U.S. Navy COVID-19
Nurse Kennedy Garcia, a U.S. Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade, prepares her protective equipment before entering the isolation room of a COVID-19 positive patient in 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The San Diego region surpassed a new pandemic milestone this week, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency said Thursday.

Since they identified the first local COVID-19 case in March 2020, officials say a total of 803,293 cases have been recorded. The region passed the 800,000 mark Monday.

Weekly coronavirus cases have tripled over the past month, with hospitalizations also on the rise.

The new case count includes 4,428 cases in the past three days. The count of COVID-19 patients in local hospitals rose sharply this week, to 232, with 24 in intensive care.

“The somber milestone and recent spike in cases should serve as a reminder this isn’t the time to let our guard down,” said the county’s deputy public health officer Cameron Kaiser. “Please, make sure you’re up to date on your vaccinations and boosters, and consider a mask, especially if you’re medically vulnerable yourself or may be around people who are.”

The county also reported 12 more COVID-19 deaths Thursday, which occurred between Feb. 4 and June 5. Four of those deaths happened in the past two weeks.

Nine of the people who died were 80 years or older, two were in their 70s and one in their 60s. Five of those people were fully vaccinated, while the other seven were not. Eleven of the people had underlying medical conditions.

The region’s total death count is 5,315.

– City News Service

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Ellen Bullock