San Diego County Reports 3,493 New COVID-19 Cases, No New Deaths
Monday, December 21, 2020
Photo by KPBS Staff
San Diego County public health officials reported 3,252 COVID-19 infections Monday, while virus-related hospitalizations continued to increase as the first batch of Moderna vaccines arrived in the area.
The number of daily infections reported Monday marked the third- highest daily increase since the pandemic began, following only Friday's 3,611 and Saturday's 3,493. Together with Wednesday's 2,807 cases and Thursday's 2,604, the top five-highest daily case counts have all occurred in the past week.
Monday's total also marked the third time the number of daily infections has surpassed 3,000 and the 21st consecutive day with more than 1,000 cases. It was also the 14th day overall with more than 2,000 new cases.
The new cases gave the county a cumulative total of 129,717 confirmed cases from throughout the pandemic.
The county also announced three more COVID-related deaths, raising the overall death toll to 1,283.
Another 32 people were hospitalized as of Monday, with one additional person sent to an intensive care unit. A total of 1,296 people were hospitalized due to the virus, with 334 of those in ICUs — both records.
A drop of 43 non-COVID patients in the region's ICU freed up space Monday. Roughly 22% of ICU beds were available in San Diego County, compared to 19% reported Sunday.
Rady Children's Hospital reported Monday it has received a second batch of the Pfizer vaccine, along with the first vials of the Moderna vaccine.
"We began vaccinating our highest risk team members last week," according to the hospital. "This latest shipment is another big step forward, allowing us complete our highest risk staff and to begin offering the vaccine to those in our high risk categories. We are in the process of notifying the next wave of team members who are eligible to schedule their vaccination."
The new batches of vaccines will join the 28,275 Pfizer doses that arrived last week in the region, with first priority going to civilian acute health care workers. San Diego County is home to 82,623 health care workers working in hospital or psychiatric facilities, and 39,755 of them are considered "highest risk" and will first receive vaccines.
An undisclosed number of vaccines for military personnel arrived at Naval Medical Center San Diego and Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton last week as well.
With intensive-care unit capacity still officially considered to be zero across the 11-county Southern California region, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday the regional stay-at-home order imposed by the state for the entirety of Southern California will almost assuredly be extended beyond next week's expiration date.
"We are likely, I think it's pretty self-evident, going to need to extend those regional dates," Newsom said. "... Based upon all the data and based upon all these trend lines, it is very likely based on those current trends that we'll need to extend that stay at home order, (which) you recall was a three-week order when we announced it."
The stay-at-home order took effect at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 6, and was originally set to end on Dec. 28. Newsom did not give an indication of exactly when a decision on extending the order will be made, or much long the order will remain in place.
Of 28,383 tests reported Monday in San Diego County, 11% returned positive, raising the 14-day average to 9.5%.
There was one new outbreak reported, which brings the total number of outbreaks within the last seven days to 40.
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