University Hospital at the Medical Center.
A woman in her 40s who had been receiving treatment at University Hospital accounted for the second local death related to coronavirus on Tuesday. Credit: Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Local officials confirmed Tuesday the second Bexar County death in connection with coronavirus.

The woman in her 40s worked at St. Luke’s Catholic Church and did not have contact with parents or students of the church’s school, according to the church. She had been receiving treatment at University Hospital when she was pronounced dead Tuesday, according to a City of San Antonio spokeswoman.

In addition to the death, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reported 12 more positive coronavirus test results on Tuesday, bringing the total to 69.

The increase comes following a mandatory “Stay Home, Work Safe” order Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg issued Monday in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The best way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus is through strict social distancing,” Nirenberg said during the press briefing. “Staying at home and social distancing will save lives and will enable San Antonio to get through this health emergency as quickly as possible. This is not a time for panic. It is a time for focus and commitment to protect the wellbeing of our neighbors.”

Metro Health reported 32 of the 69 cases are related to travel outside of San Antonio, with another 10 tied to close contact with someone who traveled, and 18 cases of community spread, meaning transmission could not be traced to a known exposure to the virus.  

Nine cases remain under investigation.

On Sunday, the area recorded its first death caused by the virus: a woman in her 80s with pre-existing conditions.

Joint Base San Antonio had 20 positive cases of COVID-19 among its community as of Tuesday, as it activated Health Protection Condition C, the base’s second-most-severe protection measures. Those include social distancing, sheltering in place, and, if applicable, medical countermeasures such as wearing masks or respirators.

Among the more than 13,000 Texans that have been tested for coronavirus, 715 residents tested positive, and 11 people died from coronavirus-related illness, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

John Hellerstedt, who heads the state agency, on Sunday urged Texans to continue following social distancing rules to slow the spread of the virus and avoid overwhelming the health care system: Stay home and avoid nonessential trips, wash hands and sterilize surfaces frequently, and stay at least 6 feet away from other people.

“The peak depends completely on the ability to affect the spread” of the virus, Hellerstedt said at a televised press briefing Sunday. “It is a very fast, very steep rise, and that is the thing we want to prevent. We want to slow it down so the peak comes later and lower.”

Current reporting measures in Bexar County do not include negative test results from private labs, which makes the total number of cases reported difficult to decipher.

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Metro Health, which runs diagnostic tests for coronavirus for all public health departments in Region 8, which includes 28 counties throughout South Texas, reports both positive and negative test results.

Of the 467 people tested by Metro Health as of Tuesday, 48 tested positive, and 418 tested negative.


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Roseanna Garza

Roseanna Garza

Roseanna Garza reports on health and bioscience for the Rivard Report.