At San Diego County COVID testing sites, workers have turned to self swabs. Here, workers in San Ysidro help a patron. Photo credit: County News Center

San Diego County reported 1,153 new COVID-19 cases Friday, a relatively high number that public health officials believe is the result of Thanksgiving gatherings.

The influx is up from reports in the 600s the previous two days, increasing the county’s cumulative total coronavirus cases to 387,203. The last time more than 1,150 cases were reported was Sept. 10, when 1,188 cases were identified.

County health officials believe the upturn is tied to Thanksgiving gatherings and not due to the new Omicron variant, which has not yet been identified in San Diego County.

“Unfortunately, rises like these after holidays are not unexpected,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, county deputy public health officer. “We are vigilant for any changes in cases that Omicron might cause, but we’ve seen similar spikes like this in the past.”

Kaiser said similar spikes are likely to occur during the next couple of months because of other upcoming holidays.

“County residents need to be mindful that Delta is still out there,” Kaiser said. “Indoor masking, vaccination and good hygiene are still strongly advised. People should not visit family and friends or go to work if you’re ill.”

The Omicron variant has been identified in Los Angeles and San Francisco. County health officials urge San Diegans to continue following the measures to protect against all varieties of COVID-19, including the Omicron variant.

San Diego County reported one additional death on Friday, increasing the total to 4,351 fatalities since the pandemic began.

The number of COVID patients hospitalized in San Diego County decreased from 298 on Thursday to 296, according to the latest state figures. Of those patients, 86 were in intensive care, an increase of two from Thursday.

A total of 34,514 tests were reported to the county on Friday, with 4.2% returning positive over the past seven days.

The number of county residents who have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine is now nearly 2.66 million — or 84.7% of residents age 5 and older.

More than 2.36 million people, or 75.1% of residents 5 and older, are fully vaccinated. Roughly 460,110 San Diego County residents 18 years of age or older have received a booster dose.

Updated at 4:39 p.m. December 3, 2021

City News Service contributed to this article.

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