A young woman is vaccinated at the San Diego County site. Courtesy HHSA

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported 711 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday as the pandemic surged among unvaccinated individuals and national heath officials considered a new mask mandate.

The daily case total was the highest since Feb. 19 as the highly infectious delta variant circulates among unvaccinated individuals.

The county also reported one new death for a total of 3,788 since the pandemic began.

The seven-day average of new cases in the United States is up 53% over the previous week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.

The delta variant, which was first found in India, now comprises more than 80% of new cases nationwide and has been detected in more than 90 countries.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky said the agency has not yet changed its guidance that vaccinated individual do not need to mask, but President Joe Biden said experts were studying the situation.

In Los Angeles, the nation’s second largest city, a mask mandate has been in place since the weekend, and the CDC is considering recommending booster shots for people already vaccinated.

Cases are rising among people who have been vaccinated, but they are generally mild.

“If you are fully vaccinated you have a lot of protection, which is what the vaccines have always been best at — protecting people from serious illness and death. And these vaccines, even with the delta variant, are holding up really well,” said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

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Chris Jennewein

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