Metropolitan Health District’s COVID-19 surveillance dashboard has changed as a result of the end of the national public health emergency order, which prompted Mayor Ron Nirenberg to terminate the local emergency declaration last week.
The health department will no longer update the dashboard with community risk levels, vaccination and positivity rates, hospital trends and lab COVID-19 testing data — it will now only report COVID-19 cases and related deaths.
Metro Health said it has updated the online dashboard daily since it launched at the start of the pandemic, then switched to weekly updates in January 2023. The case count and related deaths data will still be reported weekly, and will be updated every Tuesday by 4:30 p.m. Metro Health said in a statement that changes have been implemented, but the website reports some data as of Wednesday.
The health department said in a press release it still recommends the COVID-19 vaccine as the main source of protection against the virus.
Since the public health emergency was issued in 2020, Metro Health administered more than 626,000 COVID-19 tests and operated 30 free testing sites, according to the city’s data.
The department also hosted more than 600 outreach events like pop-up vaccination clinics, vaccinating about 74% of San Antonio and Bexar County’s eligible population in 2022, and administered more than 226,700 COVID-19 vaccines at the Alamodome during the first 15 months of the pandemic.
City Manager Erik Walsh said the Metro Health staff and community public health workers have served the community with resiliency, and the end of the emergency declaration won’t change the city’s focus on community health.
“Public health remains a critical city service,” Walsh said Thursday. “We will continue to create a more inclusive public health approach by investing in programs that prevent diseases and enhance access to health care for all.”
Nirenberg called the end of the emergency declaration a key milestone for the community and public health workers.
“Despite the hardships COVID-19 presented in our daily lives, we continued to thrive by helping our neighbors daily to get through this pandemic together,” he said. “I am proud of the Alamo City’s resilient and compassionate spirit and we will continue to ensure San Antonio is a healthier, stronger, and more equitable community for all.”
The department will still share resources to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 — including where to get vaccines, access treatment and get tested — on its website.