San Diego County public health officials reported 1,176 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday amid a recent downward trend, but the number of patients in intensive care set a record.
There were a record 438 coronavirus patients in ICUs, with just 48 beds open and fully staffed across the county.
The number of new cases reported Thursday was the fewest in more than a month, though still well above levels in September and October before the surge.
The county Health and Human Services Agency also reported 48 more deaths from the pandemic disease. The latest victims were 24 men and 24 women aged from their 30s to 80s.
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher told a media briefing that there is reason for cautious optimism with the recent decline in new cases and a growing pace of vaccination.
But he warned the public not to become complacent, saying the “numbers can rapidly turn around and go the other direction.”
Since the first local case in March, there have been 219,731 cases in San Diego County and 2,222 deaths.