Of the 1,022 Bexar County residents who have died from COVID-19 complications, 37 percent had diabetes, a disease that afflicts more than a tenth of the local population.

After diabetes, the most common comorbidities among Bexar County residents who died from the coronavirus are heart disease (20 percent), lung disease (10 percent), obesity (9 percent), and asthma (3.5 percent). The numbers track closely with the percentages of people who were hospitalized. Three percent of the county’s COVID-19 hospital patients were pregnant.

“It’s a reminder that many of these health conditions are common in San Antonio, so you have to wear a mask and keep your physical distance … if you’re interested in helping us keep containment of this virus,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said at a Wednesday briefing.

Anita Kurian, assistant director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, said these chronic conditions weaken the immune system and make those they afflict more susceptible to COVID-19’s worst effects. 

“Somebody who has diabetes may have not just diabetes but other risk factors like heart disease, atherosclerosis, and obesity,” Kurian said. “As the number of these underlying medical conditions go up your risk of getting any infection, not just COVID infections, increases.”

Residents in their 20s continue to account for a plurality of coronavirus infections in Bexar County, representing 21.6 percent of local cases. Residents younger than 18 represent 12 percent of the overall caseload, and 3.7 percent of those cases have resulted in hospitalization.

Three more COVID-19 deaths were reported Wednesday, bringing the toll up from 1,019 on Tuesday. Metro Health is investigating 186 deaths reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services, which is reporting a death toll in Bexar County of 1,228, to confirm Bexar County residency and a positive coronavirus diagnosis.

Local officials on Wednesday reported 153 new coronavirus cases, bringing the overall caseload to 50,284, and the seven-day rolling average of new cases remained at 117.

Area hospitals are treating 210 COVID-19 patients, a decrease of 18 from Tuesday. Intensive care patients account for 100 of those, and 42 patients are on ventilators. Hospital bed and ventilator capacities stand at 13 percent and 68 percent, respectively.

JJ Velasquez was a columnist, former editor and reporter at the San Antonio Report.