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Thursday, December 17, 2020

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg warns local hospitals being taxed by COVID-19 case increases

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2020 at 9:37 AM

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.
With COVID-19 cases still rising and available hospital beds dipping below 10%, Mayor Ron Nirenberg warned that San Antonio could be in for a grim winter.

Bexar County reported 1,396 new cases and five new deaths Wednesday. The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in local hospitals also increased by 26, hitting 826, and the availability of staffed beds fell below 9%.

“Clearly, we’re seeing people get sick and people get severely sick because of COVID-19, and it’s impacting our hospitals,” Nirenberg said during Wednesday night's coronavirus briefing. "If that keeps up, it’s going to be a rough couple of months."

The warning follows the release two weeks ago of a White House Coronavirus Task Force report cautioning that Texas is seeing an “unsustainable increase in hospitalizations” and “statewide mitigation must increase.” The report, dated November 22, was posted online by the Center for Public Integrity.

Texas reported 9,528 people hospitalized with COVID-19 Wednesday, along with 252 new fatalities. Intensive care units in some parts of the state are at or near capacity, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

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