There is an exponential rise of coronavirus cases in San Diego County and the entire state of California amid highly infectious micron variant surges which account for 80 percent of reported cases state-wide. 

There were five reported deaths relating to the virus, according to the most recent figures on Friday from the San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency. Health officials reported 5,922 new COVID-19 infections, which brings the cumulative total to 477,211 cases and 4,500 deaths since the pandemic began. 

In the span of a month, the county has seen a spike in its seven-day-case average from 4,700  to over 45,000 weekly cases. Health officials say the omicron variant is now the region’s most dominant driving the number of infections. 

Earlier this week, San Diego County was identified as having the second-highest hospitalizations in the state. The most recent data from the past 30 days reflects 837 hospitalizations, which is an increase of 510 from last Friday.  Nine more patients were accounted for in the ICU since Thursday, which brings the most recent count to 156. Health officials reported195 available ICU beds. 

On Wednesday, California announced the extension of the indoor mask mandate until Feb.15 as COVID-19 infection rates continue to skyrocket. The mask mandate was reinstated last month and was slated to expire on Jan.15. Everyone regardless of their vaccination status is required to wear a mask in all indoor spaces under this mandate.

As a direct result of the exponentially rising cases, California Gov. Gavin Newsom activated the California National Guard on Friday to bolster testing initiatives throughout the state and support local communities. To date, the has administered nearly 67 million vaccination doses and over 122.7 million tests, according to Newsom. 

The continued increase of cases has created a demand for testing and scams seizing opportunities within this demand. County health officials warn residents of fake “pop-up” vaccination sites that may be out to collect people’s money and/or private information. A total of 23,043 tests were reported by the county on Friday. 

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