Three more people in Bexar County have died from the coronavirus, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Saturday.

Two were residents of Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where a localized outbreak of the virus has claimed 14 residents there.

The third death was an African American woman in her 70s, who died at St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital, bringing the total deaths in Bexar County as a result of COVID-19 to 27.

There are now 723 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 and of those, 119 people have recovered while 84 remain hospitalized, with 52 in intensive care, and 46 on ventilators.

“We know these numbers can be discouraging, but I do want you to picture an alternate universe for a second,” Nirenberg said during his nightly live update with Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. “One where we don’t have a stay home, work safe order.”

If schools were open, venues filled with music and sports fans, and the San Antonio River Walk humming with crowded restaurants, he said, “How much worse would our numbers be at that point?”

“We’re doing the right thing and we’re doing it together, so don’t let up now, don’t gather all the extended friends and family together tomorrow for Easter as much as we want to,” Nirenberg said. “Don’t give up on staying home and staying safe.”

Easter weekend usually fills public parks in San Antonio with camping and revelry, but all County and City parks have closed for the weekend. The City’s greenway trails, however, remain open to offer residents recreational options.

“Park Police and SAPD will increase patrol [around parks] to ensure everyone is complying with the Mayor’s Order,” Sgt. Michelle Ramos, SAPD spokeswoman, said in an email Friday. “Officers will use their discretion when handling these calls. As always, we encourage people to practice social distancing and any other precautionary measures to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.”

Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and other partners are working on a predictive model that uses localized data to determine when the region will experience its peak of positive coronavirus cases. The model was supposed to be released today, Nirenberg said, but it has not yet been completed.

So far, the Metropolitan Health District has administered nearly 7,000 tests since it began testing last month, according to its most recently released report, and that doesn’t include the tests that private labs have carried out. Now that people don’t need a doctor’s note to get a test, they are testing roughly 400 tests per day, Nirenberg said.

Metro Health and many clinics, however, do not test people who are not showing symptoms and an appointment is required to get a test at the drive-up testing location at Freeman Coliseum.

People with underlying health conditions such as diabetes or asthma are more at risk for serious symptoms and death from COVID-19, Nirenberg said. “We do know San Antonio [and] Bexar County will probably be on the higher end of the morbidity rate from this virus because we do have a higher proportion of our population that has underlying health conditions.”

The virus is shining a light on several underlying issues that the region faces, he said, including food insecurity and poverty. For his birthday, April 11, Nirenberg is asking for $45,000 in donations for the San Antonio Food Bank.

Vehicular lines to the food bank can take hours as the nonprofits has seen the number of families its serves double from roughly 60,000 per week to 120,000.

“The pandemic, as it’s been seen all around the country and around the world, has revealed some of the fractures in the community that have to be addressed even [after] the pandemic,” Nirenberg said.

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and mental health. Contact her at