SAN ANTONIO — Bexar County on Tuesday recorded 697 new COVID-19 cases, the biggest single-day tally in more than three months and a figure that puts into sharp relief a trend the San Antonio area has been experiencing since about mid-November.
Health authorities reported at least 296 new infections six times since last Tuesday, a span of time that's seen the local seven-day case average jump from 200 to 348.
September 9 had been the last time the community saw at least 697 new cases.
Despite the higher case counts, Metro Health kept the local coronavirus risk level indicator at its lowest threshold Tuesday, citing low hospitalizations and new admissions. The number of local COVID-19 patients has gone up 126% over the last month and stood at 140 Tuesday, but that's low compared to the July surge, when hospitalizations were in quadruple-digits.
Of the 140 patients hospitalized Tuesday, 25 were in intensive care and seven were using ventilators to help them breathe.
The next pop-up vaccine clinics organized by Metro Health are set for Wednesday and Saturday, on the west and northeast sides, respectively.
Nearly 660,000 COVID-19 infections have been reported in Bexar County since the pandemic began, though the number doesn't include at-home tests that went unreported to health officials. At least 5,452 residents have died from virus-related complications, after Metro Health reported 29 backlogged deaths on Monday.
How Bexar County is trending
Vaccine progress in Bexar County
The following numbers are provided by San Antonio Metro Health. A full breakdown can be found here.
- 1,487,487 eligible Bexar County residents are fully vaccinated as of Nov. 30, which is about 74.3% of the total population over 6 months old.
- 132,393 eligible Bexar County residents have received a COVID-19 bivalent booster shot as of Nov. 30, which is 8.9% percent of the population over 4 years old.
The CDC states that "when a high percentage of the community is immune to a disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness)," that community will have reached herd immunity, "making the spread of this disease from person to person unlikely."
The City of San Antonio breaks down the vaccination rates by zip code on Metro Health's Vaccination Statistics page.
Coronavirus in Texas
Starting this month, the Texas Department of State Health Services is transitioning to weekly COVID-19 reports, with new data arriving every Wednesday.
For the week of Nov. 23 to Nov. 30, the state reported 4,676 cases; that total includes 2,764 new confirmed cases and 1,912 new probable cases. More details can be found on this page.
Those figures bring the total number of Texans diagnosed with COVID-19 to more than 7.98 million.
Meanwhile, 18 additional virus-related deaths were reported for that week in Texas. The statewide death toll stands at 89,834.
The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.
But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.
Experts determined there was consistent evidence these conditions increase a person's risk, regardless of age:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Obesity (BMI of 30 or higher)
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.
Human coronaviruses are usually spread...
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Help stop the spread of coronavirus
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Eat and sleep separately from your family members
- Use different utensils and dishes
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
- If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
Find a testing location
City officials recommend getting a COVID-19 test if you experience fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
Here's a Testing Sites Locator to help you find the testing location closest to you in San Antonio.