A hallway outside of the COVID-19 unit at Baptist Medical Center. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reported 170 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the total to 43,993.

The 13 new deaths recorded occurred from July 3 to Aug. 12 and bring the total to 591. Seven deaths came after the city reviewed prior death certificates and determined the cause of death to be coronavirus.

Ages and ethnicities of deceased

  • 1 Black woman in her 60s
  • 4 Hispanic men between age 60 and 79
  • 1 Hispanic woman in her 70s
  • 2 white men between age 80 and 99
  • 2 white women between age 50 and 99
  • 3 women of unknown ethnicity in their 70s

Hospitalization numbers continue to improve with 598 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Of these patients, 194 are on ventilators and 285 in intensive care units. That represents a decrease of one person on a ventilator and 21 in the ICU from Friday evening.

Local leaders pointed out on Friday night that these numbers show a promising trend in San Antonio’s ability to contain the spread of coronavirus. They emphasized that this trend must continue for school systems to safely open campuses following Labor Day.

“A lot of good work in the last 30 days,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said Friday. “We now have to continue that work because we know that we are shooting for schools to open on Sept. 8 and we want to have our community in a very safe condition before we do that.”

Several school districts including Alamo Heights, East Central, Edgewood, Ft. Sam Houston, Lackland, North East, San Antonio, and Southside ISDs plan to resume class on Monday with all their students learning from home through distance learning programs.

Many of these school districts already announced they will open campuses for in-person instruction following Labor Day if health conditions allow. Metro Heath leaders pointed to several public health metrics districts should pay attention to before making the decision to restart face-to-face instruction.

Metro Health still believes the risk to be high for in-person class, although the city-wide risk level is listed as steady online.

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.