As the U.S., individual states, and other municipalities continue to reach new highs in coronavirus cases, Bexar County almost doubled its previous day’s total with a record high 2,202 new positive cases. That number represents 868 more than the previous high – not counting July 16, when the clearing of a State backlog skewed the county’s numbers – of 1,334 cases set July 3.

Sunday’s number, which raises the county’s total to 30,835, arrives two weeks after the July Fourth holiday weekend, a period during which City and Bexar County officials watched nervously in anticipation of new cases from large gatherings, people lacking face coverings out in public, and people failing to observe proper social distancing.

By comparison, South Carolina also reported a record high for coronavirus cases on Sunday, with 2,335 new positives. The state population is 5.2 million, with a relatively high density, while Bexar County has an estimated population of 2 million.

Despite the high number of cases, the total number of COVID patients in area hospitals has been going down in recent days, according to Mayor Ron Nirenberg. As of Sunday, 1,199 patients were being treated in hospitals, up 55 from Saturday. Those being treated in ICUs, numbered 431, with 299 on ventilators.

Hospital capacity remains at 10 percent, in part due to “great work” from the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC) in relocating patients who no longer need hospitalization, Nirenberg said. That capacity rate means the local health system remains under severe stress according to STRAC’s ratings, however.

Six new deaths were reported by Bexar County officials, including one Hispanic male between in his 40s with an unknown medical history, and one Hispanic male in his 20s with underlying medical conditions. The other deaths were patients 60 and older.

On Twitter, Nirenberg advised the San Antonio community to “stay home to the greatest extent possible. If you’re an employer that can afford a work from home policy, try it out. If you absolutely have to leave home, wear a mask. Protect yourselves, your loved ones, and your neighbors. We’re all in this together, San Antonio.”

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...