COVID-19 pandemic hospital
FILE PHOTO: An unidentified COVID-19 patient is treated in the ICU at Providence St Joseph Hospital in Orange, U.S. July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Omar Younis

There were 104 San Diego County residents hospitalized with COVID-19 Saturday, an increase of 15 from Friday, according to the latest data from the state.

The total number of COVID patients in intensive care beds was 17, an increase of four from the previous day. The total number of available hospital beds countywide increased by 22 to 264.

The latest numbers come one day after San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency reported 389 new COVID-19 infections and three more deaths associated with the virus, as case numbers showed a week-over-week increase in the region.

The county does not report cases and deaths on weekends.

In the past week, a total of 2,277 infections were reported, 318 more than the previous week’s 1,959. The county’s cumulative totals increased to 756,718 infections and 5,236 deaths with Friday’s data.

More than 30,000 San Diegans have been hospitalized with COVID-19 locally since the beginning of the pandemic, the HHSA reported this week. The first one was hospitalized on Feb. 25, 2020.

While hospitalizations have been slowing since the Omicron variant hit its peak earlier this year, new COVID-19 infections reached a two-week high Wednesday with 411 reported, followed by 518 on Thursday. Though the figure is still well below daily case counts repeatedly over 10,000 in January of this year, county health officials are urging vulnerable populations to practice increased caution when out in public.

“The unfortunate hospitalization milestone and bump in cases in the region and across the country are a reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. “San Diegans, especially those at higher risk for severe outcomes from an infection, should continue to utilize non-pharmaceutical interventions, like masking and staying away from sick people. Everyone should get vaccinated and boosted when they are eligible, protecting themselves and those around them.”

In San Diego County, 94.3% of residents eligible — age 5 and older — have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. A total of 82.8% of those eligible — or 2.61 million — are fully vaccinated and 55.9% from a smaller eligibility group — 1,229,500 — have received boosters.

— City News Service