A staff member at the Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine at UC San Diego Health prepares samples for testing of COVID-19. Courtesy UC San Diego

San Diego County public health officials reported 2,695 new COVID-19 infections and 32 virus-related fatalities Friday, with cases beginning a downward trend.

Friday’s cases marked the 46th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. More than 3,000 daily infections have been reported 17 times, while the 4,000 case mark has been crossed three times.

The county’s cumulative case total rose to 206,870, and the number of deaths to 2,037. Of the 32 new deaths reported, 30 had underlying medical conditions and one did not. The medical history is pending for one person.

Of the 30,851 tests reported Friday, 9% returned positive, dropping the 14-day rolling average from 13.6% on Thursday to 13.2%. The San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency and its partners have administered more than 3.1 million tests since the pandemic began.

COVID-19-related hospitalizations remained high, with 1,787 patients — down from Wednesday’s high of 1,804 — with 417 patients in intensive care units, nine shy of Monday’s record 426.

A total of 31 staffed ICU beds remain in the county — including both adult and pediatric beds. Only 260 ICU beds are occupied by patients without COVID-19.

Total hospitalizations from all causes increased to 4,912 from Thursday’s 4,806. That number is 111 above the 80% threshold of occupied beds — beyond which the county is reserving exclusively for COVID-19 patients.

In the past seven days, 44 community outbreaks were confirmed, tied to 191 cases.

— City News Service

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