Bexar County reported 252 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the total to 42,783. 

The increase follows Gov. Greg Abbott’s extension of the state’s disaster declaration Saturday in response to the continued increase in positives since March 13, when there were less than 50 confirmed cases in the state. 

The emergency declaration allows state and nonprofit organizations throughout Texas to continue providing services to those affected, including testing. 

“Renewing this Disaster Declaration will provide communities with the resources they need to respond to COVID-19,” Abbott said in a statement. “I urge Texans to remain vigilant in our fight against this virus. We will overcome this challenge by working together.”

The City’s COVID-19 website showed a cumulative total of 42,873 coronavirus cases. Efforts to reach an official who might be able to reconcile the discrepancy Sunday night were unsuccessful.

Thirteen new deaths were reported among people ages 40 to 99, according to local data.

The challenges the state faces in its COVID-19 response are not novel, local officials said, what is new is interacting with the data and making sure that numbers are understandable to the local community. 

The state is overrepresenting deaths and underreporting positives, Nirenberg said at a recent news briefing. Bexar County includes antigen test results in its numbers, a practice recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but not by the state. 

A decline in hospitalization rates has been persistent over the last week, with 738 people currently hospitalized for symptoms of COVID-19. Of those, 322 are in intensive care and 220 are on ventilators. 

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“These people are our friends, family, and neighbors,” Nirenberg said. 

The increase in the number of local cases comes as the number of coronavirus positives across the state has school districts trying to determine what will work best when schools reopen. 

“As we learn more information as this virus continues and more science is made available, recommendations may evolve and change,” said Dr. Sandra Guerra, assistant director of Metro Health. “This is something we are committed to building on.”

Roseanna Garza

Roseanna Garza

Roseanna Garza reports on health and bioscience for the San Antonio Report.