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COVID Tracker: Cases slightly up while hospitalizations continue to fall in Bexar County

Local coronavirus hospitalizations are down by 50% since Oct. 1.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio's risk for COVID-19 spread remains "low" and "improving" this week, despite a slight uptick in cases as cold weather arrives. 

A total of 1,323 infections have been tallied by Metro Health over the last 10 days, compared to 1,003 for the previous 10-day window. The seven-day case average has risen back up to 145 as a result; it was in double-digits as recently as Nov. 6. 

On Tuesday Metro Health reported 117 new coronavirus cases. 

But the main factor in COVID-19 risk at this stage in the pandemic is the impact on hospital systems, and those numbers continue to trickle down in Bexar County. On Tuesday there were 59 patients receiving treatment at local hospitals for COVID-19 symptoms, down by 21% since Nov. 1 and by 50% since the start of October. 

The dominant COVID strains are also generally less severe. Another virus-related fatality was reported Tuesday for the San Antonio area, marking just the second such death reported this month. In all, at least 5,421 local residents have died from virus complications since the pandemic began. 

Meanwhile, no-cost vaccine clinics continue this week. Residents still needing any of their base coronavirus shots, booster immunizations or even annual flu vaccines can receive them Wednesday and Thursday mornings for free.

More than 652,000 coronavirus infections have been reported in Bexar County, but there are likely thousands of other at-home tests that went unreported to health authorities. 

How Bexar County is trending

Credit: KENS
Credit: KENS

Vaccine progress in Bexar County

The following numbers are provided by San Antonio Metro Health. A full breakdown can be found here.

  • 1,481,332 eligible Bexar County residents are fully vaccinated as of Oct. 10, which is about 74% of the total population over 6 months old. 
  • 591,339 eligible Bexar County residents have received a COVID-19 booster shot as of Oct. 10, which is 40% 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

The total number of coronavirus cases in the state grew by 1,472 on Monday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. That total includes 931 new confirmed cases and 541 new probable cases. More details can be found on this page. Figures for Tuesday have not yet been reported. 

Monday's figures bring the total number of Texans diagnosed with COVID-19 to more than 7.94 million

Meanwhile, there were no newly reported virus-related deaths in Texas, the state reported Monday. The statewide death toll stands at 89,697.

Coronavirus symptoms

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.

A self-screening tool is available to see if you need a test.

Here's a Testing Sites Locator to help you find the testing location closest to you in San Antonio.

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