As the state -- and the county -- is experiencing the fastest increase in coronavirus cases yet, faster than during the start of the pandemic or even this summer, South Bay is experiencing a rapid rise of COVID-19 cases.
In fact, health experts fear the spread of the virus could quickly overwhelm the health care system if prevention isn't taken since coounty data shows that about one out of five people in San Ysidro and Otay Mesa may be battling the virus.
"We are really right in the center of where a lot of the surge is happening, unfortunately, right now with COVID-19," said Adriana Bearse, program manager at San Ysidro Health.
On Monday, county health leaders reported the number of hospitalizations had increased by 27% between Oct. 25 and Nov. 7. A Sharp Chula Vista Medical representative told NBC 7 that it does not have a surge of inpatient hospitalizations but is prepared for such an influx.
"We see, a lot of the time, some of the spread is happening within families," said Bearse. "We know the virus. It could be a stranger, it could be a close friend or a family member; it will still spread the same way."
Bearse said the virus is impacting overwhelmingly Hispanic/Latinos in the South Bay. She said this is because of the amount of essential workers in the region, more families living in multigenerational housing and the issue of access to resources.
San Ysidro Health is offering COVID-19 tests along with a free follow-up tele-health visit where a doctor can instruct patients on what to do next with their test result.
Beare said it's important to limit gatherings so the surge doesn't become worse during the holiday season.