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San Diego County Reports 373 New COVID-19 Cases

A sign advises families of coronavirus precautions at the Allied Gardens Recr...

Photo by Claire Trageser

Above: A sign advises families of coronavirus precautions at the Allied Gardens Recreation Center in San Diego County. Oct. 2, 2020.

San Diego County public health officials have reported 373 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths, bringing the county's case total to 52,355 with the death toll remaining at 853.

Officials are imploring San Diegans to maintain vigilance as positive case rates for the coronavirus continue to increase in the region.

"We are now concerned about the trends and we are concerned about the likelihood we could tip back to purple," Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said on Twitter Sunday. The county is now in the red tier and the limit for the purple tier — the state's most restrictive tier — is 7.0 cases per 100,000 residents.

Fletcher pointed to positive unadjusted case rates over six days (Oct. 11-16): 6.9 out of 100,000 residents, to 7.2 to 7.3 to 7.4 to 7.7 and 7.8, respectively.

Fletcher and the 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.

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San Diego County COVID-19 Data Oct. 18, 2020

San Diego County COVID-19 Data Oct. 18, 2020

San Diego County COVID-19 Data Oct. 18, 2020

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If the county's adjusted case rate of positive COVID-19 tests remains above 7.0 per 100,000 for two consecutive weeks, it would move into the purple tier for at least three weeks. The purple tier would force nearly all non- essential indoor businesses to close.

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.

"We are still in the red tier, but it is too close for comfort," Wooten said.

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

One new community outbreak was confirmed Saturday in a business. In the past seven days, 32 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.

A total of 12,233 tests were reported to the county Saturday and the percentage of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 3%.

The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 2.7%, far below the state-set target of less than 8%.

The seven-day daily average of tests is 10,573.

Through Saturday, 3,763 positive cases — or 7.2% — have required hospitalization and 870 — or 1.7% — have been admitted to an intensive care unit.

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