County Health Data Shows Riskiest Types of Places for Recent COVID-19 Exposure in San Diego

San Diego County’s rising COVID-19 case rate has prompted a new wave of restrictions for local businesses but where are the positive cases happening most these days?

NBC 7 looked at the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency’s data on COVID-19 cases in San Diego County for the past two weeks – part of the time period that shifted the county into the state’s most restrictive COVID-19 category, the purple tier. With the shift to purple, places like restaurants, gyms, churches and museums – to name a few – will have to rollback their indoor services.

According to the data, the settings most linked to recent coronavirus cases are work or business settings, which account for 34.3% of the county’s positive COVID-19 cases from Oct. 25 through Nov. 7 in San Diego County. A total of 1,314 of the county’s positive cases in this time period have stemmed from work or business settings.

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Other figures from the county:

  • Bars and restaurants: 10.1% of all positive COVID-19 cases from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, or 389 cases
  • Retail: 8% of all positive COVID-19 cases from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, or 308 cases
  • Group gatherings: 4.1% of all positive COVID-19 cases from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, or 159 cases
  • Places of worship: 3.1% of all positive COVID-19 cases from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, or 118 cases
  • Hair salon or barbershops: 2.5% of all positive COVID-19 cases from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, or 97 cases
  • Casinos: 0.5% of all positive COVID-19 cases from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, or 20 cases
  • Gyms: 0.5% of all positive COVID-19 cases from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, or 18 cases
  • Beach: 0.3% of all positive COVID-19 cases from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, or 10 cases

The data shows of all positive cases in the past two weeks, at least 59% — or 2,260 cases – reported at least one potential exposure setting.

In all, there were 5,576 positive COVID-19 cases in San Diego County from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7.

You can read the full data from this 2-week time period released on Nov. 10 by the HHSA here.


As of the county’s latest tally on Nov. 10, there had been 60,570 positive cases and 908 COVID-related deaths in San Diego County over the past eight months – since local health officials recorded the first known cases of COVID-19 in San Diego County on Feb. 14.

Many local businesses like gyms have said they’re not part of the rising case rate problem and shouldn’t have to scale back their indoor offerings.  The county has reached out to the state with the data but the purple tier restrictions – at least for now – stand.

On Tuesday, state and local health officials announced San Diego’s shift from the red tier to purple after the county’s adjusted case rate rose to 8.9. For the second week straight, that rate was well above the 7.0 threshold outlined in California’s Blueprint for a Safer Reopening, also known as the state’s color-coded tier system for measuring COVID-19 cases across all counties and determining criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities.


NBC 7/California Dept. of Health

Under the purple tier – which goes into effect at 12 a.m. on Nov. 14 – most indoor businesses in San Diego County will need to close or shift operations outdoors, including restaurants, gyms, churches, museums, and movie theaters.

Retail will be limited to 25% capacity. Bars, breweries and distilleries that do not serve food cannot open. Amusement parks also remain closed. Schools that were not already open for in-person learning before the switch to the purple tier can no longer reopen in-person learning.

After a break for the Veterans Day holiday, San Diego County health officials are expected to release another round of the region’s latest COVID-19 numbers Thursday.

NBC 7 will keep you posted on our daily COVID-19 numbers in this article, as always.