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COVID-19 cases on the rise in San Diego County

For the seventh consecutive day, more than 200 infections were reported in San Diego County on Wednesday. Four new deaths were reported in the past week.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The number of new COVID-19 cases continued to increase, with more than 200 infections reported for the seventh consecutive day, San Diego County public health officials announced Wednesday. Medical experts say the Delta variant is spreading rapidly in California and throughout the rest of the country.

In Wednesday's report, 275 San Diego County residents were infected with the virus, increasing the total to 285,268.

Four new deaths were reported in the past week, increasing the region's total to 3,786. Three men and one woman died between July 2 and Saturday, according to the county's weekly report.

Three of the deceased were in their 80s and one was in their 70s. All had underlying medical conditions.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer, said on Tuesday the county is "now seeing about double the number of cases that were being reported a month ago," which has led to a 46% increase in hospitalizations and a 10% increase in intensive care unit admissions in the past few weeks.

"We expect further increases in ICU admissions since they lag behind the trend in cases and hospitalizations," Wooten said.

More than 40 states are reporting a daily increase in COVID-19 cases. Nearly half of all eligible Americans have received their second shot but vaccine hesitancy is still holding millions of people from getting their shots, even as the Delta variant spreads.

“Any variant that emerges concerns us because of the possibility that it's more transmissible. It may change the severity of illness," said CDC Director Dr. Jay Butler. "It could affect treatment options."

The number of San Diego County residents hospitalized with COVID-19 was 116 as of Wednesday's report, an increase of eight from the previous report. There are 27 people in intensive care unit beds, an increase of five from the previous report. There are 50 available, staffed ICU beds in San Diego County.

The CDC is monitoring a surge in COVID-19 cases in states across the South and West, especially in under-vaccinated areas.

“Everyone wants this to be over and a lot of the behavior that I think driving spread of infection is people wanting it to be over and acting as though it's over and really abandoning most modest of protections like mask-wearing that would help," said Dr. Andrew Pavia with the University of Utah School of Medicine.

California officially lifted its mask mandate on June 15 and capacity restrictions for most businesses.

Records show that in San Diego County, 61 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on June 14. Just one month later, data shows that there are 275 new cases of coronavirus, most of them caused by the Delta variant.

Close to 4.15 million vaccine doses have been administered in San Diego County, and more than 2.22 million or 79.5% of county residents 12 and older are partially vaccinated. Close to 1.92 million or 68.4% of that age cohort are fully vaccinated.

San Diego County's case rate is 3.7 cases per 100,000 residents as of Wednesday's report, up from 2.5% last week.

A total of 7,097 tests were reported to the county, and the percentage of new positive cases was 3.9%. The 14-day rolling percentage of positive cases among tests is 2.9%, nearly double last week's 1.5%.

Ten new community outbreaks were confirmed in the past seven days: six in restaurant/bar settings, one in a business setting, one in an emergency services setting, one in a government setting and one in a retail setting.

WATCH RELATED: With variants on the rise, San Diego leaders want you to get vaccinated