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The number of patients hospitalized for treatment for coronavirus totaled 321 as of Monday. File photo
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County reports 228 new COVID-19 cases, five community outbreaks

REGION — San Diego County health officials reported 228 new COVID-19 infections, the smallest daily increase since June 19, raising the county’s cumulative caseload to 32,975.

No new coronavirus fatalities were reported Monday. The total death toll remains at 594.

County health officials also reported five community outbreaks, bringing the number of outbreaks in the past week to 14.

The latest outbreaks were reported in a restaurant, a restaurant/bar setting, a government office, a business and a grocery store, 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. A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households in the past 14 days.

The number of patients hospitalized for treatment for coronavirus totaled 321 as of Monday, with 101 of those patients in intensive care units. Sunday saw the fewest number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients since June.

Of the total positive cases in the county, 2,752 — or 8.3% — have required hospitalization since the pandemic began, and 689 — or 2.1% — were admitted to an intensive care unit.

The county’s case rate per 100,000 residents Monday was 101.6. The state’s goal is fewer than 100 per 100,000. The case rate is a 14-day average and is based on the date of the actual onset of the illness in each patient, not the date the illness was first reported by the county. Lags in reporting often lead to delays in new confirmed cases being reported to and announced by health officials.

The county reported 7,570 tests Sunday, 3% of which returned positive. The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 5%. The state’s target is fewer than 8.0% testing positive. The seven-day daily average of tests is 8,148.

The next scheduled media briefing by county health officials will be today. No briefing was held Monday due to a county budget hearing.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said last Wednesday that because of problems with the state’s electronic reporting system, which has led to a backlog in test results, additional cases might be retroactively added to both local and statewide case totals in coming weeks.

The percentage of people testing positive for the illness who have been contacted by a county contact tracer in the first 48 hours increased from 7% on July 18 to 97% Monday. The county’s target for this metric is more than 90%.

Of the total hospitalized during the pandemic due to the illness, 71% have been 50 or older. But county residents ages 20-29 have accounted for 25.5% of COVID-19 cases, the highest of any age group, according to county data. That age group is also least likely to take precautionary measures to avoid spreading the illness, officials said.

“Some San Diegans think they’re not going to get sick and therefore are not following the public health guidance,” Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said last week. “What they don’t realize is that they could get infected and pass the virus to others who are vulnerable.”

The age group with the second-highest number of infections — residents ages 30-39 — represents 18.9% of the county’s COVID-19 cases.