San Diego County and Human Services Agency are urging residents to get their COVID-19 vaccines immediately as the region experiences what they described as a “significant spike” in cases.
On Friday, the county’s Communications Office issued the urgent message to San Diegans along with the announcement of 1,264 new virus cases – the most reported since Feb. 5.
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“The increase in cases is not a single-day phenomenon, but part of a larger trend in recent weeks,” the county’s statement said.
From June 21 to July 20, more than 6,500 residents in San Diego tested positive for the virus, with 89% of that population unvaccinated, according to the county. The news comes as the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 is reported among local cases.
The county added that 98% of hospitalizations in the last 30 days have been from individuals who have not been vaccinated or completed their doses.
“The vaccines are effective in preventing severe illness or death from COVID-19,” Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County Public Health Officer, said. “If you have not gotten vaccinated, the time to get vaccinated is now. If you are late for your second dose, the time to get that second shot is now.”
"We are facing a pandemic of the unvaccinated," San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher said in a statement. "A vast majority of the increase in cases are from those who are unvaccinated and they account for nearly all of the hospitalizations. The way to slow the increase and protect yourself is to trust your doctor and get a vaccine."
As of early July, more than 140,000 San Diegans were overdue in receiving their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The county reported on Friday that about 69% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated while about 80% received at least one dose.
At this time, masks are not required for fully vaccinated San Diegans. An honor code-like system has been placed with non-vaccinated residents asked to mask up while at indoor establishments.