Dr. Wilma Wooten briefs the San Diego media on Monday. Image from video

San Diego County public health officials reported just 187 new coronavirus cases and no deaths Monday while announcing that state guidance on additional reopenings is expected this week.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said that now that San Diego is off the state monitoring list, officials are waiting to learn what activities and venues can be reopened.

“We are awaiting state guidance surrounding reopening. The Governor today did say we should expect to see that this week,” said Fletcher at a media briefing.

But he said the reopenings must proceed cautiously so that cases do not spike again.

“What we desperately want to avoid in San Diego County is the on-the-list, off-the-list, open-closed scenario,” he said.

Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health, also spoke at the briefing, and echoed Fletcher’s concerns.

“Please go slow with the reopening. Wear a mask; physical distance; wash your hands; avoid groups. The COVID is not done yet,” Van Gorder said.

He said he still prays for the first person who died of the disease at a Scripps hospital — a 23-year-old woman.  “She was our first death, and she died alone, her mother and father could not be at her side,” he recalled.

Out of 7.351 test results reported in the past day, 2.5% were positive, and the 14-day rolling average of positive results declined to 3.5%.

The weekly total of new cases stood at 80.3 per 100,000 population, well under the threshold of 100 and keeping the county off the state’s monitoring list.

There were five more community outbreaks, with 20 over the past week. A community outbreak is defined as three or more cases in the same location involving people from different households.

Since the first local case in March, 784,836 tests have been performed in San Diego County, resulting in 36,727 cases and 660 deaths.

“To put this number of cases into perspective, this is equivalent to the number of seats at Petco Park excluding the box seats,” noted Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer.

She urged San Diegans to “take this pandemic seriously” and not let their guard down because the number of new cases is declining and more business may reopen.

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Chris Jennewein

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