San Antonio has 84 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday evening, and one more person has died, according to updated surveillance data.
The patient, a 50-year-old woman with underlying health conditions, was being treated at Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, where she died Wednesday, City officials said.
The number of coronavirus cases has continued to climb since the first case was confirmed in a local resident on Feb. 13. In response, City and County officials issued a “Stay Home, Work Safe” directive on Monday to slow the spread of the virus, which so far has claimed the lives of three San Antonio residents.
St. Luke’s Catholic Church on Wednesday dedicated a mass in honor of Laurie Ramirez, a 44-year-old woman who became the second San Antonio resident to die from complications of coronavirus. Ramirez was an employee at the church, and had been receiving treatment at University Hospital before succumbing to her symptoms on Tuesday.
Her son also has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and is currently being treated at a local hospital.
Fr. Eric Ritter led the mass, which was live-streamed on St. Luke’s Facebook page. He told those listening to the 30-minute service that “this is not a time to be afraid, it is time to be cautious and have courage.”
“Right now, when our whole world is in chaos, we want to pray for Laurie and her family; especially her son who is still in the hospital,” Ritter said. “This is where the mystery of god is revealed to us. We just don’t know the hour nor the day, but we must always be prepared.”
Ritter described Ramirez as someone who “always had a beautiful smile on her face and was always so happy.”
Since Ramirez was diagnosed with coronavirus, church officials have been under a 14-day self-quarantine, and have only been holding services via online live streaming.
Ritter said he and Fr. Alejandro Del Bosque, both priests at St. Lukes, tested negative for coronavirus.
“We don’t know what lies ahead for the sick and all those who care for them. May God grant them healing, relief, and peace.”
Metro Health reported 36 of the 84 confirmed cases are related to travel outside of San Antonio, with another 12 tied to close contact with someone who traveled, and 27 cases of community spread, meaning transmission could not be traced to a known exposure to the virus. Nine cases remain under investigation.
The increase in positive cases in San Antonio mirrors what is happening throughout Texas, with Austin’s case count reaching 98, and Houston reaching 134, according to Department of State Health Services data updated Wednesday morning.
Of the 737 deaths in the U.S. so far, 12 have been in Texas.