SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Bexar County has topped 400 with Thursday’s announcement of 12 more victims.

“Four of these deaths were associated with a congregate setting, The Landing at Stone Oak Senior Living Facility, within the last two weeks,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

The announcement came just hours after the  Texas Health and Human Services Commission loosened restrictions on visits at nursing homes.

“They’re going to have it be limited to outdoor visits at places that don’t have an outbreak, at places that haven’t had any cases for fourteen days, and there won’t be any direct contact,” said Dr. Junda Woo, Metro Health’s medical director.

She said the announcement is promising.

“Nothing about this is easy for people who have been suffering, unable to see their family members,” said Woo.  “I understand  why we want to look for another compromise as we’re going to be living with COVID for a long time.”

The mayor reported 325 new cases Thursday, bringing the total since the pandemic began in March to 41,614.

The number of coronavirus patients in hospitals dropped to 801 on Thursday–16 fewer than Wednesday’s report.  Of those, 345 were in ICU and 238 were using ventilators.  Thirteen percent of staffed hospital beds and 50 percent of ventilators were available.

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