County added to state watchlist after reporting record number of COVID-19 cases

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SAN DIEGO — San Diego County will be placed on the state’s monitoring list after reporting a record 584 new coronavirus cases, county officials said Thursday.

The number of cases has now reached 15,207, and the 584 cases reported Thursday is the sixth time in a week the number of daily cases have been more than 400. Of the 8,510 tests reported Thursday, 7% returned positive. The 14-day rolling average of positive tests is 4.9%.

An additional five people have died from COVID-19, raising the county’s total to 377. These people — three men and two women — died between June 26 and July 1 and ranged in age from 51 to 93. All had underlying health conditions.

A record 10 community outbreaks were reported Thursday, raising the one-week count to 22, well over the limit of seven San Diego County set for itself, with a series of 13 triggers. Eight of the new outbreaks — defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households — were reported in restaurants and bars. One was traced to a grocery store and one in a business. Of the week’s 22 outbreaks, 14 were traced to restaurants or bars.

The spike in COVID-19 cases comes after similar increases in San Diego’s neighboring counties. When the state watch list was first announced Wednesday, San Diego was the only county in Southern California that was not on it. But county officials warned that the recent rise in COVID-19 cases was likely to land the county on the list before the July 4 weekend.

The rate of COVID-19 cases in the county has risen from about 104 cases per 100,000 residents to nearly 113 cases per 100,000 in the past three days, officials said. A rate of more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents is above the state’s watchlist threshold.

County officials said San Diego was likely to remain on the state watchlist at least through the weekend. As a result, the county could be forced to order more restrictions and close businesses that have recently reopened, including: dine-in restaurants; wineries and tasting rooms; movie theaters, cardrooms and family entertainment centers; museums and zoos.

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