As Testing Demand Rises, San Diego Reports 1,216 New COVID-19 Cases, 3 Deaths
With demand increasing locally for COVID-19 tests, San Diego County's latest coronavirus numbers show 1,216 new infections and three additional deaths.
The updated data were announced Thursday, the same day a new testing site opened at North County Lifeline in Vista — one of several new sites opened this week as demand for tests rises while the virus continues to surge.
"In late July, we started to see a significant increase in demand for COVID-19 testing," said Denise Foster, the county's chief nursing officer and COVID-19 clinical director.
"In response to the need, we quickly identified several new sites to increase capacity."
The Vista site is located at 200 Michigan Ave. and will be open Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A fourth site, at Border View YMCA, 3601 Arey Drive, is scheduled to open Sunday and be open Sundays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, a testing site opened at Lemon Grove Senior Center, 8235 Mount Vernon St., open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Wednesday, a site at Northgate Market San Diego, 5403 University Ave., opened that will be available for testing on Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
In addition to these new sites, the county opened six others last week, bringing the daily testing capacity to about 6,500 tests each day.
Testing is also widely available through pharmacies and other medical providers, with hospital emergency departments primarily for those symptomatic and in need of immediate care.
For a complete list of COVID-19 testing locations, go to coronavirus-sd.com/testing.
All the new sites are in response to a striking surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the county, the vast majority of which have occurred in the unvaccinated, health officials say.
Meanwhile, Thursday's San Diego County data also showed 46 new hospitalizations and one additional admittance to an intensive care unit.
The county's cumulative totals stand at 310,596 cases and 3,821 deaths since the pandemic began.
The total number of hospitalizations since the pandemic began is now 16,207, with a total of 1,739 ICU admittances.
The county's case rate per 100,000 residents was 21.5 overall. But people who are not fully vaccinated are seeing case rates nine times those who are -- 41.1 to 4.5 per 100,000 residents, respectively, data show.
The rate of hospitalization for the unvaccinated is about 51 times higher than those fully vaccinated -- 1.01 average daily hospitalizations compared to .02, according to the data.
A total of 24,890 tests were reported Thursday, and the percentage of new positive cases over the past week is 8.4%.
In addition, a total of 47 new community outbreaks were confirmed in the previous seven days: 18 in restaurant/bar settings; 11 in business settings; three in daycare/preschool/childcare settings; three in retail settings; three in hotel/resort/spa settings; two in faith-based settings; two in TK-12 school settings; one in a health care setting; one in a government setting; one in a grocery setting; one in a restaurant setting; and one in a distribution warehouse setting.
Health officials have repeatedly pointed to the rapid spread of the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus for the increase in cases and hospitalizations, with unvaccinated residents bearing the overwhelming brunt of illnesses.
Officials also continue to stress that vaccinations are the most effective means of battling the recent spike in cases.
In San Diego County, 72% of all eligible residents are vaccinated — more than 2.04 million people. That number includes members of the military but excludes some vaccinations given by tribal authorities or federal detention centers.
The county's goal is to reach a 75% vaccination level, which is 5% higher than the state and national goal.