According to data from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the county have surpassed 600,000. This total comes from over 35,000 more new COVID-19 cases recorded from last weekend, Friday through Monday. As of current, this brings San Diego county’s exact total to 604,078 COVID-19 cases and 4,548 COVID-19 related deaths since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The latest California state data reports 1,289 COVID-19 positive patients hospitalized in San Diego county hospitals, with over 190 recorded as intensive care patients. According to these reports, the number of COVID-19 hospital patients is increasing, but the rate of increase is less steep than in previous reports. Since the beginning of COVID-19 reporting, San Diego County ranks second only to Los Angeles County in the total number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in California. San Diego County is ranked thirty-second in COVID-19 deaths in California, with Los Angeles County ranking third and Imperial County highest in COVID-19 related deaths.   

Christopher Longhurst, Chief Medical Officer at UC San Diego Health, mentioned on Twitter: “Some good news heading into the weekend…multiple signs we are sliding down the Omicron slope with 7-day average rates ↓”. He also shared data supporting fewer new COVID-19 case rates and hospitalization rates.  

Data gathered from ongoing testing for COVID-19 presence in wastewater confirmed the spread of the virus is slowing among San Diego citizens. The wastewater study and sewage testing are at the Point Loma treatment plant. The team collects wastewater samples from the water treatment plant four times a week and takes samples from the UC San Diego campus. This study and research have been ongoing for the last two years. Data gathered from the wastewater research have predicted spikes in COVID-19 positive test results in the past. So the indicators are considered when looking at a potential slow down in the spread of the omicron variant. 

Knight Lab at UCSD, who is responsible for the wastewater study had tweeted in late December, “Researchers have consistently found that when viral levels go up in wastewater, cases usually increase within a couple weeks, putting the region on track for a sizeable surge around the start of 2022.”. This statement had proven to be an accurate prediction when COVID-19 positive tests surged for a moment at the beginning of January.  

In an opinion editorial recently published by The San Diego Union-Tribune, authors warn that the recent surge of Omicron Covid-19 infections has reached a crest but reminds us that only a little more than 63% of Americans have received a COVID-19 vaccination. The editorial also states that although optimistic news reports emerge, precautions such as masks should continue and points out only 39.5% of the fully vaccinated have received a booster shot. 

Also, not-so-optimistic news concerning the spread of COVID-19 comes from research conducted by the University of Minnesota. The study identified several mutations of the COVID-19 Omnicron that render antibodies ineffective. Research scientists anticipate that this could lead to a high rate of COVID-19 reinfections coming in the future. Scientists at the University of Minnesota identified a total of 46 different Omnicron mutations where antibodies showed no effect. 

With all of this in mind, COVID-19 testing is more important than ever. Although COVID-19 coronavirus numbers are at a crest, COVID-19 infections will persist. Time Magazine published earlier this month, “How easily people can learn their COVID-19 status will determine how well the world can control COVID-19. “. If one is aware they have tested positive, an individual can take the necessary precautions such as self-isolation and wearing a mask. COVID-19 testing is most important since a person can be positive while experiencing little to mild symptoms. Although one is not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they may spread the virus to others. COVID-19 symptoms and level of illness vary among people who have tested positive for the coronavirus. 

When it comes to COVID-19 testing, the COVID-19 PCR test remains the definitive standard for accuracy concerning positive or negative COVID-19 test results. At-home tests or kits known as Rapid Antigen tests can provide results in 15 to 20 minutes. Experts at the FDA have warned that the COVID-19 Rapid Antigen test kit is not as sensitive to the Omnicron variant as earlier variants of COVID-19 coronavirus. 

With lockdowns seeming to be a thing of the past concerning the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 ongoing testing and self-isolation is crucial to keep COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates slowing. For a free PCR test, you may schedule an appointment at DoctorNow in San Diego. DoctorNow accepts most insurances with co-pays and waives deductibles to offer the PCR test for free. The San Diego location of DoctorNow offers COVID-19 PCR tests from 9 AM to 5 PM on Monday through Friday. If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 PCR testing, feel free to send DoctorNow a message online. 

About COVID-19 Data

COVID-19 numbers, statistics, and data reported in this article are published at the time of writing and are constantly changing. For the most recent charts and numbers on COVID-19 in San Diego County, please visit The San Diego Union-Tribune’s COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracking

The San Diego Union-Tribune COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracking updates its charts when new data is available. The data used in the reports and charts are collected and compiled from San Diego Country government resources. Data includes charts displaying recent COVID-19 cases, new cases by day, daily COVID-19 testing, a rolling 14-day average of positive tests, cases by vaccination status, COVID-19 deaths, and more. 

Also Mentioned In This Article

Up to date data complied by San Diego County Government is available from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency at their official San Diego County Government Health and Human Services website. Various reports concerning COVID-19 demographics in San Diego Country are also available there. 

Christopher Longhurst is the Chief Medical Officer at UC San Diego Health. You can find his medical commentary and insight into COVID-19 by following his Twitter account at @calonghurst

More about Knight Lab, which conducts the San Diego wastewater COVID-19 research, can be found on their Twitter account at @KnightLabNews. You may also visit the official Knight Lab website at UCSD

You may follow DoctorNow San Diego’s on Facebook and Twitter for the latest COVID-19 San Diego news. 


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