Bexar County recorded eight new deaths related to coronavirus on Sunday night, setting a record for the number of deaths in one day. The death toll rose to 130.

There were 198 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 14,751 since health authorities started tracking cases.

“When we report these facts for our community they aren’t numbers,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a recorded social media message. “They are people, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles, best friends and co-workers, loved ones, and neighbors. San Antonians, young and old. Gone.

“With our hospitals approaching capacity it is difficult to imagine that tonight will be the last time we report another life lost to COVID-19 in San Antonio. And that reality is beyond harrowing. It is gut-wrenching, it is morbid, it is cruel.”

Hospital bed capacity continues to diminish. As of Sunday night, 10 percent of hospital beds and 57 percent of ventilators were available. A total of 1,142 COVID-19 patients were in the hospital.

Starting Monday, City-run coronavirus test sites will administer tests only to those experiencing symptoms related to the virus – in line with recent advice from Assistant City Manager Colleen Bridger, interim director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

The move is aimed at making sure symptomatic residents are tested as soon as possible so they can then isolate or connect with a health provider, a City news release said. Free tests have been in high demand, and at times people with symptoms have not been able to be tested expeditiously, the release said.

This is a return to a practice the City adopted at the beginning of the spread of coronavirus when testing was limited. Since mid-May, the City has allowed anyone not experiencing symptoms to take tests at its sites.

The City operates free testing sites at Freeman Coliseum, Kazen Middle School, and Cuellar Community Center. Testing is available at each site every day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each location does not require an appointment and can test up to 300 people per day.

The City also runs walk-up and drive-thru testing sites listed here.

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Most insurance plans will cover the cost of testing, but the City encourages private pay patients to contact their health care providers for the cost of a test. Those without insurance can receive a free test at Freeman Coliseum or at a walk-up testing site.

The City encourages anyone awaiting their test results to avoid public transit. A person experiencing symptoms should wait to return to work for 10 days after the onset of symptoms or 10 days after symptoms abate. People tested because of exposure to someone who has tested positive should not return to work until 14 days after exposure.

More information about testing locations throughout San Antonio and Bexar County can be found here.

Emily Donaldson

Emily Donaldson

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.