New COVID Cases Jump to 5,976 As County Officials Call for Curbing New Year’s Revels

Times of San Diego
Times of San Diego
Testing for coronavirus in a medical laboratory. REUTERS/Cooper Neill

The surge in San Diego County COVID-19 cases continued Thursday, with 5,976 new infections reported as health officials urged residents to avoid crowds on New Year’s Eve.

County officials called for people to opt to limit gatherings to family and close friends who are vaccinated and boosted.

They hope, in doing so, that residents prevent the surge of COVID-19 cases that occurred last winter.

“We get it. People are tired of the pandemic, but given the record number of cases, the brisk emergence of Omicron and the increased risks that come with gatherings, San Diegans must continue to make decisions to protect themselves and others,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, county deputy public health officer.

“If you have New Year’s celebrations, limit them to people who live with you and make sure everyone present uses the strategies we know work.”

Such strategies include wearing the correct face coverings, limiting indoor activities with groups and staying home if noticing COVID-19 symptoms – and especially if having tested positive.

“We all have the power to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Let’s use it,” Kaiser said.

In addition to the nearly 6,000 new cases, eight more county residents died due to the virus. With Thursday’s numbers, the total number of cases since the pandemic began rose to 426,131, while the death toll stood at 4,469.

The number of county residents hospitalized with the coronavirus increased from Wednesday’s numbers by 10%, to 475, according to state data. The number of ICU patients rose by nine, to 111.

The county also reported 34,142 new tests and a seven-day positive rate of 17.1%, up from the 14.5% released Wednesday.

Delta remains the most common variant in the county, with more than 17,000 cases since mid-April. The county has confirmed 91 cases of Omicron since Dec. 3, with no deaths due to the variant.

– City News Service

Updated 6:45 p.m. Dec. 30, 2021

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