San Diego County Moves to Medium Community Risk Level As COVID-19 Cases Continue to Increase

The medium-risk level means that San Diegans who are immunocompromised should consider higher levels of protective measures

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The County's Health and Human Services Agency reported 1,897 new COVID-19 infections Thursday as the pace of new local infections continued to increase moving San Diego County's COVID community transmission risk category to a medium-risk level.

The CDC's risk levels are low, medium, or high and a region's level is determined by looking at hospital bed capacity, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area, the county said.

The number of people hospitalized with a coronavirus infection in San Diego County increased by two to 169, 67 more than one month ago, according to the latest state data.

Of those patients, 22 were being treated in intensive care, the same as Wednesday. The number of available hospital beds was 228, a decrease of 11.

The medium-risk level means that San Diegans who are immunocompromised should consider higher levels of protective measures, like wearing a mask in public, to prevent illness and speak to their doctor about other steps they can take to stay well, the county said.

“While facial coverings are no longer mandatory in most places, the County, along with the California Department of Public Health, strongly recommends masking, especially indoors and around those who may be vulnerable to COVID-19,” said Cameron Kaiser, County deputy public health officer. “Spread of the virus has increased in recent weeks and we should step up individual efforts to keep our community safe.”

Tuesday saw fewer than 1,000 new infections in the past week with 917. A total of 8,854 cases were reported to the county during the past week, compared to 7,008 the week prior, a 26% increase.

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.

Thursday's data increased the county's cumulative totals to 784,203 infections and 5,288 deaths.

Elected officials on Thursday met at the Monoclonal Antibody Regional Center in Clairmont to highlight available treatment options for COVID-19.

"San Diego County is a national leader in vaccine distribution and we have been recognized for our efforts to remove barriers to treatment for COVID-19," San Diego County Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher said. "Together with our partners at the state and city, we have established treatment centers that continue to serve San Diegans as we learn to live with the virus.

"As COVID-19 cases rise, we want San Diegans to know there are treatment options, and that our county remains committed to keeping them safe," he said.

On Feb. 9, 2021, the county delivered its first monoclonal treatment and is expecting to surpass the 10,000th treatment administered in the next few days. There are MARC locations in Clairmont, Vista, Hillcrest and Chula Vista open to the public. By making an appointment, patients can receive the most current antiviral pill or the Monoclonal Antibody Treatment. To make an appointment, call 619-685-2500.

"With COVID cases rising again, San Diegans should know COVID antibody treatments are safe, free thanks to President Biden's American Rescue Plan and very effective at keeping COVID cases mild," said San Diego City Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell. "When we first opened this treatment center in Clairmont, I never imagined I would be a patient here, but it saved my life and I want every San Diego senior to know this effective, free treatment is available to them too."

More than 2.96 million or 94.1% of San Diegans age 5 and older are at least partially vaccinated, while more than 2.62 million or 83.4% are fully vaccinated. A total of 1,330,530 or 58.5% of 2,273,207 eligible San Diegans have received a booster shot.

The county only reports COVID-19 data on Mondays and Thursdays.

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