San Diego COVID-19 numbers getting ‘strongly worse’ in recent weeks

Coronavirus
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SAN DIEGO — Daily COVID-19 records continue to fall with regularity in San Diego County as state and local officials work to stem the tide of a surging pandemic.

The county has been getting “strongly worse” for the past eight weeks, but data from a Southern California-based company shows case numbers dating back to last spring rank San Diego as one of the worst in the state and nation.

“San Diego’s current trend in the length of being in that ‘epidemic trend’ in California is second only to Los Angeles County,” said Dr. Este Geraghty, chief medical officer at Esri, which provides a range of tools to better understand data.

Those tools were particularly useful in tracking COVID-19 cases and the locations where they began.

“What was great about what Johns Hopkins University did, they used one of our tools — a dashboarding tool — to really start to track and examine the spread, the growth the number of cases and thus the development of the pandemic over space and time,” Geraghty said.

As of Monday, San Diego County has reported a total of 194,795 COVID-19 infections — including 2,907 new cases Monday — as well as 1,857 deaths from the virus. Hospitalizations resulting from the virus rose another 46 to 6,284 on Monday. There were two new ICU admissions, bringing the total to 1,273.

The county has surpassed 80% of its hospital beds occupied, a significant number due to the county reserving the last 20% of its licensed beds exclusively for COVID-19 patients.

New patients, according to a plan developed by the county Health & Human Services Agency last year, could be turned away in some cases.

Hitting the epidemic trend means a daily average of 33 cases per every 100,000 people, a threshold in which the county has remained since late March 2020, Geraghty said.

“So, a very long time,” she said.

Nationally, the county currently ranks 14th for length of time in the epidemic trend.

“We know it’s going to be a long time before San Diego is out of the definition of an epidemic trend,” Geraghty said. “That doesn’t mean however that San Diego won’t start doing better, but right now San Diego is in a ‘doing worse’ phase.”

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