While there are some indications that the delta-driven COVID-19 surge is beginning to subside in Bexar County, officials added 55 people to the virus’s local death toll on Tuesday.

Fifty-three of those deaths occurred over the last 14 days, and two have died since Monday, bringing the total to 3,895.

The positivity rate and seven-day average of reported coronavirus cases, however, have declined. On Tuesday, the positivity rate was down 3 percentage points from last week to 10.6% — roughly half the rate of two weeks ago. The seven-day average is down by 55 to 1,131.

“We’re beginning to see a little bit of daylight,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg, but he asked residents to continue wearing a mask around others, and get vaccinated if they haven’t yet. “As soon as we take our eyes off the ball, this thing comes roaring back.”

The stress on area hospitals continues to be severe.

There are 1,313 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 — up from 1,298 on Monday; 27 of those are pediatric cases. Of the total, 86% are unvaccinated. Hospitalizations hit a high of 1,466 on Aug. 23 and had been trending slightly downward, but began ticking back up on Aug. 29. According to the city’s COVID dashboard, just under 10% of staffed hospital beds are available.

Six vaccinated people have died after contracting the virus compared to more than 2,000 who were unvaccinated, said Claude Jacob, director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

“One thing we know about this virus is that it keeps us on our toes,” Jacob said. “We’re not out the woods [and] we remain vigilant.”

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Iris Dimmick

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and workforce development. Contact her at iris@sareport.org