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San Diego County Reports 685 New COVID-19 Cases, 12 Deaths

Students walking through San Diego State campus on the first day of class, Aug. 23, 2021.
Mike Damron
Students walking through San Diego State campus on the first day of class, Aug. 23, 2021.

San Diego County reported 685 new COVID-19 infections and 12 new deaths Tuesday, as the region's hospitals continue to prepare for a possible "fifth surge" of the virus.

Tuesday's data brought the county's cumulative totals to 350,267 cases and 4,021 fatalities since the pandemic began.

The number of COVID patients in county hospitals decreased from 456 on Monday to 446, with 148 of those patients in intensive care, according to state figures.

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A total of 17,312 new tests were logged, and the percentage of positive cases over the past seven days was 3.6%.

The San Diego City Council's COVID-19 Response and Recovery Committee met Monday with leaders from four of San Diego's hospital systems to discuss the current status of the pandemic at county hospitals.

Christopher Longhurst, chief information officer and associate chief medical officer at UC San Diego Health, said medical professionals were burned out and relief was not on the way.

"It is absolutely clear there will be a fifth surge — period," Longhurst said. "So we are expecting a winter surge and unfortunately we talked about this last year about being concerned about a `twindemic' of both flu and COVID.

"We did not see it last year because of the sense of masking that was in place, but we're worried this year that we will see, with reduced public health measures, both COVID and flu making a resurgence at the same time," he continued.

Before the meeting began, Councilwoman Marni von Wilpert announced that she has tested positive for COVID-19. Wilpert said she was vaccinated, but showing symptoms and would be recovering at home. She encouraged everyone to get vaccinated nonetheless.

San Diego County's case rate per 100,000 residents is 33.6 overall, 13.9 for fully vaccinated people and 59.3 for those not fully vaccinated.

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Nearly 4.67 million vaccine doses have been administered in the county, with around 2.44 million — or 87.1% of county residents — having received at least one dose. Fully vaccinated county residents now number more than 2.16 million, or around 77.2% of the county's eligible population.

No-cost COVID-19 vaccines are widely available. They can be found at medical providers, pharmacies, community clinics and county public health centers for people who do not have a medical provider.

A list of locations and more information is available at coronavirus- sd.com/vaccine.