As the delta variant continues to spread the pandemic to the unvaccinated and vaccinated alike, the number of San Diego County's coronavirus infections continues to rise to heights not seen since January of this year.
On Tuesday, health officials said that there were 1,738 new cases reported and confirmed by testings for the disease. Authorities added that there had been 11 new hospitalizations of patients with COVID-19, two of them sick enough to land in intensive-care units.
As bad as that figure is, it pales in comparison to the figures the county reported on Jan. 8, when there were a record 4,550 COVID-19 cases in San Diego.
Fortunately, no new deaths locally were blamed on the disease, which, to date, has claimed the lives of 3,824 San Diegans.
The New York Times is reporting that there are an average of 141,365 new cases a day in the United States, which works out to be roughly 43 per 100,000 Americans. Total deaths in the U.S. blamed on the coronavirus are 622,901, out of 37,042,086 confirmed cases, or about 1 in every 9 people, according to the paper.
Tuesday's case numbers in San Diego are the highest one-day total since late January, however. Tuesday's data increases the cumulative case count to 317,058 since the pandemic began. Officials expect the number of reported cases to increase as more schools and businesses are requiring COVID testing.
Meanwhile, the city of Encinitas will become the latest entity to require COVID-19 vaccines or regular negative tests for employees. Beginning Monday, all Encinitas employees will need to either provide documentation confirming they are fully vaccinated or be required to show negative COVID-19 tests each week. Should case numbers continue to rise throughout the county, the city may require additional testing of unvaccinated employees. Further, COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory for all employees within 45 days of full FDA approval. Masks are already required for all employees and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.
"The city of Encinitas is firmly committed to the health and safety of its employees and the public they serve," City Manager Pamela Antil said. "Many city employees work with the public and have regular contact with persons who could be classified as vulnerable to COVID-19. It is our responsibility to do our part to keep our employees and our community as safe as possible."
In the last 30 days, 92% of COVID-19 cases have occurred in those not fully vaccinated. Of the remaining 8%, San Diego County Chief Medical Officer Eric McDonald said, few are showing symptoms and those are relatively mild.
Of all those hospitalized in the past 30 days, 98% are unvaccinated.
The delta variant of the virus is considerably more contagious than previous strains and now comprises 95% of the virus' genome, Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer, said at a news conference Monday.