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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

San Diego County reports 31 COVID-19 deaths, 1,637 new cases of virus

The data shows a decline in cases and overall hospitalizations.
Credit: AP
A nurse prepares a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the new coronavirus to be injected at the Andras Josa Teaching Hospital in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (Attila Balazs/MTI via AP)

SAN DIEGO — San Diego County public health officials reported 1,637 new COVID-19 cases and 31 additional deaths Sunday -- the 55th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new cases.

The county's cumulative case total increased to 227,195 and the death toll is now at 2,375.

There were 57 more COVID-19 patients reported hospitalized in the county Sunday, with four more San Diegans moved into intensive care.

Over the past 30 days, a 10% increase in the number of hospitalizations has been recorded, with a 21% increase in patients in ICUs, according to the county's Health and Human Services Agency.

The data showing a decline in cases and overall hospitalizations, but an increase in ICU patients and deaths, might indicate a tapering down of a major wave of the pandemic.

A median two-week period between infection and first symptoms along with additional time between symptoms and hospitalization, serious symptoms and death could mean these record numbers are from people who were initially infected around the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said last week that he was "cautiously optimistic" about the numbers, but wanted to see a longer downward trend and warned the public not to become complacent.


"Numbers can rapidly turn around and go the other direction," he said.

Eleven new community outbreaks were reported as of Saturday, while 45 have been recorded in the past week, tied to 192 cases.

With 196,152 total vaccinations administered, and 31,189 people having received both doses as of Thursday, at least 1% of the county's population over the age of 16 has been inoculated. Fletcher said the number of vaccines administered is likely much higher, but health providers have been slow to update.

A second "Vaccination Super Station" opened Thursday in Chula Vista. A smaller vaccine site opened Sunday in National City. These are intended to provide relief to the hard-hit South Bay region and its Latino population.

Latinos make up around 34% of the county's total population but comprise 56.9% of all COVID-19 cases, 54.2% of all hospitalizations from the virus and 44.1% of the deaths.