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San Antonio area hospitals continue care for hundreds of COVID patients as new cases are declining

The signs of relief are apparent with the downward trend of coronavirus cases. But, masking up and getting vaccinated are still being urged by health experts.

SAN ANTONIO — Hundreds of coronavirus patients continue to fill San Antonio hospitals as new COVID-19 cases are on the decline. Meanwhile, the lead infection control director at Baptist Health urges the unvaccinated to get vaccinated.

Metro Health reported 868 coronavirus patients in Bexar County hospitals on Tuesday.

One month ago, there were more than 1,400 people in area hospitals who tested positive for the virus.

“Certainly, that’s encouraging locally for our population that we’re having less admissions and less hospitalized patients, but certainly reveals that we have an ongoing pandemic,” said Dr. Duane Hospenthal, lead infection control director at Baptist Health.

Even with the current downward trend in new infections, Hospenthal said the pandemic is still taxing hospitals and frontline workers.

“The whole system’s quite full. As with everything else, we adapt. We have specific therapies that we employ that appear to be helpful,” Hospenthal said.

Metro Health data indicates 300 patients are in the ICU and 187 remain on ventilators.

The coronavirus has led to the deaths of 4,292 in Bexar County.

Credit: KENS

Hospenthal has noticed the decline in new cases translating to Baptist Health.

“When I have less new patients to see every day, it certainly impacts my day. We are seeing less and less admissions. We have some pretty sick people in the ICU,” Hospenthal said.

To avoid a fourth surge, Hospenthal encourages everyone to get vaccinated and maintain proper safety measures, which includes masking up. 

He believes it’s crucial for Bexar County’s vaccination rate to drastically surpass 71% by the end of the year.

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