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By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2020 (San Diego) – Yesterday, County health officials confirmed 1,546 new COVID-19 cases – surpassing the prior record of 1,478 set just last Friday. The past week also saw 73 community outbreaks, with 15 more on Tuesday alone. Hospitalizations have increased 15.5% and ICU capacity is now 30%, with 50% ventilator capacity going into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend when officials warn gatherings could overload our healthcare system and cost lives.

“The continuing spike in cases ahead of this week’s holiday is alarming and it is vital that All San Diegans commit themselves to the public health guidance,” says Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, County Public Health Officer. “The sooner we lower our case rates, the sooner we will be able to lift restrictions and reopen our businesses.”

San Diego remains in the state’s most restrictive purple tier. Statewide, COVID-19 cases surged more than 81%, state health officials reported yesterday.  San Diego’s adjusted case rate is 13.1%.

The most recent community outbreaks were in retail settings, businesses, restaurants/bars, a government setting, a grocery setting, a faith-based agency and a school.

The public is advised to limit any Thanksgiving gatherings to no more than three households. Meal service outdoors is advised with masks worn when not eating or drinking as the virus has spread rampantly through our community, with cases increasing five-fold over the past month.

New studies show 30 percent of COVID-19 survivors have long-term and often serious effects of the disease, which has killed over 255,000 Americans so far. To date, 984 San Diego County residents have died of the coronavirus, including 16 new deaths announced Tuesday.

Vaccines are on the horizon, with two manufacturers claiming effectiveness rates of 95 percent. If enough Americans get vaccinated by next year, health officials hope to see holiday seasons return to normal, with families able to safely celebrate the season in 2021.

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