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San Diego County Reports 352 New COVID-19 Cases

A COVID-19 safety guidelines sign at Balboa Park as a family walks in the bac...

Photo by Alexander Nguyen

Above: A COVID-19 safety guidelines sign at Balboa Park as a family walks in the background in this photo taken Oct. 23, 2020.

San Diego County public health officials have reported 352 new COVID-19 cases and no new fatalities, raising the region's case total to 57,102 with the death toll remaining at 891.

Of the 12,879 tests reported Saturday, 3% returned positive, raising the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 3%.

Of the total number of cases in the county, 3,932 — or 6.8% — have required hospitalization and 908 — or 1.6% of all cases — had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

Four new community outbreaks were reported Saturday. In the past seven days, 29 community outbreaks were confirmed. A community outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

The county avoided the state's purple tier, the most restrictive, for yet another week on Tuesday, remaining in the less restrictive red tier of the state's four-tiered coronavirus monitoring system.

The county's adjusted case rate dropped to 6.5 new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population.

According to the California Department of Public Health, the county's unadjusted case rate is 7.4 per 100,000 — enough to be in the purple tier, which has a floor of 7 per 100,000. However, the high volume of tests the county is able to perform daily allows for an adjustment from the state. This adjustment has kept the county in the red tier for several weeks, saving it from having to shut down nearly all nonessential indoor businesses.

The state data, updated every Tuesday, reflects the previous week's case data to determine where counties stand in the state's reopening system.

San Diego County did show modest improvement, dropping 0.4 from last week's unadjusted case rate of 7.8. The testing positivity rate continued an upward trend, rising 0.2% from last week to reach 3.5%, but remains low enough for this metric to remain in the orange tier. If a county reports statistics meeting metrics in a higher tier for two consecutive weeks, it will move into that more restrictive tier for a minimum of three weeks.

The state's health equity metric, which looks at the testing positivity for areas with the lowest healthy conditions, dropped from 5.5% to 5.1% and entered the orange tier. This metric does not move counties backward to more restrictive tiers, but is required to advance.

The Escondido Union School District reported two positive cases Thursday at Mission Middle School. District officials were notified of the positive tests on Tuesday, and said the cases were separate.

The new cases prompted district officials to advise 25 students, five teachers and three classroom aides to begin a 14-day quarantine.

The Vista Unified School District reported four COVID-19 cases last Monday, including two Mission Vista High School students, one Roosevelt Middle School student and one Alamosa Park Elementary School student.

Last Tuesday, the district confirmed two additional cases — one at Mission Meadows Elementary School and one at Alamosa Park Elementary School.

According to the district's COVID-19 safety dashboard, it has recorded 13 cases since Sept. 8, with nine of those coming after Oct. 20.

The VUSD Board voted Tuesday to shut down at least one campus for two weeks starting Thursday as a result of the rising cases. At least 400 students and nearly two dozen staff members have been ordered to quarantine.

Mission Vista High School moved to distance learning for at least two weeks starting Thursday, while Alta Vista High School and Roosevelt Middle School also face potential closures.

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