Spike in Arizona cases prompts concerns about tourists in San Diego

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CORONADO, Calif. — Hot days drive tourists from Arizona to California beaches in a routine migration pattern but this year, in the midst of a pandemic, Phoenix and Yuma are some of the most infected areas for COVID-19 in the country.

Now local beach community leaders are trying to welcome their guests, but caution them as well.

“I think the message to the people that are coming to the San Diego region is to be respectful of one another and to take note of the protocols we have in place here throughout the county of San Diego,” said Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey.

Most people walking the city’s streets Friday were masked up and ready to shop at the local businesses.

“It’s 112 and very hot,” said Steve Alcott, who was visiting Coronado from Phoenix.

Alcott said they are just getting used to wearing masks after the governor of Arizona stopped blocking mayors from ordering face coverings. 

“It’s the same way in Phoenix, they implemented this mask thing a week ago, so deal with it and go on. It’s all you can do.”

Hundreds of thousands of Arizona tourists are expected to make their way to the ocean this season, but that number is far fewer than a normal summer season.

Bailey says if people are resistant to wearing masks, they should think about the economy and keeping it open. 

“Keep the small business owners and their employees in mind,” Bailey said. “Ultimately they can be shut down if they’re not demonstrating that their guests, their customers are following the guidelines in place. And we want our small businesses to remain open. We want our small business owners to remain employed.”

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