A security officer enters the Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego emergency entrance. Photo by Chris Stone

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all ages in San Diego County and appearing in every part of the county as cases and testing increase.

The county Health and Human Services Agency provides detailed statistics, updated daily, in a table on its website that is publicly accessible.

Of the 1,209 positive cases through Saturday afternoon, the reported ages range from infancy to 80 and above. The disease is as likely to affect the young as the old, as this  breakdown by age shows:

  • Under 30 — 19.3%
  • 30 to 59 — 55.2%
  • 60 and older — 25.5%

So far 228 cases, or 19%, have required hospitalization, with 89 patients, or 7%, so serious as to be placed in intensive care units.

Eighteen deaths have occurred so far, for a death rate of 1.5%. That is about 15 times the death rate of around 0.1% for the seasonal flu. The youngest victim was 25, but most have been in their 70s and above.

Some observers suggest the number of cases is actually much higher, and therefore the death rate lower, and say this will be proven as testing increases. But San Diego County has already tested nearly 17,000 people — the most per capita in California — to confirm 1,209 cases.

Men seem to be slightly more susceptible to the virus than women, but no one knows why yet:

  • Female — 47.5%
  • Male — 52.5%

Those patients requiring hospitalization have generally been older:

  • Under 30 — 6.6%
  • 30 to 59 — 42.7%
  • 60 and older — 50.7%

Slightly more than half the cases are in San Diego, but every other city in the county has also reported cases, as have most unincorporated areas.

The contagiousness of the virus has led to numerous public health orders to enforce social distancing, and Supervisor Nathan Fletcher urged San Diegans to follow the orders becauses  of the danger of exponential growth in the disease.

“The average individual person infects three other people. That one person who chooses not to do what we’ve asked them to do turns into nine. Nine turns into 27. Twenty-seven into 81. Eighty-one into 243. And so the math around exponential growth continues. And that’s just with a single individual person who has decided not to heed to the actions that we’ve given,” said Fletcher on Saturday.

Chart shows COVID-19 cases through April 4.
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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.