COVID-19 vaccines are offered in Chula Vista. Photo by Chris Stone

Coronavirus cases continue to surge in San Diego County and across the country among unvaccinated individuals, with 579 new cases reported locally in the past day.

A daily case level of over 500 was last seen in San Diego County in February. There were 428 new cases reported Thursday.

The county has resumed reporting new case numbers on weekdays, but is only reporting other pandemic-related information on Wednesdays.

Nationwide cases of COVID-19 are up 70% over the previous week and deaths are up 26%, with outbreaks occurring in parts of the country with low vaccination rates, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said Friday during a press briefing.

“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Walensky said, adding that 97% of people entering hospitals in the United States with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

The sharpest uptick in cases has occurred in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri and Nevada, said White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients. All those states have below-average vaccination rates.

The delta variant, which is significantly more contagious than the original COVID-19 virus, has been detected around 100 countries globally and is now the dominant variant worldwide, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said.

Across California there were 4,651 new cases and 65 more deaths reported on Friday. A total of 63,598 Californians have died from the disease, including 3,786 in San Diego County.

As of Wednesday, 68.4% of San Diego residents aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated. Statewide 61.0% of residents are fully vaccinated.

Because of the surge in cases, Los Angeles County will require everyone to wear masks in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status, effective late Saturday night.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.