San Diego County Reports 611 New COVID-19 Cases, No New Deaths
San Diego County public health officials Tuesday reported 611 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths.
Tuesday's data brought the county's cumulative totals to 355,346 cases, while fatalities remained 4,054.
The number of COVID patients in county hospitals decreased from 387 on Monday to 375, with 126 of those patients in intensive care, according to state figures.
Even with the decrease, San Diego County leapfrogged Riverside County to record the second-most COVID-19 hospitalizations behind only Los Angeles County, which reported 892 patients Tuesday.
A total of 15,005 new tests were logged by the county Tuesday, and the percentage of positive cases over the past seven days was 3.5%.
On Monday, officials encouraged thousands of eligible residents to get COVID-19 vaccine boosters and reminded those who have not yet received the shot that it is the best way to avoid severe symptoms from the virus.
Only those who received their second dose of Pfizer vaccine more than six months ago, and meet certain other criteria, are eligible. Those who received Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines will have to wait for U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration approval.
"While the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, research has shown the protection they offer may decrease over time, and that's why a booster is recommended for people in these groups," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer.
"These San Diegans are at higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19 even after getting vaccinated and should get their booster shot as soon as they qualify."
The CDC recommends the following groups get the booster:
— Those 65 and older;
— Those 18 or older living in long-term care facilities; and
— Those 50-64 with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Additional groups are eligible for the booster, including:
— Those 18-49 with health conditions;
— Those 18-64 who work in occupations working with the public, such as first responders, educators, grocery workers and food service workers.
Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher said that, in terms of vaccinations, the county was outpacing most of the state — which already has one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation — and that San Diegans should be proud of their efforts to combat COVID-19.
Nearly 4.72 million vaccine doses have been administered in San Diego County, with around 2.5 million — or 87.7% of eligible county residents — having received at least one dose, according to the latest data. Fully vaccinated county residents now number more than 2.2 million, or around 78.2% of the county's eligible population.
San Diego County Supervisor Nora Vargas also noted that the South County has a vaccination rate of 88.8%, and offered kudos to those communities.
San Diego County's case rate per 100,000 residents is 27.6 overall, 13.0 for fully vaccinated people and 47.3 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.
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.