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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The number of coronavirus patients in San Diego County hospitals continued to climb at a pace not seen since August, according to state figures released recently.

There were 664 people in the county hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday, up from 628 on Sunday, 590 on Saturday, 510 on Friday and 475 on Thursday. Of the current patients, 122 were in intensive care, a decrease of two from the previous day. The number of available ICU beds increased by seven to 188.

On Thursday, the county reported 5,976 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 additional deaths associated with the virus, bringing its cumulative totals to 420,089 cases and 4,461 fatalities since the pandemic began.

No updates were provided over the holiday weekend.

UC San Diego began a planned two weeks of remote-only classes Monday in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Students and faculty, regardless of vaccination status, are required to complete a COVID-19 test on the day they return to campus for winter quarter. People who are not vaccinated and those who are vaccinated but have not received a booster shot are required to test for the virus two times per week, between three and five days apart.

Remote-only instruction also began Monday at other University of California campuses.

San Diego County recommended that people worried about COVID-19 infection and others seeking COVID-19 testing only go to a hospital to be tested if they have severe symptoms.

Those with mild COVID-19 symptoms should contact their healthcare provider via phone or telehealth for guidance.

A total of 34,142 tests were reported in San Diego County as of Thursday, and the seven-day average positivity rate was 17.1%, up from 14.5% on Wednesday.

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