COVID Numbers Climb in San Diego County But Don't Tell Full Story

Local health officials are reporting more than 1,300 new cases per day

NBC Universal, Inc.

COVID numbers continue to climb in San Diego County, averaging more than 1,300 new cases per day, according to new figures released by the department of health, but those numbers only tell part of the story.

“At any given time, the COVID cases are always going to be an undercount,” said Dr. Abisola Olulade, who practices family medicine at Sharp Rees-Stealy.

The numbers are off because some people are asymptomatic, and also because many people use at-home testing kits and never report the results to San Diego County health officials.

“I tested positive a few weeks ago,” said a man who identified himself only as Howard. 

Howard didn’t report the test to anyone but stayed home and recovered from the coronavirus, which is what a lot of people do.

That wasn’t the case last year when testing sites had long lines and home testing wasn’t available. Now that test kits are free and easy to get, many people test themselves regularly.

Even with home testing, some doctors believe positive tests should be reported to county health officials. 

“Do that extra step and call your county,” said Dr. William Tseng of Kaiser Permanente. “Let them know that you’re positive as well so that we can have those accurate numbers.”

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