Bexar County has 25 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to local surveillance data,

All of the local cases can be traced back to travel-related contraction, city health officials said. The increase came as local labs including Quest and Pro Lab reported positive test results to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health Department.

Of the 25 positive cases, eight were travel-related, diagnosed in people who traveled outside of San Antonio, and four were people who were in close contact with someone who was already infected. Thirteen cases are currently under investigation.

Metro Health reported testing 135 people for coronavirus in the City-run lab. Of those, 111 were negative, and 24 positive. The health department will update its testing numbers by 6:30 p.m. daily, officials said.

The increase in positive coronavirus cases locally comes as San Antonio opened a new coronavirus testing site at Freeman Coliseum on Wednesday that has the capacity to administer up to 16 tests per hour.

In addition to expanding testing availability to the San Antonio community, Anita Kurian, assistant director of Metro Health’s communicable disease division, said changes have been made to the referral system aimed at decreasing the confusion over who can be tested and how to get a test.

At the new site, patients are seen by appointment, and their doctor will need to have contacted Metro Health in advance to refer them for a new coronavirus test, Kurian said.

“Previously testing was restricted to a small group, so [drive-thru] testing worked, but the new site will make testing more easily accessible to everybody in our community,” and make the referral process less confusing.

For testing, City officials are prioritizing health care workers, first responders, and seniors over age 60 who have a temperature of 99.6 degrees or higher. The drive-thru site also will perform testing on VIA Metropolitan Transit drivers and anyone pre-approved by a physician.

COVID-19 testing task force, which includes representatives from the South Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC) under the Department of State Health Services, will look into local and nationwide trends to expand who receives priority testing. 

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Roseanna Garza reports on health and bioscience for the San Antonio Report.