A medical staff member treats a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease COVID-19 in the Intensive Care Unit at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

San Diego County public health officials reported a record 1,546 COVID-19 infections Tuesday, the 14th consecutive day that more than 600 new cases were reported, along with 16 additional deaths.

The county’s coronavirus death toll now stands at 984, and the cumulative case total rose to 74,361.

The previous one-day case record was last Saturday, when 1,478 new COVID-19 cases were logged, topping the previous record of 1,091 set Friday. On Sunday, 939 new cases were reported.

San Diego County fell deeper into the most restrictive purple tier of the state’s four-tiered reopening plan Tuesday with an unadjusted 21.5 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population. Even with an adjusted rate of 13.1 per 100,000 due to significant testing increases by local health authorities, that number far exceeds the strictest tier’s baseline of seven daily cases per 100,000.

A total of 17,329 tests were reported Tuesday and 9% of those came back positive, raising the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 5.3%.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to rise, with 518 hospitalized in the county and 151 in intensive care, more than double the numbers of a month ago.

Of the total number of cases in the county Tuesday, 4,435 — 6% — have required hospitalization and 1,002 patients — 1.3% of all cases — had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

A total of 15 new community outbreaks were confirmed Tuesday. Over the previous seven days, 73 community outbreaks were confirmed. 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.

San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten advised caution as the Thanksgiving holiday looms.

“There should be a small number of people and gatherings should be short in duration,” she said. “We are asking people to please follow the public health guidance to provide a safe experience for everyone attending the gathering.”

— City News Service

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