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San Diego County Reports 939 New COVID-19 Cases, Two New Deaths

A man walks by a COVID-19 testing sign at UC San Diego campus, Sept. 28, 2020.

Photo by Jacob Aere

Above: A man walks by a COVID-19 testing sign at UC San Diego campus, Sept. 28, 2020.

San Diego County public health officials have reported 939 new COVID-19 infections and two new deaths, raising the region's totals to 71,648 cases and 968 deaths.

Sunday was the 12th consecutive day more than 600 new coronavirus cases were reported by the county. A record-high 1,478 new COVID-19 cases were reported Saturday. The previous Saturday, 1,087 cases were reported, while 922 were reported Wednesday, followed by 899 on Thursday and 1,091 on Friday.

County health officials are attributing the sharp increase in cases to a general fatigue of the pandemic and are urging San Diegans to avoid gatherings and take COVID-19 seriously.

RELATED: Free San Diego County COVID-19 Testing Sites

"The virus is widespread and every element of our community is impacted," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "Now more than ever it is vital that San Diegans avoid gatherings and crowds, wear a face covering when they are out in public and stay home if they are sick."

A total of 20,251 tests were reported Sunday and 5% of those came back positive, raising the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 4.9%

The number of COVID-19 cases in the hospital continues to rise, with 472 currently hospitalized in the county and 135 in intensive care — nearly double the numbers a month ago.

RELATED: Tracking COVID-19 In San Diego

Wooten said anyone hosting a gathering should keep it small, short and safe.

Gatherings should be limited to a maximum of three stable households and should last two hours or less. People should stay outdoors as much as possible and wear a face covering when they are not eating or drinking.

Of the total number of cases in the county Sunday, 4,368 — or 6.1% — have required hospitalization and 992 patients — or 1.4% of all cases — had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

Ten new community outbreaks were confirmed Saturday. Over the previous seven days, 55 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.

California updated its four-tier COVID-19 reopening statistics last Monday, with San Diego County among those sinking further into the 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 pushed the vast majority of California counties into the purple tier last Monday.

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.

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