Health care providers gather at the nurses’ station in the intensive care unit at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, May 1, 2020. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)

The number of COVID-positive patients in San Diego County hospitals has increased to 943 from 889 on Saturday, according to the latest state figures out Sunday.

Of those patients, 169 were in intensive care, up nine from the previous day. The number of available ICU beds decreased by one to 169.

Because of a massive influx in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, San Diego County public health officials are urging residents to not only get all vaccinations and the booster shot, but to only seek testing for the illness if necessary.

According to county data, in the past month, confirmed COVID-19 cases jumped from around 4,700 per week to more than 45,000 cases reported in the seven days between Dec. 29, 2021 through Jan. 4, 2022. That is nearly a tenfold increase in just 30 days.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have also more than doubled in the past 30 days, from 303 to 943, putting a strain on local hospitals that are contending with hundreds of employees unable to work after contracting the virus.

Some COVID-positive patients may have been hospitalized for other reasons and had their COVID status discovered by hospital-mandated tests.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday unveiled a proposed $2.7 billion COVID-19 emergency response package as part of his next budget proposal, including a $1.4 billion emergency appropriation request to bolster testing capacity, accelerate vaccination and booster efforts, support frontline workers, strengthen the health care system and “battle misinformation.”

City News Service contributed to this article.

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