The weekly average number of COVID-19 cases in San Diego County has more than tripled in the past month, the county's Health and Human Services Agency announced Thursday.
A total of 8,573 new infections were reported in the past week, compared to 8,854 last week and 7,008 the week before. On Thursday, 1,620 new infections were reported, the most since early February. Along with 11 deaths related to the virus, the county's cumulative totals have increased to 792,777 cases and 5,303 deaths.
The sharp increase in infections prompted county public health officials to remind San Diegans to continue using established protective measures such as masks -- particularly when traveling or moving through crowded indoor spaces. The county also advises avoiding large gatherings, especially if you are immunocompromised.
"Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and staying up to date on all recommended boosters is the best protection San Diegans can take amid the current surge of new cases," said Ankita Kadakia, deputy Public Health Officer. "Get-togethers with friends and family are popular during summer months, but take precautions to keep your loved ones safe, including staying home if you are sick, getting vaccinated or boosted and cleaning your hands frequently."
Boosters are available for everyone age five and older. Those 50 and older, and those who are severely immunocompromised, are encouraged to get a second booster four months after their initial booster.
Close to 2.97 million or 94.3% of San Diegans age 5 and older are at least partially vaccinated, while nearly 2.63 million or 83.5% are fully vaccinated. A total of 1,336,530 or 58.6% of 2,280,870 eligible San Diegans have received a booster shot.
San Diego County's case rate per 100,000 residents 12 years of age and older is 29.67 for people fully vaccinated and boosted, 15.50 for fully vaccinated people and 43.53 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans, the HHSA reported.
The percentage positive tests was 10.2% on Saturday -- the most recent date the HHSA has available. The 14-day rolling percentage of positive cases, among tests reported through Saturday, is 8.6%.
The number of people hospitalized with a coronavirus infection in San Diego County increased by six to 199, according to the latest state data. The number of those patients in intensive care as of Thursday increased by three to 27. The number of available hospital beds decreased by eight to 233.
The county only reports COVID-19 data on Mondays and Thursdays. The numbers represent only the cases reported to county or hospital sites. As the proliferation of at-home tests has increased, the actual number of infections is likely higher.