County Reports Another Record Number of Cases As Hospitalizations Continue to Increase

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The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency is reporting yet another record number of COVID-19 cases. A total of 3,611 new lab-confirmed cases have been added in the region since yesterday, bringing the total to 120,463.

Cases of the novel coronavirus have sharply increased since Thanksgiving and with the Christmas and New Year holidays around the corner, County health officials are concerned that no immediate end to the rise in cases is in sight.

“The best gift you can give your loved ones and our frontline healthcare workers this holiday season is the gift of health,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “I urge San Diegans to follow the public health orders, avoid gatherings and wear a facial covering whenever they leave their residence so we can get this virus under control.”

Wooten encouraged people to continue the measures that have been proven to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They include:

  • Washing your hands properly and regularly or using hand sanitizer.
  • Maintaining social distance from others.
  • Wearing facial coverings.
  • Avoiding crowded places to decrease your risk of exposure.
  • Staying home and isolating yourself from others if you are sick.

ICU Capacity and Stay-at-Home Order

  • The current ICU capacity for the Southern California region is now 0.0% and will be updated by the state daily.
  • The Regional Stay-At-Home Order is now in effect and prohibits gatherings of any size with people from other households and adds restrictions for multiple sectors.
  • The order will last for at least three weeks or until the region’s ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%. The order will be assessed by the state after the three-week period.

Community Setting Outbreaks:

  • Four new community outbreaks were confirmed on Dec. 17: three in business settings and one in a healthcare setting.
  • In the past seven days (Dec. 11 through Dec. 17), 32 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.


  • 31,351 tests were reported to the County on Dec. 17, and the percentage of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 12%.
  • The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 9%. Target is less than 8.0%.
  • The 7-day, daily average of tests is 26,741.
  • 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.


  • 3,611 new cases were reported to the County on Dec 17. The region’s total is now 120,463.
  • 5,340 or 4.4% of all cases have required hospitalization.
  • 1,141 or 0.9% of all cases and 21.4% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.


  • Fourteen new COVID-19 deaths were reported to the County on Dec. 17. The region’s total is now 1,253.
  • Six women and eight men died between Dec. 14 and Dec. 17, and their ages ranged from mid-50s to early 90s.
  • All had underlying medical conditions.

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