San Diego reports 3,520 new COVID-19 cases, no deaths

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SAN DIEGO — San Diego County public health officials have reported 3,520 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths.

Data reported by the county Sunday shows 24% of 14,419 tests were lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus. An additional 46 people have been admitted to county hospitals with the virus and 9 patients were sent to intensive care. ICU capacity is at 19% with 376 patients in ICUs and 1,536 hospitalized with the virus.

Of the 168,020 cases of coronavirus recorded in the county since February 14, 2020, a total of 5,984 cases required hospitalization and 1,228 patients were sent to ICUs. The death toll remains at 1,592.

Sunday’s caseload marked the 34th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new infections, and the 25th overall with more than 2,000 new cases. It is the ninth time the 3,000-case mark has been crossed. A record 4,478 cases were reported Friday.

There were 44 community outbreaks reported in the last seven days and 178 cases are associated with the outbreaks.

The total number of cases of the new variant, known as B.1.1.7, is four so far in San Diego County. The variant was first found in the U.S. on Tuesday in Colorado. The first San Diego case is in a man in his 30s with no history of travel, who first became symptomatic Dec. 27 and tested positive Dec. 29. He has been hospitalized and contact tracing is underway.

The additional three cases, reported by county health officials Thursday, were found in two men in their 40s and one in his 50s. Contact tracing shows two men did not travel outside of the county while the third case has yet to be fully interviewed. None of the men had any known interaction with each other or the other confirmed case.

The three newly confirmed variant cases were initially identified by helix during diagnostic testing, then confirmed by whole genome sequencing by Scripps Research. The four individuals who have tested positive for the B.1.1.7. strain live in La Mesa, Mission Beach, Otay Mesa and the Carmel Mountain/Rancho Bernardo area.

Officials now believe that the new strain is widespread in the community.

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