San Diego County COVID-19 Update – 10-22-2020

coronavirus illustration
Credit: Shutterstock

Here is today’s COVID-19 update from the County Health and Human Services Agency with data through Oct. 21.

State Metrics:

  • San Diego County’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate is currently 7.0 per 100,000 residents, placing the County in the Red Tier.
  • The testing positivity percentage is 3.3%, placing the County 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.
  • Counties are assigned the most restrictive tier – hence Tier 2 or the Red Tier for San Diego County.
  • 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:

  • Two new community outbreaks were confirmed on Oct. 21: one in a business setting and one in a healthcare setting.
  • In the past seven days (Oct. 15 through Oct. 21), 17 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.


  • 14,516 tests were reported to the County on Oct. 21, and the percentage of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 2%.
  • The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 2.7%. Target is less than 8.0%.
  • The 7-day, daily average of tests is 11,615.
  • 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.


  • 235 new cases were confirmed among San Diego County residents on Oct. 21. The region’s total is now 53,498.
  • 3,815 or 7.1% of all cases have required hospitalization.
  • 882 or 1.6% of all cases and 23.1% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.


  • Three new COVID-19 deaths were reported in San Diego County on Oct. 21. The region’s total is now 866.
  • Two men and one woman died between Oct. 19 and Oct. 20, and their ages ranged from late 50s to mid-70s.
  • 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