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'Get vaccinated... This can't be stressed enough' | County and city officials offer guidance on celebrating the holidays

Even if you have been infected with COVID-19, officials still urge everyone to get vaccinated since antibodies from the virus aren't as strong as the vaccine.

SAN ANTONIO — On Tuesday, City of San Antonio and Bexar County health officials offered recommendations on how to safely celebrate the holidays this year.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the positivity rate at this time last year was 9.2% and the hospital system was being overwhelmed. The positivity rate this November is now 4.8% but it is up from 1.8% last week. 

Over 300,000 people in San Antonio have been infected with COVID and 4,950 have died since the start of the pandemic, the mayor said. The number one way to remain healthy during the holidays is to get vaccinated, the mayor added.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff  said even if you have had COVID, you should still get the vaccination because the antibodies that you may acquire from getting the virus still aren't as strong as the vaccination. 

Wolff also encouraged everyone to wear their masks.

In light of the new omicron variant, Metro Health Director Claude Jacob urged those who are older than 18 to get the booster shot. 

Eric Epley, CEO of Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council, said we are in better shape now on hospitalization numbers than we were months ago. 

Here is a breakdown of the numbers:

  • As of Tuesday, there were 184 patients in the hospital with COVID. In August, there were more than 1,400 hospitalized COVID patients. 
  • Right now, 5.2% of patients in the hospital have COVID. 
  • There are 65 COVID patients in the ICU and 29 on ventilators versus in August when there were 412 COVID ICU patients and 279 of them on ventilators. 
  • In August, there were 106 extra staff contract nurses, but by the end of the week, they will all be gone.

If you feel symptoms of COVID-19, you are urged to get tested.

As a reminder, Metro Health is advising everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. To find out more information about vaccinations and locations, click here.

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