San Diego County COVID-19 Update – 10-21-2020

Video by County News Center

Here is today’s COVID-19 update from the County Health and Human Services Agency with data through Oct. 20.

State Metrics:

  • San Diego County’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate is currently 7.0 per 100,000 residents. Limit for Tier 2, the Red Tier, is 7.0.
  • The testing positivity percentage is 3.3%, placing it in Tier 3 or the Orange Tier.
  • The state’s health equity metric looks at the testing positivity for areas with the lowest healthy conditions.
  • The County’s health equity testing positivity percentage is 5.5. This metric does not move counties to more restrictive tiers but is required to advance.
  • The California Department of Public Health will assess counties on a weekly basis, with the next report scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Community Setting Outbreaks:

  • Six new community outbreaks were confirmed on Oct. 20: two in business settings, two in restaurant settings, one in a healthcare setting and one in a restaurant/bar setting.
  • In the past seven days (Oct. 14 through Oct. 20), 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.


  • 10,449 tests were reported to the County on Oct. 20, and the percentage of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 3%.
  • The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 2.8%. Target is less than 8.0%.
  • The 7-day, daily average of tests is 10,729.
  • People with and without symptoms who are at higher risk for COVID-19 should be tested. Health care and essential workers should also get a test, as well as people who had close contact to a positive case or live in communities that are being highly impacted.


  • 263 new cases were confirmed among San Diego County residents on Oct. 20. The region’s total is now 53,263.
  • 3,800 or 7.1% of all cases have required hospitalization.
  • 879 or 1.7% of all cases and 23.1% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.


  • Six new COVID-19 deaths were reported in San Diego County on Oct. 20. The region’s total is now 863.
  • Four men and two women died between Oct. 16 and Oct. 20, and their ages ranged from mid-50s to late 90s.
  • All had underlying medical conditions.

More Information:

The more detailed data summaries found on the County’s website will be updated around 5 p.m. today.

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact