Heads up travelers: Those returning to the Bay Area after the holidays may have to quarantine, health officials said Wednesday.
A regional advisory is reportedly under discussion.
The statement was issued in an effort to tamp down virus spread, though the statewide positivity rate is much lower than across the U.S.; 3.3% versus a seven-day moving average of 7% nationally, per data from California Department of Public Health and Johns Hopkins University, respectively.
Meanwhile, San Francisco County has a 0.9% positivity rate, per data from the health department.
“The last thing we need is people traveling outside to higher prevalence areas and bringing the virus back,” Dr. Matt Willis, the Marin County health officer, reportedly said during a recent public meeting.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s secretary of health and human services, said unlike many other states, California has recently avoided a surge but infections have slowly been on the rise. Current data shows the state has not approached surges it saw over the summer, tipping over 15,000 new daily cases at one point in August, per the Johns Hopkins University heat map.
An update as of Wednesday from the health department reported 5,338 new cases statewide.
“Although we’re seeing some trends up here in California, those trends are modest, steady. We’re watching them closely,” Ghaly added.
Officials reportedly plan to release the guidelines several weeks before Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Numerous experts previously told Fox News that, among other factors, the colder fall season is likely contributing to virus spread as people head indoors and face a much higher risk of transmission given limited air circulation and potential difficulty maintaining proper distance.
Health officials have also been sounding the alarm about virus transmission at home, and a recent report from the Centers for Control and Prevention found that "substantial transmission" occurs from both children and adults.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.