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Fears grow for vaccinated San Diegans as county COVID-19 cases spike

With the highest number of COVID cases reached in nearly 6 months, worries are growing among the vaccinated even as the unvaccinated make up majority of infections.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — With new COVID-19 cases hitting over 1,200 in San Diego County, the highest since Feb. 5, fears among the vaccinated are growing.

"I do worry that we're going back in that direction,” said pharmacist Carrie Burt who was in Balboa Park.

The County of San Diego reported in the last 30 days, over 6,500 San Diegans tested positive for COVID-19. Of that group, 89% were unvaccinated, but 11% were fully vaccinated.

“I feel a little bit safer now that I'm vaccinated, but I do still worry about the unvaccinated population potentially spreading the mutated Delta variant,” Burt said.

Many of those who received the shot are uneasy about getting COVID.

"It's a concern that future mutations will then learn to get around the vaccine,” said San Diegan Alex Brewer.

Vaccinated visitors to Balboa Park on Saturday were proceeding with caution.

"We are both vaccinated, but we are still not comfortable in an enclosed space and going indoors without a mask,” said Sherral Domako from San Luis Obispo.

Ken Domako said his family feels very comfortable out in the open, but he is glad that when they went inside a museum, they had to wear a mask.

“We were in the hotel elevator this morning and it said stay 6-feet apart but there were at least eight people in the elevator,” Domako said.

As community outbreaks, hospitalizations and ICU admissions pick up dramatically, 98% of all hospitalizations in the last month, are from those who are not fully vaccinated. 

Doctors express we are dealing with an extremely contagious variant, and a lot of people not masking as many have not been vaccinated.

"All this is a little bit of a shock you know. You don't know what to do, to not wear masks, or wear it. I didn’t believe this at first but now, me and my wife are vaccinated for my older parents,” said Oscar Licardie, visiting from Los Angeles.

Then there's the fear that increased cases could cause another shutdown.

Sherral Domako says she’ll take her masking cue from the CDC, so “if it needs to shut down, it needs to shut down."

Her husband says more cases, mean harder choices.

“It's hard because you have to take the full economics, and with businesses, there were a lot of business going out especially the small restaurants and stuff like that. What do you do? That's a hard choice impacting a lot of lives," said Ken Domako.

The county is now operating the Great Eight, a collection of vaccination sites, visit www.coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine.

WATCH RELATED: San Diego County reports most COVID-19 cases Friday, locals respond to the COVID spike (July 2021)