SAN ANTONIO — Bexar County reported 354 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday as the county's risk level increased to the mild threshold from low, where it had been since early November.
And local health authorities say the risk level is "worsening."
Tuesday's count is the highest number of new daily COVID-19 cases since 431 were reported on Oct. 12.
Metro Health officials said Tuesday afternoon they were "optimistically cautious" amid the recent increase in diagnoses, which the public health authority said was "likely due to the recent Thanksgiving holiday celebrations."
Tuesday's numbers also include 215 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in county facilities, 70 of which are in intensive care, according to Metro Health. Thirty-four are utilizing ventilators to help them breath.
The last time hospitalizations were at 215 was on Oct. 30. The current Bexar County hospitalization stress level is at moderate, and Metro Health said 80% of those battling the coronavirus in area hospitals on Tuesday were unvaccinated.
The current COVID-19 positivity rate of 2.0% is still considered low, according to Metro Health.
Omicron, the most recent strain of COVID-19, is considered by the World Health Organization to be a “variant of concern." Metro Health continues to monitor the situation closely, but said that, as of Tuesday, there were no known cases of omicron in Bexar County.
As recently as Nov. 30, local leaders were encouraging residents to continue getting vaccinated as we enter the holiday season.