Health

County Rolls Out Testing, Tracing, Treatment Strategy

We're live at the County Operations Center with another update on the coronavirus. For updates, visit coronavirus-sd.com or text COSD COVID19 to 468-311.

Posted by County of San Diego - Government on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The County is rolling out a new strategy in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The “T3” strategy will address three crucial areas: testing, tracing and treatment.

While treatment options for the novel coronavirus are still being developed, the County’s Health and Human Services Agency is focusing on isolating people with confirmed COVID-19 infections and quarantining their close contacts. HHSA is also working to increase the region’s testing and contact tracing capabilities.

“We continue to expand our team of contact tracers,” said HHSA Director Nick Macchione. “The number of tracers has surpassed 100 and this week, an additional 20 tracers will be added. These are our disease detectives and a critical component of our T3 strategy.”

To assess and increase testing capabilities, the County has organized a Laboratory Testing Task Force of local hospitals, relevant clinics and commercial laboratory systems. Right now, labs in the region can test more than 3,400 specimens per day. The County Task Force has set a goal of testing nearly 5,200 people a day, with that figure based on Harvard research being used by the state and federal government to set COVID-19 testing numbers.

Two-Week Testing Trends

One of the federal criteria that the County is closely monitoring is the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in comparison to the number of tests administered over a 14-day period.

In the past 14 days, a total of 21,254 tests have been administered and 1,384, or 6.5%, were positive for COVID-19. This includes 173 new cases announced today. The goal is for that rolling percentage to trend downward over time.

Chart showing percentage of positive COVID-19 cases among tests
Data are preliminary and may change.

Cases and Deaths Increase

The number of local COVID-19 deaths went up by five, bringing the region’s total to 118. With the additional 173 positives reported today, there are now a total of 3,314 confirmed COVID-19 infections in the county.

Of the five new deaths reported today, two were women and three were men. One person died April 25, two on April 26 and two on April 27. The ages of the five people who died ranged from 56 to 87 years. All five had underlying medical conditions.

The County also updated the number of outbreaks at nursing homes and other congregate living facilities. There are 42 cumulative active outbreaks, 28 of which are at congregate living facilities and 14 in community settings.

There have been 664 cases and 57 deaths in congregate living facilities and 115 cases and four deaths in community settings.

More COVID-19 Information

The County is now reporting the rate of positive cases by ZIP code, which is a more accurate indicator when comparing data among groups of different sizes.

Hospitals report directly to the state the number of patients who are currently hospitalized and in intensive care. The totals can be found here.

The County’s COVID-19 webpage contains additional information on the disease, including a graph showing new positive cases and total cases reported by date. The data is also broken down by gender, race and ethnic/race group. An interactive dashboard with several COVID-19 indicators is being updated daily. For more information, visit coronavirus-sd.com.

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