San Diego County's positive Covid case count and positivity rate has been increasing over the last week. Last week the County saw slightly more than 4,000 positive cases compared to slightly less than 3,000 positive cases the previous week. Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer says, the case count is likely the tip of the iceburg because many San Diegans are testing themselves at home.
"The numbers are even higher than what we're actually seeing because those numbers are not being repotted to the county so by virtue of having the at home test kits and additional people are diagnosing themselves as positive because the test comes back as positive, those numbers that we don't see unless someone happens to go get a PCR to confirm," she said.
Medical experts attribute the rise in case numbers to Easter gatherings, graduations, prom and the seasons changing.
Scientists from UCSD Health have been testing San Diego wastewater at three different locations for the viral load to help determine when a Covid case surge might happen. Dr. Christopher Longhurst says the viral load is trending upward which indicates that the case count is likely to also increase in the next few weeks.
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"It's unlikely to tax our health system resources in the same way it did in the past partly because of a summertime peak that will be lower and partly because of these anti viral treatments and vaccines," Dr. Longhurst said.
Currently the hospitalization and ICU numbers due to Covid have not increased significantly, according to County officials. They attribute this to San Diego's high vaccination and booster rates, and people using anti-viral treatments.
The latest County data shows 914 new positive cases for Thursday, 697 on Friday, 632 on Saturday and 516 for Sunday.
Regardless, medical experts say it's important to remain vigilant because there is still not a lot of research about the long term effects of Covid. If you do test positive for Covid, follow CDC guidance and isolate for five days. On the fifth day, the CDC recommends you take another test and if you test negative, you should wear a mask for another 6-10 days after your second test.
Dr. Longhurst says it's also important to get tested if you find out you've been exposed to someone who tests positive.