Photo by Alexander Nguyen
San Diego County public health officials reported 408 new COVID-19 infections and one more death from illness, bringing the county total to 50,551 cases and 826 deaths.
Of the 9,875 tests reported on Saturday, 4% tested positive, bringing the 14-day moving average percentage of positive cases to 2.9%. The daily average of seven-day tests was 10,281.
Of the total number of cases in the county, 3,681 – or 7.3 percent – required hospitalization and 851 – or 1.7 percent of all cases – had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.
Seven new outbreaks were reported in the community on Saturday, one in a faith-based agency, one in a restaurant, one in a grocery store, two in businesses and two in a restaurant / bar.
In the past seven days, October 4-10, 45 outbreaks have been confirmed in the community, well above the trigger of seven or more in the span of a week. A community-based outbreak is defined as three or more cases of COVID-19 in one environment and in people from different families in the past 14 days.
The county remains in the second – or red – tier of the state’s four-tier COVID-19 reopening plan. The adjusted case rate calculated by the state of San Diego is 6.5 per 100,000 residents, down from 6.7. The unadjusted case rate is 7.0, down from 7.2.
The test positive rate is 3.5%, the same as last week, and it is in the third level or orange.
On Saturday, the county allowed private gatherings of up to three families, based on the new state guide issued on Friday.
The meetings must take place outdoors. If at someone’s home, guests can come in to use the bathroom.
Meeting attendees must stand at least six feet away from unfamiliar members and wear face covers. Meetings are expected to last two hours or less, the new guidelines state.
A health equity metric will now be used to determine how quickly a county can advance through the reopening plan, Wilma Wooten, San Diego’s chief public health officer, said Wednesday.
A community can only be as well as its most unhealthy quartile, he said, and while counties with a large disparity between the least and sickest members of a community will not be punished for the disparity by returning to more restrictive levels, such disparity will prevent counties to advance to less restrictive levels.
Under state guidelines, health equity will measure socially determined health circumstances, such as community transportation, housing, access to health care and testing, access to healthy food and parks.
Neighborhoods are grouped and rated based on census leaflets in the Healthy Places Index, https://healthyplacesindex.org/. Some of the more unhealthy neighborhoods include Logan Heights, Valencia Park, downtown El Cajon, and National City. According to county data, the county health equity test positivity rate is 6.2 and is in the red level.
Wooten said the complicated metric will be explained further on Monday when the state releases an official “playbook” of how it is calculated and what it means for communities across the state as they attempt to reopen.
On Tuesday, the California Department of Public Health will release its next county case rate report.
PODCAST IN EVIDENCE
KPBS daily news podcast on local politics, education, health, environment, border, and more. The new episodes are ready in the morning on weekdays, so you can listen to them on your morning commute.
To view PDF documents, download Acrobat Reader.