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Metro Health urges caution, vaccination as COVID-19 surges ahead of New Year's Eve

More than 2,000 cases have been reported in just three days this week, a sharp increase in pre-Christmas figures.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio health officials are sounding the alarm and urging caution for New Year's Eve revelers. 

On Wednesday, Metro Health reported a sharp uptick in COVID-19 cases being confirmed this week, with more than 2,000 new cases being reported since Monday. Health authorities also said omicron is now prevalent in Bexar County, and the new variant is what's driving that spike in cases. 

Also rising is the demand for coronavirus tests. Long lines have been spotted at testing sites around town between holiday weekends. 

Despite the spread, San Antonio's official downtown New Year's Eve party has not been canceled. A city official confirmed to KENS 5 that Friday's outdoor celebration is still a go.

Terry Corless, with Mad Dogs Restaurant Group in San Antonio, just started a new venture. Two weeks ago, he joined efforts with Capitol Medical Service to offer free COVID-19 testing.

"Delta had blown through," he said. "Then, all of a sudden, we were hit with omicron. The restaurants are being pounded both from a management and staffing standpoint, with people getting omicron or being in the company of people with it."

Corless said this week has brought a perfect storm for a potential surge because of nice weather, Wednesday's Valero Alamo Bowl and the holidays.

"Yet here we are struggling to make end's meet with staffing numbers. This week has just been, wow," he said.

The new testing site comes at a pivotal moment of need; Corless said they're trying to keep up with the demand. The site offers free PCR and rapid tests, and an appointment isn't required. It's located at the Goodwill at 12332 I-10 West.

"You don't need anything except a vehicle and a little bit of patience," he said.

Metro Health recommending that residents considering self-testing for COVID-19 before indoor gatherings with people outside of your house. They also remind people to mask up, even if you're vaccinated and boosted. Lastly, if you are armored and do test positive, most people with breakthrough cases have mild or no symptoms.

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