San Diego COVID Cases Nearly Double Overnight; Officials Blame Thanksgiving

Health officials in San Diego don't believe the omicron variant is responsible for the spike

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Positive coronavirus tests being reported in San Diego County spiked on Friday, surging into four figures and nearly doubling the amount of cases in the preceding days.

"The county health and human services agency is reporting 1,153 COVID-19 cases, up from case numbers in the 600s on the prior two days," authorities said in a news release that went out shortly before 3 p.m.

The images of the molecular representation of omicron spike proteins released by the Amaro Lab of UC San Diego are, in a way, hypnotic and artful -- despite their deadly potential

Despite concerns about the new omicron variant of the novel coronavirus -- a case tied to the mutation was reported in Los Angeles on Thurdsay -- authorities are laying blame for the increase on Thanksgiving gatherings, not the new mutation.

“Unfortunately, rises like these after holidays are not unexpected,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, who is a county deputy public health officer, was quoted as saying in the release. “We are vigilant for any changes in cases that omicron might cause, but we’ve seen similar spikes like this in the past.”

The influx increases the county's cumulative total cases to 387,203. The last time more than 1,150 cases were reported was Sept. 10, when 1,188 cases were identified.

Kaiser said similar spikes are likely to occur during the next couple of months because of other upcoming holidays.

"County residents need to be mindful that delta is still out there," Kaiser said. "Indoor masking, vaccination and good hygiene are still strongly advised. People should not visit family and friends or go to work if you're ill."

San Diego County reported four additional deaths on Thursday, increasing the total to 4,350 fatalities since the pandemic began.

The number of COVID patients hospitalized in San Diego County increased from 292 on Wednesday to 298, according to the latest state figures. Of those patients, 84 were in intensive care, unchanged from Tuesday.

A total of 22,928 tests were reported to the county on Thursday, with 4.1% returning positive.

The number of county residents who have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine is now nearly 2.66 million — or 84.7% of residents age 5 and older.

More than 2.36 million people, or 75.1% of residents 5 and older, are fully vaccinated. Roughly 460,110 San Diego County residents 18 years of age or older have received a booster dose.

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