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San Antonio Area Has Seen 3,804 New COVID-19 Cases, 69 New Deaths In The Past 7 Days

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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

In the past seven days, the city has reported 3,804 new cases and confirmed 69 new deaths.

There have now been 57,145 total cases and 1,130 total confirmed deaths in Bexar County since the public health crisis began.

Of the total reported cases, 10,316 (18%) are probable cases, symptomatic cases that have a positive antigen test result. This percentage has been consistent for the past several weeks.

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The city reported 56 new cases on Sunday, as well as 2,794 backlogged electronic lab reports.

Metro Health has begun to report the backlogged deaths once a week on Sundays. This Sunday, the city reported 3 new deaths and confirmed 53 older deaths, which occurred between June 20–Sept. 10.

New deaths are deaths that have occurred within the past 14 days. Of the total deaths, 210 have been from congregate settings, such as nursing and assisted living facilities.

The State of Texas reported 1,297 deaths in Bexar County, and the 167-death discrepancy are deaths under investigation by Metro Health.

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Though the number of daily cases and hospitalizations the city sees has started to decline, local hospitals remain under high stress. The city considers the risk of COVID-19 “safe,” but still encourages the practice of safety precautions.

There were 221 total hospitalizations on Sunday (-7). Of those hospitalizations, 86 are in intensive care (+1) and 34 are on ventilators (+3). There are 16% of staffed beds and 73% of ventilators available in local hospitals.

Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations have been declining for the past several weeks, though that decline has slowed. There were just 4 fewer hospitalizations this Sunday compared to last. There are 145 fewer hospitalizations this Sunday than there were on Aug. 30.

In total, 97% of total cases in the area have recovered, and the remaining 3% are still ill.

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Around 50 local and state elected officials and community leaders on Saturday endorsed passage of Proposition B, the SA Ready To Work initiative, on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The initiative calls for the redirection of $154 million in sales tax revenue from aquifer protection to retrain local workers who lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of August, 68,000 workers were collecting unemployment.

It does not involve a sales tax increase.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg warned the virus was not done taking a toll on the local economy.

“As permanent business closures rise," he said, "it's estimated that some one quarter of the jobs lost amid the pandemic might never come back."

Local leaders said many of those job losses hit one of the city’s biggest industries — leisure and hospitality. Nirenberg said those workers can learn higher skills for higher paying jobs offered now by employers.

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The head of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation said there are plenty of job openings in the area despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but the local workforce needs the skills to fill those positions.

Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, the foundation's president and CEO, explained that “manufacturing is hiring, tech is hiring, professional services are hiring, healthcare is hiring. But sadly when you look at those that are unemployed in San Antonio, I think we are still sitting at about 68,000 as of August, the skill match is what is challenged."

Many of those 68,000 unemployed people worked in tourism and leisure related industries. Both the city and county offer programs meant to create a better-trained workers for higher paying jobs.

City leaders also encouraged local voters to approve the use of sales taxes on November 3rd to fund workforce development programs.

Bexar County Precinct 2 Commissioner Justin Rodriguez announced that the county will give away a quarter of a million masks to small businesses on Thursday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Freeman Coliseum.

Business owners can register at bexar.org.

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Texas

On Sunday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported over 735,000 since March.

There are more than 3,200 patients with COVID-19 in Texas hospitals, and more than 15,500 people have died in the state.

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National and International

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

Find more information at Johns Hopkins coronavirus resource center.