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County Urges Caution as Increase in COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations Continues


COVID-19 pandemic hospital
FILE PHOTO: An unidentified COVID-19 patient is treated in the ICU at Providence St Joseph Hospital in Orange, U.S. July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Omar Younis

San Diego County is seeing spikes in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, prompting local public health officials Friday to encourage residents to be more vigilant.

According to the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, lab-confirmed coronavirus cases remain near 10,000 per week, a number which does not include at-home tests. The HHSA also reported it has also seen an increase in reinfections — San Diegans who have tested positive for COVID-19 several times throughout the pandemic. Prior infection does not necessarily prevent reinfection with some of the newer virus variants, according to national data.

Additionally, hospitalizations for COVID-related illnesses are also on the rise, up 66% in the last 30 days. New ICU admissions rose 68% during that same time frame.

“Due to the increased level of community transmission, including reinfections, we strongly recommend masking, especially in crowded spaces or around family, friends, and colleagues who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, county deputy public health officer. “Our best bet in preventing hospitalizations and deaths is to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, and isolating from others when sick.”

The county reported 1,767 new infections and eight deaths on Thursday, increasing the cumulative totals to 844,017 cases and 5,357 deaths. Hospitalizations increased by 10 from Thursday’s numbers to 363, with ICU patients up three overnight to 45. There were 48 fewer hospital beds available, totaling 197.

According to HHSA data, 2.99 million or 94.9% of San Diegans age 5 and older are at least partially vaccinated from COVID-19. The fully vaccinated number is more than 2.64 million or 84% of those eligible. Additionally, the county has seen 1,385,514 boosters administered — or 57.5% of 2,408,140 eligible San Diegans.

San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 residents 12 years of age and older is 44.75 for people fully vaccinated and boosted, 25.87 for fully vaccinated people, and 84.07 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.

The county only reports COVID data on Mondays and Thursdays.

— City News Service


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