By Heather Janssen

STOCKTON (CBS13) – San Joaquin County spikes again. The county reported more than 250 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, and that hospitals are above their limit.

“We’re taking all the precautions,” Javier Mariano said with his mask on.

Mariano said he’s been doing all he can when he goes out to avoid contracting the virus. Living in a hot spot, he fears he could become a part of the statistics.

“I don’t want to get sick,” Mariano said. “I don’t want my family to get sick.”

San Joaquin County officially surpassed Sacramento County for the one with the most cases of COVID-19 in the surrounding area. San Joaquin has had more than 2,100 positive cases since the pandemic began.

Part of those numbers the county attributed to large gatherings and business reopenings. James Thomas, who owns a bar/restaurant in Stockton, said he’s been paying attention to the stats.

“I’m really concerned about what’s going on,” Thomas said.

But as a business owner, he says enforcing the rules of distancing hasn’t been easy.

“What’s crazy is people are so interested in mingling and talking and it’s hard to police that,” Thomas said. “You feel like you’re a jerk.”

He added even after he tells people to spread out – they often move back minutes later. But Thomas said he’s doing all he can.

For some, like Hong Ho, he feels going out is still safe and worth the risk.

“I don’t see the problem yet,” Ho said. “I feel like we had the spike a long time ago.”

San Joaquin County previously held back on reopening some businesses because of this continuous increase. They’ve since allowed many more to reopen, but county health officials have said they could roll back reopening if numbers continue to get worse. What their threshold is, though, remains to be answered.

Heather Janssen

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