Alvarado Hospital. Photo by Chris Stone
Alvarado Hospital. Photo by Chris Stone

The number of people hospitalized with a coronavirus infection in San Diego County stands at 434, an increase of nine patients over the previous day’s total, according to the latest state data released Saturday.

Of those patients, 41 were being treated in intensive care, down two from Friday, and there were 237 available hospital beds in the county, up five from Friday.

COVID-19 and the flu continue to circulate through San Diego’s population in high numbers, and county public health officials are urging residents to get vaccinated for the holidays. Vaccinations for both illnesses are widely available at local pharmacies and medical providers. The county will also be offering shots throughout the holidays at its vaccination sites, a map of which can be found on the county’s website.

The updated bivalent COVID-19 boosters were recently made available to everyone six months of age and older.

“Many San Diegans have taken advantage of the ability to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. “But we can still vaccinate and protect more people.

“COVID-19 remains highly prevalent in San Diego County, and we’re entering January, the month historically when we’ve had our highest peak number of cases,” she said. “So please take advantage and complete your vaccinations to protect yourself, your family, and others.”

Wooten reminded San Diegans to take caution over the holidays during indoor gatherings, including masking, washing hands often, staying home when sick and home testing.

A total of 4,764 COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths were reported in the past week, increasing the county’s cumulative totals to 957,586 infections and 5,626 deaths.

According to a county Health and Human Services report, 80.5% of eligible San Diegans have received their two-shot primary vaccinations, 60.8% have received the primary vaccinations and a booster. They also report that 20% of all eligible San Diego residents 5 years and older have received the new bivalent booster. In addition, 40% of people 65 years of age and older have received the new bivalent booster.

Flu numbers are on a downward trend, with seven additional deaths and 1,141 cases reported in the past week, compared to seven deaths and 1,609 the previous week. The county’s cumulative total increased to 27 deaths and 18,439 infections — compared to 888 at the same time last season and a 1,201 prior 5- year average during the same week.

–City News Service