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San Diego County Reports 269 New COVID-19 Cases, Two Additional Deaths

A student works on laptop outside on the campus of San Diego State, August 31...

Photo by Mike Damron

Above: A student works on laptop outside on the campus of San Diego State, August 31, 2020.

San Diego County health officials have reported 269 new COVID-19 infections and two new deaths, bringing the case total to 54,583 and raising the death toll to 870.

The two deaths were men reported to have died earlier this month. They ranged in age from late 60s to early 70s, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

Of the 10,819 tests reported Saturday, 2% returned positive. The 14- day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 2.7%. The 7-day daily average of tests is 11,127.

Two new community outbreaks were confirmed Saturday, one in a health- care setting and the other in a restaurant. In the past seven days, 26 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.

Of all cases, 3,850 — or 7.1% — have required hospitalization. And 889 — or 1.6% — of all cases and 23.1% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

All students at San Diego State University, meanwhile, remained under a stay-at-home advisory announced Thursday. The advisory began at 6 p.m. Friday and will run through Nov. 2 at 6 a.m. University officials said the move was made to discourage students from participating in Halloween events where physical distancing cannot be done. Students are advised to stay home unless they have an essential need.

As of Friday, the university has had a total of 1,242 COVID-19 cases since the fall semester began, including 419 among students living on-campus, 794 among students living off-campus, 16 among faculty and staff and 13 among "visitors" — defined as someone who has had exposure with an SDSU-affiliated individual.

Chancellor Pradeep Khosla announced Thursday that all employees able to effectively work remotely will continue to do so through March 12, the end of its winter quarter.

"Empowering employees to continue to work from home whenever possible greatly reduces the population density on campus, which helps protect our students, student-facing employees and other essential staff working on site," said Nancy Resnick, UCSD's chief human resources officer.

On Tuesday, despite an unadjusted daily COVID-19 case rate of 7.8 per 100,000 population, the county was again able to avoid being pushed into the purple tier of California's four-level reopening system, which would have placed indoor activities at restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and a number of other locations in jeopardy.

The state adjusted the data for the week of Oct. 4-10 down to 7 per 100,000 — the highest it can be without heading into the purple tier — due to the county's high rates of testing. The data are reported on a one-week delay.

The state reported that the testing positivity percentage for the region increased from 3% to 3.3%, but it still 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 5.7 to 5.5% and remained in the red tier. This metric does not move counties backward to more restrictive tiers, but is required to advance.

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