As COVID-19 infections rise, Bexar County officials warn that risk level has shifted to 'moderate'

click to enlarge Cars pull up to the city's mobile coronavirus testing site at Freeman Coliseum. - Courtesy Photo / City of San Antonio
Courtesy Photo / City of San Antonio
Cars pull up to the city's mobile coronavirus testing site at Freeman Coliseum.
COVID-19 infection metrics are rising in Bexar County, prompting local health officials to raise the risk level for the general population and for schools from "low" to "moderate."

The change comes as Texas and other states grapple with a surge in new infections and hospitalizations. Both cases and hospitalizations in the Lone Star State have reached levels not recorded since August.

While Bexar reported no new deaths Monday, the county did record an increase of 151 new cases. After several days last week of more than 200 reported cases, the seven-day moving average of cases jumped to 192.

"Please do everything you can to make sure you follow the health guidance," Mayor Ron Nirenberg said during Monday evening's press briefing. "Wear your mask, practice physical distancing, all the things the public health officials have been telling us. It's crucial to put those in place right now."

Of special concern, the county's COVID-19 positivity rate increased to 6.9%, up from 5.8% a week prior, Nirenberg said. The goal is to have a positivity rate below 5%.

On Monday, at least 5,278 people were hospitalized in Texas with COVID-19 infections, a rise of 959 compared with a week ago, according to a Texas Tribune analysis. The state also tallied 4,418 new cases, an increase of 864 compared with the seven-day average a week ago.

A steep rise in COVID-19 infections in El Paso may signal a coming deluge of cases, UT Health's chief medical officer warned staff in an email obtained by San Antonio TV station KSAT.

“We believe this is the beginning of our next surge,” Dr. Bob Leverence said in an email informing personnel that San Antonio is receiving patients transferred from El Paso.

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