Where COVID Has Struck in San Diego County and the Latest Grim Charts

by on December 21, 2020 · 1 comment

in Health, San Diego

Community outbreaks of COVID-19 have touched every corner of San Diego County and all types of establishments over the past nine months, but they are most prevalent in big box stores, restaurants and group living situations like nursing homes and jails, according to county outbreak records obtained exclusively by KPBS.

If you’ve gone out at all since the pandemic first struck, you quite likely walked into a place where an outbreak occurred, according to the KPBS analysis of 1,006 outbreak records dating from March through the end of November. For example:

  • At least 208 outbreaks have occurred in restaurants, with popular chains like Olive Garden, Cheesecake Factory, Denny’s and The Broken Yolk Cafe having multiple outbreaks each.
  • At least 205 outbreaks have occurred in businesses with services that run the gamut from car repair to pet care to banking and shipping.
  • At least 125 outbreaks have occurred in large retailers and grocery stores like Walmart, Costco, Target, Home Depot and Trader Joe’s.

However, just because you visited a place that had an outbreak doesn’t necessarily mean you were exposed to the virus and doesn’t mean you can catch COVID-19 by going there now.

An outbreak means three or more people with COVID-19, who aren’t close contacts, were in that place over the same 14-day period. So, those people may have never crossed paths—they could have even been there on different days. And it’s possible none of them caught the virus at the outbreak location. Being the site of an outbreak doesn’t necessarily mean the businesses had unsafe practices.

The records reviewed by KPBS include all outbreak locations during the first nine months of the pandemic, but only specific case counts for the month of November. The November records show that most of the outbreaks are small—fewer than 10 cases—and they don’t reveal whether employees or patrons were infected.

But the overall records do show you’re far more likely to be exposed to an outbreak based on your living circumstances and/or your behavior. For example:

  • At least 252 outbreaks occurred in nursing homes, jails, rehab facilities and shelters.
  • At least 136 outbreaks occurred in five lower income ZIP codes in East and South County, where many essential workers live.
  • At least 30 outbreaks have occurred at religious organizations since March. In November, outbreaks at houses of worship had a combined case count of at least 187, almost half of those coming from Awaken Church.
  • At least 86 outbreaks happened in the Pacific Beach and Gaslamp ZIP codes, two of the county’s biggest party spots.
  • Seven casinos in the county have had outbreaks with a combined case count of more than 638. KPBS

For a list of outbreaks in San Diego County, go here.

The Latest Charts


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Thomas Ultican December 21, 2020 at 3:27 pm

It is amazing to me that China, Egypt and Vietnam all have fewer total cases than San Diego County according the John Hopkins University.


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