A male in his late teens died from coronavirus-related causes, local officials reported. 

He’s the second teenager to die from complications of COVID-19 in Bexar County after a 17-year-old boy died earlier this month.

The total number of local deaths now stands at 166, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. Nirenberg confirmed the teen who died Friday had an underlying health condition. 

“Yes, but I don’t know the specificity of it,” Nirenberg said. “I’m hesitant to say underlying health conditions because of the prevalence of underlying health conditions; you can have high blood pressure and be considered as having an underlying health condition, so the fact of the matter is everybody’s at risk here.”

Young adults between the ages of 20 and 29 are still the largest age group affected, making up more than 25 percent of active cases, he said. 

With 923 new cases of the coronavirus reported Friday, the countywide caseload stands at 18,602. As the total number of local cases continues to rise, City and Fiesta officials announced the cancellation of Fiesta Friday afternoon. 

On Friday, 1,240 patients were receiving treatment in local hospitals with 10 percent of hospital beds available. More than 400 patients were in intensive care units, and 248 were on ventilators.

Nirenberg used Friday night’s briefing to issue a plea for more blood donations from anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 and who may be carrying antibodies. 

At the start of June, hospitals were ordering five units of plasma per day, and are now up to 100, he said.

“Our goal as a community is to get as many people as possible screened to be a potential donor,” Nirenberg said. “We’re planning a major screening event with more details in the upcoming days.”

With the weekend approaching, Pct. 2 Commissioner Justin Rodrigez encouraged San Antonians to stay inside and avoid large crowds. Anyone going out should wear a face mask and wash his or her hands often, he said.

As statewide numbers continue to surge, a federal team of nurses has been sent to different rural areas that are part of the San Antonio region so that rural patients don’t need to be sent into the city, Nirenberg said. 

Collaborations between the City and the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC) are allowing City, state and federal teams to collaborate on resources and space available to treat patients, said Dr. Lynette Watkins, chief medical officer of the Baptist Health System.

“We do have Freeman Coliseum, the expo hall there with 80 beds ready to go,” Rodriguez said. “If we dip significantly below that 10 percent [capacity] … then we would likely have to activate those 80 beds with the potential of adding more.”

The City received an urban area medical Task Force team last week to aid within hospital systems and is expecting to receive another team next week, Nirenberg said. These U.S. Army teams are made up of 85 medical professionals, he said. 

San Antonio also received a disaster Medical Assistance Team of 35 members known as a DMAT from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services yesterday that will be going into rural areas. 

The City has so far received 250 nurses from across the state to be distributed within the hospital systems and is set to receive another 200 on Saturday, he added.

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Lindsey Carnett

Lindsey Carnett covers the environment, science and utilities for the San Antonio Report.