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Weekly Average Of New Reported Coronavirus Cases Nears 1,000 In San Antonio

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TPR

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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

Local officials in San Antonio noted their concern for the rising 7-day average of reported coronavirus cases, along with the increased number of residents on ventilators.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported 1,316 new cases of coronavirus in the area on Friday, bringing the total since the pandemic’s start to 85,201. The 7-day average is 952, which Nirenberg called “concerning.”

“There is reason to believe it’s going to get worse,” said the mayor.

The total number of COVID-19 patients in area hospitals is 587 (-6). While that is a decrease, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff remarked that 22 El Paso patients being treated in Bexar County Hospitals were recently released. So, the judge said, the hospitalization number should be even lower. However, 84 new patients have been admitted since Thursday.

There are also 207 people in intensive care units (+9) and 126 people on ventilators (+22).

“It’s really disconcerting to see 22 more on ventilators,” said Wolff. “It’s got to be one of the greatest fears in the world — when you can’t breathe right.”

In terms of capacity, 63% of area hospital beds are available and 11% of ventilators are available.

Nirenberg and Wolff contend that any current increase of coronavirus numbers wouldn’t yet be from possible Thanksgiving gatherings. There is an incubation period of about 14 days.

“As we go through Saturday, Sunday, Monday, early part of next week, we should be able to have a pretty good understanding of what happened over Thanksgiving week,” Wolff said.

Alejandra Lopez, the City of San Antonio’s Director of Economic Development, reported that $38 million was approved by City Council members this summer to support small businesses. The vast majority of that money, she said, is for grants.

“As of last week we’ve awarded more than 1,000 grants... totaling just around $25 million,” Lopez said, noting that City Council has recently approved several million more dollars in funding.

Small business owners can find more information about COVID-19 grants and recovery on the city’s website.

Texas

On Friday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported more than 1,228,000 cases since March. Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, El Paso and Bexar counties were among those consistently reporting the most cases.

Officials also reported more than 9,000 patients with COVID-19 in Texas hospitals. More than 22,200 people have died in the state.

Texas has more hospitals reporting critical staff shortages than any other state, according to federal data.

Of about 580 Texas hospitals that report data to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 138 report immediate “critical staffing shortages” – that raw number is more than any other state, but Texas also has more hospitals than any other state reporting to HHS. At least 18 more anticipate a “critical staffing shortage” within a week.

This week, for the first time since the summer surge, more than 9,000 Texans are hospitalized with COVID-19.

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