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COVID-19 cases surge in San Antonio the week after Christmas | Track the numbers

KENS 5 is tracking the latest COVID-19 case numbers and vaccination numbers in Bexar County and Texas.

SAN ANTONIO — Need a vaccine appointment? Click here for the latest information on local vaccine distribution with our ongoing Vaccine Tracker.

The omicron variant found its way to Bexar County in December, while daily totals of new COVID-19 diagnoses saw a drastic increase between holiday weekends. More than 334,000 Bexar County residents have been diagnosed with the virus since the pandemic began. 

As New Year's celebrations loom, Metro health officials urged caution once again on Wednesday, saying that omicron has become the dominant COVID-19 strain in Bexar County. On Thursday 352 Bexar County residents were hospitalized with COVID-19, the highest that number has been since mid-October.

Health officials continue to recommend vaccinations, mask-wearing and tests if you are feeling sick. 

Latest Coronavirus Numbers

Here are the latest numbers reported by Bexar County and state officials:

Bexar County (data as of Wednesday, Dec. 29):

  • 424 new cases were reported Wednesday, along with 957 for Monday and 828 for Tuesday. Health authorities said a seven-day moving average would not be reported this week. 
  • The county's death toll stood at 4,975 as of Thursday, Dec. 23. 
  • 325 COVID patients are in the hospital as of Wednesday, a sharp increase from the 200 residents hospitalized with the virus on Dec. 23. Of those 325, 82 are in the ICU, 36 are on ventilators and 77% are unvaccinated. 

Texas (data as of Wednesday, Dec. 29):

  • 14,286 new cases were reported across Texas Wednesday, including 11,928 confirmed and 2,358 probable diagnoses. More than 4.545 million Texans have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
  • 71 additional deaths were reported, raising the statewide death toll from virus complications to 74,401.
  • 4,917 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients were hospitalized across Texas as of Wednesday, the most since Oct. 19. That includes 173 pediatric COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the state. The state has 475 adult ICU beds and 119 pediatric ICU beds available.

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

Credit: KENS

Vaccine Progress in Bexar County

The following numbers are provided by San Antonio Metro Health. A full breakdown can be found here.

  • 1.622 million eligible Bexar County residents have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of Thursday, Dec. 23, representing 85.2% of the county's population eligible (those over the age of 4) to receive a vaccination.
  • 1.342 million eligible Bexar County residents are fully vaccinated as of Thursday, Dec. 23, representing 70.8% of the county's population eligible to receive a vaccination.
Credit: KENS

The CDC states that "when a high percentage of the community is immune to a disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness)," that community will have reached herd immunity, "making the spread of this disease from person to person unlikely."

The City of San Antonio breaks down the vaccination rates by zip code on Metro Health's Vaccination Statistics page.

Across Texas, 16.362 million residents are fully vaccinated, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. In total, the state has administered 38.578 million vaccine doses, as of Thursday, Dec. 23.

Texas is in the middle of the pack among the rest of the states, with between 49 to 65% of its population fully vaccinated, as of Dec. 23.

Credit: TEGNA

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.

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.

Yes, delta variant symptoms are slightly different than original COVID-19 strain symptoms 

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

  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a mask
  • 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.

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