County health officials have reported a gradual decline in COVID-19 testing positivity rates as the state prepares to end its indoor masking requirements on Feb.15 for fully vaccinated individuals. 

On Tuesday, the county reported 2,394  new COVID-19 cases and 22 additional virus-related deaths in its latest data, driving the cumulative totals to  719,068 cases and 4,854 deaths since the pandemic began.

Hospitals have seen a gradual drop in COVID-19 patents with 21 less, though there are still 921 recorded in the latest state data. The number of those patients in intensive care increased to 173 Wednesday, four more than Tuesday.

“It seems like the Omicron has come, saw, and conquered. It came wildly and rapidly in the month of January, which set records for the number of cases San Diego,” The city of Chula Vista Emergency Services Manager Marlon King said 

According to King, those ages 20 through 39 experienced the greatest number of infections in the past three months, followed by those ages 40 through 50 years old, and the third most impacted age group was youth ages zero through 11. 

With the Omicron surge during the winter, Chula Vista saw a spike in cases among city employees.  According to King, the number of COVID-19 cases in January among city employees equaled to all of 2020 and 2021.

“It looks to me that we are past the brunt of it and we are not seeing as many cases among our city employees on a daily basis,” King said, “This has to be taken with a grain of salt because things are always changing, but as of right now it appears with this type of data among other things, the virus spread is likely decreasing.”

The most recent figures from the county show a total of 22,822 new tests, with a positivity rate of 14.6 percent, down from 17.1 percent on Friday. 

Nearly 2.88 million San Diego County residents age 5 and older are at least partially vaccinated and more than 2.53 million are fully vaccinated. A total of 1,072,823 San Diego County residents who are fully vaccinated have received a booster shot, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency. Boosters are currently available for everyone 12 years and older.

“The goal is to reach a state where we no longer have the rapid rate of spread, prevent a rapid spread that leads to the crisis on healthcare systems and the cripples our communities. Getting vaccinated helps slow that spread,” King said.  

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