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Downtown COVID-19 memorial taken down as hospitalization numbers drop, San Antonians continue to vaccinate

Doctors say the community shouldn't let its guard down against the coronavirus.

SAN ANTONIO — Deep in our hearts are the many family members and friends who lost their battles to COVID-19 over the last 20 months. It’s why a memorial was installed in downtown San Antonio—to honor those lives and visualize the impact the disease has wrought. 

On Friday the memorial came down to make way for the construction of a new park. It comes as Bexar County makes progress in its pandemic fight and hospitalizations continue to decline.

“We need to keep our foots on the gas in terms of getting more people vaccinated and getting people their boosters as well,” said Dr. Robert Leverence, chief medical officer for UT Health San Antonio. 

With 393 people hospitalized as of Friday afternoon and 75% of Bexar County's vaccine-eligible population fully immunized, Leverence says things are finally looking promising.

“Are we getting to that point? Maybe we are. But we can’t let up, we truly can’t let up, because we’ve seen it slip through our fingers before,” he said, referring to the drastic surge in infections in winter 2020, as well as the effects of the delta variant this summer. 

While San Antonio will continue to mourn the lives it has lost over the last year and a half, health officials are continuing to push for more people geting their vaccine as the community moves forward—especially children. 

“That will be our focus over the next months, is to get that population vaccinated,” Leverence said.