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SAN DIEGO — County health officials have issued an alert for hospitals as they deal with rising demand for COVID-19 testing.

About half of the 22 hospitals across the region were so busy Wednesday that they had to divert some ambulances to other facilities, according to health officials, causing first responders to drive farther to answer calls, possibly delaying help.

Nearly 3,700 cases were reported Wednesday, which is the highest number of new daily cases in almost a year. However, there is some good news as hospitals are coping better than this time last year. County officials believe it has to do with vaccines.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden, was on NewsNation Thursday morning and asked where we need to be in terms of numbers in order for the public to be out of this pandemic.

“Hopefully we’ll be out of it and get down to a phase where we have good control, but we are not there right now,” Fauci said. “There’s no magic number, it’s when the level of viruses so low in society that it doesn’t interfere with our function.”

Demand for testing is rising and people are having trouble finding a place to get tested. Libraries and branches in Chula Vista, Coronado, Carlsbad and Oceanside were giving out free rapid tests, but have since ran out of the test kits, county officials said.