Seven more people died from the novel coronavirus, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reported Sunday, bringing the total number of deaths in Bexar County so far to 598.

Six men ages 50 to 79 admitted at various hospitals died, the health authority said Sunday. Four of them had underlying medical conditions, while two had unknown medical histories.

One woman in her 80s, a resident at Sonterra Health Center nursing home with underlying medical conditions, also died.

Ages and ethnicities of deceased

• 5 men of unknown ethnicity between age 50 and 79
• 1 Hispanic man between age 50 and 59
• 1 white woman between age 80 and 89

Dr. Sandra Guerra, assistant medical director for Metro Health, said Friday that Metro Health continues to work with nursing facilities on preventing the novel coronavirus from spreading in congregate settings.

“We have seen some improvement in several of the nursing homes that have previously had outbreaks that have learned how to manage and to control that in a better way. … So a great applause and improvement to them,” she said. “That being said, they are still living in an environment where we do have a high rate of COVID in the community. So, therefore, there [are] still mechanisms for that to spread in these congregate settings. We work with them on a daily basis, trying to make sure that they have everything that they need.”

Bexar County reported 59 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 44,052 cases. 

Hospitalization numbers increased slightly Sunday with 35 new admissions. Bexar County hospitals reported a total of 612 patients hospitalized for the novel coronavirus Sunday, 279 of which are in intensive care and 192 on ventilators. Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Friday that the hospital system has been showing signs of improvement, though it remains under high stress.

“We’ve seen how quickly COVID-19 can spread, so we must remain vigilant to accelerate the downward trend in cases and hospitalizations,” Nirenberg said in a statement Sunday. “Don’t let your guard down in the face of smaller daily case numbers. This is not the time to let up. We all have to do our part.”

Jackie Wang covered local government for the San Antonio Report.