SAN DIEGO (CNS) –  San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency Monday reported 5,482 new COVID-19 cases and 20 additional deaths associated with the virus.

Those numbers reflect totals as of Sunday. Along with 10,192 cases identified Friday and 7,173 cases Saturday, the numbers brought the county’s cumulative totals to 662,504 cases and 4,586 deaths since the pandemic began.

The county does not release COVID data on weekends.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-positive patients in San Diego County hospitals decreased by 12 people to 1,297 on Monday, according to the latest state data.

Of those patients, 227 were in intensive care, up 16 from Sunday.

Some patients may have been hospitalized for other reasons and had their COVID status discovered by hospital-mandated tests, officials said.

The number of available ICU beds increased by 16 to 181 on Monday.

To help alleviate the strain on local hospitals and prepare them for the expected surge in admissions, the HHSA recommends that only people needing emergency care should go to a hospital emergency department. COVID-19 testing should be reserved for those at higher risk of serious illness and people who need it the most.

People should not go to an emergency department for testing with no or mild COVID symptoms, officials said.

There were 75,673 new tests reported Friday, and the seven-day average positivity rate was 27.5%, down from 29.3% on Tuesday. The county reports this figure on Tuesdays and Fridays.

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