415 new COVID infections, 7 deaths reported in county as flu season looms


SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego County reported 415 new cases of COVID-19 and seven virus-related deaths Thursday, as the public health community prepares for the double threat of coronavirus and influenza.

During the first day of operation of the new Scripps Health vaccination station at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Wednesday, 1,000 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots and 500 influenza vaccines were provided to Scripps patients and employees.

“With flu season underway, there’s no better time than now to get immunized against influenza and COVID-19,” Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder said.

Van Gorder and Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, Scripps chief medical officer for acute care, clinical excellence and experience, were at the fairgrounds Wednesday to administer the vaccines.

“It’s safe to receive both vaccines at the same time, and Scripps wanted to make getting both vaccines as easy as possible by providing both vaccines at Del Mar,” Sharieff said.

“There is no reason to hold off on protecting yourself as much as you can from these potentially serious and deadly diseases.”

This year’s flu season is likely to be a more typical one — rather than the almost non-existent season seen last year during the height of COVID-19 mask-wearing and social distancing.

A report from the county released this week found 167 influenza cases have been recorded so far in the community, well above the prior three-year average of 102 cases at the same time. Last year, only five flu cases had been reported at this point. This week’s figure puts the current flu season more in line with busier seasons recorded in 2017-18 and 2019-2020.

Meanwhile, Thursday’s COVID numbers brought the county’s cumulative totals to 359,883 cases and 4,111 deaths since the pandemic began.

More than 4.82 million COVID vaccine doses have been administered in San Diego County, with 2.48 million people — or 88.7% of eligible county residents — having received at least one dose. Fully vaccinated county residents number more than 2.23 million, or around 79.4% of the county’s eligible population in reports released Wednesday.

In the past 30 days, there were 293 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county. Of these, 285 people were not fully vaccinated and eight were fully vaccinated.

The number of COVID patients in county hospitals decreased from 327 on Wednesday to 310 Thursday, with 88 of those patients in intensive care, according to state figures.

A total of 42 new community outbreaks were confirmed in the past seven days: 16 in grade school settings, five in government settings, four in business settings, four in daycare/preschool/childcare settings, four in restaurant/bar settings, two in after-school program settings, two in fitness/gym settings, one in a college/university setting, one in a construction setting, one in a distribution warehouse setting, one in a hotel/resort/spa setting and one in a restaurant setting.

A total of 20,995 tests were reported to the county, and the percentage of new positive cases over the last week is 2.9%.

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