Health

New Cases of Omicron Identified, Mask Mandate Takes Effect

coronavirus illustration
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While the Delta strain of COVID-19 remains dominant in the region, the County Health and Human Services Agency is reporting an additional four local cases of the Omicron variant, bringing the total to six.

The two previously reported cases were fully vaccinated and received their booster shots, while the four cases reported today were fully vaccinated but had not received booster shots.

Overall COVID-19 cases are also on the rise, with an additional 646 cases reported today.

“The holidays and colder temperatures mean San Diegans are spending more time indoors, where COVID-19 spreads more easily,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “I urge our community to continue taking the recommended precautions so that we can all have a safe and happy holiday season.”

In light of the increase in cases and hospitalizations, and the spread of the Omicron variant, the California Department of Public Health has implemented a new statewide mask mandate, which went into effect Wednesday.

The mandate requires that Californians age two and older wear a facial covering in all public indoor spaces. The indoor face covering mandate is scheduled to last at least through Jan. 15, 2022 and will be reevaluated.

In addition to wearing a mask indoors in public places, the following measures also help to protect against all varieties of COVID-19, including the Omicron variant:

  • Get vaccinated and get a booster if you qualify. The vaccine is widely available in the region, including at health care providers, retail pharmacies and community clinics. You can also make an appointment or find a site near you by calling (833) 422-4255 or visiting the My Turn website.
  • Wear a mask, especially in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Get tested if you’ve traveled or have any symptoms, whether you’ve been vaccinated or not. You can make a free test appointment or find a walk-up test clinic at coronavirus-sd.com.
  • Get CA Notify to receive alerts if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands frequently and stay home if you’re sick and distance yourself from others.

Vaccination Progress:

  • Doses administered: Over 5.89 million.
  • Received at least one shot: Over 2.72 million or 86.5% of San Diegans age 5 and older are at least partially vaccinated.
  • Fully vaccinated: Over 2.42 million or 76.9 %.
  • Boosters administered: 601,951.
  • More vaccination information can be found at coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine.

Deaths:

  • 26 new deaths were reported since the last report on Dec. 8, 2021. The region’s total is 4,395.
  • 11 women and 15 men died between Aug. 1 and Dec. 9, 2021.
  • 11 were age 80 or older, three were in their 70s, five were in their 60s, four were in their 50s and three were in their 40s.
  • Eight of the people who died were fully vaccinated and 18 were not fully vaccinated.
  • All but one had underlying medical conditions.

Cases, Hospitalizations, Case Rates and Testing:

  • 646 COVID-19 cases were reported to the County on Dec. 14, 2021. The region’s total is now 395,723.
  • 4,719 cases were identified the previous week (Dec. 8 through Dec. 14) compared to 5,418 cases reported in the past week (Dec. 1 through Dec. 7).
  • During the 30-day period between Nov. 2 to Dec. 1, there were 440 COVID-19 hospitalizations; 319 people were not fully vaccinated and 121 were fully vaccinated.
  • San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 residents is 12.9 overall, 7.0 for fully vaccinated people and 23.6 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.
  • 21,767 tests were reported to the County on Dec. 14, and the percentage of new positive cases was 3.0%.
  • The 14-day rolling percentage of positive cases among tests is 3.4%.

Community Setting Outbreaks:

  • 30 new community outbreaks were confirmed in the past seven days (Dec. 8 through Dec. 14): 11 in TK-12 grade school settings, seven in business settings, two in daycare/preschool/childcare settings, two in government settings, two in hotel/resort/spa settings, two in retail settings, one in a faith-based agency setting, one in a food/beverage processing setting, one in a restaurant/bar setting and one in a social club setting.
  • The community outbreaks trigger is more than seven in a 7-day period.

More Information:

Data updates to the County’s coronavirus-sd.com website are published Monday through Friday around 5 p.m., with the exception of holidays.

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