Coronavirus patient transported to hospital
A man with coronavirus is transported to a hospital. REUTERS/Maria Alejandra Cardona

The number of COVID-positive patients in San Diego County hospitals fell by 33 to 448, according to the latest state figures released Saturday.

Of those patients, 49 were being treated in intensive care, up from 47 a day earlier.

San Diego County’s total is the second-highest in the state, behind Los Angeles County’s 1,270.

County public health officials continue to urge San Diegans to receive vaccinations for the flu and COVID-19 as numbers remained relatively high.

In the past week, the county Health and Human Services Agency reported 15 additional COVID deaths and 4,537 new infections — compared to 4,764 the week prior. Thursday’s data increased the county’s coronavirus totals to 962,312 cases and 5,641 deaths.

“Start the new year off right and protect yourself and others from COVID-19 and seasonal illnesses,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. “Make a New Year’s resolution to stay healthy, get updated on your vaccines and avoid gatherings if you are ill.”

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

COVID-19 vaccines, including bivalent boosters, and flu vaccines are widely available at local medical providers and pharmacies. The county will offer vaccinations throughout the holidays at its vaccination sites.

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

According to a county Health and Human Services report, 80.5% of eligible San Diegans have received their two-shot primary vaccinations. They also report that 20.5% of all eligible San Diego residents 5 years and older have received the new bivalent booster.

The COVID vaccines do not necessarily prevent people from contracting or transmitting the virus, but health officials say they offer protections against serious symptoms and possible death.

Flu numbers are on a downward trend, with two additional deaths and 906 cases reported in the past week, compared to seven deaths and 1,141 the previous week. The county’s cumulative total increased to 29 deaths and 19,372 infections — compared to 1,093 at the same time last season and a 1,982 prior 5-year average during the same week.

City News Service