The number of total confirmed coronavirus cases in Bexar County increased by 52 from the previous day, Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced Saturday evening. The total number of cases – since they started being tallied – stands at 1,887, and no new deaths were reported.

The majority of new cases announced Saturday came from the community and congregate settings with seven new cases from Bexar County Adult Detention Center and five more under investigation. A total of 303 incarcerated people and 55 staff have tested positive for coronavirus as of Saturday night.

The percent of confirmed cases recovered crossed the halfway mark Friday and continued inching forward Saturday with 51 percent of confirmed cases listed as recovered, meaning 852 people are still fighting the virus. Sixty-two patients are hospitalized, 35 patients are in intensive care, and 21 patients are on ventilators.

About 150 people were tested at each pop-up testing site on the West Side on Saturday, Metro Health Assistant Director Jennifer Herriott said. The two pop-up sites are free and are aimed at testing people without a primary caregiver or transportation, she said. The number of tests available prevented the sites from testing more people, Herriott said.

On Monday, Herriott will meet with San Antonio Fire Department partners to develop a schedule for pop-up sites in May and June. The sites may be located in schools, she said, to allow testing to take place indoors, away from the summer heat.

Nirenberg and County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez, who joined the mayor for the televised briefing, spoke in advance of Mother’s Day with cautionary words to residents who might want to celebrate the holiday in person with their mothers.

“For those of you who are eager to visit mom tomorrow, don’t forget we have all done a great job working together to slow the spread of this disease, flatten the curve,” Nirenberg said. “Remind all the members of your family that we have worked to thank mom from afar and this is one of those times that it is important to do so.”

Rodriguez also previewed action on the upcoming July runoff election, saying the County preliminarily allocated $2.5 million for voting sites to make sure they are ready for in-person voters. He also said the County hopes to deploy more mail-in ballots with a decision made in the next week or two in that area.

The county commissioner also made an appeal to the 970 people recovered from coronavirus to donate their plasma. About 3 percent of these individuals have already done so, Rodriguez said.

“We know it is actually very effective in helping folks recover, the plasma injections, due to the antibody buildup,” Rodriguez said.

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Friday was the first day hair, nail, and tanning salons and swimming pools could open at 25 percent capacity, following Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement earlier this week.

Nirenberg recommended reopened businesses use checklists put together by the COVID-19 Economic Transition Team to ensure they are following all best practices to keep customers and employees safe.

If businesses can’t meet some of the guidelines, Nirenberg encouraged businesses to get in touch with the City to find needed resources. The City can also use citations to enforce City and State orders, Nirenberg said.

Emily Donaldson

Emily Donaldson

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.