Hospitalizations in San Diego County increased to 943 on Sunday due to COVID-19. 

The county's latest figures show an increase of 54 hospitalizations in a single day, as 889 were recorded on Saturday. Nine more patients were recorded in intensive care, driving the number up to 169, but the number of available ICU beds decreased by one to 169.

Public health officials continue to urge vaccination, booster shots, and testing when necessary with the exponential growth in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

State figures show a spike in the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases from around 4,700 per week to more than 45,000 cases in the days between Dec.29, 2021, through Jan. 4, 2022. 

In the span of 30 days, the number of hospitalizations has doubled from 303 to 943, which has strained local hospitals. Hospitals countywide have reported employees not being able to work due to COVID-19 infections. 

"We're now seeing the highest local case counts of the pandemic. COVID-19 is everywhere," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. "The best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to have as much immunity as possible and to take other precautions that we know work."

Hospitals have received patients for other reasons and have discovered their COVID-19 positive status through hospital-mandated tests. 

Due to this massive influx in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the activation of the California National Guard on Friday to assist with COVID-19 testing.

On Saturday, Newsom unveiled a proposed $2.7 billion COVID-19 emergency response package as part of his next budget proposal. 

"California has led the country's fight against COVID-19, implementing first-in-the-nation public health measures that have helped save tens of thousands of lives," Newsom said. "We continue to support communities in their response to COVID by bolstering testing capacity."

There will be a $1.4 billion emergency appropriation request to bolster testing capacity, accelerate vaccination and booster efforts, support front-line workers, strengthen the health care system, and battle misinformation.

This comes as public health officials announced Omicron accounts for 80 percent of COVID-19 cases in California.

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