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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

While San Antonio's COVID-19 hospitalizations plateau, Texas' numbers are rising once again

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2020 at 12:56 PM

click to enlarge Workers at the Freeman Coliseum coronavirus testing site wave motorists through. - COURTESY PHOTO / SAN ANTONIO FIRE DEPARTMENT
  • Courtesy Photo / San Antonio Fire Department
  • Workers at the Freeman Coliseum coronavirus testing site wave motorists through.
Local officials said Monday that Bexar County's COVID-19 hospitalization rate has reached a plateau, running counter to an alarming upward trend state- and nationwide.

During a Monday briefing, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg reported an increase of 98 new cases and two new deaths, bringing the seven-day moving average of cases to 159. A total of 193 people were hospitalized locally to treat COVID-19, including 84 in intensive care, and 36 are on ventilators.

Bexar County's testing positivity rate remains unchanged from last week at 5.8%, falling short of Metro Health's goal of 5% or lower.

"It's still active in the hospitals, although we are continuing to see a plateau develop there," Nirenberg said.

Texas reported 2,273 new cases Monday with its seven-day average increasing by 862 from the prior week. The same day, 4,319 patients were in hospitals across the state to treat COVID-19, a 12% increase from a week prior.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have swept upward in El Paso, West Texas, the Panhandle and the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to state data. The trend appears to be following epidemiologists' predictions of a fall second wave.

"I’m no longer pondering if we’re going to see a surge," Dr. James McDeavitt, dean of clinical affairs at the Baylor College of Medicine, told the Texas Tribune. "We’re already seeing it."

COVID-19 hospitalizations are up by at least 5% in 37 states as of Sunday, according to a new CNBC analysis. In contrast, they're only declining in the District of Columbia and Hawaii.

"We are clearly in the second wave in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere and we really need to have more control of this infection at the community level," University to Toronto infectious disease expert Dr. Isaac Bogoch told the network.

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