Coronavirus Impact: Concern over reopening, variants, and spring break

Coronavirus COVID-19
Posted at 6:04 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 21:17:50-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- As some business reopen under the red tier, health professionals are keeping an eye on how this will affect the fight against coronavirus.

“The good thing is the patients who are probably at higher risk for getting sicker from COVID, a lot of those people are getting vaccinated, which is great,” said Dr. Michele Ritter with UC San Diego Health. “But it is still possible that our younger population who might not be vaccinated yet can still spread it.”

One concern is spring break. With travel starting to pick up, some doctors are worried people will not take precautions to stay healthy.

“I think this spring break more than one in a long time will be very popular, because people really feel like oh my gosh, it's over. It's not completely over yet,” Dr. Ritter said.

“With young people traveling to places where they may not have a mask mandate, then they may actually bring this back to other locations where they live,” added Dr. Abi Olulade, a family health doctor with Sharp Rees-Stealy.

Dr. Olulade said another issue is vaccine hesitancy, especially in younger people.

“What I've heard from some patients is that well, if I get it, I'll be fine…. So that's also a concern that younger people may be more hesitant to getting the vaccine as their eligibility comes open,” Dr. Olulade said.

All of those concerns are in addition to the UK variant, which has been found here in San Diego.

“I think the concern is over time, that [it] will quickly take over as our most prominent variant that we have,” Dr. Ritter said. “In terms of kind of what it could do here, I think the worry is things could spread fast. [If] we are not careful with our behavior, especially people who are not vaccinated, we could run into trouble fast.”

The health professionals emphasize to keep up with what we have been doing: social distance, wear a mask, and wash your hands.