San Diego Hits Metric To Get Off State Watch List, But Businesses Still Can't Reopen

While some businesses have been able to adapt to the ever-changing rules in the state and county, frustration over uncertainty lingers

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San Diego County has reached a key metric to get off the state’s coronavirus monitoring list, but that doesn’t mean businesses like bars and movie theaters can go ahead and reopen immediately. While improving coronavirus numbers are raising optimism, many local businesses are still dealing with uncertainty.

“2020 has been an unconventional year for us, needless to say,” said Jack Collins, Events Coordinator at Societe Brewing.

Pandemic guidelines meant Societe and other local breweries had to shut down their indoor areas twice this year. With the help of a food truck, they’ve been able to create an outdoor beer garden in their parking lot. 

Not all San Diego bars have the available space for outdoor dining, however, and must remain closed. The management at Societe is closely watching the changing COVID-19 case rates.

“It means a lot to us," Collins said. "We’ve been looking to state officials and public health officers to see what we should be doing."

On Friday, San Diego County reported a state-calculated case rate below 100 (96.3). It was the third consecutive day the coronavirus case rate was under 100. If the trend continues for 14 days, schools will be allowed to reopen. No other businesses can reopen until the state provides further guidance.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and County Supervisor Greg Cox sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom Friday asking for guidance on reopening businesses

While businesses like Societe are adapting to the situation, there’s still frustration not knowing what the rules will be like in the future.

“Uncertainty is always stressful, but if this year has taught us anything it's that we have to focus on what we can control,” said Collins.

While the county is improving on some metrics, there are other still troubling trends. Twenty-four outbreaks have been reported in the last week, with many of them having been in restaurant/bar settings.

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