Coronavirus patient hospital
A woman in personal protective equipment (PPE) holds the hand of a COVID-19 patient in her isolation room. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

San Diego County reported 373 new COVID-19 infections and five additional virus-related deaths Friday, while hospitalizations have declined to their lowest point since July 2021 — one of the lowest points since the pandemic began.

The 115 patients hospitalized Friday — down seven from Thursday — are the fewest since last summer, before the Delta variant arrived. Same for the patients in intensive care units — 27 on Friday, down one from the day prior — the fewest since 23 on July 12, 2021.

Available ICU beds decreased by one to 231.

However, Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, has tweeted that the incoming wave of BA.2 variant cases could be cause for alarm, as cases in China have spiked and in the United States, the test positivity rates have increased to 3.5% from 2.8% a week earlier. In San Diego County, that positivity rate is 3.2%, according to Health and Human Services Agency numbers.

Friday’s data increased the county’s cumulative totals to 752,705 cases and 5,215 deaths, an increase of 1,714 cases and 30 deaths over the past week.

Close to 2.96 million San Diegans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose, or around 94% of those eligible. Nearly 2.6 million, or 82.6% of those eligible, are fully vaccinated. A total of 1,221,004 booster shots have been administered.

City News Service contributed to this article.