Trump Urges People Who Have Recovered From COVID 19 To Donate Plasma

Bexar County commissioners have decided to spend $150,000 in stipends to recovered COVID-19 patients who donate their plasma to help others fight the disease.

a man wearing glasses talking on a cell phone: Illa Bennett (center) answers questions for guests at the Welcome Center as the Alamo re-opens its iconic mission-era church to the public on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. After the state's most recognized building had been closed for nearly six months due to COVID-19, guests can tour the interior of the church once again. The mission and battle site now requires visitors to order free tickets on its website, thealamo.org. Occupancy is limited to 50 people for 30 minutes intervals inside the church during a self-guided tour. Face coverings and social distancing are still required. © Kin Man Hui, San Antonio Express-News / Staff Photographer

Illa Bennett (center) answers questions for guests at the Welcome Center as the Alamo re-opens its iconic mission-era church to the public on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. After the state's most recognized building had been closed for nearly six months due to COVID-19, guests can tour the interior of the church once again. The mission and battle site now requires visitors to order free tickets on its website, thealamo.org. Occupancy is limited to 50 people for 30 minutes intervals inside the church during a self-guided tour. Face coverings and social distancing are still required.

Donated plasma from recovered patients includes antibodies to the virus and has been approved as a treatment for the disease. It isn’t a cure.

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Even though more than 40,000 San Antonians have recovered from the coronavirus, County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez said less than 5 percent of them have donated plasma.

The Metropolitan Health District reported 69 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, a significant drop from Wednesday’s 151 cases, continuing a trend that has seen a decline in cases for several weeks.

With fewer cases and hospitalizations, Metro Health this week dropped the local risk level to the green “safe” zone, a far cry from the severe risk to the city in July.

The improving fortunes are due to several factors, including a two-week decline in cases, a robust testing capacity, the “doubling time” of cases that now is at 65 days, and a moderate rate of positive cases.

Rodriguez thanked residents for their “perseverance” and for taking precautions to stem the pandemic, such as wearing masks and not gathering in large groups.

The total number of cases since March has edged up to 47,956. Metro Health also verified nine deaths Thursday that occurred since the start of September, bringing the city’s death toll to 990.

The health department is investigating almost 200 more deaths found on death certificates recorded by the state but have not yet been verified by Metro Health.

There also are 284 coronavirus patients in San Antonio hospitals — 14 fewer than Wednesday — with 33 of those being new admissions. A large number of the patients — 128 — are being treated in intensive care units, with 80 of them on ventilators.

San Antonio got another state-funded coronavirus testing facility Thursday at Las Palmas Library at 515 Castroville Road. The testing site will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week and no appointment is required.

More of these testing sites are coming soon to the city, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.

With the November election approaching, Bexar County is also sending vote-by-mail applications to residents over age 65. To make in-person voting safer, the county is planning on using larger centers and providing more locations for early voting with extended hours of operation.

“Of course we’re doing everything we can to make sure that these sites are safe and as accessible and convenient as possible,” Rodriguez said.

Nirenberg also reiterated that schools are not required to post infections data on their websites but are required to report COVID-19 positive staff and students to Metro Health within 24 hours, as well as weekly data to the Texas Education Agency.

Parents can view districts’ COVID-19 statistics on the Texas Education Agency website.

On ExpressNews.com: San Antonio COVID-19 progress continues as schools reopen

According to Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage,” and various audio recordings released from his interviews, President Donald Trump downplayed the danger of the coronavirus to the nation earlier this year, while telling Woodward he knew the virus was deadly.

Asked to respond, Nirenberg said: “The only thing we’re concerned about is to make sure people have the facts. We have not sugarcoated the situation that we’re in and I believe that it’s that kind of transparency and data and access to information that’s helped protect our community and kept us one of the lowest rates of infection of any big city in the state.”

Area report

The city of Laredo on Thursday confirmed one new death, a woman in her 70s, bringing its death toll to 261.

Laredo also has reported 12,464 coronavirus infections, with 813 of those still active. More than 90 percent of the city’s COVID-19 patients have recovered.

Officials in Laredo also reported 115 hospitalizations, with 55 people in intensive care.

Comal County reported 12 new cases of coronavirus Thursday, bringing the county total to 3,128. The county also had one death—a man in his 70s—bringing its death toll to 114.

More than 85 percent of the patients in Comal County have recovered from the disease, but it still has 308 active cases.

There are six COVID-19 patients in Comal County hospitals, with two in intensive care and one on a ventilator.

Liz Hardaway is a staff writer covering San Antonio government and politics. To read more from Liz, become a subscriber. liz.hardaway@hearst.com | Twitter: @liz_hardaway

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/officials-urge-recovered-coronavirus-patients-to-donate-plasma-and-will-provide-incentive/ar-BB18UzPq