San Diego County reports 417 new COVID-19 cases, 1 more death

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego County health officials have reported 417 new COVID-19 infections and one additional death, raising the county’s totals to 32,747 cases and 594 fatalities since the onset of the pandemic.

Four new community outbreaks were confirmed Saturday, all at businesses, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency. In the past seven days, 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 in the past 14 days.

The one new COVID-19 death, reported on Saturday, was a man in his 60s who had underlying medical conditions. He died on July 26.

Of the total positive cases in the county, 2,745 — or 8.4% — required hospitalization, and 687 — or 2.1% — were admitted to an intensive care unit.

The county reported 6,236 tests Saturday, 7% of which returned positive. The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 5.3%. The state’s target is fewer than 8.0% testing positive. The 7-day daily average of tests is 8,000.

Because of the county’s budget hearings on Monday, the next scheduled media briefing by county health officials will be Tuesday.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Wednesday that because of problems with the state’s electronic reporting system, which has led to a backlog in test results, additional cases might be retroactively added to both local and statewide case totals in coming weeks.

The county’s case rate per 100,000 residents is 109.9. The state’s goal is fewer than 100 per 100,000. The case rate is a 14-day average and is based on the date of the actual onset of the illness in each patient, not the date the illness was first reported by the county. Lags in reporting often lead to delays in new confirmed cases being reported to and announced by health officials.

The percentage of people testing positive for the illness who have been contacted by a county contact tracer in the first 48 hours has increased from 7% on July 18 to 84% Friday. The county’s target for this metric is more than 90%.

Officials say declining case numbers and other important metrics show positive trends, leading some lawmakers to begin looking at ways to move forward with further reopening of the economy.

The Board of Supervisors over the past week opened county-owned parks for worship and fitness activities; approved spending $48 million in federal pandemic-related funding to help child care providers, testing in schools and meals for senior citizens; added a pilot walk-up testing program at the San Ysidro Port of Entry for essential workers and U.S. citizens; and approved a plan that adds 22 members to a “safe reopening compliance team” to crack down on businesses refusing to follow public health orders.

The compliance team will focus on three types of violators, starting with the most blatant cases — such as those who host mass gatherings. The next level of enforcement would focus on businesses or groups that have experienced community outbreaks. Last, the team will check on less serious violations reported by concerned individuals, including businesses not requiring social distancing protocols or mask wearing.

A compliance call center has been established so county residents can submit complaints of violations. The number is 858-694-2900.

Of the total hospitalized during the pandemic due to the illness, 71% have been 50 or older. But county residents ages 20-29 have accounted for 25.5% of COVID-19 cases, the highest of any age group, according to county data. That age group is also least likely to take precautionary measures to avoid spreading the illness, officials said.

“Some San Diegans think they’re not going to get sick and therefore are not following the public health guidance,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “What they don’t realize is that they could get infected and pass the virus to others who are vulnerable.”

The age group with the second-highest number of infections — residents ages 30-39 — represent 18.9% of the county’s COVID-19 cases.

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