REGION — San Diego County public health officials have reported 380 new COVID-19 infections, raising the region’s total case count to 52,735 as the county awaits data from the state, which could compel some businesses to close again.
No new deaths were reported Monday, and the death toll remains at 853.
Today, the county will receive an update about its data from the California Department of Public Health and how it fits into the state’s four-tier reopening plan. Rising case rates could tip San Diego County into the “purple” tier, the state’s most restrictive.
Officials are imploring San Diegans to maintain vigilance as positive case rates for the coronavirus continue to increase in the region.
“We are now concerned about the trends and we are concerned about the likelihood we could tip back to purple,” Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said on Twitter Sunday. The county is now in the red tier and the limit for the purple tier — the state’s most restrictive tier — is 7.0 cases per 100,000 residents.
Fletcher pointed to positive unadjusted case rates over six days (Oct. 11-16): 6.9 out of 100,000 residents, to 7.2 to 7.3 to 7.4 to 7.7 and 7.8, respectively.
Fletcher and Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten held an emergency meeting Friday to “sound the alarm” as the future case rate appears to cross into the purple tier of the state’s four-tier reopening system.
If the county’s adjusted case rate of positive COVID-19 tests remains above 7.0 per 100,000 for two consecutive weeks, it would move into the purple tier for at least three weeks. The purple tier would force nearly all non-essential indoor businesses to close.
With the state’s monitoring system having a seven-day lag, the adjusted case rate of positive COVID-19 tests is 6.8 per 100,000 residents, up from 6.5 in the previous assessment.
“We are still in the red tier, but it is too close for comfort,” Wooten said Friday.
Of the 8,850 tests reported Monday, 4% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases to 2.7%, far below the state-set target of less than 8%
Of the total cases, 3,770 or 7.1% have been hospitalized, with 872 — or 1.7% — spending at least some time in an intensive care unit.
No new community outbreaks were reported Monday. In the past seven days, 31 community outbreaks were confirmed, well above the trigger of seven or more in a week’s time.
A community outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.
The county uses community outbreaks to get a larger sense of the pandemic locally, but the state does not include the statistic in its weekly report.
Wooten said 95% of the county’s cases were not related to a marked community outbreak, a clear indicator the illness has spread throughout the county.