Dr. Wooten: Businesses ordered to close under Newsom’s order must remain shut down until further notice

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego County public health officials reported 559 cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths from the illness Wednesday and a wave of indoor businesses were forced to close as cases of the illness continue to spike.

The new numbers raise the total number of cases to 21,446 and the number of deaths to 448. Of the 8,436 tests reported Wednesday, 7% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average to 7.2%.

Four new community outbreaks were reported Wednesday, bringing the weekly total to 14 — well above the county’s metric of no more than seven in a one-week span. The new outbreaks were reported in a laboratory, hair salon, barber shop and restaurant/bar.

A community outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households.

About 147.2 of every 100,000 San Diegans are testing positive for the illness, well above the state’s criterion of 100 per 100,000 and the highest daily rate since the pandemic began.

The last metric the county has failed to maintain is the percentage of cases that have been handled by a contact investigator. Although there are more than 500 investigators currently employed by the county and 98% of all cases had been investigated as recently as June 25, that rate has dropped to a dismal 46%.

San Diego County is seeing most of the cases in the younger age groups, just as the rest of the country. San Diego County officials assure us there have been no cases as a result of the recent large protests, rather say they have only found outbreaks at restaurants, bars, a place of worship, private homes, and businesses.

Many businesses from different sectors were forced to close their door Wednesday due to Governor Gavin Newsom’s order. Originally it was thought their doors would be closed for three weeks, but Dr. Wilma Wooten informed San Diego that they cannot reopen until further notice. Wooten explained, “even the three week assessment period, is now umm, it’s not three weeks now, it’s just basically, the assessment will be made and the state will determine when businesses will reopen. So we will await any decision and guidance from the state.”

As a result of Newsom’s order to close businesses, KUSI and other local news organizations asked the county, will there be any repercussions for business who don’t comply with the governor’s orders.

Wooten answered, “So um, just in general we are, want to maintain compliance with the governor’s order and if there is non-compliance then that will be referred to law enforcement and our compliance team to investigate.”

Supervisor John Cox later said that San Diego County does not have the power to be less restrictive than the governor, but they can implement stricter regulations.

Wednesday’s complete San Diego County Public Health Briefing is below:

County and Public Health officials to give a coronavirus response update.

Posted by KUSI News on Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Categories: Coronavirus, Local San Diego News