San Diego County Supervisors Cox and Gaspar discuss rising COVID-19 cases

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – For the fourth time in a week, San Diego County public health officials reported a record-high number of daily COVID-19 cases, with 440 new positive cases.

Friday marked the fifth time in six days that health authorities reported more than 300 new COVID-19 cases and the first day yet with new cases topping 400. The total number of cases recorded since the pandemic began is now 12,401, and with six additional deaths reported Friday, the number of deaths increased to 358.

Of those deaths, four men and two women died between June 13 and June 24, and ranged in age from late 50s to mid-90s. All had underlying medical conditions.

The county recorded 6,824 COVID-19 tests Friday, 6% of which returned positive. The 14-day rolling average positive test rate is 3.4%.

More than 300 cases were reported on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Another community outbreak was reported Friday in a business, bringing the number reported in the last week to six — falling below the threshold the county set in a set of 13 “triggers” announced earlier this month for the first time since June 18.

“We have seen an uptick in cases this past week. Some of that can be due to increased testing. But as we’ve eased restrictions, that has meant more people going out and exposing themselves to the virus. That’s why we have emphasized only going out for essential services and being careful when you do go out,” said Supervisor Greg Cox.

Community-transmitted COVID-19 outbreaks activated one of those triggers on that date, placing a pause on any additional openings allowed by the state.

The county could take industry-specific actions, pause all reopening efforts or even dial back reopenings if enough of the metrics rise above a certain threshold. The threshold for community outbreaks — defined as three or more lab-confirmed cases from different households — was fewer than seven in a week’s span.

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

Among those who have contracted the disease in the San Diego region, 1,706 — or 13.8% — have required hospitalization. A total of 466 patients — representing 3.8% of all cases, and 27.3% of hospitalized cases — have been admitted to an intensive care unit.

Supervisor Kristin Gaspar said she started an initiative this week to get parents to share their stories and photos of kids returning to sports. “We are packaging these stories to bring to the Governor with the board letter asking him to allow games,” said Gaspar.

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