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San Diego County sees slight decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations

 San Diego Viejas Arena face masks
Ben Lacy / KPBS
The San Diego Viejas Arena jumbo screen reminds the public to wear their mask indoors, Dec. 17, 2021.

The number of coronavirus patients in San Diego County hospitals decreased by six people to 365, according to the latest state figures. Of those patients, 94 were in intensive care, three more than Saturday.

County public health officials reported 1,032 new COVID-19 infections and seven additional deaths associated with the virus on Friday, increasing the cumulative totals to 397,374 cases and 4,406 deaths since the pandemic began.

RELATED: San Diego Unified students start winter break with home COVID test kits


A total of 25,224 new tests were reported to the county on Friday. A total of 4.3% of all tests returned positive over the past week.

The county does not report case or death numbers on weekends.

RELATED: Moderna says its COVID booster increases protection against omicron

In light of a statewide increase in cases and hospitalizations, and the spread of the Omicron variant, the California Department of Public Health implemented a renewed mask mandate Wednesday. It will remain in place until at least Jan. 15.

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


As of Wednesday, more than 5.89 million doses of the three vaccines now available have been administered throughout the San Diego County region.

More than 2.72 million county residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, around 86.5% of all eligible residents. More than 2.42 million San Diegans, or 76.9% of eligible residents, are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, 601,951 booster shots have been administered in the region.

On Thursday, an advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unanimously voted to give a preferential recommendation to mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna over the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to rare but serious blood clots associated with the latter.

Dr. Isaac See of the CDC said health officials have confirmed 54 cases of the blood clots — nine of which have been fatal — and two additional deaths suspected to be related to the blood clotting issue.