San Diego Has Reached COVID High-Risk Level. Will Masks Be Required?

As of now, local health officials only recommend wearing a mask indoors when in public

NBC Universal, Inc.

San Diego County moved into the "high" COVID-19 activity level late on Thursday due to the highly infectious BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants driving up case and hospitalization numbers. However, unlike Los Angeles County, no indoor mask-wearing mandate has been announced.

San Diego County health officials are only recommending wearing a mask indoors when in public, encouraging vaccine doses and boosters, and asking the community to stay home if you are sick and get tested.

"You shouldn't wait for someone to mandate that you wear a mask," said Sharp Rees-Stealy Family Medicine Dr. Abisola Olulade. "You should just do it because it is a very harmless thing to do and it can protect you from getting sick."

The county says it continues to follow the California Department of Public Health's SMARTER plan, which recommends vaccination, use of masks, testing and treatment among other things.

New state data shows yet another increase in COVID-19 related hospitalizations. At least 44 more people were hospitalized in San Diego County from COVID in just the last two days. For perspective, the last time the county had this many people in the hospital was late February toward the back end of the major COVID winter surge.

San Diego County data states that in the last 30 days, the county has seen an 81% increase in hospitalizations and a 95% increase in ICU stays.

Data from

"We can expect that the cases are going to continue to go up because it is summertime and so that's something that we need to prepare for," said Dr. Olulade.

Below is an interactive map of COVID community transmission in every county in the country:

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