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County reports 2,326 COVID-19 cases, 17 deaths as hospitalizations decrease

sdsu covid-19 testing sign
Bennett Lacy / KPBS
A sign outside the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center on the San Diego State University campus reminds visitors that COVID-19 testing is no longer available. Jan. 18, 2022.

San Diego County reported 2,326 new COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths Thursday as hospitalizations dropped by 53.

Thursday's data increased the county's cumulative totals to 721,390 cases and 4,871 deaths since the pandemic began. Total COVID hospitalizations decreased from 921 to 868, according to the latest state data.

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The number of those patients in intensive care increased to 159 Thursday, 14 fewer than Wednesday. Available ICU beds increased by eight to 172.

A total of 1,111,400 — or 53.2% — of San Diego County residents who are fully vaccinated have received a booster shot, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency. Boosters are available for everyone 12 years and older.

The county has more than 400 vaccination sites including pharmacies, medical providers, clinics and county locations. Appointments can be made and sites can be found by calling 833-422-4255 or visiting the MyTurn or coronavirus-sd.com websites.

More than 2.89 million — or 91.9% — of San Diego County residents age 5 and older are at least partially vaccinated and more than 2.54 million, or 80.8%, are fully vaccinated.

A total of 22,822 new tests were reported Tuesday with a positivity rate of 14.6%, down from 17.1% on Friday. The county reports this statistic every Tuesday and Friday.

Well-fitted masks will continue to be required to be worn indoors by people who are not fully vaccinated following Tuesday's expiration of the indoor mask mandate in San Diego County, the Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday.

The policy follows California Department of Public Health recommendations. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson immunization.

Masks will still be required in schools and certain other settings regardless of vaccination status.

The county Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to ask the California Department of Public Health to phase out masking in schools in a "safe and responsible" manner.