Jesus Gonzalez, a phlebotomist assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego, collects a blood sample from a COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor at the hospital’s Armed Services Blood Program Blood Donation Center. DOD photo by Navy Seaman Luke Cunningham.

San Diego County health officials on Wednesday reported 742 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 additional deaths from the pandemic disease.

The county also noted that 57 deaths from the virus were reported in the past week — the highest weekly total during the current surge of the pandemic.

Wednesday’s data increased the county’s cumulative coronavirus totals to 346,934 cases and 3,983 deaths since the pandemic began.

The county reported 17,728 new tests, with the seven-day average rate of positives at 4.4%.

In addition, 50 more patients required admission to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment. Four more had to be admitted to intensive care.

On the vaccine front, nearly 4.6 million doses have been administered in the county, with 2.44 million — or 87.1% of county residents — having received at least one dose. Fully vaccinated county residents now number more than 2.16 million, or around 77.2% of the county’s eligible population.

Amid the high level of fatalities, health officials again urged all San Diegans to get vaccinated.

“These deaths are very unfortunate. Our condolences go out to their family and friends,” said Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “COVID-19 vaccines are widely available and can prevent San Diegans from getting seriously ill, getting hospitalized or, worse, dying.”

COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost throughout San Diego County. For a list of locations and more information, go to coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine.

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