By Sandra G. Leon
San Diego County hit a grim new record this week with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in one day at the same time that COVID-19 patients in ICU beds also hit an all-time high.
On Wednesday, a total of 65 deaths were reported, topping the previous one-day record of 62 on December 31st, and the number of COVID patients in ICU beds rose to 430 from 419 just a few days earlier.
The county now has only 39 ICU beds available.
San Diego County Public health Director Officer Dr. Wilma J. Wooten attributed the increasing number of cases to the holiday season where when many people gathered with families and friends in contravention of COVID recommendations.
“The majority of the COVID-19 deaths we are reporting today occurred in the past two weeks, which suggests that illness onset for the individuals who passed away coincided with the winter holidays,” Dr. Wooten said. “While we anticipated that deaths would go up at the beginning of the year, it is tragic to see the devastating impact of the virus on our community.”
The 1,720 new cases marked the 51st consecutive day with more than 1,000 cases. 18,359 tests were reported Wednesday with a 9% positive rate, resulting in a 14-day rolling average to 11.8%.
The county’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is now 218,555 and 2,174 deaths since the pandemic began nearly one year ago.