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San Antonio COVID-19 hospitalizations on steady decline

Despite consistent improvement, city leaders say it’s not yet prudent to think coronavirus numbers have peaked.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio hospitals have reported drops in their COVID-19 hospitalizations eight consecutive days.

About 400 fewer people are hospitalized with the disease than the third coronavirus wave’s worst day in mid-August.

“It looks like everything is going the right way, but it’s a slow way down,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said at the city’s televised coronavirus briefing Tuesday.

Statewide, hospitalizations have fallen consistently in the last month. Some health leaders in Houston and Dallas say they’re cautiously optimistic the pandemic’s impacts are plateauing in Texas.

Metro Health Director Claude Jacob says that while there are encouraging signs, it’s not yet prudent to deem the third wave’s worst behind us.

“It would be wise for us to at least wait to see a complete picture through next week,” he said. “We’ve seen a steady decline over two consecutive weeks, but just know those two weeks don’t make for a trend.”

Though “cautiously optimistic” himself, Jacob says Metro Health won’t know how fast COVID-19 spread during Labor Day festivities until next week.

“The trend lines are moving in the right direction,” Jacob said.

Still, more than a quarter of all patients in San Antonio area hospitals are COVID positive. Metro Health considers the area’s risk “moderate,” though improving.

Perhaps chief among city leaders’ concerns, twenty children are hospitalized with the virus.

“We’re still at a level of activity where it would be a big mistake to let up with our mitigation efforts,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.

The number of patients in local ICUs has remained fairly constant.