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Spike in COVID-19 cases ahead of large events in San Diego

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Posted at 8:12 PM, Jul 15, 2022

SAN DIEGO, CA (KGTV) - Tens of thousands of people will be out in San Diego County over the next week for San Diego Pride, Comic-Con, and Del Mar opening day, but a recent spike in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations landed the county on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) high-risk category for COVID-19 transmission.

“We were expecting this in the past few weeks because we see more and more COVID cases,” said Dr. Kaveh Bahmanpour with Sharp Community Medical Group.

He recommends wearing a proper fitting surgical mask, not a cloth or homemade mask, when in crowded areas.

“If it's a parade, if it's some sort of like outdoor event, it might be different than something that you're in indoor enclosed doors without proper ventilation,” he said. “Better to be safe than sorry, so still wear the mask.”

Organizers for the San Diego Pride said in a statement, “New public health guidance is not shutting down this weekend's Padres games, Over the Line, or any other major event in the region - including Pride. San Diego Pride's largest events, the Pride Parade in the heart of Hillcrest and the two-day Festival in beautiful Balboa Park, take place outdoors. We hope San Diegans and our visitors enjoy what this region has to offer in ways that feel safe and healthy to them. We are following all federal, state, and local regulations and best practices from event industry professionals to keep folks safe. Masks are encouraged but not mandatory.”

San Diego Comic-Con will be happening inside of the convention center over several days next week. The first Comic-con of its size since the pandemic began.

“This event is sold out, we are expecting a very big crowd,” said Maren Doughtery, Executive Director, Marketing & Communications San Diego Convention Center Corporation.

Doughtery said the convention center expects more than 100,000 attendees, but said Comic-Con organizers already had COVID-19 safety precautions in place, before the recent rise in cases.

“The Comic-Con organizers care deeply about the health and safety of everyone attending the event, from the attendees, to the exhibitors, the staff working the event, so they have communicated really well in advance for the protocols this year,” she said.

Everyone attending must wear a mask and have proof of vaccination, or a negative test 72 hours before the event.

For people who do contract COVID-19, the county said medications and treatments are available at multiple locations and community pharmacies across the county. People can call 211 to find a provider.