Escondido, CA

What San Diegans need to do for county to get off state watchlist

On July 3, the County was placed on the state’s Monitoring List after the region’s case rate went above 100 positive cases per every 100,000 people three days in a row.

The County has not met that metric since then, and the case rate stands now at 145.3.

What does San Diego County need to do to get off the watchlist? The answer is in San Diegans’ hands.

Local health officials continue to urge San Diegans to wear a face covering, avoid gatherings, maintain six feet distance from anyone outside their household, wash their hands thoroughly, and take other preventive measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent community outbreaks.

“We hope that the actions we’ve taken in the past few weeks will help us flatten the curve and bring the number of cases down,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “With your help, we expect cases will decrease.”

After the County lowers its case rate to the state’s metric for at least three days, it comes off the Monitoring List. If that does not occur, the County will be barred from opening more sectors of the economy, and schools will not be able to open for in-person instruction.

The County has its own set of indicators, or “triggers,” it is tracking that could prompt changes to the health order. On June 30, the County reached the Case Investigation trigger because the percentage of investigations initiated within 24 hours of notification over a seven-day period fell below 71%. The percentage has decreased dramatically since then. On July 19, the trigger was at 8%. However, the percentage of investigations increases to nearly 60 percent after 72 hours and is likely to improve with the addition of more case investigators.

This week, the County is adding nearly 100 new case investigators to contact San Diegans who have tested positive and identify who their close contacts were. The new hires will join the more than 520 case investigators and contact tracers currently working to slow the pandemic.

Going forward, the County will also be hiring about 200 case investigators from the more than 2,300 job applications that were submitted in the last few days. The position closes at midnight July 20.

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