San Diego County reports highest 1-day total of new COVID-19 cases since late January

covid vaccine
Posted at 10:58 AM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 14:01:18-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - As federal health officials Wednesday recommended that all vaccinated Americans get COVID-19 booster shots, San Diego County's latest daily coronavirus numbers showed 1,738 new infections -- the highest one-day total since late January.

Along with those new cases reported Tuesday, 11 additional coronavirus patients were hospitalized, and two were sent to intensive care units, county health officials said.

Tuesday's data increased the county's cumulative case count to 317,058 since the pandemic began. No new deaths were reported, and that number remained 3,824.

A total of 13,223 tests were reported in the county Tuesday, and the percentage of new positive tests over the past week was 8.6%.

Officials expect the number of reported cases to increase as more schools and businesses are requiring COVID testing.

Meanwhile, as expected, federal health officials Wednesday recommended that all vaccinated Americans get booster shots eight months after they become fully vaccinated. That amounts to a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine -- and "likely" an additional dose for people who received the one- dose Johnson & Johnson shot.

Those shots could begin the week of Sept. 20, according to a joint statement Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services.

The CDC and HHS said data "make very clear" that protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decrease over time following the initial doses of vaccination -- which prompted their recommendation of booster shots for all.

"Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout," the agencies said. "For that reason, we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine- induced protection and prolong its durability."

They added: "We have developed a plan to begin offering these booster shots this fall subject to FDA (the Food and Drug Administration) conducting an independent evaluation and determination of the safety and effectiveness of a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines and CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices issuing booster dose recommendations."

In San Diego County in the last 30 days, 92% of COVID-19 cases have occurred in those not fully vaccinated. Of the remaining 8%, San Diego County Chief Medical Officer Eric McDonald said, few are showing symptoms and those are relatively mild.

Of all those hospitalized in the past 30 days, 98% are unvaccinated.

The delta variant of the virus is considerably more contagious than previous strains and now comprises 95% of the virus' genome, Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer, said at a news conference Monday.