Memorial Day weekend saw locals and tourists enjoy weekend activities throughout San Diego County despite a recent increase in COVID cases that moved the county into a higher risk level category, per the CDC.
This holiday typically draws thousands of people to the area.
“We did a little hiking, little adventurous things like that. We got out here on Thursday and headed back today. I’m originally from Phoenix, so just enjoying the good weather here,” Brandon Ferris said.
COVID-19 cases increased ahead of the holiday weekend.
The County’s Health and Human Services agency reported 1,897 new COVID-19 cases just ahead of the weekend.
The COVID-19 case count is 26 times higher than last Memorial Day weekend. The numbers represent only the cases reported to county or hospital sites. As the proliferation of at-home tests has increased, the actual number of infections is likely higher.
As cases increase, the County has recently moved to Medium Community Risk Level.
The CDC's risk levels are low, medium, or high and a region's level is determined by looking at hospital bed capacity, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area, the county said.
The medium-risk level means that San Diegans who are immunocompromised should consider higher levels of protective measures, like wearing a mask in public, to prevent illness and speak to their doctor about other steps they can take to stay well, the county said.
“While facial coverings are no longer mandatory in most places, the County, along with the California Department of Public Health, strongly recommends masking, especially indoors and around those who may be vulnerable to COVID-19,” said Cameron Kaiser, County deputy public health officer. “Spread of the virus has increased in recent weeks and we should step up individual efforts to keep our community safe.”
For some, it means more caution but not a change of plans.
“We are going to live our lives and enjoy ourselves. We will stay cautious, but you know, we are going to enjoy it. We do the smart things like wash our hands and stay protected how we can, but we are just going to enjoy it,” Aaron Artz said.
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Marine Division officials have been urging people to be mindful of beach safety.