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San Diego County Reports 3,261 New COVID-19 Infections, Crosses 200,000 Mark

A health care worker getting vaccinated for COVID-19 at the Petco Park, San D...

Credit: County of San Diego

Above: A health care worker getting vaccinated for COVID-19 at the Petco Park, San Diego County vaccination super station, on Jan. 11, 2021.

San Diego County public health officials reported 3,261 new COVID-19 infections and 54 deaths from the virus Wednesday as the county officially crossed the 200,000 total case mark and neared 2,000 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began.

Wednesday's cases marked the 44th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. It was also the 17th time that 3,000-plus daily infections have been announced. More than 4,000 cases have been reported three times.

The county's cumulative totals are now 201,580 cases and 1,952 deaths.

The state of California today authorized immediate access to COVID-19 vaccines for all residents aged 65 and older, following new guidance from the federal government.

What's driving coronavirus surge? Check out the KPBS Trigger Tracker

"There is no higher priority than efficiently and equitably distributing these vaccines as quickly as possible to those who face the gravest consequences," Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement announcing the change. "Individuals 65 and older are now the next group eligible to start receiving vaccines. To those not yet eligible for vaccines, your turn is coming. We are doing everything we can to bring more vaccine into the state."

However, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher asked San Diegans to temper their expectations for the time being. There are more than 620,000 people in the county counted in the Tier 1A vaccine distribution cohort. With the 65+ group, health officials are looking at another 500,000 for well over a million people eligible for vaccines. Both vaccines on the market are not effective without two doses.

"We have received just north of 200,000 vaccines in the county," he said, emphasizing for the time being health care workers would still be prioritized until more vaccine supplies become available.

RELATED: California Allowing Seniors 65 And Older To Get COVID-19 Vaccine

Even so, the county plans to open three more "Vaccination Super Stations" like the one in Downtown San Diego adjacent to Petco Park in early February. Fletcher said the county's Health & Human Services Agency was working with health partners to expand smaller distribution sites from four to 12.

By the end of June, the HHSA hopes to have 70% of the county's population over the age of 16 — or 1,882,554 people — vaccinated. Currently it has .04% immunized from COVID-19 and is administering 6,153 vaccines a day. Fletcher said the county's goal is giving 18,686 vaccines each day by Feb. 1.

Of the 14,636 tests reported Wednesday, 22% returned positive, raising the 14-day rolling average to 14.2% from Tuesday's 13.8%. The county and its health partners have administered more than 3 million tests since the pandemic began.

Hospitalizations resulting from the virus rose to a record 1,804, and intensive care units had 425 patients with COVID-19, just one shy of Monday's record 426. A total of 33 staffed ICU beds remain in the county — including both adult and pediatric beds. Only 246 ICU beds are occupied by patients without COVID-19.

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria delivers his first State Of The City address on Wednesday. Meanwhile, San Diego congressional representatives make their case for or against impeachment on Capitol hill - mostly for. Plus, delivery drivers at supermarkets are already seeing the effects of Prop 22.

Aired: January 14, 2021 | Transcript

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