Dr. Hacker: Understanding the rise in COVID-19 cases

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego County public health officials have reported 436 new positive COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths, bringing the county’s totals to 12,837 cases and 360 fatalities.

Director at Horizon Clinical Research, Dr Mona Hacker, joined Good Morning San Diego to help explain the statistics involved in tracking  coronavirus cases.  

Saturday marked the sixth time in seven days that health authorities reported more than 300 new COVID-19 cases. On Friday, the county reported 440 new cases, a record.

The deaths reported Saturday were of a woman and a man who died June 25, they were in their early 70s and 80s, respectively, officials said. The man who did not have underlying health conditions.

The county recorded 9,172 tests Friday and 5% were positive new cases. The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive tests is 3.5%.

Of the new cases, 1,730 or 13.5% have required hospitalization and 475 or 3.7% of all cases and 27.5% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

In the past seven days, six community outbreaks were identified, officials said. The number of community outbreaks falls beneath the “trigger” of seven in seven days.

A “modest uptick” in the number of hospitalizations and ICU visits also has officials worried.

“The sense of community we brought together at the beginning of this to slow the spread is the same one we need to summon now,” County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Wednesday. “It’s natural to see the spread when things start to reopen. What we want to avoid is an exponential spread.”

Fletcher said individual choices to do everything possible to prevent the spread would be vital in coming weeks. Frequent hand washing, wearing facial coverings in public and maintaining social distancing would all continue to make the difference in how quickly the illness makes its way through the community.

Fletcher and his wife, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, announced Thursday they are going into quarantine because of possible coronavirus exposure.

“We were notified today that we had close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19,” Fletcher and Gonzalez said in a joint statement. “While we have both tested negative and have no symptoms, we will be following the public health guidance of a 14-day quarantine for those who have been in contact with a positive case.”

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said a significant spike in cases could be traced to the periods following restaurants opening, churches allowing services, and the mass protests calling for police reform.

“These could influence cases going forward for days, weeks or months,” she said Wednesday.

Wooten, suggesting how long the COVID-19 pandemic could impact the region, said it may not be safe for people to have gatherings at their homes “until sometime next year.”

Categories: Coronavirus, Good Morning San Diego, Health, In Studio Guests, KUSI