San Diego County public health officials reported 587 new cases of coronavirus Wednesday and a daily record of 18 deaths from the disease.
“Until today’s report, the prior three days were showing the encouragement of a daily decrease,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer.
She noted that cases have grown steadily since the middle of June despite occasional dips.
Out of 8,280 test results received in the past day, 7.1% were positive, and the 14-day rolling average of positive cases ticked up to 6.0%.
Three indicators of the pandemic currently exceed allowable levels. They are the number of recent community outbreaks at 12, the number of new cases per 100,000 residents at 154.8, and the percentage of new cases that are investigated within 24 hours at just 9%.
The county is under state order to limit indoor business activities because of the number of new cases per 100,000 residents. Wooten said the county must report less than 234 cases per day for 14 days to get off the state’s list.
Asked why the new restrictions on indoor activities haven’t resulted in a decline in cases, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said there hasn’t been enough time yet. Indoor dining was restricted two weeks ago, and other indoor business activities just a week ago.
“There’s a significant lag when you deal with COVID between when you take an action and when you see an outcome,” he said. “It’s often been described as a freight train that when it gets moving in terms of its spread, it is very hard to slow, and it takes time.”
Because the numbers continue to rise, Supervisor Greg Cox announced the county is starting a Safe Reopening Compliance Team that will provide assistance to businesses and residents not in compliance with public health orders.
“This is a carrot approach, not a stick,” Cox said. “But we still have the stick and other tools to ensure compliance.”
Since the first local case in March, the county has performed 522,973 tests resulting in 25,107 cases and 505 deaths.
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