County reports 261 COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths as hospitalizations drop

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego County public health officials reported 261 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths, as hospitalizations dipped to the one of the lowest numbers this year.

A total of 136 people were hospitalized in Friday’s report, a decrease from Thursday’s 151. That 136 is the lowest in at least a month. Patients in intensive care units declined to 40 from Thursday’s 43. There are 46 available, staffed ICU beds in the county.

Friday’s data increased the total case count to 278,852 and the death toll to 3,721.

Of 14,758 tests reported to the county’s Health and Human Services Agency Friday, 2% returned positive. The 14-day rolling average increased to 1.7%.

The Sweetwater Union High School District announced Friday it has made vaccines available to all students 12 and older and staff who desire to be vaccinated.

Its first vaccination event for the new age cohort began Friday morning at EastLake Middle School and runs through 2 p.m. There will be more vaccination events at the districts’ schools next week.

“We are proud to be part of the effort to vaccinate the Sweetwater Community,” said Superintendent Moises Aguirre. “We are proud to have partnered with local stakeholders and have utilized our resources in efforts to ensure our students, staff, and their families have the opportunity to be vaccinated.  Vaccination is the most critical safeguard we can take to prepare to fully reopen schools this fall.”

Signups are available on the Sweetwater District website at sweetwaterschools.org.

The county has received 3,735,305 doses of coronavirus vaccine and has administered 3,278,819 of them.

A total of 1,765,927 people have received one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, 84% of the way toward reaching the county’s goal of vaccinating 75% of San Diego County residents 12 and older, or 2,802,581 people.

A total of 1,314,341 — or 62.5% of the county’s goal — in the 12-or- older age range are fully inoculated with either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The California Department of Public Health approved the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds Wednesday, allowing the county’s 175,864 residents in that age group to make appointments to receive the shots.

Parental consent is required prior to vaccination for anyone under the age of 18. In addition to parental consent, minors will have to show photo ID and proof of age, or have the parent, guardian or caregiver who accompanies the minor to the appointment verify their age and identity.

If a parent or legal guardian cannot accompany the minor to the vaccination site, they will need to schedule an appointment on MyTurn.ca.gov to provide their consent in advance.

All of the county’s static vaccination clinics will have Pfizer vaccines on hand for drop-in appointments — as opposed to the mobile clinics, which use primarily Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Additional information about scheduling appointments and what types of documentation youths will need to get vaccinated is available at coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine.

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