Hospitalizations in San Diego county driven by COVID-19 continue to fall according to the latest state data. 

The number of COVID-19 positive hospital admissions in the county dropped by 53 patents from 837 to 784, county health officials reported on Saturday. 

There was also a drop in the number of patients in intensive care units by 11 to 160, which boosted the available spaces to 175 beds. 

The county reported 1,273 new COVID-19 cases and 23 additional deaths linked to the virus on Friday. New information on new cases and deaths is not made available on the weekends and holidays. 

Since the pandemic began, the county’s cumulative totals rose to 722,683 cases and 4,894 deaths. A total of 29,149 new tests were reported on Friday with a positivity rate of 12.1 percent, down from 14.6 percent on Tuesday. The county reports these statistics every Tuesday and Friday.

A total of 1,111,400 – or 53.2% – of San Diego County residents are fully vaccinated with a booster shot, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency. Boosters are available for all 12 years and older.

More than 2.89 million – or 91.9% – of San Diego County residents 5 years of age and older are at least partially vaccinated, and more than 2.54 million, or 80.8%, are fully vaccinated.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the emerging end to California’s statewide indoor mask mandate for vaccinated individuals on Feb.15, nearly two years after it was first implemented. 

This comes after a 65 percent drop in COVID-19 cases since the peak of the Omicron surge that ripped through the United States last winter. About 20 percent of the state’s population remains unvaccinated and will be required to wear masks in indoor public settings, according to Newsom. 

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

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