The coronavirus outbreak in Bexar County has slowed, but the death toll continues to rise.
About 766,000 Texans fall into what’s called the Medicaid coverage gap. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

As the coronavirus outbreak in Bexar County continues to slow, the San Antonio area is approaching a grim milestone.

Nine more Bexar County residents have died from COVID-19 complications, officials reported Thursday. The death toll now stands at 990 and nears 1,000 deaths, though the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is working through a backlog of more than 100 death certificates.

The deaths occurred between Sept. 1 and Wednesday, Sept. 9.

“These nine members of our community were valued neighbors, loved ones, aunts and uncles, mothers, fathers, daughters, sisters, and brothers,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Thursday at a press briefing. “Please keep them in your prayers.”

As Election Day is 54 days away, key dates are coming up. Oct. 5 is the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election, and early voting will run from Oct. 13 to 30.

Bexar County is in the process of finalizing the election polling locations, Commissioner Justin Rodriguez (Pct. 2) said.

“Of course, we’re doing everything we can to make sure that these sites are safe and as accessible and convenient as possible,” Rodriguez said. “We’re going to do more early voting sites, longer hours, and of course larger sites like the AT&T Center.”

A new State-run coronavirus testing site has opened at the Westside Las Palmas Library at 515 Castroville Road, Nirenberg said. Free to anyone needing a test, the site is open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and administers oral fluid mouth swab tests.

San Antonio officials on Thursday reported 69 new coronavirus cases, bringing the overall caseload to 47,956. The average case count over the past seven days is 149.

Area hospitals are treating 284 COVID-19 patients, down from 298 on Wednesday, though 33 patients were admitted to the hospital overnight. Of the 284 patients, 128 are in intensive care and 80 are on ventilators. Hospital bed and ventilator capacities are at 13 percent and 65 percent, respectively.

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez is a columnist at the San Antonio Report. A former reporter and editor at the SA Report, he currently works as a project manager for New York City-based Advance Local.