San Diego County Reports 810 COVID-19 Cases, 51 Deaths
San Diego County public health officials reported 810 new COVID-19 cases and 51 deaths Wednesday as the county announced plans for a new vaccination super station at the Del Mar Fairgrounds to open Friday.
The percentage of positive tests and hospitalizations continued to decline Wednesday, good indicators the pandemic may finally be on the wane, despite the heavy death toll.
Of 19,461 tests reported by the county's Health and Human Services Agency on Wednesday, 4% returned positive, dropping the 14-day rolling average of positive tests from 6.8% last week to 6.5%, the lowest yet in 2021.
Hospitalizations from the virus dropped below 1,000 for the first time this year, declining by 29 patients from Tuesday to 992. Intensive care patients rose by one overnight to 318 but remain generally on the decline. There were 43 available, staffed ICU beds in the county as of Wednesday.
Wednesday's numbers raise the total number of coronavirus infections in the county throughout the pandemic to 248,861, while the death toll increased to 2,904. It was the third consecutive day with fewer than 1,000 new cases.
Meanwhile, officials announced that Scripps Health, San Diego County and the Del Mar Fairgrounds are planning to open a COVID-19 vaccination super station at the fairgrounds on Friday.
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The Scripps Del Mar Fairgrounds Vaccination Super Station, located at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., will provide drive-through and walk-through services on an appointment-only basis to anyone eligible to receive a shot under county guidelines.
"Scripps Health is pleased to collaborate with the county and the Del Mar Fairgrounds on what will be a very important community-wide resource and new tool in the battle to control and diminish the COVID-19 pandemic locally," Scripps president and CEO Chris Van Gorder said. "We are ready to expand beyond the smaller vaccination clinics we've been able to offer to Scripps patients over the past few weeks. All we need is a supply of more doses to vaccinate more people."
Current plans call for the station to open initially from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday and Sunday. Longer hours and more days of operation will be added as more vaccine doses become available. Appointment slots will be posted once they are available on the county's vaccination website at www.vaccinationsuperstationsd.com.
A total of 15.1% of San Diegans age 16 and over have received at least one of the two shots required to develop antibody protection against the virus. Around 3% of the population over the age of 16 is fully vaccinated.
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San Diego County coronavirus inoculation sites have received 703,200 doses of vaccine and administered 527,745 doses, according to the HHSA.
San Diego County's COVID-19 case rate has dropped dramatically in recent weeks. As recently as Jan. 19, the county reported an adjusted rate of 60.6 new infections per 100,000 residents. As of Tuesday, the number dropped to 34.2 per 100,000. The case rate is updated every Tuesday.
However, there is still a long way to go. To come out of the most- restrictive purple tier in the state's four-tiered reopening plan, the county needs to register fewer than seven cases per 100,000 people.
The county health agency reported nine new community outbreaks Wednesday, bringing the total in the past week to 70, tied to 290 cases.