The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reported another drop in the number of new coronavirus cases on Saturday with 137 cases and a seven-day average of the same number, 137.

Other benchmark numbers also decreased. There are currently 482 people hospitalized with the virus, among them 47 new COVID-19 admissions, 213 in the intensive care unit, and 144 on ventilators.

But because Metro Health also released an update to Bexar County’s case counts based on information provided by the Department of State Health Services, the total case count increased to 45,156. DSHS confirmed it has been working to address multiple coding errors that have led to backlogs of testing data being reported by Walgreens Pharmacy.

Of the state’s 59,000 test results, 205 positive cases have been confirmed by Metro Health as belonging to Bexar County residents, with 32 in June, 163 in July, and 10 in August.

Metro Health also reported 14 deaths that occurred between July 3 and Aug. 20, bringing the total deaths to 712. Nine of the 14 were added to the local death tally following a post-mortem review.

Ages and ethnicities of deceased

6 Hispanic men between ages 40 and 79

3 Hispanic women between ages 50 and 69

1 white man in his 80s

2 men of unknown ethnicity in their 50s

2 women of unknown ethnicity between ages 50 and 79

At Friday’s nightly coronavirus update briefing, officials warned against looking at a decline in case numbers as a reason to relax social distancing rules.

“We’re going to see another spike – it’s going to set us back – so we cannot take our foot off the gas pedal,” said Jennifer Herriott, deputy director of Metro Health. “Anytime our numbers start to go down I think people start to feel a little bit more comfortable and we just can’t do that. We’ve got to have people continuing to stay home.”

Herriott added that she was “amazed” to see universities around the country welcome students back to campus only to close again due to virus outbreaks, and local bars being fined for exceeding capacity limits.

Those are clear signs that residents must pay attention to the rules and wear face masks, she said. “It’s really important.”

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Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.