County officials report 436 new COVID-19 cases, 2 more deaths


SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego County public health officials reported 436 new positive COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths Saturday, bringing the county’s totals to 12,837 cases and 360 fatalities.

Saturday marked the sixth time in seven days that health authorities reported more than 300 new COVID-19 cases. On Friday, the county reported 440 new cases, a record.

The deaths reported Saturday were of a woman and a man who died June 25 and their ages were in the early 70s and 80s, officials said. The man who died did not have underlying health conditions.

The county recorded 9,172 tests Friday and 5% were positive new cases. The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive tests is 3.5%.

Of the new cases, 1,730 or 13.5% of cases have required hospitalization and 475 or 3.7% of all cases and 27.5% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

In the past seven days, six community outbreaks were identified, officials said. The number of community outbreaks falls beneath the “trigger” of seven in seven days.

A “modest uptick” in the number of hospitalizations and ICU visits also has officials worried.

“The sense of community we brought together at the beginning of this to slow the spread is the same one we need to summon now,” County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Wednesday. “It’s natural to see the spread when things start to reopen. What we want to avoid is an exponential spread.”

Fletcher said individual choices to do everything possible to prevent the spread would be vital in coming weeks. Frequent hand washing, wearing facial coverings in public and maintaining social distancing would all continue to make the difference in how quickly the illness makes its way through the community.

Fletcher and his wife, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, announced Thursday they are going into quarantine because of possible coronavirus exposure.

“We were notified today that we had close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19,” Fletcher and Gonzalez said in a joint statement. “While we have both tested negative and have no symptoms, we will be following the public health guidance of a 14-day quarantine for those who have been in contact with a positive case.”

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said a significant spike in cases could be traced to the periods following restaurants opening, churches allowing services, and the mass protests calling for police reform.

“These could influence cases going forward for days, weeks or months,” she said Wednesday.

Wooten, suggesting how long the COVID-19 pandemic could impact the region, said it may not be safe for people to have gatherings at their homes “until sometime next year.”

The historic Hotel del Coronado reopened Friday after shuttering for the first time in its history.

It will be open at reduced capacity and with fewer amenities.

CVS Health opened no-cost testing sites Friday at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thrus in San Diego County. Self-swab tests will be available to individuals meeting U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to state and age guidelines.

Patients must register in advance to schedule an appointment at Patients will be required to stay in their cars and will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window or a location in the parking lot, where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly.

Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in about three days.

The testing sites opened in San Diego County are located at the following CVS pharmacies:

— 1810 Main St., Ramona;

— 6265 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego; and

— 800 Palm Ave., Imperial Beach.

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