New Year brings record number of COVID-19 cases, 58 more deaths | news

A record number of cases and 58 more COVID-19 deaths were reported on December 31, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

With 4,478 reported COVID-19 cases, the total number in the region is now 160,073. This is the first time the daily total has exceeded 4,000 cases in a single day, beating the previous record set on December 17, 2020 when 3,611 cases were reported.

In addition, 58 more deaths were reported as of December 31, bringing the total to 1,592. This is the second highest daily total reported after 62 deaths were recorded on December 30th.

“The record number of cases and the high number of deaths we are seeing mean we need to better follow public health guidelines, particularly to avoid unnecessary contact with people outside our immediate households,” said Eric McDonald, MD, MPH, Medical Director of the County Epidemiology and Immunization Services Branch. “With the availability of vaccines increasing, we expect to turn the corner in the fight against COVID-19 in 2021, but January seems like it will be a very difficult January.”

With the recent local detections of B.1.1.7. Now more than ever, San Diegans, a novel strain of coronavirus first found in the UK, should do the following:

  • Wash your hands
  • Wear a mask
  • Keep your distance from others and only leave your household for essential activities
  • If you are sick, get tested and then stay home and isolate yourself

ICU capacity and stay home order:

  • The current ICU bed availability for the Southern California area is now 0.0% and is updated daily by the state.
  • The Regional Stay Home Order is in effect prohibiting gatherings of any size with people from other households and adding restrictions for multiple sectors.
  • The order is valid until availability in the region’s intensive care unit reaches or exceeds 15%.
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Community setting outbreaks:

  • Eight new outbreaks in the community were confirmed as of December 31st: four in business settings, two in food settings, one in healthcare, and one in a faith-based environment.
  • In the past seven days (December 25-31), 53 outbreaks have been confirmed in the community.
  • The number of outbreaks in the community remains above the trigger of seven or more within seven days.
  • A community attitude outbreak is defined as three or more cases of COVID-19 in one area and in people from different households in the past 14 days.


  • As of December 31, 31,602 tests were reported to the county and the percentage of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 14%.
  • The 7-day daily average of the tests is 21,726.
  • People at higher risk for COVID-19 with or without symptoms should be tested. People with any symptoms should be tested. Healthcare providers and key personnel should also be given a test, as should people who have had close contact with a positive case or who live in communities that are severely affected. Those who recently returned from the trip or attended holiday gatherings are also encouraged to get tested.


  • 5,914 or 3.7% of all cases had to be hospitalized.
  • 1,219 or 0.8% of all cases and 20.6% of all cases in the hospital had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.


  • As of December 31, 58 new COVID-19 deaths were reported to the county. The total number of the region is now 1,592.
  • 37 men and 21 women died between December 14 and 31, and their ages ranged from their late 40s to early 100s.
  • 42 had underlying illnesses and 16 have a pending medical history.
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More information:

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

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