Bexar County saw an increase in new novel coronavirus cases Saturday with the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reporting 131 compared to 114 reported Friday.
The total of residents who have tested positive since the pandemic began in mid-March is now 47,315.
The district also reported 20 deaths Saturday, which occurred between July 11 and August 28.
On ExpressNews.com: Get the latest update on coronavirus and a tracking map of U.S. cases
A majority of the deceased had underlying health conditions; four had unknown medical history.
Included in those deaths were two women in their 40s, one Hispanic and one white; two Hispanic women and two men in their 50s; two men in their 60s, one Black and one Hispanic; a Hispanic woman and man in their 70s; a white woman in her 70s; and a Hispanic woman in her 80s.
Race/ethnicity was not provided for four men in their 50s, a man and woman in their 60s, a man in his 70s, and a woman in her 80s.
The Bexar County death toll verified by Metro Health stands at 893.
The area’s hospital numbers continue to improve; there were 317 people with COVID-19 in San Antonio hospitals Saturday, down from 323 Friday. Of those, 145 were in intensive care, the same as Friday, and 81 were on ventilators to help them breathe, down slightly from 83 on Friday.
City and county officials have stated multiple times they don’t want to see a repeat of the spikes that occurred after Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. In mid-July, the area saw approximately 1,200 cases and hospitalizations per day, coming dangerously close to overloading the hospital system.
“Our community has done an amazing job at slowing the spread of this virus,” Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said Friday. “However, we must stay vigilant to ensure that we keep this virus in check.”
Preventive measures include maintaining at least 6 feet of social distance from others not in your household, avoiding large gatherings, washing hands frequently and wearing a mask.
“Staying disciplined is the fastest way to beat COVID-19,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said at the start of the holiday weekend. “By avoiding behaviors and situations that spread the coronavirus over the Labor Day weekend, we will sideline COVID-19 and speed up our return to normal.”
On ExpressNews.com: Some districts requiring teachers to be in school for virtual classes
After Labor Day, many schools across the city and the county are opening their doors for in-person learning. The San Antonio Independent School District is allowing up to 10 percent of its students back indoors Tuesday, limiting class sizes to four to six students.
If the county continues to improve, the district will bring in another 10 percent of students back Sept. 21, and gradually increase the number of students based on local health metrics, the district announced last week.
Alamo Heights, East Central, Judson, Northeast, Northside, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City and Southside ISDs also are scheduled to start in-person classes, if parents so choose, Tuesday. Edgewood ISD won’t offer that option until Oct. 12.
San Antonio’s COVID-19 hotline, as well as the city-run testing locations, will be closed Monday in observance of Labor Day. City and county parks also will be closed to try to stave off large gatherings, but city trails will be open to individual walkers and runners.