San Diego County public health nurses at a drive-through coronavirus testing site in Imperial Beach. REUTERS/Mike Blake

San Diego County public health officials reported 283 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths Sunday, raising the region’s total number of cases to 26,984, with the death toll remaining at 533.

The county reported 7,505 diagnostic tests in the past day, 3.8% of which returned positive. The 14-day rolling average of positive tests ticked down to 5.6%. The target set by California is less than 8%.

The seven-day average of daily tests is 9,201. Of the total positive cases, 2,391 — or 8.9% — required hospitalization and 614 — or 2.3% — were admitted to an intensive care unit.

Three new community setting outbreaks were reported Saturday in a restaurant/bar, food processing facility and business. In the past seven days, 11 community outbreaks were confirmed. The number of community outbreaks is above the trigger of seven or more in seven days. A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households.

The next pandemic briefing from health officials will be Monday.

Cal State San Marcos sent an advisory to students and staff Thursday notifying them that two employees who were working on campus have tested positive for COVID-19.

“One individual was last on campus on July 16 and the other individual on July 17,” the advisory said. “Both are in self-isolation following public health protocols, as are people with whom they have had close personal contact.”

As a result of numbers that continue to rise, Supervisor Greg Cox announced Wednesday that San Diego County was starting a Safe Reopening Compliance Team that will provide assistance to businesses and residents not in compliance with public health orders. The team’s exact powers were not clear.

“This is a carrot approach, not a stick,” Cox said. “But we still have the stick and other tools to ensure compliance.”

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said the team would enable the county to step up enforcement on “egregious violations” — but the details on that enforcement were also unclear. Officials were reaching out to the various cities and communities in the county to collaborate on solutions.

“This is out of an effort to keep our businesses open, not to close them,” Fletcher said.

— City News Service

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