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San Diego County reports 9,878 new COVID-19 cases, 5 deaths

A San Diego county employee explains the testing process to a person with an appointment at a San Diego County COVID 19 testing station by the SDCCU Stadium on May 18, 2020.
Matthew Bowler
A San Diego county employee explains the testing process to a person with an appointment at a San Diego County COVID 19 testing station by the SDCCU Stadium on May 18, 2020.

San Diego County reported 9,878 new COVID-19 infections and five deaths Friday as a surge in hospitalizations continues.

COVID-related hospitalizations in San Diego County increased by 45 to 1,180 on Friday. Of the hospitalized patients reported, 178 were in intensive care, up one from the previous day. The number of available ICU beds declined by three to 170.

According to state data, COVID-19 hospitalizations more than tripled in the past 30 days, from 354 to 1,180.

Some COVID-positive patients may have been hospitalized for other reasons and had their COVID status discovered by hospital-mandated tests.

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Friday's data from the county Health and Human Services Agency increased the county's cumulative totals to 568,212 cases and 4,545 deaths since the pandemic began.

To date, 906,615 San Diegans have received booster shots. The CDC recommends a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot five months after the second dose. A Johnson & Johnson booster is recommended two months after the second dose. Pfizer boosters have been approved for everyone 12 years and older. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters are only available for adults 18 years and older.

More than 2.81 million San Diegans — around 89.4% of those eligible — have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 2.49 million — or 79% - - are fully vaccinated.

To help alleviate the strain on local hospitals and prepare them for the expected surge in admissions, the HHSA recommends that only people needing emergency care should go to a hospital emergency department.

RELATED: Federal testing website launches next week, 4 tests per home

COVID-19 testing should be reserved for those at higher risk of serious illness and people who need it the most. People should not go to an emergency department for testing with no or mild COVID symptoms, she said.

There were 40,017 new tests reported Friday, and the seven-day average positivity rate was 28.9%, up from 28.8% on Thursday.