The number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Bexar County rose to 1,585, with 108 new cases reported Saturday. Forty-three new cases were reported in the general population, said Mayor Ron Nirenberg during a Saturday press briefing.
Of the new confirmed cases, 65 were reported from the Bexar County Adult Detention Center, adding to 91 cases from the jail reported Friday, for a total of 235 cases among inmates and staff.
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said the likely cause of a spike in cases related to the jail was due to the County following similar protocols as jails across the country, which at first tested only inmates and staff showing symptoms. But, Wolff said, “this is a whole new world that’s happening now,” and with wider testing among the jail population, 96 percent of cases prove asymptomatic.
“We can expect to continue to see those rates go up over the next several days,” he said, due to the widespread testing. Wolff said those who test positive are separated from the general population of the jail.
For the third day in a row, no new deaths were reported. Total deaths remain at 48, while 725 patients have recovered, for a total recovery rate of 46 percent. Eight hundred and twelve people continue to fight the virus, with 58 patients hospitalized. Thirty-seven are being treated in intensive care, with 20 patients on ventilators.
Nirenberg included a new set of numbers in the daily announcement. He announced that San Antonio ranked first among major Texas municipalities for responses to the U.S. Census, for a rate of 52.1 percent (the response rate for Bexar County is 53.7 percent), but said the completion rate is slowing.
Nirenberg said responding to the Census was a necessity for all San Antonio and Bexar County residents, “for ensuring that this community has the resources necessary to conduct all of its essential services, and that we receive the allocation of federal resources for our community that we deserve, based on our population. It’s critically important that everyone gets counted.”
As some businesses began to reopen over the weekend, both Wolff and Nirenberg encouraged continued mask-wearing among the public. “We know that the mask will help you stop you from spreading [the virus] as well as protecting other people,” Wolff said.
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“Keep it up,” Nirenberg said. “We don’t want to have to go through this pain twice, so let’s get it right the first time.”
Wolff announced the reopening of all BiblioTech Public Library centers at 9 a.m. Monday, to provide Wi-Fi hotspots, take-home tablets, printing, and other services needed, particularly by students out of school who may not have internet access at home.
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Junda Woo, Metro Health Medical Director, said capacity at the Freeman Coliseum testing site was at 1,600 tests per day, but that only 200-300 tests per day were currently being conducted. However, guidelines remain that only people experiencing symptoms are eligible for tests. Woo encouraged those with symptoms to call 210-233-5970 to get tested.