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San Diego County reports 610 COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths on vaccine anniversary

An undated graphic of the coronavirus from the CDC.
An undated graphic of the coronavirus from the CDC.

On the one-year anniversary of San Diego County receiving its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, the county Health and Human Services Agency on Tuesday reported 610 new viral infections and four deaths.

Tuesday marks one year since the county received its first shipments of COVID-19 vaccinations and the first doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were administered. Since Dec. 14, 2020, more than 5.86 million doses of the three vaccines now available have been administered throughout the region.

Initially, county vaccination sites and medical providers began vaccinating the more than 620,000 health care professionals who became eligible first.


As of Monday, close to 2.72 million San Diego County residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, more than 86% of all eligible residents. More than 2.41 million San Diegans, or close to 77% of eligible residents, are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, more than 528,000 booster shots have been administered in the region.

"San Diego has some of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the nation and our impressive numbers are a testament to the efforts of our community partners, as well as our residents' commitment to put this pandemic behind us," said Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, county public health officer. "COVID vaccines are safe and effective at preventing severe illness and deaths and I urge anyone who has not gotten vaccinated, or is overdue for their booster, to get vaccinated now."

The new data increases the county's cumulative totals to 395,071 cases and 4,393 deaths since the pandemic began. The number of coronavirus patients in San Diego County hospitals increased by 24 people to 354, according to Tuesday's data. Of those patients, 95 were in intensive care as of Tuesday, four more than Monday.

A total of 15,500 new tests were reported to the county on Tuesday. A total of 3.9% of all tests returned positive over the past week.

Beginning Wednesday, San Diego County residents will have to mask up again when they enter indoor public spaces, regardless of their vaccination status.


The state issued the mandate, citing a rise in infection rates since Thanksgiving. It will remain in place until Jan. 15.

The state will also toughen the restriction for unvaccinated people who attend indoor "mega-events" of 1,000 people or more, requiring them to receive a negative COVID-19 test within one day of the event if it's a rapid antigen test or within two days for a PCR test. The current rules require a test within 72 hours of the event.

State officials will also recommend, but not require, that people who travel to California or return to the state after traveling be tested for COVID within three to five days.

Among the indoor public spaces affected by the mask mandate will be retail stores, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers and government offices that serve the public.

KPBS has created a public safety coverage policy to guide decisions on what stories we prioritize, as well as whose narratives we need to include to tell complete stories that best serve our audiences. This policy was shaped through months of training with the Poynter Institute and feedback from the community. You can read the full policy here.