Delayed COVID-19 Vaccine Shipment Arrives, 698 New Cases Reported
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Credit: Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, Pool
A delayed shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in San Diego County following a shortage that forced some vaccination sites to dramatically slow the pace of inoculations or completely reschedule appointments over the holiday weekend.
The shipment was scheduled to arrive Friday but was delayed for an unspecified reason before finally arriving Tuesday.
The vaccine shortage affected the county's largest vaccination site, the UC San Diego Health Petco Park Super Station, with no vaccinations taking place on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. It will reopen Wednesday morning.
The county Health and Human Services Agency reported 698 new COVID-19 infections and five deaths on Tuesday, increasing the region's totals to 253,641 cases and the death toll to 3,042. Two women and three men died between Dec. 20 and Jan. 29.
The county's rate of new cases dropped enough to allow elementary schools to resume in-person instruction for students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.
According to the state's weekly COVID-19 update, San Diego County's adjusted case rate is 22.2 cases per 100,000 residents. The state permits elementary schools to reopen as soon as counties reach an adjusted average new daily case rate of 25 per 100,000 residents.
However, two of the county's largest school districts — the San Diego Unified School District and Chula Vista Elementary School District — will likely remain closed to in-person learning for the foreseeable future.
SDUSD released a joint statement with the San Diego Education Association on Friday stating schools will reopen for in-person teaching "as soon as declining case rates and increased vaccinations make it safe to do so."
The statement plans for a fall full reopening, but said more vaccines "could lead to a fuller reopening of some schools this year depending on the pace of the vaccine rollout and case-rates reductions."
The CVESD and Chula Vista Educators will begin to consider in-person classes once the county is in the red tier of the state's four-tiered reopening plan — determined by fewer than seven cases per 100,000 residents.
Other districts, including Cajon Valley Union and Vista Unified, have reopened at some capacity before the county first entered the purple tier last fall.
In-person classes cannot resume for seventh though 12th grades until the county's rate of new COVID cases falls to seven per 100,000 residents.
San Diego County's seven-day testing positivity percentage is 6.4%, placing the county in the red tier for that metric. The state uses each county's worst metric — in this case the adjusted case rate — and assigns counties to that tier.
The county's health equity metric, which looks at the testing positivity for areas with the lowest healthy conditions, is 9.7% and is in the purple tier. This metric does not move counties to more restrictive tiers, but is required to advance to a less restrictive tier.
Of the 9,125 tests reported Tuesday, 8% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 5.6%.
No new community outbreaks were reported Tuesday. The total reported over the past week is 49.
San Diego County coronavirus inoculation sites have received 703,200 doses of vaccine and administered 651,450, according to the HHSA.
A total of 16.8% of San Diego County residents age 16 and over have received at least one of the two shots required to develop antibody protection against the virus. Around 4.4% of the population over the age of 16 is fully vaccinated.
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