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San Diego County Reports 922 New COVID-19 Cases, 12 Deaths

A sign hanging from the ceiling reads

Photo by KPBS Staff

Above: A sign hanging from the ceiling reads "Rub-a-dub-dub wash'em up, bub! Wash your hands!" at the Liberty Public Market food hall in Liberty Station. Sept. 19, 2020.

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Aired: November 19, 2020 | Transcript

San Diego County health officials have reported 922 newly diagnosed COVID-19 infections and a dozen fatalities, raising the county's cumulative case total to 67,241 and the death toll to 945.

Wednesday was the eighth consecutive day that more than 600 new coronavirus cases were reported by the county and the second-highest single day total reported thus far. On Sunday, 1,087 cases were recorded.

The last five days have marked the highest daily case counts since the start of the pandemic, with 736 cases reported on Saturday, 833 on Monday and 718 on Tuesday.

On Nov. 11, a then-record 661 cases were reported — surpassing the 652 cases reported Aug. 7. Another 620 cases were reported last Thursday.

Seven women and five men died between Nov. 5 and Nov. 17, according to county health officials. Their ages ranged from late 50s to mid-90s. All had underlying medical conditions.

RELATED: Coronavirus: Tracking Cases And Mapping By ZIP Code

A total of 14,306 tests were reported Wednesday and 6% of those came back positive, raising the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 4.7%

Of the total number of cases in the county, 4,274 — or 6.4% — have required hospitalization and 971 patients — or 1.4% of all cases — had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

Seven new community outbreaks were confirmed Wednesday — one in an emergency services setting, one in a restaurant/bar setting, two in daycare settings, two in business settings and one in a grocery setting. Over the previous seven days, 38 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.

San Diego State University reported Tuesday it was canceling the majority of in-person instruction through the remainder of the fall term. Off- campus teaching activities at non-SDSU institutions, including hospitals and clinics, will continue as scheduled, following the latest COVID-19 safety guidelines at those institutions.

California updated its four-tier COVID-19 reopening statistics Monday, with San Diego County among those sinking further into the most-restrictive "purple" tier of the state's four-tier economic reopening roadmap.

The county had a rate of 12.1 new daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents, an increase of 2.1 compared to last week. The state-adjusted daily case rate increased to 10.7 per 100,000 population from 8.7 last week.

The region has an adjusted rate due to a significant effort to increase the volume of testing. The county officially entered the purple tier and its associated restrictions just after midnight Saturday.

San Diego County's rate of positive tests increased from 2.6% last week to 4.3% Tuesday. The health equity metric, which looks at the testing positivity for areas with the least healthy conditions, remained steady at 6.5%.

In response to rising cases statewide, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday pushed the vast majority of California counties into the purple tier.

With purple tier restrictions in place, many nonessential businesses were required to move to outdoor-only operations. These include restaurants, family entertainment centers, wineries, places of worship, movie theaters, museums, gyms, zoos, aquariums and cardrooms.

The restrictions include closing amusement parks. Breweries and distilleries are able to remain open as long as they are able to operate outside and with food on the same ticket as alcohol.

Retail businesses and shopping centers can remain open with 25% of the building's capacity. No food courts are permitted.

If a school district has not reopened for in-person learning, it must remain remote only. Offices are restricted to remote work.

Remaining open are essential services, personal care services, barbershops, hair salons, outdoor playgrounds and recreational facilities.

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