SAN DIEGO — San Diego County officials Monday ordered many businesses that serve the public to close down all indoor operations for at least the next three weeks.
The businesses affected by the order include as restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, zoos, family entertainment centers, museums and cardrooms, Supervisor Greg Cox said. Outdoor dining will still be permitted for restaurants, as will delivery and takeout. The restrictions, going into effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, will be in place for at least three weeks.
“We must slow the spread of coronavirus now to allow our economy to open and thrive,” said County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.
The move was widely expected after San Diego was added to the state’s coronavirus watch list due to the rising rate of positive cases. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday he anticipated local health officials to act quickly to comply with recently enacted orders, including the closure of indoor dining spaces.
One of the triggers for the closure order is the number of community outbreaks of COVID-19, County Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said. The county has identified 21 recent community outbreaks, and 16 of those occurred in restaurants, which is one of the reasons that restaurants are being ordered to close indoor operations, Wooten said.
Officials also is reported 274 new COVID-19 cases, raising the county total to 17,000 cases. There have been no new deaths reported over the weekend so the number of deaths related to the illness remains unchanged at 387.
Of the 7,667 tests reported Monday, 4% returned positive. The county’s 14-day average of daily positive tests is 5.3%.
Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said more bad news is likely coming.
“Deaths lag behind hospitalizations, which lag behind cases,” she said, comparing the pattern to what health officials see with seasonal influenza.
Breweries and pubs serving food must stop all on-site consumption effective Tuesday, whether that be indoor or outdoor — but are allowed to remain open for curbside service of food and beverages, Fletcher said. Wineries and distilleries can have outdoor service. Officials did not clarify why the distinction was made between the alcohol-producing businesses.