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San Diego COVID-19 case rates inch upward

Daily new cases crept back toward 1,000 in San Diego Tuesday, according to the county health department’s latest weekly COVID-19 report.

It was the second upward move after daily numbers fell below 200 Sunday, though an official later said that the lowest low seen since late November was “artificially low due to technical reporting issues.”

A total of 952 new cases were reported Tuesday, nearly double the 533 reported Monday, though delays in communicating test results to the county epidemiology report could mean that many of the latest positive results involved infections that occurred a week ago or more.

Local hospitalizations, however, continue to show a downward trend. According to the county’s weekly update, daily COVID-related hospital census — the collective number of patients in nonmilitary hospital beds each day — dropped below 500 Saturday, falling to 444 Tuesday. The number has not fallen below the 500 mark since mid-December. Intensive care impacts also showed significant progress, with the number of COVID-related cases in ICUs falling below 100 on Feb. 23.

Forty-three additional COVID-related deaths were recorded across San Diego County over the past week. According to the county, 23 of those who died were fully vaccinated and 20 were not; 41 had underlying medical conditions. A 31-year-old man who died on Jan. 31 was the youngest among the latest group of deaths. The most recent is an 82-year-old man who died Feb. 26.

Though many locations have recently seen spikes in the Omicron subvariant BA.2, it has not made a major splash in local numbers. A website run by local scientists that tracks all variants detected by worldwide genetic sequencing lists just 17 BA.2 detections as of the latest update Wednesday. Genetic testing of local wastewater shows 0 percent prevalence of BA.2, though the most recent update is from Feb. 6, nearly one month ago.

Thus far, though BA.2 appears to be somewhat more transmissible than earlier versions of Omicron, researchers have not detected significant differences in the severity of illness caused in those who become infected.



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