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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – As San Diego County moves into the next steps of reopening various industries shuttered for months due to COVID-19, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer Thursday urged San Diegans to continue exercising caution to keep local hospital systems from being overwhelmed.

On Friday, bars, gyms, hotels and movie theaters are among the sectors slated to reopen.

In his last daily COVID-19 news conference for the foreseeable future, Faulconer praised the efforts of San Diegans to slow the virus’ spread, as well as the work of essential workers to keep city services running during the pandemic.

“The facts clearly show that San Diegans have helped flatten the curve and slow the spread of this virus,” said Faulconer.

However, the mayor echoed warnings from county health officials that precautions should be taken to prevent a potential spike in cases.

“The next steps after this depend not on government. They will depend on each of us,” Faulconer said. “This next phase of reopening is all about personal responsibility and accountability. Do not take unnecessary risks that could put others in harm’s way.”

County health officials have advised residents that wearing face coverings remains mandatory, and warned of the ongoing presence of asymptomatic carriers. About 10% of people who tested positive for COVID-19 in San Diego County displayed no symptoms, according to a county statement issued Thursday.

Thursday’s COVID-19 update from the county marked 8,998 cases and 308 deaths.

Since the pandemic began, 16.2%, or 1,459, of all positive-testing patients have been hospitalized, 4.6%, or 414, have spent some time in intensive care and 3.5% have died.

“We know more people will get sick, and unfortunately, this disease will claim more lives. But we still have the power over what happens next. Through the actions we take, we can keep these numbers as low as possible,” Faulconer said.