SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego County reported 236 new cases of COVID-19 and five additional deaths Sunday, raising the county’s totals to 48,436 cases and 803 fatalities.
Four of the 236 new cases are connected to San Diego State University and two previously reported confirmed cases are now associated with SDSU, bringing the total number of cases there to 1,127, according to public health officials.
Five men died between Sept. 6 and Sept. 21 and their ages ranged from mid-40s to mid-80s, officials said Sunday. All five had underlying medical conditions.
Of the 8,797 tests reported as of Saturday, 3% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases to 3.1%. The state-set target is less than 8%. The seven-day daily average of tests was 9,226.
Of the total number of cases in the county, 3,575 — or 7.4% — have required hospitalization and 831 — or 1.7% of all cases — had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.
No new community outbreaks were confirmed Sunday. In the seven days from Sept. 27 through Oct. 3, 24 community outbreaks were confirmed. The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days. A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.
San Diego State University announced Wednesday that it was extending a pause on in-person courses through Oct. 12. Effective that day, a limited number of courses will resume in-person. Most of those courses are upper- division or graduate level, and have been “determined by faculty and academic leaders to be essential to student degree completion, licensure, and career preparation,” university officials said in a statement.
Approximately 2,100 students will be enrolled in an in-person course. Prior to the in-person pause, 6,200 students were enrolled in an in-person course.
Paul Gothold, San Diego County’s superintendent of schools, said Wednesday that schedules for the county’s many districts and charter schools have not been drafted yet, but they’re coming.
The county has expanded its total testing sites to 41 locations, and school staff, including teachers, cafeteria workers, janitors and bus drivers, can be tested for free at any one of those sites. A rotating testing program with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection was in the works for schools in the county’s rural areas.
There are no state testing requirements for children, but all school staff who interact with children must be tested every two months. If schools were to open before San Diego County headed to a more restrictive tier in the state’s monitoring system, they would not be affected. However, if a move to a different tier happened before schools opened for in-person learning, it would change the game plan, County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.
If parents want to test their children for the illness, they have options, including Rady Children’s Hospital, through Kaiser Permanente or through the 41 sites the county manages. Children as young as 6 months can be tested at the county-run sites.
On Tuesday, the county again avoided being pushed into the “purple” tier, the most restrictive in the state’s four-tier reopening plan. The county will remain in the red tier for COVID-19 cases, with a state-adjusted case rate of 6.7 per 100,000 residents. The county’s testing positivity percentage is 3.5%.
The California Department of Public Health will issue its next report on county case rates on Tuesday.