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SAN DIEGO – Fighting back against a silent killer, San Diego County will offer free blood pressure screenings this week at various locations in the county and Mexico as part of the 10th annual “Love Your Heart” campaign.

The county’s administration building was lit up in tones of red Monday night to kickoff the campaign, which runs through Feb. 14. County officials say it’s critical San Diegans get their blood pressure checked, particularly in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Monday, the county is reporting 95% of its more than 2,800 virus deaths have had at least one other preexisting condition, primarily high blood pressure — also called hypertension.

“Untreated high blood pressure exacerbates the effects of COVID-19 and has been very deadly,” county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.

Fletcher added that the screenings potentially are a “life-saving exercise.”

Fifty-nine percent of San Diegans have high blood pressure, a so-called “silent killer” which doesn’t always display symptoms and can be fatal if left untreated.

“Hypertension also contributes to heart disease and stroke, two of the top killers here in the county; responsible for over one out of every three deaths this year,” said San Diego County Public Health Officer, Dr. Wilma Wooten.

Additionally, the San Diego Foundation is helping 6,000 low-income families receive blood pressure cuffs to use at home.

More information including a list of screening sites and at-home resources is available online at