Amid the daily numbers of new coronavirus tests, COVID-19 cases, and hospitalizations, the City made a solemn announcement on Saturday.

Two City employees died of complications from COVID-19, one a San Antonio Fire Department mechanic with 29 years of service, the other an Alamodome seasonal security guard since 2006.

“This pandemic has tested our City’s resolve over the last few months but today, it hit especially close to home,” City Manager Erik Walsh said in a statement.

The names of the employees were not released.

The two were among a total of 11 deaths reported Saturday, mirroring the previous day’s number, for a total of 251.

A total of 1,108 new cases were reported Saturday, raising the total number of cases in Bexar County since March 13 to 28,633.

Stress on the local hospital system continues, though COVID-19 hospitalizations were down slightly, at 1,144, down 22 from July 17. The number of ICU patients was also down, at 426, with five fewer patients on ventilators, for a total of 293. The Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC), a consortium of area medical organizations, indicated that the Bexar County health system remains under severe stress.

The City reported 31 calls for emergency enforcement of the statewide mandate for face coverings in public, with three citations issued to area businesses: two Brake Check locations were cited for employees not wearing masks, and the Las Palapas restaurant at Interstate 10 near Dominion was cited for lack of face coverings. Whether employees or customers lacked masks was not specified.

The citations imply that the businesses have already received a warning, as Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders denote that a fine of up to $250 may be imposed after a first-incident warning is issued.

Nicholas Frank

Nicholas Frank moved from Milwaukee to San Antonio following a 2017 Artpace residency. Prior to that he taught college fine arts, curated a university contemporary art program, toured with an indie rock...