New COVID-19 hotspots emerge as officials say young people are contributing to outbreaks

Coronavirus

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to accurately reflect the area represented by the 92106 zip code, which is Point Loma.

POINT LOMA, Calif. – As in much of the state, new COVID-19 hotspots have been popping up in San Diego County in the past two weeks with some areas seeing concerning spikes among young people.

More than half of the county’s total COVID-19 cases have been reported in people under the age of 40. Officials now are seeing a growing number of cases โ€” some 22% โ€” identified in young people, particularly those between the ages of 20 and 29, up from 15% in April.

The percentage also has grown in individuals between the ages of 10 and 29, according to the county.

In an emailed statement, the county’s Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said that spike can be attributed to more young people going out and “not following the public health guidance.”

“That’s why we’re seeing more community outbreaks,” Wooten said. “They are going to bars, restaurants and having house parties and not wearing a mask or maintaining physical distance.”

In Point Loma, officials are reporting cases have more than doubled in recent weeks. It comes as the area’s shopping centers again are bustling after reopening earlier this year, but officials say the pandemic is far from over and continue to urge residents to follow health guidelines.

โ€œI thought the coronavirus was going down and then the sudden spike of coronavirus,” visitor Joshua Teoeosio said,” (It’s) kinda overwhelming because I thought we were just coming to an end with it, but I guess not.”

According to county data, new hotspots include places like Dulzura, which only had seven cases two weeks ago and now is reporting 26, a 271% increase. In Fallbrook, the number sits at 168 cases, more than twice the amount from late June.

La Costa previously had 25 cases. It’s now at 49, nearly doubling in recent weeks.

“I feel like itโ€™s pretty hard to stop people from wanting to socialize and come but at the same time I wish more people took precautions so there wasnโ€™t spikes,” said visitor Lissa Lubran.

Wooten said the spikes can be tied to people going out in large numbers and interacting with others outside of their households. The virus has not been as deadly for younger demographics, but Wooten noted “they could be spreading the virus to others who are more vulnerable.”

On its website, the county has shared information about COVID-19 testing sites, resources for residents and businesses and all public health advisories.

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