Nurse at drive-up testing site
A San Diego County health nurse helps a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 testing site. REUTERS/Mike Blake

San Diego County public health officials reported 282 new cases of coronavirus Wednesday and five more deaths from the pandemic disease.

Out of 6,899 test results received in the past day, just 4.1% were positive, and the 14-day rolling average of positive tests ticked down to 5.5%.

“This is a significant decrease in new cases from yesterday’s report of 498 cases,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer.

She also noted a decrease in the rate of new cases per 100,000 residents, dropping from the 150 range to the 130 range in recent days.  “This is promising,” she said at a press briefing.

The latest victims of the disease were three men and two women ranging in age from 33 to 96. All had underlying medical conditions.

Wooten noted that most of the COVID-19 patients who have died suffered from one or more underlying conditions, including cancer, COPD, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or obesity. She said 57% of San Diego County’s residents have at least one of these conditions and are therefore vulnerable to the disease.

“These types of conditions predispose individuals to more severe COVID-19 complications if they are infected,” she said.

Six new community outbreaks were reported, and Supervisor Greg Cox said plans for a special team to enforce health orders would be presented to the Board of Supervisors next Tuesday.

Wooten described efforts to enforce the health order as maintaining “a fine line and a balance between public health as well as economic viability for our local businesses.”

Three indicators of the pandemic currently exceed allowable levels. They are the number of recent community outbreaks at 24, the number of new cases per 100,000 residents at 139.4, and the percentage of new cases that are investigated within 24 hours at 11%.

Since the first local cast in March, 582,163 tests have been conducted in San Diego County, resulting in 28,287 cases and 552 deaths.

Chris Jennewein

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