The coronavirus caseload in Bexar County rose again by 355 on Monday, and residents in their 20s continue to account for a significant chunk of cases.

Twenty-somethings make up about a fifth of all cases, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said on Monday, and 5 percent of COVID-19-related deaths in Bexar County are under age 40. 

“The number of young people affected by COVID-19 shows you just how insidious this virus is for all age groups,” Nirenberg said. “Young people are not immune from this virus, so please keep each other safe by staying home.”

While the positivity rate has made its “most notable improvement” over the last week, dropping from more than 22 percent to 17.7 percent, the goal is to get the rate down to 5 percent, Nirenberg said.

Cases among residents age 18 or younger continue to rise, accounting for 12 percent of all cases. 

With the 355-person increase, the total number of people who tested positive hit 36,438 on Monday.

With no new deaths to report, the toll remains at 323, following a 10-death increase on Sunday. 

Of the 1,073 people being treated at area hospitals, 431 are in intensive care, and 294 are on ventilators. Eleven percent of hospital beds are still available, along with 45 percent of ventilators. 

“We’re really coming into what I would consider two critical months,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said. “One of them is going to be August. While there are some projections showing that our hospitalization should go down, if we don’t continue to do all the safeguards that we put in place, we won’t be able to achieve those goals.”

The safeguards include social distancing and wearing a face covering.

With schools preparing to open again on Sept. 7, officials said that families need to keep in mind that “not only do we have flu, but we have COVID-19.” Public health professionals are optimistic the observance of public health guidelines will curb the spread going into the flu season. 

“Each week we’ve been rising in terms of those that have been affected, that are 18 years and younger,” Wolff said. “That means high school students are going to be vulnerable, particularly those that are” between ages 16 and 18. 

He said getting a flu shot and adhering to COVID-19 precautions will be “really important if we’re going to have success getting through these next few months.”

Roseanna Garza

Roseanna Garza reports on health and bioscience for the San Antonio Report.