San Diego Sees 8 Coronavirus Outbreaks In 7 Days, Triggering County Action
There were eight community outbreaks of coronavirus in San Diego within seven days, the county announced Thursday, “triggering” a set back on the county’s reopening plan.
The threshold for the trigger is seven community outbreaks in seven days. Community outbreaks are defined as three or more cases at the same location that are not linked to each other.
As a result, the county is stepping up targeted enforcement on entities that are not complying with the public health orders, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.
“If we see individual entities that are specifically very egregiously adhering to the orders, we could step in as we did with the restaurants some number of months ago,” he said.
El Prez, a sports bar and restaurant in Pacific Beach was ordered closed May 22, a day after reopening for violating social distancing order.
The county will also take a pause on the state's recommendations on future reopenings "until we have greater sense of period of time and observation to understand what's going on," Fletcher said.
Businesses such as nail salons, skincare and waxing salons, and tattoo parlors and massage therapy set to reopen this Friday can still reopen.
Two of the outbreaks are tied to restaurants, three in other businesses, one to a residence, one at a campground and one at a social club. A number of these outbreaks are from entities that are not supposed to be open, Fletcher said.
“The social club should not have been meeting,” he said. “It’s not consistent with the public health orders.”
The county is not disclosing any of the locations of the outbreaks because there is no danger to the public.
“If we automatically share every single location, we would systemically undermine our ability ot get cooperation, which would fundamentally hurt our ability to contact trace and slow the spread of coronavirus,” Fletcher said.
Three of the outbreaks will fall off the seven-day reporting period Friday. Assuming there are no more outbreaks reported Thursday, there will be five outbreaks in the seven-day window, deactivating the trigger, county public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said.
The county also saw the number of coronavirus cases cross the 10,000 milestone with 238 new cases of COVID-19, a new daily high. An additional four deaths were also reported, raising the death toll of the disease to 331.
Health officials continue to monitor 13 potential triggers that could cause the county to take industry-specific actions, pause all reopening efforts, or even dial back reopenings. The county remains "green" on 12 of 13 triggers.
“The reality is as you reopen, more people gather,” Fletcher said. “And as more people gather, there’s a greater risk of transmission.”
Referencing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new mandate for all Californians to wear face coverings when outside and inside public spaces, Fletcher reiterated that the order has been in place in San Diego County since May 1.