Dr. Wilma Wooten speaks at Friday's media briefing
Dr. Wilma Wooten speaks at Friday’s media briefing. Image from live stream

San Diego County public health officials reported 132 new cases of coronavirus and six more deaths Friday while warning of a growing number of community outbreaks.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said there have been five new outbreaks in the past seven days. He said these have occurred in restaurants, homes, office buildings and churches.

If there are a total of seven new outbreaks over a seven-day period, it will exceed one of the country’s 13 “trigger” points in controlling the pandemic, and may lead to new restrictions.

“We continue to urge caution when non-household members are congregating together indoors,” Fletcher said at a media briefing.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said that in addition to community outbreaks, public health officials are currently concerned about two other indicators.

These two are the number of available beds in intensive care units, and supplies of personal protective equipment. For example, 69% of ICU beds are currently in use, with 80% considered the trigger point.

“Any one of these triggers will ring the bell for us,” said Wooten. “If they do go awry, we will have to dial back down. I know no one wants to do that.”

She said there have been a total of 15 community outbreaks, which are defined as locations other than nursing homes, since the pandemic began.

On Friday the county reported a single-day record of 6,384 tests, resulting in 132 positive cases. The latest batch of tests brought the 14-day-rolling average of positive tests down to 3%.

Since the first case in March, the county has tallied 214,960 tests, resulting in 9,130 cases and 313 deaths.

Wooten said the latest victims of COVID-19 ranged in age from 69 to 101.

Statewide the number of coronavirus cases stood at 143,646 on Friday with a total of 4,940 deaths.

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Chris Jennewein

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