California will lift its indoor mask mandate, for vaccinated individuals, in just a few days.
While numbers from the San Diego County Health Department show an overall decline in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, some neighborhoods have significantly higher case rates than others.
Looking at the most recent numbers, several South Bay neighborhoods have the highest case rates countywide.
“To be honest I wasn’t really aware we had such a large number of cases in the South Bay,” said Timothy Parker, the owner of Chula Vista Brewery.
Parker shared with NBC 7 that despite the recent surge, business has been good at his bar. While some customers are cautious when it comes to COVID protocols, he says many people in the neighborhood have changed their perspective on the pandemic.
“I think we’re at that point where we’re just learning to live with it,” he said, adding that many customers don’t care to wear masks anymore.
Evelyn Salazar is the owner of Standlee’s in Chula Vista, a few doors down. She hopes the COVID case rate in the area declines soon. As the owner of a bakery supplies shop, she explains her business depends on social gatherings.
“Hopefully people are going to start celebrating. Parties, birthdays…getting together again,” she said.
While the mask mandate hasn’t bothered her personally, it has made it difficult at times with customers.
“It hasn’t been a huge nuisance but we do get those customers who refuse to wear it,” she said.
Salazar says the end of the mandate represents hope for her business and for many, a return to normalcy.
You can explore the county’s interactive COVID-19 case rate map by zip code here.