San Diego County COVID-19 Update – 12-22-2020

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

ICU Capacity and Stay 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 Home Order is still 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:

  • Five new community outbreaks were confirmed on Dec. 21: two in business settings, one in a daycare/preschool/childcare setting, one in a TK-12 school setting and one in government setting.
  • In the past seven days (Dec. 15 through Dec. 21), 39 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.


  • 24,031 tests were reported to the County on Dec. 21, and the percentage of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 10%.
  • The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 9.7%. Target is less than 8.0%.
  • The 7-day, daily average of tests is 28,584.
  • People at higher risk for COVID-19 who are with or without symptoms should be tested. People with any symptoms should get tested. Health care 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.


  • 2,381 new cases were reported to the County on Dec 21. The region’s total is now 132,098.
  • 5,492 or 4.2% of all cases have required hospitalization.
  • 1,155 or 0.9% of all cases and 21% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.


  • 28 new COVID-19 deaths were reported to the County on Dec. 21. The region’s total is now 1,311.
  • 16 men and 12 women died between Dec. 9 and Dec. 21, and their ages ranged from early 50s to mid-90s.
  • All but one had underlying medical conditions.

More Information:

The more detailed data summaries found on the County’s website are updated around 5 p.m. daily.


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