UCSD Health chief warns of burnout, fifth COVID surge as county sees 851 new cases, 6 deaths

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego County reported 851 new COVID-19 infections and six new deaths in the latest data, as the region’s hospitals continue to prepare for a “fifth surge” of the virus.

Wednesday’s data brought the county’s cumulative totals to 351,134 cases and 4,027 fatalities since the pandemic began.

The number of COVID patients in county hospitals increased from 446 on Wednesday to 456, with 145 of those patients in intensive care, according to state figures.

A total of 23,238 new tests were logged, and the percentage of positive cases over the past seven days was 3.9%.

Christopher Longhurst, chief information officer and associate chief medical officer at UC San Diego Health, said Tuesday medical professionals were burned out and relief was not on the way.

“It is absolutely clear there will be a fifth surge — period,” Longhurst said. “So we are expecting a winter surge and unfortunately we talked about this last year about being concerned about a `twindemic’ of both flu and COVID.

“We did not see it last year because of the sense of masking that was in place, but we’re worried this year that we will see, with reduced public health measures, both COVID and flu making a resurgence at the same time.”

San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 residents is 27.6 overall, 13 for fully vaccinated people and 47.3 for those not fully vaccinated.

No-cost COVID-19 vaccines are widely available. They can be found at medical providers, pharmacies, community clinics and county public health centers for people who do not have a medical provider.

Nearly 4.67 million vaccine doses have been administered in San Diego County, with around 2.44 million — or 87.1% of county residents — having received at least one dose. Fully vaccinated county residents now number more than 2.16 million, or around 77.2% of the county’s eligible population.

A list of locations and more information is available at coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine.

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