SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County has been told by state officials it will be placed on California's watch list for coronavirus cases on Friday, after the region reported another record number of cases.
San Diego County's COVID-19 cases increased from 103.8 to 112.8 cases per 100,000 residents on Thursday, passing the state's threshold of 100 cases per 100,000 residents.
The region's inclusion on the list was fueled by 584 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, a 7% positive rate out of 8,510 reported tests, according to county data.
If the county remains on the County Monitoring List for the next three days, local businesses would be required to follow California's dialing back of reopenings announced on Wednesday.
That means indoor operations for sectors including restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, and cardrooms would be suspended. Bars would also be ordered to stop all operations.
Those mandates could go into effect as early as July 6 and would last for three weeks.
County leaders are advising businesses on the list to prepare to close or modify their operations in time for Tuesday.
How California measures its counties
Under the state's metrics, counties are placed on the list after any one of the following thresholds is met for three days in a row:
- Average number of tests per day is less than 150 per 100,000 residents
- Case rate over 14 days per 100,000 residents is greater than 100 cases OR greater than 25 cases with a 7-day percent of testing positivity equal or above 8%
- Greater than 10% increase in three-day average of COVID-19 hospitalized patients
- Less than 20% of ICU beds available or less than 25% or ventilator available
San Diego County crossed the case rate metric first on June 30 with 105 cases per 100,000 residents.
On the first day a county crosses a threshold, it is alerted by the state. On the second and third days it continues to be above a threshold, county and state officials discuss mitigation strategies. If the county is above a threshold for three straight days, the county is placed on the watch list, according to the county's Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten.
- California orders watch list counties to stop indoor operations, close bars amid surge in COVID-19 cases
The county must then remain on the watch list for another three consecutive days before it will be required to implement the new state measures on indoor activities and bar operations.
Thursday, San Diego County reported 15,207 coronavirus cases and five new deaths, bringing the region's death toll to 377.
The county also reported 10 new community outbreaks on Thursday, including eight at restaurants/bars, one at a grocery location, and one at a business. In the last week, 22 community outbreaks have been reported, representing 100 of the county's lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases. The number needed to set off the county's community outbreak trigger is seven in seven days.
“Today’s numbers are another stark reminder that coronavirus is real," Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said. "It is spreading and we must take action to get it under control."