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San Diego County awaits state guidance after third day of sub-100 per 100,000 case rate


Last updated 8/14/2020 at 6:32pm

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - For the third day in a row, San Diego County public health officials reported a case rate of fewer than 100 positive COVID-19 tests per 100,000 people today, however, the state said it will have to review data before removing the county from its monitoring list.

Previously, county and state officials had said if the rate stays below 100 per 100,000 people -- it was 96.3 Friday -- for three consecutive days, the county would officially be removed from that list. After an additional 14 consecutive days below that number, K-12 schools could potentially reopen for in-person teaching, depending on individual school district metrics.

Additionally, 48 elementary schools have filed waivers with the county to return to school early.

That timeline is now uncertain, as is the timeline of reopening certain businesses for indoor operations.

As the county awaits further guidance from Gov. Gavin Newsom, public health officials reported 406 new COVID-19 cases and seven deaths Friday, raising the county's totals to 34,056 cases and 622 deaths.

Locally, has reported 38 cases, one more since yesterday; Pala has reported 55; and Fallbrook reported 365, five more than Thursday.

Four women and three men died between Aug. 6 and Aug. 13, and their ages ranged from 49 to 94. All but one had underlying medical conditions.

Of the deaths reported thus far during the pandemic, 96% had some underlying medical condition. According to Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer, the leading underlying causes which helped contribute to death were hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, dementia/Alzheimers and chronic kidney disease.

Of the 9,508 tests reported Friday, 4% returned positive, maintaining the 14-day positive testing rate at 4.6%, well below the state's target of 8% or fewer. The 7-day rolling average of tests is 7,688 daily and the county has reported 708,389 tests since the pandemic began.

While signs look positive for the region, County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher warned county residents Thursday against getting complacent.

``We are seeing progress, but we are in the middle of a marathon, not a sprint to the finish line right in front of us,'' he said. ``Our goal is not just to have the rate of cases fall below 100 per 100,000, but to keep it there.''

Of the total positive cases in the county, 2,823 -- or 8.3% -- have required hospitalization since the pandemic began, and 703 -- or 2.1% -- were

admitted to an intensive care unit.

County health officials also reported four community outbreaks Friday, bringing the number of outbreaks in the past week to 24.

The latest outbreaks were reported in a business, a restaurant/bar setting and two in other places of business, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency.

The number of community outbreaks remains well above the county's goal of fewer than seven in a seven-day span. An outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households in the past 14 days.

Latinos are still disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, with that ethnic group representing 61.3% of all hospitalizations and 45.4% of all deaths due to the illness. Latinos make up about 35% of San Diego County's population.


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