San Diego County health officials reported Saturday that a seventh county resident has died from coronavirus as the number of cases increased by 71 to 488.
Dr. Nick Yphantides, the county’s chief medical officer, said the latest victim was a man in his 80s who had an underlying medical condition.
Yphantides said the number of local cases continues to rise but a peak is likely “in the coming weeks” if residents strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Late Saturday afternoon, the daily report from the county Health and Human Services Agency showed a total of 488 cases — an increase of 71. There were 76 new cases on Friday and 64 on Thursday.
Yphantides said one bright spot amid the pandemic is that local hospitals are currently as prepared for a peak coronavirus caseload as possible thanks to countywide cooperation.
“Hospital capacity right now is as optimal as it can be,” he said, adding that the region is “poised to deal with the inevitable.”
He said the county has also recently investigated 12 nursing homes and long-term care facilities, clearing five, finding coronavirus at three and waiting on results at four.
Yphantides and Supervisors Greg Cox and Nathan Fletcher spoke at the county’s daily afternoon briefing on the pandemic and again urged residents to heed the social distancing rules.
“The situation in San Diego is only going to get worse in the coming days, and the actions that we take now will impact the severity of that increase,” said Fletcher.
He said the county has extended all public health orders from March 31 until further notice. “We are going to be in this posture for awhile,” he said.
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