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Coronavirus tracker: Spike in reported cases, positivity rate propels school risk level into 'Red Zone'

Facts, not fear: KENS 5 is tracking the latest numbers from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in San Antonio and across Texas.

SAN ANTONIO — We're tracking the latest numbers from the coronavirus pandemic in San Antonio and across Texas. Here are the latest numbers reported by Bexar and surrounding counties: 

  • Bexar County: 1,294 new cases were reported on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 89,490. Nine new deaths were also reported, raising the death toll to 1,406.
  • Hays County: Officials in Hays County on Tuesday reported 43 new cases in the county and no additional COVID-related fatalities. As of Tuesday, there are a total of 7,855 lab-confirmed local cases (843 of which are active), while the death toll remained at 106. 6,906 residents have recovered from the virus.
  • Comal County: Comal County reported an additional 76 coronavirus cases  – 48 are confirmed, and 28 are probable – on Tuesday, bringing its total to 5,060. One new death from COVID-19 complications was reported by local officials; the local death toll rose to 133. The county estimates 612 active cases on Tuesday, while 4,316 residents have recovered. 

More county case information is available through the Texas Department of Health Services COVID-19 dashboard.

How Bexar County is trending

We've tracked how many coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Bexar County from the time officials began reporting cases in March 2020. The graphic below shows the number of cases since June and charts those daily case numbers along a 7-day moving average to provide a more accurate picture of the overall coronavirus case curve in our area and the direction we're trending amid the pandemic.

On Tuesday evening, Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported an additional 1,294 cases in Bexar County, As of Tuesday, 89,490 county residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The 7-day rolling average of cases is now 1,113.

Credit: KENS

Meanwhile, nine new virus-related deaths were reported; the death toll rose to 1,406.

As of Tuesday, 646 patients are currently hospitalized in Bexar County for treatment related to COVID-19; that's up over 32 in the last 24 hours. 96 patients were admitted to the hospital with coronavirus in the last day, which Mayor Nirenberg noted was a high mark since officials began tracking coronavirus hospitalizations.

220 patients are currently in intensive care units, while 114 patients are on ventilators.

Credit: KENS

The positivity rate in Bexar County spiked to 15.7%, up over 70% in the last week. The jump, along with other indicators, propelled the school risk level to "high," meaning that in-person education is not recommended by local health officials. 

As such, Metro Health issued a new directive advising against in-person education.

Coronavirus in Texas

The total number of novel coronavirus cases in the state since the pandemic began grew by 15,103 on Tuesday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

That total includes 14,290  new confirmed cases and 813 cases attributed to backlogs not previously reported in the state's total (more details can be found at the top of this page). 

As of Tuesday, more than 1.403 million Texans have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Of those, 1.272 million diagnoses are confirmed via molecular testing, while another 64,963 are positive antigen tests.

Credit: KENS

State health authorities also reported 181 additional virus-related deaths on Tuesday. At least 22,808 Texans have died from COVID-19 complications.

The number of COVID-19-related hospital patients rose by 238 overall patients to 9,028 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the state estimates that 1.050 million Texans have recovered, while 203,203 Texans remain ill with COVID-19.

The latest update from the Texas Education Agency showed that there have been 65,552 cumulative cases among staff and students across the state through Nov. 29. That number comprises 40,985 positive student cases and 24,567 staff cases. More information can be found here

The TEA releases new data on school cases every Thursday.

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Latest Coronavirus Headlines

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.

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.

San Antonio operates several no-cost testing locations, including two walk-up locations open Monday-Sunday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.:

Cuellar Community Center
5626 San Fernando St.
San Antonio, TX 78237

Ramirez Community Center
1011 Gillette Blvd.
San Antonio, TX 78224

Additionally, Freeman Coliseum offers drive-through no-cost testing from Monday through Sunday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. An appointment is required and can be made either online or by calling (833) 213-0643.

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