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LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

County Reports 281 New COVID-19 Cases As State Schools Announce Vaccine Rule

A sign directs patients to the vaccination site at the UC San Diego vaccinati...

Photo by KPBS Staff

Above: A sign directs patients to the vaccination site at the UC San Diego vaccination super station in La Jolla, San Diego on Feb. 20, 2021.

All students, faculty and staff returning for on- campus classes and activities at San Diego State University, UC San Diego, Cal State San Marcos and all other California State University and University of California schools will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, it was announced Thursday.

Both university systems are expected to allow for exemptions based on medical or religious grounds.

The systems' planned vaccination requirement will take effect upon "full approval" of one or more of the COVID-19 vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and they are widely available or the beginning of the fall semester, whichever is later.

Curious how the vaccine rollout is going in San Diego County? KPBS is tracking the progress.

Vaccines are currently being administered under emergency-use authorizations from the FDA.

The vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna are both in Phase 3 Efficacy Trials and could apply to the FDA for full approval at any time.

CSU and UC officials said the planned requirement will be discussed with faculty and student representatives, along with labor groups.

However, they opted to announce the planned requirement Thursday so all members of the campus community can start arranging to get vaccinated before the fall term begins.

California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley said decisions about requiring vaccinations at their campuses will be left to individual community college districts.

San Diego County public health officials reported 281 new COVID-19 infections and three deaths Thursday, increasing the cumulative totals to 275,912 cases and 3,684 deaths.

Of the 17,425 tests reported Thursday, 2% returned positive. The 14- day rolling average of positive tests is 1.7%.

Hospitalizations related to coronavirus decreased by one to 186, compared to Wednesday. There were 57 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit beds as of Thursday's report, an increase of one from the previous day. There are 54 available ICU beds in the county.

More than 2.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, and 1,332,124 county residents have received at least one dose.

RELATED: UC, CSU Plan To Require COVID Vaccines, Pending Final FDA Approval

The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve so-called herd immunity — equating to around 2.02 million San Diego County residents.

On Thursday, the county reported that more than 863,058 people in San Diego County — 42.8% of that goal — are fully vaccinated. The numbers include both county residents and those who only work in the county.

San Diego County received nearly 100,000 more coronavirus vaccines this week than it did the week prior, public health officials said.

The 294,440 vaccine doses the county received this week are the most the county has received in a single week, with 2,583,595 total vaccines received since they were cleared for use by the FDA in December.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher said he was not aware of how many doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines San Diego County is scheduled to receive next week.

Fletcher said the county is continuing to store 11,000 Johnson & Johnson doses while federal health officials investigate reports of a handful of women across the country developing potentially dangerous blood clots within two weeks of receiving the one-dose vaccine, resulting in one death. Use of the J&J vaccine has been paused since April 13.

A total of 203 fully vaccinated San Diego County residents have tested positive for the SARS CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, according to Dr. Eric McDonald, medical director of the county Health and Human Services Agency's Epidemiology and Immunization Services Branch. This represents a rate of .027% of all fully vaccinated county residents — a little more than three times higher than the federally reported rate of .008%.

Of those, McDonald said 57% had no symptoms and were tested for another reason. None of the fully vaccinated people have been hospitalized or died.

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