IMPERIAL, California (KGTV)-- As businesses in San Diego enjoy modified re-openings, the lockdown continues for our neighbors in Imperial County. Governor Gavin Newsom announced the decision Friday after the number of COVID-19 infections continues to rise.
Former San Diegan, Bob Diaz, has called the small city of Imperial, 'home' since 1998. He says he loves desert landscapes, and the relatively quick drive to visit his family in San Diego. Since the quarantine began in March, he has not seen them at all.
"I wish I could," Diaz said. "There are so many parks, the beach, the downtown, the Embarcadero, places that I love to go. But you know what? It's not worth the gamble."
The 66-year-old says because of his age, he is taking the lockdown seriously.
"I knew that the numbers were looking pretty ugly," Diaz said.
Friday, Governor Newsom and state officials mentioned Imperial County's data in a press conference.
"I noted a positivity rate over a 14-day period in the state of California at 5.3 percent. The positivity rate over a 14-day period in Imperial County is approaching 23 percent," the Governor said.
Imperial is one of 15 counties under the state's COVID-19 monitor list. For its 180,000 residents, there are less than 300 hospital beds.
"What if I need healthcare, and the beds are already full?" Diaz asked.
That has become a reality for many. The Governor said that there have already been more than 500 patients who were transferred out to other counties in the last five weeks. Diaz thinks there is a large group of patients unaccounted for in the county's data: people who come into the US from Mexicali.
"There are over 1 million people across the border, and I know a lot of them come for their healthcare in the US. I was always kind of worried about that," Diaz said.
That is why he says he is content with remaining on lockdown.
"If it has to be another six months, so be it," Diaz said.