San Diego County reports 533 COVID-19 cases, five deaths
San Diego County reported 533 new COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths associated with the virus in its latest data, while the average test-positivity rate continued to drop.
Tuesday's data increased San Diego County's cumulative totals to 738,232 cases and 5,034 deaths since the pandemic began.
The average percentage of COVID-19 tests that returned positive in the last week decreased to 5.2%, from 5.7% Friday. The county reports new COVID- 19 data on Tuesdays and Fridays. An average of 12,602 tests were reported daily in the past week.
The number of county patients hospitalized with COVID-19 continued to fall, decreasing to 424 from 435, according to Tuesday's state data.
The number of those patients in intensive care decreased by one to 83. Available ICU beds increased by 19 to 231.
A total of 1,151,574 — or 54.3% — of San Diego County residents who are fully vaccinated have received a booster shot, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency.
More than 2.9 million — or 92.6% — of San Diego County residents age 5 and older are at least partially vaccinated and more than 2.56 million, or 81.4%, are fully vaccinated.
During a regular update before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer, said that even with declining case numbers, residents should still take steps to avoid getting COVID-19.
Supervisors voted 3-1, with Jim Desmond opposed, to continue the local health emergency and hold public meetings via teleconference. Supervisor Joel Anderson was ill and didn't participate in Tuesday's meeting.
Desmond also suggested that the county chief administrative officer, public health doctors and the board's COVID-19 committee reconsider vaccine requirements for new hires and mandatory testing.
Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher said it's appropriate to look at phasing out requirements and testing. He added that even with a higher transmission rate, the county is now "in a fundamentally different place," because of existing protections.
"It's a good thing to put COVID in the rear-view mirror and move forward," he said.