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San Diego County reports 2,686 new COVID-19 infections

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Posted at 4:14 PM, Dec 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-26 19:14:13-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego County public health officials have reported 2,686 new COVID-19 infections -- the 26th consecutive day with more than 1,000 cases.

On Saturday, there were no new virus-related deaths reported.

Saturday was the 18th day with more than 2,000 new cases.

Another 35 people also were hospitalized, according to Saturday's data, and another two were sent to intensive care units.

The county's cumulative cases increased to 142,647 and the death toll remained at 1,402.

Nine new community outbreaks were confirmed on Friday. There have been 57 confirmed outbreaks over the past seven days and 221 cases associated with those outbreaks.

A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

A complete list of county COVID-19 testing sites, how to make appointments and hours can be found at www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemio logy/dc/2019-nCoV/testing/testing-schedule.html.

Though county officials advised residents to avoid holiday gatherings, anyone who participated in a gathering was urged to get tested, as well as people who recently returned from travel, people with any symptoms and people at higher risk for COVID-19, whether or not they display symptoms.

In advising against holiday gatherings, San Diego County Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Greg Cox pointed to a massive uptick in cases after Thanksgiving -- including the region's highest daily total coming three weeks after the holiday with 3,611 cases reported last Friday.

"We cannot ignore the reality that we are in a bad place right now," Cox said. "We're making a special plea to avoid large gatherings with those outside your immediate family. This one time, this one year."

If people have already traveled, they should be extra cautious about spreading the virus, Cox said.

According to Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer, 44.1% of the county's cumulative cases have been reported after Thanksgiving. San Diego County is on pace to report another 600 deaths due to the virus before the end of January, she said.

"We don't want to see what happened after Thanksgiving happen again," Wooten said. "We must continue to stay apart to get the spread of the virus under control. If we don't, cases, hospitalizations and deaths will continue to soar."

The 11-county Southern California region is still reporting zero available ICU beds. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday the regional stay-at-home order he issued for all of Southern California will almost assuredly be extended beyond next week's expiration date.

Current stay-at-home orders took effect at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 6, and were originally set to end on Monday. Newsom did not give an indication of when a decision on extending the orders will be made or much longer they will remain in place.