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COVID Tracker: Bexar County transitions to weekly reporting for 2023

Nearly 2,500 new cases have been recorded over the past seven days in the San Antonio area.

SAN ANTONIO — As Texas doctors warn of a rapidly spreading new COVID variant that could make its way to the Lone Star State, Bexar County health authorities are transitioning to weekly reports about case totals and virus-related fatalities. 

Officials reported 2,497 new cases since last Wednesday, bringing the seven-day average for Bexar County to 357 (a steep drop from where it was the previous week). 

Metro Health had been providing daily data consistently since the pandemic began. The county risk level remains at "medium" and "worsening" this week, meaning the public is encouraged to take precautions as coronavirus hospitalizations inch up at the start of the new year. New admissions are at moderate levels, according to Metro Health, and 2023 began with more than 200 COVID patients in local hospitals for the first time since mid-August. 

This week the number of patients is at 273; of those, 55 are in intensive care. 

The next pop-up, no-cost vaccine clinic for anyone still needing COVID or flu immunizations is set for Wednesday morning, on the west side. 

More than 674,000 coronavirus diagnoses have been reported in the San Antonio area since the pandemic began, though that number likely doesn't account for thousands of at-home tests that went unreported. At least 5,597 Bexar County residents have died from virus complications. 

How Bexar County is trending

Credit: KENS

Vaccine progress in Bexar County

The following numbers are provided by San Antonio Metro Health via this page. 

  • 74.6% of eligible Bexar County residents (those over 6 months of age) are fully vaccinated as of Jan. 3.
  • 11.3% of eligible Bexar County residents (those over 5 years of age) have received a bivalent booster as of Jan. 3

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 Texas Department of State Health Services has transitioned to weekly COVID-19 reports, with new data arriving every Wednesday. 

For the week of Dec. 30 to Jan. 4, the state reported 40,198 cases; that total includes 22,411 new confirmed cases and 17,787 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 8.15 million

Meanwhile, 131 additional virus-related deaths were reported for that week in Texas. The statewide death toll stands at 90,366.

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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