Heading into July 4 weekend, San Diego monitoring out-of-county COVID-19 cases

Virus Outbreak California
Posted at 5:32 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 20:32:51-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego health officials are worried about a recent uptick in out-of-towners testing positive for coronavirus locally ahead of the holiday weekend.

In San Diego, health officials have seen increases in positive COVID-19 cases diagnosed locally in people who live in nearby counties or states. Throughout the pandemic, there have been 16 Arizona residents have tested positive while in the region, seven of those were in the last week.

So far, 330 Imperial County residents have tested positive while in San Diego and 61 of those were in the last week, as cases grow in that county.

RELATED: San Diego County to close bars that don't serve food to slow COVID-19 spread

"We have looked specifically at nearby county residents. Certainly, the number of individuals who live in Imperial County who are diagnosed in San Diego have increased in the last number of weeks," said Dr. Eric McDonald, director of the county’s epidemiology and immunization department. "The number of cases who have Arizona as their primary residence have also increased in the last number of days."

With Monday's decision to close bars that don't serve food ahead of the July 4 weekend, the hope is the move will deter out-of-county residents from coming to San Diego.

"If you go back to some of the restrictions that were announced today, so that we are more consistent with our neighboring counties in terms of bar closures, it somewhat addresses that," McDonald said. "Certainly, if all the surrounding areas had more restrictions and we were perceived as a place where individuals could have more freedom to do certain types of social interactions, that could be a draw."

RELATED: Gov. Newsom shuts down bars in Los Angeles, six other counties amid surge in COVID-19 cases

San Diego's beaches are scheduled to remain open as of Monday. Nearby Los Angeles County officials announced they will close their beaches for the weekend.

"We're going to reach out to the cities and assess their level of comfort in being able to enforce the physical distancing requirements at the beaches," Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said. "We have, to date, not seen significant numbers of outbreaks or case trends from outdoor settings. So there is more concern about indoor than outdoor. But it is something we're certainly going to reach out to the cities to ascertain."