by Photo courtesy of Robert Linder via Unsplash

The number of patients in San Diego County hospitalized with COVID-19 has dropped by 15 to 331, according to the latest state data. 

The number of those patients hospitalized as of Saturday who were in intensive care declined by three to 32 and the number of available hospital beds decreased by 10 to 250.

Coronavirus activity remains high in San Diego County, the Health and Human Services Agency reported, but antiviral pills and monoclonal antibodies can help with treatment to avoid getting severe symptoms.

"Monoclonal antibodies and antiviral pills work great to keep people from developing severe COVID-19,'' said Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, county public health officer. “If you're at higher risk of developing severe illness, you should seek treatment immediately.''

Antiviral pills and monoclonal antibodies should be given within days after the onset of symptoms to be effective. Those who are 12 or older and test positive and are at high risk of progressing to severe disease should contact
their doctor immediately to get treatment, officials said.

Those without a health care provider can call 2-1-1 to find one, or call a Monoclonal Antibody Regional Center at 619-685-2500 to access monoclonal antibody treatment at no cost, regardless of health insurance or immigration status.

Treatment centers and medical offices in the region may offer oral antiviral pills, which are taken by mouth, and/or monoclonal antibodies, which are delivered as an intravenous infusion. Health care providers will determine what treatment option is best for each patient based on symptoms, age and potential underlying conditions.

Novavax, a more traditional vaccine against COVID-19, is now available in San Diego County. Novavax is available at local health care providers, retail pharmacies and community clinics, as well as county public health centers and community vaccination events.

The HHSA reported 1,017 new infections and eight additional deaths linked to the virus in its most recent data, increasing the county's cumulative counts to 898,520 cases and 5,437 deaths since the pandemic began. A total of 7,045 cases were reported in the past week compared to 9,495 infections identified the previous week.

San Diego County's case rate per 100,000 residents 12 years of age and older is 52.03 for people fully vaccinated and boosted, 34.81 for fully vaccinated people and 103.28 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.

More than 3.01 million or 90% of San Diegans age 6 months and older are at least partially vaccinated. Nearly 2.66 million or 79.5% are fully vaccinated. A total of 1,432,313 or 58.7% of 2,439,821 eligible San Diegans have received a booster.

The HHSA updates data on Monday and Thursday nights.

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