COVID Tracker: Hospitalizations in triple-digits for the first time since mid-October

Numbers are trending in the wrong direction as temperatures continue to fall and families gather for the holidays.

SAN ANTONIO — For the first time since July, Bexar County ended a month with more COVID-19 hospitalizations than it started with—a sign of worsening virus trends as families gather for the holiday season. 

There were 107 patients receiving treatment for coronavirus symptoms at San Antonio-area hospitals on Wednesday, up by 25% over the last week. It’s the first time the community has seen triple-digit hospitalizations since mid-October, though those numbers are far lower than what the county contended with during the last major surge in July. 

Still, authorities with Metro Health say the risk level is “worsening” this week as case counts rise. Another 296 infections were reported Wednesday, bringing the seven-day case average to 218 for the first time since Sept. 29. 

An average of 160 new COVID-19 cases were reported daily in November, up from 121 in October. It marks the first time since July that daily averages didn’t decrease from month to month. 

Bexar County has tallied nearly 656,000 infections since the pandemic began, though the number of at-home tests that went unreported likely numbers in the thousands. More than 5,400 residents have died from virus-related complications. 

How Bexar County is trending

Vaccine progress in Bexar County

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

  • 1,487,487 eligible Bexar County residents are fully vaccinated as of Nov. 30, which is about 74.3% of the total population over 6 months old. 
  • 132,393 eligible Bexar County residents have received a COVID-19 bivalent booster shot as of Nov. 30, which is 8.9% percent of the population over 4 years old. 

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.

Coronavirus in Texas

The total number of coronavirus cases in the state grew by 4,676 on Tuesday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. That total includes 2,764 new confirmed cases and 1,912 new probable cases. More details can be found on this page

Tuesday’s figures bring the total number of Texans diagnosed with COVID-19 to more than 7.98 million

Meanwhile, 18 additional virus-related deaths were reported Tuesday in Texas. The statewide death toll stands at 89,834.

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.

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

  • 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.

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