San Diego County COVID-19 Update – 3-17-2021

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Here is today’s COVID-19 update from the County Health and Human Services Agency with data through March 16.

Vaccination Progress:

  • More than 1.41 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to the region, and nearly 1.3 million have been logged as administered. This number includes both County residents and those who work in San Diego County.
  • Of those vaccinated to date, over 461,000 County residents, or 17.1% of San Diegans 16 and older, are fully immunized.
  • Overall, over 731,000 County residents have received at least one shot of the two-dose vaccine. That’s 27.2% of those eligible.
  • Those receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine are being added to the total of fully vaccinated San Diegans.
  • The difference between doses delivered and those used in a vaccination represents approximately what is expected to be administered in the next seven days and doses still to be entered in the record system.
  • More information about vaccine distribution can be found on the County’s vaccination dashboard. For details on groups currently eligible and vaccination opportunities, visit

State Metrics:

  • San Diego County’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate is currently 6.8 cases per 100,000 residents. The County is in the Red Tier.
  • Currently, the testing positivity percentage is 2.8%, placing the County in Tier 3 or the Orange Tier.
  • The County’s health equity metric, which looks at the testing positivity for areas with the lowest healthy conditions, is 4.2% and is also in the Orange Tier or Tier 3.
  • While two of the three metrics qualify the County for the Orange Tier or Tier 3, the state assigns counties to the more restrictive tier.
  • The California Department of Public Health assesses counties on a weekly basis. The next report is scheduled for Tuesday, March 23.

Community Setting Outbreaks:

  • Six new community outbreaks were confirmed March 16: Four in business settings and two in restaurant/bar settings.
  • In the past seven days (March 10 through March 16), 20 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.


  • 13,236 tests were reported to the County on March 16, and the percentage of new positive cases was 3%.
  • The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 2.9%. Target is less than 8.0%.
  • The 7-day, daily average of tests is 11,654.

Cases, Hospitalizations and ICU Admissions:

  • 411 COVID-19 cases were reported to the County on March 16. The region’s total is now 266,317.
  • 13,371 or 5% of all cases have required hospitalization.
  • 1,626 or 0.6% of all cases and 12.2% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.


  • Eight new COVID-19 deaths were reported March 16. The region’s total is 3,470.
  • Five women and three men died between March 4 and March 16.
  • Five people who died were 80 years or older, two were in their 70s and one was in their 60s.
  • Seven had underlying medical conditions and one did not.

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