County reports 789 COVID-19 cases, 32 deaths as hospitalizations decline

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego County public health officials reported 789 new COVID-19 cases and 32 deaths Tuesday as hospitalizations and intensive care patient numbers continue to decline.

Of 12,370 tests reported by the county Tuesday, 6% returned positive, dropping the 14-day rolling average of positive tests from 7% Monday to 6.8% Tuesday, the lowest in 2021.

The new infections followed Monday’s numbers — the fewest reported in a single day since Nov. 13, when 611 were reported by the county’s Health and Human Services Agency.

Tuesday’s numbers raise the total number of coronavirus infections in the county throughout the pandemic to 248,051, while the death toll increased to 2,853.

One week ago, as the case totals came in at 926 to end a 63-day streak of more than 1,000 cases, it appeared the pandemic in San Diego County was ebbing. Last Wednesday, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported 968 new cases — but 1,598 new cases were reported on Thursday.

The HHSA reported 1,021 patients with COVID-19 in county hospitals, 317 of whom were in intensive care units, a decrease of nearly 400 hospitalized people from two weeks ago and 783 fewer than the record 1,804 patients set Jan. 12.

ICU patients with COVID-19 decreased by 91 over the past two weeks. There were 53 available, staffed ICU beds in the county as of Tuesday.

San Diego County’s COVID case rate has dropped dramatically in recent weeks. As recently as Jan. 19, the county reported an adjusted rate of 60.6 new infections per 100,000 residents. As of Tuesday, the number dropped to 34.2 per 100,000.

However, there is still a long way to go. To come out of the most- restrictive Purple Tier in the state’s four-tiered reopening plan, the county needs to register less than seven cases per 100,000.

The county health agency reported six new community outbreaks Tuesday, bringing the total in the past week to 72, tied to 293 cases.

UC San Diego Health opened a COVID-19 Vaccination Super Station on campus Monday, intended to serve vaccination-eligible UCSD Health patients as well as the university’s faculty and staff.

The vaccination site is operating inside UCSD’s Recreation, Intramural and Athletic Complex and is the fifth such Vaccination Super Station in the county.

The RIMAC site at 9730 Hopkins Drive is operated by UCSD Health, which also collaborates with the county, the San Diego Padres and San Diego to run a vaccination superstation adjacent to Petco Park in downtown San Diego.

A total of 14.6% of San Diegans age 16 and over have received at least one of the two shots required to develop antibody protection against the virus. Around 2.8% of the population over the age of 16 is fully vaccinated.

San Diego County coronavirus inoculation sites have received 703,200 doses of vaccine and administered 507,390 doses, according to the HHSA.

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