SAN DIEGO–Local bars, wineries, and breweries without a license to serve food will need to close to prevent community outbreaks of COVID-19 and the spread of the virus, the County Health and Human Services Agency said Monday.
Starting July 1, these establishments must close their doors until further notice.
For those businesses with a food license, they can only serve food to customers seated at a table and alcohol can only be consumed while those patrons are eating.
The County will not consider further reopenings of any businesses or activities, including the bars, breweries and wineries, earlier than Aug. 1 to further slow the spread of COVID-19.
The decision was made given the number of outbreaks being identified in the region and the increasing number of cases and hospitalizations reported recently.
Nearly 500 cases of COVID-19 were reported in the County June 28, the highest total since the pandemic began.
Cases are being identified in a variety of settings, but recent outbreaks have been linked to bars, restaurants and private residences.
A growing number of cases are being identified in young people, especially those between the ages of 20 and 29. At the end of April, 15% of all cases reported were in people in that age range. Now, that percentage has increased to 22%.
“It’s obvious that more young people are going out and not following the public health guidance. That’s why we’re seeing more community outbreaks,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “They are going to bars, restaurants and having house parties and not wearing a mask or maintaining physical distance.”
Another group showing increasing percentages are those 10 to 19 years old. That percentage has risen from 2.4% in late April to almost 6% currently.
“People are going out in larger numbers and interacting with people outside their household,” Wooten said. “While younger people have less severe symptoms from COVID-19, it’s important to note that they could be spreading the virus to others who are more vulnerable.”
For people in their 30s, the percentage of positive cases has remained steady, and in older demographics the percentage has been steadily decreasing.
“Older people are heeding the public health advice and staying away from crowded places to avoid getting the virus,” Wooten said.
The best way to prevent getting COVID-19 is to follow the public health guidance being issued by state and local health officials.