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Health

San Diego Officials Report 202 New COVID Cases, Eight More Pandemic Deaths

A sign advising of the store's COVID-19 prevention policies sits outside Target in the South Park neighborhood of San Diego County. Jan. 26, 2021.
KPBS Staff
A sign advising of the store's COVID-19 prevention policies sits outside Target in the South Park neighborhood of San Diego County. Jan. 26, 2021.

Public health officials in San Diego County reported 202 new COVID-19 cases and eight more local deaths from the disease Friday, increasing the region's cumulative totals to 272,696 infections and 3,600 fatalities.

More than 2.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, according to the county Health & Human Services Agency, and 1,097,317 county residents — or 40.8% — have received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccines.

A total of 642,123 people in the San Diego area — or 23.9% — are fully vaccinated. The numbers include both county residents and those who only work in the region. The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve so-called herd immunity — around 2.02 million San Diego County residents.

Three new community outbreaks were reported Thursday — one in a business setting, one in a grocery/retail setting and one in a retail setting. In the past seven days, 18 community outbreaks were confirmed.

The county moved into the less-restrictive orange tier of the state's coronavirus reopening system Wednesday, and a 10 p.m. curfew for all restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and wineries was lifted.

The change was possible because the state administered 4 million vaccinations in low-income communities hardest hit by the pandemic. That goal triggered an adjustment of the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, allowing San Diego County — which has reported fewer than six cases per every 100,000 residents for the last two weeks — to move up.

Under the orange tier, restaurants can operate at 50% of capacity — or 200 customers, whichever is fewer — while bars without food service may begin outdoors operations. Museums, zoos, aquariums, movie theaters and places of worship may have 50% of capacity indoors.

Amusement parks may increase attendance to 25% of capacity for in- state visitors. Gyms, bowling alleys and family entertainment centers can allow 25% capacity indoors and indoor pools can reopen.

Sporting events, concerts and other live events can increase attendance to 33% of capacity for in-state fans. There will be no capacity limits for indoor retail shopping.

On a broader scale, California health officials announced this week that all state COVID-19 restrictions on businesses, gatherings and recreational activities will be lifted June 15, although a mask mandate will remain in place.

That date could be adjusted if the state begins over the next two months to experience rises in hospitalization numbers or a sudden lack of vaccine supply. Officials urged all residents to ensure the move occurs on time by continuing to practice infection-control measures.