County reports 685 new COVID-19 cases, 12 deaths

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego County reported 685 new COVID-19 infections and 12 new deaths in its latest data, as the region’s hospitals continue to prepare for a possible “fifth surge” of the virus.

Tuesday’s data brought the county’s cumulative totals to 350,267 cases and 4,021 fatalities since the pandemic began.

The number of COVID patients in county hospitals decreased from 456 on Monday to 446, with 148 of those patients in intensive care, according to state figures.

A total of 17,312 new tests were logged, and the percentage of positive cases over the past seven days was 3.6%.

San Diego City Councilwoman Marni von Wilpert announced on Tuesday she had tested positive for the virus and encouraged residents to get vaccinated.

“I am very symptomatic but I am EXTREMELY lucky that although I am feeling ill, I am not in the hospital or on a ventilator because I am vaccinated,” she wrote.

“This illness is real and scary, and I want to speak directly to residents of San Diego: I know there are those of you who have been hesitant to get your vaccine, and I understand that you are scared. But billions of people around the world have been safely vaccinated and let me tell you — this virus is not to be messed with,” von Wilpert wrote.

“Please — get vaccinated. Encourage your friends and family to get vaccinated. I hope that those of you who were waiting for full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine now have confidence it will save your life.”

The San Diego City Council COVID-19 Response and Recovery Committee met Monday with leaders from four of San Diego’s hospital systems to discuss the status of the pandemic at county hospitals.

Christopher Longhurst, chief information officer and associate chief medical officer at UC San Diego Health, said 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 33.6 overall, 13.9 for fully vaccinated people and 59.3 for those not fully vaccinated.

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.

Free 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.

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

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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