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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The number of coronavirus patients in San Diego County hospitals has surged past 600, according to the latest state figures out Sunday.

There were 628 people in the county hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday, up from 590 on Saturday. Of those patients, 124 were in intensive care, up 10 from the previous day.

San Diego County has the second highest number of COVID hospitalizations in the state, overtaking San Bernardino County, which reported 624. Los Angeles County had the highest number of hospitalizations at 1,792.

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 case updates were provided over the holiday weekend.

Amid the dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the more contagious Omicron variant, county health officials urged limiting gatherings to family and close friends.

The 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 health care provider via phone or telehealth for guidance.

The San Diego Library gave away more than 20,000 free COVID-19 test kits to the community in just a few days. The library system is completely out of the testing kits.

Antigen testing kits are available at retail stores, but have become more difficult to find as demand continues to grow.

The COVID-19 case rate is three times higher for those San Diegans who are unvaccinated compared to those who have received vaccines — 36 daily cases per 100,000 population compared to 11.4 per 100,000 for the vaccinated. Additionally, the hospitalization rate is four times higher for the unvaccinated and death rate is seven times higher.

Delta remains the most common variant in San Diego County, with more than 17,000 cases reported since mid-April. Omicron has just 91 confirmed cases in the county, but the time period measured began on Dec. 3. There have been no deaths from Omicron reported in the county and one hospitalization, the county Health and Human Services Agency reported.

A total of 28,472 tests were reported in San Diego County as of Wednesday, and the seven-day average positivity rate was 14.5%, up from 12.4% on Tuesday.

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