Nathan Fletcher
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher speaks at Wednesday’s briefing on the pandemic. Image from live stream

San Diego County officials said Wednesday a task force will set goals for COVID-19 testing before reopening the economy as the latest public health report showed 57 new cases and 9 more deaths.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said the medical task force is developing goals and procedures for testing, tracing the contacts of infected individuals, and isolating patients during their recovery from the disease.

“We are focused on assessing the actual number of tests we need as a region every day in order to move to the next phase,” said Fletcher at the county’s daily briefing. “We’re going to continue to work to firm up what we believe our daily San Diego capacity should be as a goal.”

He said the goal would include targets for personnel, protective equipment, swabs and “everything that makes a test become a reality.”

The latest report on the pandemic from the Health and Human Services Agency showed a cumulative total of 2,491 cases and 96 deaths with a total of 36,434 tests conducted by the county, hospitals and private laboratories. There were 1,514 tests in past day alone.

Dr. Eric McDonald, the county’s medical director of epidemiology, said testing is a complex problem because there are a variety of different tests and testing systems in use across the county requiring different types of supplies.

“Each medical system has its own challenges with making sure they can deliver on the potential capacity that they have,” he said. “The good news is it does improve every day.”

McDonald said the latest victims of coronavirus disease were three women aged 68, 96 and 99, and six men aged 38, 65, 66, 78, 83 and 86.

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