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San Diego County reports 14,025 COVID-19 cases, 6 deaths

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Jacob Aere
People stand in line to receive their COVID-19 test at Cal State San Marcos, Jan. 2, 2022.

San Diego County's Health and Human Services Agency reported 14,025 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths in its latest data.

Thursday's data increased the county's cumulative totals to 627,828 cases and 4,559 deaths.

RELATED: Preteens may be vaxxed without parents under California bill

The number of COVID-positive patients in San Diego County hospitals decreased by 15 people to 1,288 on Friday, according to the latest state data.

Of the hospitalized patients, 205 were in intensive care, down nine from the previous day.

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

RELATED: There's now a phone line to order your free at-home COVID tests

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.

The federal government rolled out a program this week that allows every residential household in the United States to order up to four at-home COVID-19 test kits free of charge. Tests can be ordered online at COVIDtests.gov. Those ordering the test kits need only provide a name and address. No identification, credit card or health insurance information is required.

To date, 959,697 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 2.83 million San Diegans — around 90% of those eligible — have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 2.5 million — or 79.5% — are fully vaccinated.

There were 41,506 new tests reported Wednesday, and the seven-day average positivity rate was 29.3% up from 28.9% on Tuesday.