Testing for coronavirus in a medical laboratory. REUTERS/Cooper Neill

San Diego County public health officials reported 265 new COVID-19 infections and four deaths related to the illness Tuesday, raising the region’s total case count to 53,000 and the death toll to 857.

Four men died between Oct. 11 and Oct. 18, and their ages ranged from mid-50s to early 80s. All had underlying medical conditions.

Of the 9,110 tests reported Tuesday, 3% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases to 2.8%, far below the state-set target of less than 8%.

Of the total COVID-19 cases in the county, 3,788 or 7.1% have been hospitalized, with 876 — or 1.7% — spending at least some time in an intensive care unit.

Five new community outbreaks were reported Tuesday, two is businesses, one in a restaurant/bar setting, on in K-12 school setting and one in a faith-based setting. In the past seven days, 30 community outbreaks were confirmed, well above the trigger of seven or more in a week’s time.

A community outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

The county uses community outbreaks to get a larger sense of the pandemic locally, but the state does not include the statistic in its weekly report.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s chief public health officer, said 95% of the county’s cases were not related to a marked community outbreak, a clear indicator the illness has spread throughout the county.

— City News Service

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