San Diego County is likely to report its 200,000th case of the new coronavirus on Wednesday, as the increase in prevalence due to holiday gatherings pushes daily cases of COVID-19 to between 3,000 and 4,000.
On Wednesday, the county reported 3,261 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 201,580 since February 14, 2020, when local public health officials first began monitoring the virus in the San Diego community.
In the following months, the number of cases began to rise, coinciding initially with an increase in tests and the first jump in July. Even so, it took 10 months for the region to exceed 100,000 cases, a milestone marked on December 10th.
It took another month for that number to double.
“On December 25, more than 2,000 cases were registered per day,”
Of course, case numbers alone are not the best indicator of how widespread the virus is in the community, but an exponential increase in the 14-day positive case rate among tests conducted in November shows how the rate of spread has increased among San Diegons.
In early November, the 14-day positivity rate was about 3%. At the end of the month, that number doubled. and by the start of the new year, about 12% of the tests returned positive. That number was 14% on January 11th.
Wooten said hospitalizations and deaths usually lag behind by about three weeks after the increase in cases, but local hospitals have been strained since early December due to a jump in cases in mid-November. As of January 10, only 40 intensive care beds had been rented and were available immediately, about 5% of the county’s total.
San Diego County health officials aim to vaccinate 5,000 health workers a day at the new “Super Vaccination Station” in Tailgate Lot. Audrey Stafford of NBC 7 has more information.
A new virus strain of COVID-19, called B.1.1.7, is also worrying. it is 40-70% more contagious. Wooten stressed that there was no evidence that it caused a more serious illness or death or that it was not subject to the COVID-19 vaccine. Only about 3,000 positive cases of COVID-19 have been genetically sequenced for the new strain, of which 38 cases have been confirmed by Tuesday.
However, the county’s efforts to increase vaccinations among health professionals are a positive sign. On Tuesday, Wooten said they were working to receive doses for about 620,000 health professionals who fall into the phase 1A vaccination strategy in California. Nick Macione said the county expects to vaccinate the next group of people in Phase 1B in a few weeks.