Local Hospitals Prepare for Fifth Surge Ahead of Winter “Twindemic” with Flu and COVID Cases

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San Diego County reported 365 new COVID-19 infections and three new deaths Monday, as the region's hospitals say they are preparing for a "fifth surge'' of the virus.

The San Diego City Council's COVID-19 Response and Recovery Committee met Monday with leaders from four of San Diego's hospital systems to discuss the current status of the pandemic on county hospitals.

Chief Information Officer and Associate Chief Medical Officer at UC San Diego Health, Christopher Longhurst, said medical professionals were burnt
out and relief was not on the way.

"It is absolutely clear there will be a fifth surge -- period,'' Longhurst said. "So we are expecting a winter surge and unfortunately we talked about this last year about being concerned about a "twindemic'' of both flu and COVID.

"We did not see it last year because of the sense of masking that was in place, but we're worried this year that we will see, with reduced public health measures, both COVID and flu making a resurgence at the same time,'' he said.

Before the meeting began, Councilwoman Marni von Wilpert announced that she has tested positive for COVID-19, CBS 8 reported. Wilpert said she was vaccinated, but showing symptoms and would be recovering at home. She encouraged everyone to get vaccinated.

Monday's data brought the county's cumulative totals to 349,581 cases
and 4,009 fatalities since the pandemic began.

The number of COVID patients in county hospitals decreased from 462 on
Sunday to 456, with 155 of those patients in intensive care, according to
state figures.

A total of 7,831 new tests were logged, and the percentage of positive
cases over the past seven days was 3.8%.

San Diego County's case rate per 100,000 residents is 33.6 overall,
13.9 for fully vaccinated people and 59.3 for those not fully vaccinated.

Nearly 4.67 million vaccine doses have been administered in the county, with around 2.44 million -- or 87.1% of county residents -- having received at least one dose. Fully vaccinated county residents now number more than 2.16 million, or around 77.2% of the county's eligible population.

No-cost COVID-19 vaccines are widely available. They can be found at medical providers, pharmacies, community clinics and county public health centers for people who do not have a medical provider.

A list of locations and more information is available here.

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