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For California's big cities, San Diego in a class by itself on COVID-19 restrictions

Virus Outbreak San Diego
Posted at 4:33 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 14:45:06-04

SAN DIEGO (AP/KGTV) — Unlike most Californians, people in San Diego will be able to get a reprieve from the heat this Labor Day weekend by heading to movie theaters and dining inside a restaurant.

Among California’s 10 most populous counties, San Diego is the only one with virus cases low enough to meet state standards for reopening theaters, museums and gyms, and resuming indoor dining — all with limited capacity to provide for physical distancing.

San Diego County is listed in the state's second tier, or "substantial" tier, for cities reporting four to seven daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents and a positive test rate between 5% and 8%.

As of Thursday, San Diego’s case rate is 5.8 and the testing positivity percentage is 3.8%. Since one of those metrics is in the second tier, the county isn't eligible to begin the 14-day countdown to qualify for the next tier of easing restrictions.

Local officials say an aggressive reaction to outbreaks and a bipartisan approach have helped the county deal with the pandemic.

While San Diego County has kept case rates low, the county reported two new outbreaks — in a business and in a restaurant/bar — on Thursday for a total of 17 community outbreaks in the last week.

Officials warned this week that Labor Day weekend poses a threat to those gradually decreasing metrics and encouraged residents to be safe and avoid gatherings over the holiday weekend.