Bexar County saw 405 new positive cases of COVID-19 reported on Friday, bringing the total to 8,857. Thursday saw the largest single-day increase of new cases with 638.
One new death was also reported in the San Antonio area on Friday, bringing the total to 105.
There are 699 patients hospitalized for COVID-19. Of those, 221 are in the intensive care unit and 117 are on ventilators. Friday marks the largest single-day increase of ventilator use in Bexar County with 23 new patients.
About 20% of all hospital admissions in the area are COVID-19 patients according to San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg.
Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Friday requiring Texas bars to close. Tubing companies must also shut down. Starting on Monday, restaurants must only operate at 50% capacity.
In addition to the statewide orders, groups of more than 10 people will not be allowed to gather at San Antonio parks and plazas starting on Saturday. Pools and splashpads will not reopen next Friday as originally planned.
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff thanked the governor for “stepping up and making hard decisions.” He also thanked Texas Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen for condemning people who choose not to wear masks in public.
It was announced Dr. Dawn Emerick has stepped down as director of Metro Health on Friday morning. In her resignation letter, she urged the city to hire a person of color to lead the department.
Mayor Nirenberg said Dr. Colleen Bridger — the former Metro Health director who is now an assistant city manager for San Antonio — will stay to assist the department until a new permanent replacement is found.
“We owe Dawn a great debt of gratitude,” said Nirenberg. “We are not going to miss a beat, but we have to limit the spread as a community.”
Deputy Director of Metro Health, Jennifer Herriott says the city’s testing facilities have the capacity to test 6,000 people a day. Out of every 100 people being tested, 19 are testing positive. People who have been tested and are waiting for results should be quarantining, she said.
“More people are positive which means it’s that much easier to transmit (COVID-19) without knowing it,” said Herriott.
Nirenberg said Gov. Abbott will closely monitor data coming from San Antonio.
“It’s June and we’re in the highest peak,” the mayor said. “I shudder to think where we’ll be in the fall.”
Data also shows shifting demographics of COVID-19 patients. Around mid-April, the racial makeup of patients almost mirrored the makeup of San Antonio’s population.
Now, about 16% of all COVID-19 patients who have died are Black — even though they only make up 7% of all cases and 8.5% of the city’s population.
As of Thursday, there have been 131,917 total confirmed cases across Texas — with Harris, Dallas and Tarrant counties reporting the highest numbers of cases. Bexar came in fourth place.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there are currently more than 4,700 patients with COVID-19 in Texas hospitals.
Texas began allowing its first businesses to reopen May 1.
National and International
Find the latest national and international updates on COVID-19 from NPR’s live blog.
Zoom in and scroll to find data on areas across the globe. Find more information at Johns Hopkins coronavirus resource center.