County reports 718 new virus cases, 7 more deaths

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego County health officials reported 718 newly diagnosed COVID-19 infections and seven additional fatalities Tuesday, raising the county’s cumulative case total to 66,319 and the death toll to 933.

It was the seventh consecutive day that more than 600 new coronavirus cases have been reported by the county. The last four days have marked the highest daily case counts since the pandemic began.

The 833 cases reported Monday was the second-highest number the county has announced in a single day during the pandemic, following a record high of 1,087 reported Sunday and a then-record 736 on Saturday. The 718 cases reported Tuesday is the fourth-highest number to be reported thus far.

Last Wednesday, a then-record 661 cases were reported — surpassing the 652 cases reported Aug. 7. Another 620 cases were reported Thursday.

California updated its four-tier COVID-19 reopening statistics Monday with San Diego County sinking further into the most-restrictive “purple” tier of the state’s four-tier economic reopening roadmap.

The county had a rate of 12.1 new daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents, an increase of 2.1 compared to last week. The state-adjusted daily case rate increased to 10.7 per 100,000 population from 8.7 last week.

The region has an adjusted rate due to a significant effort to increase the volume of testing. The county officially entered the purple tier and its associated restrictions just after midnight Saturday.

San Diego County’s rate of positive tests increased from 2.6% last week to 4.3% Tuesday. The health equity metric, which looks at the testing positivity for areas with the least healthy conditions, remained steady at 6.5%.

In response to rising cases statewide, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday pushed the vast majority of California counties into the restrictive purple tier.

With purple tier restrictions in place, many nonessential businesses were required to move to outdoor-only operations. These include restaurants, family entertainment centers, wineries, places of worship, movie theaters, museums, gyms, zoos, aquariums and cardrooms.

The restrictions include closing amusement parks. Breweries and distilleries are able to remain open as long as they are able to operate outside and with food on the same ticket as alcohol.

Retail businesses and shopping centers can remain open with 25% of the building’s capacity. No food courts will be permitted.

If a school district has not reopened for in-person learning, it must remain remote only. Offices are restricted to remote work.

Remaining open are essential services, personal care services, barbershops, hair salons, outdoor playgrounds and recreational facilities.

The county’s demotion from the less-restrictive red tier is the result of two weeks of case rates that exceeded the threshold of 7 per 100,000 residents.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department announced Monday that 55 of 70 inmates in the 1C module of the George Bailey Detention Facility had tested positive for COVID-19.

“Fifteen tested negative, but are nevertheless being isolated and monitored due to their exposure,” said sheriff’s Lt. Ricardo Lopez. “At this time the outbreak is limited to one module, but is the most significant COVID- related event to date in our jail system.”

“Our population has been stable near 4,000, however, consideration will be given to conducting additional releases if necessary as we continue to monitor our population and the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

A total of 15,569 tests were reported Tuesday and 5% of those came back positive, raising the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 4.4%

Of the total number of cases in the county, 4,236 — or 6.4% — have required hospitalization and 967 patients — or 1.5% of all cases — had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

Three community outbreaks were reported Tuesday. Over the previous seven days, 47 community outbreaks were confirmed. A community outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

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