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San Diego County Reports 201 New COVID-19 Cases

A sign indicating the store's coronavirus prevention policies sits outside th...

Photo by KPBS Staff

Above: A sign indicating the store's coronavirus prevention policies sits outside the entrance of Target in the Clairemont neighborhood of San Diego County. Oct. 16, 2020.

San Diego County public health officials are imploring San Diegans to maintain vigilance as positive case rates for the coronavirus continue to increase in the region, and as 201 new cases and three additional deaths were reported Saturday.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten held an emergency meeting Friday to "sound the alarm" as the future case rate appears to cross into the "purple" tier of the state's four-tier reopening system.

The county will be in the red, or substantial, tier for at least another two weeks.

With the state's monitoring system having a seven-day lag, the adjusted case rate of positive COVID-19 tests is 6.8 per 100,000 residents, up from 6.5 in the previous assessment. The limit for tier two is 7.0.

Nearly all non-essential indoor businesses would close under the purple tier.

"We are still in the red tier, but it is too close for comfort," Wooten said. "We encourage teleworking as much as possible, and if you're sick, don't go into work."

The California Department of Public Health will update the county's data Tuesday.

The statistics reported Saturday raise the region's total cases to 51,982 and deaths to 853.

Three men died between Aug. 26 and Oct. 16, and their ages ranged from early 30s to mid-80s. Two of the three had underlying medical conditions.

Of the 19,423 tests reported Friday, 1% returned positive, with the 14- day rolling average percentage of positive cases at 2.7%.

Of the total number of cases in the county, 3,752 — or 7.2% — have required hospitalization and 869 — or 1.7% of all cases — required patients to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

There are 245 COVID-19 patients in the county's hospitals, including 77 in intensive care units.

Two new community outbreaks were confirmed Friday, both in business settings. In the past seven days, 38 community outbreaks were confirmed, well above the trigger of seven or more in a week's time.

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 uses community outbreaks to get a larger sense of the pandemic locally, but the state does not include the statistic in its weekly report.

Wooten said 95% of the county's cases were not related to a marked community outbreak, a clear indicator the illness has spread throughout the county.


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