearing 'Severe Stress' With 4,000 COVID-19 Cases Reported This Week

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

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said there are 923 new cases of COVID-19 in the San Antonio area on Friday, bringing the total to 18,602. There were about 4,000 new cases reported just this week.

There was one new COVID-19 death reported on Friday: a teenaged Hispanic boy. The death toll is now at 166.

"(Those are) people of all ages. People with a lot of life to live," Nirenberg said.

There are 1,240 people in local hospitals with COVID-19. Those include 416 people in intensive care units and 248 on ventilators. The mayor said Bexar County hospitals are still under high stress — and reaching "severe stress" — with just 10% of staffed beds available.

 

Before the briefing, it was announced that Fiesta will be canceled; it was previously postponed until November. Nirenberg said it wasn't an easy decision to make as the annual event helps financially support many nonprofits in the area.

He said he doesn't want to do anything that may compromise Fiesta in 2021.

The Texas Education Agency announced fall guidelines for K-12 schools earlier this week, and the mayor said he plans to meet with superintendents soon to discuss the options.

"We’re not going to do anything that puts out kids in harm’s way," he said.

Justin Rodriguez, Bexar County Commissioner for Precinct 2, urged people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate convalescent plasma to the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center. That plasma can be used to help current coronavirus patients recover.

He added that the center is offering free antibody tests through August.

Medical teams made up of several hundred people have been dispatched to help San Antonio hospitals, with more teams expected to come. Recently a federal team of nurses was sent to rural regions within the San Antonio area.

Nirenberg said he heard the aid request to Brooke Army Medical Center was denied, but he still needs confirmation.

Dr. Lynette Watkins is a chief medical officer for the Baptist Health System, and said the health systems in the area are working collaboratively together and also with the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC).

"We monitor daily – hourly even – our capacity (at hospitals),” said Watkins.

Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott said the increasing number of fatalities related to COVID-19 in Texas may lead to a statewide shutdown.

He's issued an executive order requiring Texans to wear a face masks in public spaces in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases.

The State of Texas has mandated a fine of $250 for those who don't follow mask orders.

As of Friday, Texas Department of State Health Services reported about 240,111 confirmed cases across the state — with Harris, Dallas and Bexar counties among those reporting the highest numbers of cases. More than 3,000 people have died in Texas.

There are about 10,000 patients with COVID-19 in Texas hospitals.

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