San Diegans called for turning down New Year’s Eve celebrations in the midst of the COVID wave

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases continued Thursday, with a record 5,976 new infections reported, and county public health officials urged residents to keep the New Year celebration small.

County health officials urged to limit gatherings to family and close friends who have been vaccinated and boosted, if warranted, to prevent the increase in COVID-19 cases that occurred last winter.

“We understand that. People are tired of the pandemic, but given the record number of cases, the rapid emergence of omicron and the increased risks that come with assemblies, San Diegans must continue to make decisions to protect itself and others. “If you are holding a New Year’s celebration, limit them to the people who live with you, and make sure that everyone present uses the strategies we know work,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, County Office of Public Health.

Such strategies include wearing the correct type of mask, limiting group indoor activities, and staying home if they show symptoms or test positive.

“We all have the power to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Let’s use it,” Kaiser said.

For many, the celebrations have been planned, reserved, maybe even bought tickets, but now the message is that everyone should proceed cautiously this New Year holiday. Venues like those run by the RMD Group do everything they can to keep the environment safe.

Their events at Lumi, Rustic Root and Hard Rock Hotel all have the outdoor benefit.

“Last year we had shut down completely, so the outdoors was not even a factor, unfortunately,” said Christopher Roache, director of restaurants at RMD Group. “But we are really excited. We have been planning these two events for at least two years.”

The county recommends that people who are concerned about COVID-19 infection and others seeking COVID-19 testing only go to a hospital to be tested if they have severe symptoms.

Those with mild COVID-19 symptoms should contact their health care provider by telephone or telesealth for guidance.

The San Diego Library gave away more than 20,000 free COVID-19 test kits to the community in a matter of days. The library system is completely out of the test sets.

Antigen test kits are available in retail stores but have become harder to find as demand continues to grow.

San Diego County reported 11 deaths Wednesday. The latest data increased the county’s cumulative totals to 420,089 cases and 4,461 deaths.

The Covid-19 incidence rate is three times higher for those San Diegans who are unvaccinated compared to those who have received vaccines – 36 daily cases per day. 100,000 inhabitants compared to 11.4 per. 100,000 for the vaccinated. In addition, the hospitalization rate is four times higher for the unvaccinated, and the death rate is seven times higher.

Delta remains the most common variant in San Diego County, with more than 17,000 cases reported since mid-April. Omicron has only 91 confirmed cases in the county, but the measured period began on December 3rd. There have been no deaths from omicron reported in the county and one hospitalization, the county Health and Human Services Agency reported.

The number of county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 rose from Wednesday’s numbers by 48 to 475, and the number of ICU patients rose by nine to 111, according to state data.

A total of 28,472 tests were reported in San Diego County on Wednesday, and the average seven-day positivity rate was 14.5%, up from 12.4% on Tuesday.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

FOX 5’s Kasia Gregorczyk contributed to this story.

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