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Three more coronavirus deaths reported in Bexar County, the steepest daily increase so far

The tone of Tuesday night’s briefing about the coronavirus was grim as Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced the deaths of three more people from COVID-19, the highest announced in one day, raising the total number in Bexar County to nine.

Nirenberg requested a communitywide moment of silence San Antonio News at 9 a.m. Thursday for victims of the fast-spreading illness and urged everyone to remain vigilant to help contain it.

“Our sympathies are with the families of these victims, and we wish them healing during this very difficult time,” Nirenberg said during his daily briefing with Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bexar County also shot up Tuesday to 207, up by 39 from Monday. It was the steepest daily increase in new cases since the start of the pandemic. Also for the first time, the number of cases attributed to community spread drew even with travel-related cases, both at 63, with each comprising 30 percent of the cases.

Twenty-seven cases are attributed to close contact with someone who is infected, and 54 cases are under investigation.

According to data on the city’s website, people in their 40s comprise the highest age group to test positive in Bexar County, at 21 percent, followed by those in their 50s, 20 percent.

Nirenberg warned of “asymptomatic carriers” — people who have COVID-19 but show no outward signs of it — each of whom could expose 15 people to the virus. He called on everyone to comply with city and county stay-at-home orders and social distancing standard of at least six feet of separation.

“It’s as contagious as the measles,” he said of the virus. “This non-pharmaceutical intervention is our best chance of slowing the spread and reducing the number of infections and deaths.”

On a positive note, the mayor said the city started receiving testing Press Release Distribution Service In San Antonio data from private labs Tuesday to help track the spread of the coronavirus. The city has received 1,192 results — 547 tests performed by Metro Health, and 645 by private labs. Altogether in San Antonio, including testing by the University Health System, about 2,500 tests have been administered, Nirenberg said.

Wolff singled out several companies that have kept paying employees, and in some cases given raises, as part of the backbone of Bexar County’s response, as well as some 23,000 employees of the UHS, Baptist Health System and Methodist Healthcare who are “hard at work.”

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