On Saturday, San Diego County health officials reported growth in COVID-19 hospitalizations by three, bringing the cumulative total to 1,256 patents. 

Four more individuals were reported in Intensive Care Units from Friday, bringing the total number to 217 patients. The number of available ICU beds decreased by six to 158 on Saturday

Earlier this month, south bay hospitals announced exhausted capacities due to surges of the Omicron variant. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that “more than 80 percent” of all civilian hospitals in the region reduced their ambulance loads due to extremely high numbers. 

On Jan.18, both Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista and Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center declared internal disasters, indicating that conditions have worsened to the point where patient care may be affected.

Some COVID-19 patients may have been hospitalized for other reasons and had their COVID status discovered by hospital-mandated tests.

According to the San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency, there were 6,314 new COVID-19 cases and 22 new deaths reported on Friday. Since the pandemic began, there has been a cumulative 686,003 cases and 4,665 deaths. 

A total of 37,858 new tests were reported on Friday, and the seven-day average positivity rate was 25.2 percent. County health officials said a total of 1,021,730 San Diegans who are fully vaccinated had received a booster. 

Boosters are currently available for everyone 12 years and older. About 90.8 percent, of San Diegans, ages five and older are partially vaccinated, and about 79.9 percent are fully vaccinated.

Three cases of a subvariant of Omicron were detected in San Diego County on Jan.26 as health officials reminded residents to receive vaccine booster shots. A team led by Dr. Louise Laurent of the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and co-lead of the SEARCH Alliance discovered their most recent batch of sequencing but, said it doesn’t seem to be more severe or contagious.

The county has more than 400 vaccination sites including pharmacies, medical providers, clinics, and county locations. Appointments can be made and sites can be found by calling 833-422-4255 or visiting the MyTurn or coronavirus-sd.com websites.

Last week, the Biden administration announced this month that Americans could begin ordering at-home COVID-19 rapid tests. Orders for up to four tests per household can be placed using the website COVIDtests.gov and would be delivered between seven to 12 business days. 

In tandem with the delivery of at-home antigen tasting kits, N95 masks provided by the Federal Government are being distributed at pharmacies throughout San Diego County beginning next week. 

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