University Health System reached a milestone Friday afternoon in its quest to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine in San Antonio. In a back room at Wonderland Mall, pharmacy technician Vernice Ver drew six doses of the vaccine from the system’s 100,000th vial. Photos taken on February 12, 2021.
In a back room at Wonderland Mall, University Health System pharmacy technicians draw doses of the coronavirus vaccine. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

As Texas remains in the thrall of a winter storm and its power-grid-threatening effects, you may have noticed The Curve has been quiet these past few days.

Understandably so, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, Mayor Ron Nirenberg, and County Judge Nelson Wolff have paused nightly COVID-19 briefings amid the ongoing crises, and daily case totals have not been reported since Saturday, when there were 684 new coronavirus cases reported and one new death.

But as temperatures rise and the state’s energy infrastructure hopefully recovers, officials are expected on Friday to resume daily updates on the local coronavirus situation.

In the meantime, the Texas Department of State Health Services is reporting that because of the ongoing power-grid crisis, coronavirus case figures “will be artificially low until reporting [from all jurisdictions] resumes.” On Wednesday, the state reported 2,563 new cases of the coronavirus and 72 new deaths. There have been 2.2 million cases and 40,717 deaths reported statewide since the pandemic began.

Although the weather conditions have halted vaccinations, much of the city’s coronavirus testing sites, and the daily reporting of case data (all until Friday, most likely), they haven’t stopped local health care workers from reporting for duty. Although COVID-19 has been suddenly sidelined in the consciousness of the millions of Texans who have braved the onslaught of frigid weather and failing utility systems, the battle continues at local hospitals still treating hundreds of coronavirus-positive patients.

When pharmacy operations manager Albert Lee saw inches of snow blocking his would-be exit from his garage on Monday morning, he put on layers of clothing over his scrubs and braved a 5-mile walk to his job at North Central Baptist Hospital. ICU nurse Kristen Knott braved icy roads to drive her vehicle to the same hospital. Read more from reporter Lindsey Carnett.

According to the City of San Antonio’s COVID-19 data dashboard, the local risk level is listed as moderate and improving. Check back here on Friday for updates. Shoot us an email if you have coronavirus-related questions.

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez is a columnist at the San Antonio Report. A former reporter and editor at the SA Report, he currently works as a project manager for New York City-based Advance Local.