How San Diego County officials monitor coronavirus trends

Virus Outbreak California
Posted at 12:29 PM, Jun 22, 2020

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County Supervisors and health officials use 13 "triggers" to monitor coronavirus case trends and determine how public health orders are made.

The triggers measure how the county's coronavirus cases are increasing or decreasing, hospital capacity, and the region's ability to track and monitor cases.

According to the county, the health officer can modify health orders when community outbreaks, PPE supply, or ICU capacity are exceeded; or when one of more of the remaining criteria in at least two of the three sections below are met:

Epidemiology (surveillance)

  • Case Count: Increase new case counts of at least 10% for five consecutive days above a stable baseline without substantial increase in testing
  • Community Outbreaks: Seven or more new outbreaks in community settings in a 7-day period
  • COVID-Syndromic: Upward trajectory of COVID-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period
  • ILI: Upward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) reported within a 14-day period

Healthcare (hospital capacity)

  • Hospital Capacity: Approach 80% capacity for all hospital beds in the county
  • Increasing Hospitalizations: >10% increase in the number of confirmed COVID19 patients currently hospitalized, measured as an average of the past 3 days and compared to the average of the 3 days prior
  • Limited Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Capacity: <20% availability of ICU beds
  • Limited Ventilator Capacity: <25% availability of ventilators
  • PPE Supply: ≤ 50% of hospitals have at least a 15-day supply of PPE

Public Health (response)

  • Cases: Greater than 8% of positive test as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period
  • Case Investigation: 70% or less of investigations are initiated within 24 hours of notification over a 7-day period
  • Contact Tracing: Make first contact attempt for 70% or less of close contacts of new positive cases within 24 hours of identification
  • Homeless Population: Temporary shelter available for less than 15% of homeless population (e.g., space constraints, medically vulnerable household members, or otherwise)