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San Diego County Reports 2,907 New COVID-19 Infections

People wait in line to get tested for COVID-19 at the Lemon Grove Community C...

Photo by Matt Hoffman

Above: People wait in line to get tested for COVID-19 at the Lemon Grove Community Center in San Diego County. Jan. 4, 2021.

Public health officials in San Diego County reported 2,907 new COVID-19 infections Monday, making the 42nd consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses.

The county's cumulative case count now stands at 194,795. No new fatalities from the disease were reported, leaving the death toll at 1,857.

In the county's daily updates of coronavirus statistics, the 3,000- infection mark has been crossed 15 times since the start of the pandemic, and the 4,000 mark three times.

Hospitalizations resulting from the virus rose another 46 to 6,284 on Monday. There were two new intensive-care admissions, bringing the total to 1,273.

The county has surpassed 80% of its hospital bed occupancy, a significant number due to the county reserving the last 20% of its licensed beds exclusively for COVID-19 patients. New patients, according to a plan developed by the county Health & Human Services Agency last year, could be turned away in some cases.

RELATED: Tracking COVID-19 In San Diego County

The agency reported a 89% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the last 30 days and a 67% increase in ICU admittance over the same period.

Local health officials attribute the increasing number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths at least in part to gatherings over the holidays.

"We anticipated that cases would spike after the holidays and they did," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county public health officer.

"We need to do a better job following the public health guidelines, especially now that the more contagious variant of COVID-19 is in our communities. San Diegans should not be gathering with people outside their household and should stay home as much as possible."

The county has reported 28 confirmed and 13 suspected diagnoses of the more virulent new coronavirus variant known as B.1.1.7., first detected in the United Kingdom in December.

There have been no confirmed deaths locally connected to the variant.

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