Supervisor Nathan Fletcher speaks at the county’s Thursday press briefing. Image from live stream

San Diego County health officials reported 98 new coronavirus cases on Thursday and ordered more essential workers to wear face masks.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said that starting on Monday bank tellers, childcare providers who serve food, taxi and rideshare drivers, and transit workers would need to wear face coverings.

Employees at restaurants, grocery stories, convenience stores and gas stations must already wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus. Face masks are not required, but recommended for everyone else.

The latest statistics showed a total of 1,628 cases and four more deaths for a total of 40. The mortality rate is now 2.5%.

The county reported 22,098 tests to date — reportedly more per capita than any other county in California — with 93 percent coming back negative.

Fletcher said San Diego has so far been able to avoid the scenes of infection and death witnessed in Italy and other parts of the world because residents have largely followed the county’s health orders

“In San Diego, we are not seeing those scenes play out because we moved swiftly, we moved early,” he said at the county’s regular afternoon briefing during the pandemic.

He said the success so far shows the need to keep restrictions in place through at least the month of April.

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