San Diego County health officials on Wednesday reported 247 new coronavirus cases and 12 deaths while acknowledging official California data differs from local figures and could lead to restrictions.
The county is reporting 6.9 cases per 100,000 population, just below the threshold for the pandemic being considered “widespread,” while state figures show 7.9 cases per 100,000.
Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said the state is not accurately counting the number of tests that have been performed locally, resulting in a higher case rate.
“All we know is that our numbers are not accurate and we are working with the state to resolve the issue,” she said at a media briefing. “Today we are 6.9, still in the red, tier 2, and we will continue to work with the state to try to resolve the issue.”
All large urban counties except San Diego and Orange are in tier 1, or purple, resulting in additional restrictions.
The number of new cases reported Wednesday was relatively low at 247, with a positive rate of 5.4%, and the 14-day rolling average ticked up to 4.5%.
Some 46 of the latest cases were among San Diego State University students, with the total number of confirmed cases at the university at 440 since Aug. 24.
Asked if the situation at SDSU could push the county into the purple zone, Wooten said daily cases would have to be much higher.
“In the past week, cases have been in the 200s and 300s. What we don’t want to see is daily cases 400, 500, 600 as we saw in July,” she said. “That could put us in tier 1.”
Luke Wood, vice president for student affairs and campus diversity at SDSU, said university security is closely monitoring the campus, while administrators are reaching out to students and have instituted a stay-at-home advisory.
“These different factors are working. If you go into the college area in the evenings, you’ll note there has been a significant reduction in the amount of social activity,” Wood said.
The latest victims of COVID-19 were six women and six men aged from their mid-50s to late 80s. All had underlying medical conditions.
The county also reported three new community outbreaks — two at businesses and one at a restaurant — for a total of 22 over the past week.
Since the first local case in March, there have been 889,604 tests performed in San Diego County, resulting in 41,324 cases and 721 deaths.
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