Expert: San Diego County may have avoided post-Labor Day coronavirus spike

Posted at 7:48 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 22:48:57-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Two weeks ago, the county warned San Diegans to continue practicing social distancing, washing of hands, and wearing facial coverings over the Labor Day weekend to thwart the spread of COVID-19.

County public health officials had been clear that they did not want to see the same case spikes that followed July 4th and Memorial Day.

Now that Labor Day has passed, local doctors say they have yet to see the same spike in coronavirus cases seen after holidays earlier this summer.

"We have not seen a sustained rate of 30, 40, 60 positives like we did around July 4. We're not seeing it yet," said Dr. David Pride, an infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego.

Pride says the difference may be due to residents being more educated about the virus and how to best slow the spread. For the other two holidays, schools were also still closed.

According to the county, 10 days after July 4 the region's positivity rate was 6.3%. Currently, the county's positivity rate is 4.4%.

"We're 10 days out, no big jump so far, our positivity rates suggest that something is different this time and hopefully that will continue for a week or two," Pride said.

While San Diego County's positivity rate is low, it's the region's case rate (cases per 100,000 residents) that continues to be an issue. And now, it's the county's case rate that threatens to push the region's into a stricter reopening tier.

"This time around they're not sitting home, they're not socially distancing, so we're gonna see spikes that are largely unrelated to the Labor Day weekend," says Pride.

And with more fall holidays approaching, Pride says residents will need to continue their vigilance through the holidays as spikes in cases are more likely.