SAN DIEGO – San Diego County officials reported 474 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths Wednesday as officials called on the public to recommit to flattening the pandemic curve with it inching closer to landing on a statewide watch list.
The county said 7,825 tests were reported to the county and its health partners Tuesday. Of those, 6% were positive, pushing the local 14-day rolling average up to 4.5%. It comes as municipalities in California and nationwide are being forced to adjust to halt the growing spread of the pandemic with health officials warning of a coronavirus resurgence.
County officials also reported 13 community outbreaks between June 24-30, almost twice the threshold of one of the county triggers, an indicator of how the virus is being managed locally.
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said that Wednesday should serve as a “stark reminder” that the coronavirus remains present in the community and that additional steps will be required to limit the spread of the pandemic.
“We must now once again in San Diego County come together and flatten the curve,” Fletcher said. “It should be abundantly clear to all of us that the coronavirus is real; coronavirus is serious; and coronavirus is not going away.”
Fletcher added the county’s goal was to have “a smooth and steady recovery” as industries have reopened in recent weeks, but that “we’re a little off track of that now.”
On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that 19 counties — including Los Angeles, Riverside and Santa Barbara — are being asked to close many indoor spaces ahead of the upcoming holiday weekend. The order applies to spaces inside of establishments such as restaurants, wineries and movie theaters while outdoor areas can continue to operate.
San Diego County was not on the state’s list of impacted areas, but will be affected as officials are closing parking lots at state beaches in Southern California.
On Monday, the county ordered bars, breweries and wineries that serve alcohol but not food to close this week. That decision was made on a day when officials reported nearly 500 new COVID-19 cases and expressed concern about the spread of the virus.
If current numbers hold, county Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said the county could find itself on a state watch list as early as this week.
“We anticipate because of the increased number of cases, we also will be abnormal for July 2 and this means on July 3, we will be placed on the watch list,” Wooten said, adding a prolonged stay on that list could lead to the county adhering to Newsom’s guidance for other counties from Wednesday.