Motorists wait in a long queue at Kaiser Permanente complex in La Mesa for COVID-19 testing on Monday, Jan. 3.
Motorists wait at Kaiser Permanente complex in La Mesa for COVID-19 testing. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency reported 2,736 new COVID-19 infections and 29 deaths Friday as hospitalizations dropped by 91 patients.

Friday’s data increases the cumulative coronavirus case and death totals to 708,770 infections and 4,786 deaths. The latest state data for hospitalizations showed 1,014 patients in area hospitals with COVID-19, a decrease of 8.2% from Thursday.

The patients in intensive care beds decreased by seven to 199, and total ICU beds available declined by 14 to 157.

Along with a seven-day average positivity rate of 17.1% — down from 19.8% on Tuesday — there is evidence to believe the Omicron variant is on the wane.

Hospitalizations and deaths are considered a lagging factor, so the above-average deaths due to the virus may result from the Omicron spike in December and January, officials said. Additionally, actual case counts may be higher due to the increasing popularity and availability of home antigen tests, which are not reported to the county.

However, since the beginning of the year, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 225 San Diegans.

A total of 1,072,823 (51.8%) of San Diego County residents who are fully vaccinated have received a booster shot, according to the HHSA. Boosters are currently available for everyone 12 years and older.

The county has more than 400 vaccination sites including pharmacies, medical providers, clinics and county locations. Appointments can be made and locations can be found by calling 833-422-4255 or visiting the MyTurn or websites.

Nearly 2.88 million, or 91.4%, of San Diego County residents aged 5 and older are partially vaccinated, and more than 2.53 million, or 80.4%, are fully vaccinated.

City News Service contributed to this article.