Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

KPBS Evening Edition

San Diego County Reports 3,013 New COVID-19 Cases, Six Deaths

A sign in front of a store in Encinitas advising customers that masks are required inside, Jan. 3, 2020.
Alexander Nguyen
A sign in front of a store in Encinitas advising customers that masks are required inside, Jan. 3, 2020.

San Diego County public health officials reported 3,013 new COVID-19 infections Monday, along with an uptick in hospitalizations, to cap off a record-setting weekend for coronavirus cases.

Monday marked the 35th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new infections, the 26th overall with more than 2,000 new cases, and the 10th time the 3,000-case mark has been crossed.

A record 4,478 cases were reported Friday, followed by the second- and fourth-highest numbers — 4,427 Saturday and 3,520 Sunday. The county has reported 10,960 cases since the New Year, bringing its cumulative case total to 171,033.


The county reported six deaths Monday, bringing the number of fatalities to 1,598. The three men and three women who died between Dec. 24 and Dec. 29 ranged in age from early 60s to late 80s. All had underlying medical conditions.

RELATED: Newsom: State Looking To Speed Administration Of COVID-19 Vaccines

Of 17,712 tests reported Monday, 17% returned positive. The seven-day, daily average of tests is 22,304.

The county reported 47 new hospitalizations and nine new intensive care admissions Monday, bringing the cumulative number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 during the pandemic to 6,031 and ICU patients to 1,237.

As of Sunday, 1,536 coronavirus patients were in the region's hospitals, with 376 in ICUs. The county's ICU bed capacity was at 19%, according to county health officials, although with staffing issues, the reality is likely much lower.


The current intensive care unit bed availability for the Southern California region remains at 0%.

One new community outbreak was reported Monday in a daycare/preschool setting. In the last seven days, there have been 45 confirmed community outbreaks, defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

RELATED: California's COVID-19 Numbers Grow With Hospitals Swamped

The total number of cases of the new variant known as B.1.1.7, first detected in the United Kingdom, is four so far in San Diego County. The variant was first found in the U.S. last Tuesday in Colorado. The first San Diego case is in a man in his 30s with no history of travel, who first became symptomatic Dec. 27 and tested positive Dec. 29. He has been hospitalized and contact tracing was underway.

The additional three cases, reported by county health officials on Thursday, were found in two men in their 40s and one in his 50s. Contact tracing shows two men did not travel outside of the county while the third patient had yet to be fully interviewed. None of the men had any known interaction with each other or the other confirmed case.

The three newly confirmed variant cases were initially identified by helix during diagnostic testing, then confirmed by whole genome sequencing by Scripps Research. The four individuals who have tested positive for the B.1.1.7. strain live in La Mesa, Mission Beach, Otay Mesa and the Carmel Mountain/Rancho Bernardo area.

UC San Diego students who returned to campus Monday for winter quarter came upon 11 newly installed COVID-19 testing kit vending machines, part of the university's "Return to Learn" program.

Students are expected to conduct daily symptom and exposure screenings and participate in free weekly testing. Students and employees are required to return samples within 72 hours by placing them in drop boxes next to the vending machines.