Eight San Diego County COVID-19 outbreaks that occurred between June 11 and June 17 at two restaurants, three businesses, a campground, a social club and a private residence where gatherings may have occurred has triggered a reevaluation of county reopening guidance. The eight outbreaks, which are not linked, surpass the County’s threshold of no more than seven outbreaks over a seven-day period.
Three additional COVID-19 community outbreaks were reported on Monday, bringing the region’s total to 10 over the past seven days. Also, more than 300 positive cases have been reported two days in a row.
The spike comes on the heels of a gradual reopening of the county, with restaurants being open since the end of May, and bars gyms and nail salons recently opening over the past 2 weeks, causing the County to pause on the reopening of additional sectors of the economy, even if the state releases new guidance, until it is safe to do it. Further actions also are possible.
County health officials reported 198 new COVID-19 infections and three more deaths on Tuesday, raising the totals to 11,294 cases and 341 deaths.
While tracking case numbers is important, a County health official said a better indicator is the 14-day average percentage of positive tests which, while slightly rising, continues to hover around 3%. The County will continue to monitor COVID-19 community outbreaks and cases to determine if a trend develops now that more sectors of the economy have reopened.
Of 6,819 coronavirus tests reported to the county Monday, 3% were positive new cases, officials said. The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive tests is 2.9%.
“If we start to see an increasing number of community outbreaks, that would be a sign that COVID-19 is spreading at a faster rate because people are not following the public health guidance,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “That could result in the closure of businesses or certain sectors or even a full stop in the reopening of the local economy.”
Here’s how you can help to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks:
If you’re sick, stay home and isolate yourself from others.
If you need to be in public, you must use a face covering if you are close to people outside your household. The coverings help prevent asymptomatic carriers of the virus from spreading it.
Maintain physical distance from others.
Avoid crowded places to decrease your risk of exposure.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw it away and wash your hands.
Wash your hands properly and regularly or use a hand sanitizer.
If you’re out and about and notice that a business is not following the health guidance, report them to your local police department by calling the non-emergency number.