Registered nurse Glenda Perez waits to test people for coronavirus in East Los Angeles. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

San Diego County health officials have reported 2,416 new COVID-19 infections and 11 new deaths, marking 107,372 total cases and 1,162 deaths.

Sunday marked the fifth consecutive day that more than 2,000 new cases were reported, with 2,490 cases reported Saturday, 2,867 cases — a record – – reported Friday, 2,050 reported Thursday and 2,104 Wednesday. It is also the 13th day with more than 1,000 new cases. It is just the sixth time the daily cases have crossed 2,000 — all of which have come in the past week.

Of 25,274 tests reported Saturday, 10% returned positive.

The number of hospitalizations also continued to rise, with 39 people hospitalized and 11 patients put in intensive care units.

The county’s hospitals have 16% of their ICU beds available, down from 21% Thursday. The state now estimates the ICU bed availability in the 11- county Southern California region at 4.2%, down from 7.7% on Thursday.

In the San Joaquin Valley, only 1.5% of ICU beds are available. The Greater Sacramento region has 15.1% of ICU beds available and the Bay Area has 16.7%, with Northern California at 29.0%

The county has seen a 199% increase in COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the past 30 days and a 148% increase in ICU patients in the same time frame. The previous peak in hospitalizations, in mid-July, topped out around 400 patients.

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

Meanwhile, doses of the Pfizer vaccine began shipping out from a Michigan facility Sunday bound for Southern California distribution centers and other locations in the United States.

San Diego County’s first shipment is expected to be delivered to Naval Medical Center San Diego on Monday morning.

The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control signed off on the recommendation of an advisory committee Sunday, officially permitting the vaccine to be administered in the United States. It is said to be 95% effective in preventing the coronavirus.

Army Gen. Gustave Perna of Operation Warp Speed told reporters Saturday that UPS and FedEx would be delivering the vaccine to nearly 150 distribution centers across the country.

— City News Service

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