Motorists wait in a long queue at Kaiser Permanente complex in La Mesa for COVID-19 testing. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced 14,437 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday and 11 more deaths.

Residents continue to crowd testing facilities, as the county recorded 54,809 new tests. The seven-day positivity rate climbed to 28.8% Thursday, according to the county.

Hospitalizations rose by 76, officials reported, a 15% drop from Wednesday’s increase. Four more patients required intensive care.

According to state data, COVID-19 hospitalizations more than tripled in the past 30 days, from 330 to 1,135.

Since the pandemic began in early 2020, there have been 558,356 COVID-19 cases in the county resulting in 4,540 deaths.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has procured about 380 million of the first batch of COVID tests that it plans to make available to Americans grappling with a shortage of tests as the highly infectious Omicron variant spreads, spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

The White House announced earlier Thursday that it planned to double the total number of tests it would distribute across the country to 1 billion.

– Staff and wire services contributed to this report.

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