A county employee doing contact tracing
San Diego County employee Esma Al Sabag is doing contact tracing in English and Arabic. Photo courtesy County News Center

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported a record 584 new cases of coronavirus Thursday and said the county will be added to California’s COVID-19 “watch list.”

Of 8,510 test results received in the past day, 6.9% were positive and the 14-day rolling average increased to 4.9%. As recently as two weeks ago the average was under 3%.

“Today’s numbers are another stark reminder that coronavirus is real. It is spreading and we must take action to get it under control,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

Five more deaths were reported. The latest victims were three men and two women ranging in age from 51 to 93.

There has also been a surge in community outbreaks, with 22 in the past seven days. Eight of the latest were in restaurants or bars. A community outbreak is defined as three or more people not from the same household contracting the disease at a specific location.

In the past three days, the number  of new COVID-19 cases in the county over 14 days increased from 103.8 to 112.8 per 100,000 residents, surpassing the state’s threshold level of 100 and putting the county on the watch list.

This means new restrictions can be expected starting July 7 and continuing for three weeks. A total of 19 counties are already under these rollbacks.

The following businesses and activities are affected:

  • Dine-in restaurants (outdoor eating, pick up, and drive-through can continue)
  • Wineries and tasting rooms
  • Movie theaters, family entertainment centers and card rooms
  • Museums and zoos

Since the first local case in March, there have been 358,967 tests administered in San Diego County, resulting in 15,207 cases and 377 deaths.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.