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Indoor masks required at San Diego military installations as COVID spike puts strain on hospital system – NBC 7 San Diego

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San Diego County is entering the CDC’s “high” COVID-19 community level, meaning masks are required in most indoor environments at military installations in our area, the Department of Defense said.

“When the CDC COVID-19 community level is high in the county or equivalent jurisdiction… indoor mask wearing is required for all individuals, including service members, civilian employees of the DoD, personnel of the DoD contractors on site (collectively, “DoD personnel”), and visitors, regardless of vaccination status,” reads the DoD’s masking guideline (see full-face mask guidelines on page 36).

We’ve put out a call for Instagram users to submit questions about the latest COVID-19 subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5.

The county was placed in the CDC’s top community tier on Thursday. According to the CDC, community levels are used as a measure of the impact of COVID-19 on local hospital systems.

The Coronado Naval Base and the San Diego Naval Base have posted messages on their Facebook pages stating that the mandates will come into effect on Monday, July 18.

For now, San Diego County only recommends indoor masks in civilian settings.

The highly contagious BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants are driving up cases and hospitalizations in the county, pushing San Diego County to “high” COVID-19 activity levels.

The number of people hospitalized in the province with a coronavirus infection has risen by five to 422, according to the latest state data released on Saturday. ICU patients with COVID were two more than the previous day’s total to 47. Three more hospital beds were available, totaling 253.

As of Thursday, the average daily rate of COVID-19-positive patients admitted to the province rose to 11.5 per 100,000 residents. That surpassed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s threshold for “high” virus activity.

San Diego has been in the medium-risk category since late May, but recent spikes in hospitalizations and new cases have led the CDC to raise the level of risk for the region.

Dana Griffin of NBC 7 explains what the increased level of risk means for San Diegans.

The county continues to follow the California Department of Public Health’s SMARTER plan, which recommends vaccination, mask use, testing, and treatment, among other things.

“San Diegans must take all necessary precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s deputy public health officer. “Most San Diegans have been vaccinated, but with this virus, and with the prevalence and contagiousness of the new variants, a booster is highly recommended, especially for people who are immunocompromised or have other co-morbidities.”

The coronavirus case rate for San Diego County is 383.01 per 100,000 residents.

According to the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus remain close to 10,000 per week, a number that doesn’t include testing at home. The HHSA also reported that it has also seen an increase in reinfections – San Diegans testing positive for COVID-19 several times during the pandemic. Previous infection does not necessarily prevent reinfection with some of the newer virus variants, according to national data.

In addition, hospitalizations for COVID-related illnesses are also on the rise, up 66% in the past 30 days, the HHSA said last week. The number of new IC admissions increased by 68% in the same period.

The province reported 2,191 new infections and seven deaths related to the virus on Thursday, taking the cumulative total to 857,182 cases and 5,370 deaths.

Health officials have said a majority of deaths occurred in people with at least one underlying health condition, primarily hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

More than 3 million or 89.7% of San Diegans six months and older are at least partially vaccinated. Nearly 2.65 million or 79.2% are fully vaccinated. A total of 1,396,563 or 57.8% of 2,418,004 eligible San Diegans received a booster.

The province only reports COVID data on Mondays and Thursdays.

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