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Two North County gyms cited for health order violations

Two North County gyms were the latest businesses to face repercussions Friday for violating public health orders.

Code enforcement officials were ordered to serve an immediate closure notice to the MetroFlex Gym in Oceanside and a cease-and-desist order to The Gym in Vista, according to a county spokesman. The actions came just two days after the county ordered a Pacific Beach workout spot, also called The Gym but with different owners, to close.

Both locations were operating Thursday after the county’s action. Statewide health orders designed to slow the spread of novel coronavirus forbid many indoor activities, from dining and drinking to working out and watching movies.

Louis Uridel, owner of the MetroFlex, said he was served Friday evening. The owner of the Vista facility could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

Business-related coronavirus activity continued to surface Friday.

The health department’s daily COVID-19 tracking report listed a bakers dozen of new community outbreaks, including three in local businesses, three in restaurants, two in restaurants with bars, two in hospitality or spa locations, one in a health care location, one in a community of faith and one in a grocery store.

A community outbreak is defined as three or more confirmed cases from different households who visited the same location at the same time.

It is clear, though, that the latest 13 outbreaks did not happen this week or last. The onset of illness for those who got sick after visiting the locations was between June 24 and July 14.

As is the case with death and case statistics, it can take time for health officials to identify outbreaks after they happen. The county has also struggled over the past two weeks to investigate new cases within 24 hours of notification, a factor that may affect the timeliness of outbreak identification.

Overall, though, there was a fair bit of positive in Friday’s COVID report.

Though three additional COVID-related deaths were announced Friday, ranging in age from 69 to 79, the number of new cases was under 400 for the third day in a row. More importantly, the region’s 14-day positive test rate fell to 5.4 percent and hospital census of confirmed and suspected coronavirus cases fell to 420 after hitting 502 Tuesday.

The 14-day case rate stood at 126 per 100,000 residents, the lowest it has been in a week and progress toward reaching the 100 per 100,000 threshold that would allow the region to be removed from the governor’s watch list and businesses to begin returning to more normal modes of operation.

California’s 14-day positive rate remains higher than San Diego’s at 7.2 percent. The number of hospitalized patients has trended down statewide, hitting 7,999 in Friday’s report after posting an all-time high of 8,820 on July 21, according to the California Department of Public Health.

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