County Adds 56 New COVID-19 Deaths as New Virus Strain Spreads

A total of 56 San Diegans lost their lives to COVID-19 for the reporting period ending Jan. 4, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today. The 56 deaths follow the record 62 deaths set last Wednesday and the 58 deaths reported on New Year’s Day.

County health officials are attributing the increasing number in deaths to gatherings over the holidays and the presence in the community of the new coronavirus variant that recently emerged in the United Kingdom, which is more contagious than the previous strain.

“Each of the 56 people who lost their lives to COVID-19 during this reporting period was someone’s parent, sibling, friend, or spouse, as well as a valued member of our community,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H. County public health officer. “These deaths are a sobering reminder that we must all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Due to the steady increase in case numbers and new strain being detected in the region, County health officials are reminding San Diegans to:

  • Keep your distance from others and leave your household only for essential activities
  • Wear a mask
  • Wash your hands
  • If you’re sick, get tested, and then stay home and isolate yourself

ICU Capacity and Stay Home Order:

  • The current intensive care unit (ICU) bed availability for the Southern California region is 0.0% and will be updated by the state daily.
  • The Regional Stay Home Order is in effect and prohibits gatherings of any size with people from other households and adds restrictions for multiple sectors.
  • The order will last until the region’s ICU availability meets or exceeds 15%.

Community Setting Outbreaks:

  • Two new community outbreaks were confirmed on Jan. 4: one in a business setting and one in a retail setting.
  • In the past seven days (Dec. 29 through Jan. 4), 44 community outbreaks were confirmed.
  • The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days.
  • A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.


  • 19,182 tests were reported to the County on Jan. 4 and the percentage of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 9%.
  • The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 12.9%. Target is less than 8.0%.
  • The 7-day, daily average of tests is 22,623.
  • People at higher risk for COVID-19 who are with or without symptoms should be tested. People with any symptoms should get tested. Healthcare and essential workers should also get a test, as well as people who have had close contact to a positive case or live in communities that are being highly impacted. Those recently returned from travel, or who participated in holiday gatherings, are also urged to get tested.


  • 1,814 cases were reported to the County on Jan. 4. The region’s total is now 172,847.
  • 6,093 or 3.5% of all cases have required hospitalization.
  • 1,247 or 0.7% of all cases and 20.5% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.


  • 56 new COVID-19 deaths were reported to the County on Jan. 4. The region’s total is now 1,654.
  • 26 women and 30 men died between Dec. 2 and Jan. 3
  • Of the 56 new deaths reported today, 12 people that passed away were in their 90s, 13 people were in their 80s, 13 people were in their 70s, 13 people were in their 60s, four people were in their 50s, and one person was in their 20s.
  • 50 had underlying medical conditions and 6 have medical history pending.

More Information:

The more detailed data summaries found on the County’s website are updated around 5 p.m. daily.


Katie Cadiao is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact