State ‘awaiting action’ from San Diego after county makes virus watchlist

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SAN DIEGO — The state is “awaiting action” from local officials after San Diego County made California’s watchlist for regions with troubling public health data last week.

Gov. Gavin Newsom started a news briefing Monday by noting that the state’s watchlist has expanded from 19 to 23, and San Diego is among the new additions. The county decided to close bars last week but left local beaches open during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, drawing crowds to the shore.

Counties make the state’s watchlist when they surpass certain public health data indicators — such as rising hospitalization rates and confirmed cases. Those regions are given access to state resources and “technical assistance,” and are also subject to rollbacks on recently lifted COVID-19 restrictions.

Counties on the state’s watchlist have been asked to close all bars and indoor spaces at businesses, among other measures.

On Monday, Newsom listed San Diego County among those that the state is still “awaiting action” from on a local level. County health officials planned a news conference for 2:30 p.m. Monday that may bring more details about local measures.

Beachgoers are seen along the shore in Pacific Beach on July 4, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many beaches were shut down for the Fourth of July weekend across California due to a resurgence of COVID-19. San Diego-area beaches however remained open. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker / AFP via Getty Images)

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