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San Diego County sees rise in COVID hospitalizations

People check-in at a new COVID-19 testing site at Zion Market on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard in San Diego, Calif. Jan. 17, 2022.
Kitty Alvarado / KPBS
People check-in at a new COVID-19 testing site at Zion Market on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard in San Diego, Calif. Jan. 17, 2022.

The number of COVID-positive patients in San Diego County hospitals has increased by four people to 1,260, according to the latest state data released Tuesday.

Of those patients, 193 were in intensive care, up four from the previous day.

San Diego County had the second-most COVID-positive patients in California, behind only Los Angeles County.


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

San Diego County reported 9,878 new COVID-19 infections and five additional deaths on Friday.

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.

The county doesn't release information on tests, infections or deaths on weekends or holidays.

To date, 906,615 San Diegans have received vaccine 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.

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, officials 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.

Updated: January 18, 2022 at 9:59 AM PST
This article has been updated to reflect the latest state numbers released Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.