SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The number of positive COVID patients in San Diego County hospitals rose from 837 to 889, according to the latest state figures on Saturday.
Of those patients, 160 were in intensive care, four more than the day before. The number of beds available in the ICU decreased from 25 to 170. Last Friday, there were 510 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals.
Due to a massive influx of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, San Diego County public health officials urge residents not only to receive all vaccinations and the booster shot, but to seek tests for the disease if necessary.
Meanwhile, to support local communities with additional testing facilities and capacity amid the national surge in cases driven by the Omicron variant, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the activation of the California National Guard on Friday.
“California has led the nation’s fight against COVID-19, implementing the nation’s first public health measures that have helped save tens of thousands of lives,” Newsom said. “We continue to support communities in their response to COVID by strengthening testing capacity.”
The announcement comes as Omicron continues to spread rapidly around the world, accounting for at least 80% of COVID-19 cases in California.
According to county data, in the past month, confirmed COVID-19 cases rose from about 4,700 per week to more than 45,000 reported cases in the seven days between December 29, 2021, and Tuesday. That’s almost a ten-fold increase in just 30 days.
COVID-19 hospitalizations have also more than doubled in the past 30 days, from 303 to 837, putting pressure on local hospitals that are dealing with hundreds of employees unable to work after contracting the virus.
Some COVID-positive patients may have been hospitalized for other reasons and had their COVID status discovered through hospital-mandated tests.
“Now we are seeing the largest number of local cases of the pandemic. COVID-19 is everywhere, ”said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health official. “The best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to have as much immunity as possible and to take other precautions that we know work.”
The county Health and Human Services Agency reported 5,922 new infections and five deaths on Friday, increasing the cumulative totals to 477,211 cases and 4,500 deaths.
A total of 23,043 tests were reported on Friday, and the seven-day average positivity rate was 25.8%, up from 25.4% on Thursday.
Dozens of city workers began receiving early layoff notices Thursday for failure to comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for employees. City officials reported that the notifications were sent to 86 employees, far fewer than the more than 900 letters sent that provide some options in December.
A city spokesperson reported this week that 85% of its roughly 11,300 employees were fully vaccinated, 9,695 in total with 1,095 requesting a religious or medical exemption.
City employees had until Monday to receive the vaccine or select from a list of other options, such as applying for a religious or medical exemption, taking unpaid leave, resigning or retiring.
Those who chose none of the above options received termination notices and could face a hearing with “all due process rights and rights of representation.”
However, employees who are fully vaccinated before receiving the final termination notice will not be fired, city officials said.
UC San Diego announced Thursday that its remote instruction period would be extended through January due to an increase in new COVID cases. UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla said the spread of the Omicron variant has led to staff shortages and impacts on student attendance, prompting the university to delay a return to in-person instruction until January 31. .
Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.
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