Masks are required at San Diego Comic-Con as COVID cases rise

New concerns over rising COVID numbers come ahead of a very busy couple of weeks for San Diego, from Pride to Comic-Con.

SAN DIEGO — New concerns over rising COVID numbers come ahead of a very busy couple of weeks for San Diego.

With summer here, some of San Diego’s most highly-anticipated, and highly-attended, events are returning, from Comic-Con to the Del Mar races to San Diego Pride, which is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people from around the country, and the world, to its parade and three-day festival.

Comic-Con gets underway at the Convention Center in downtown San Diego on Thursday, July 21.

While many of those going will be wearing superhero masks as part of their costumes, everyone who’s attending will be required to wear a COVID face mask: no matter if they are vaccinated or not.

So many people packed together, though, increases the chance for COVID transmission, as case numbers and hospitalizations continue to creep upward in San Diego.

According to the San Diego Pride website, masking up is strongly recommended.

That is advice that Alessandra Conate, who’s planning on attending Pride for the first time plans on heeding.

“Because even when you’re vaccinated you don’t know who has had contact with who, and who they have had contact with,” Conate explained.

Frank Jebo, who works at Servall Liquor on University Avenue, right along the parade route, also says he’ll cover up that day.

“I don’t care about me, but I don’t want my family to get sick or anything like that,” Jebo told CBS 8. 

Many other parade-goers we spoke with, though, said they plan to leave their face coverings at home.

That includes Stephanie Wheeler, who is vaccinated and boosted.

“I think I’m probably going to go unmasked and continue to live life like it was before,” Wheeler said.

“I’m vaccinated, so I feel safe,” added Michael Stewart, who also plans to attend Pride next week. 

For those attending Comic-Con in a couple of weeks, though, masks will be mandatory, as will either proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID test in the past 72 hours.

“The reality is that we want to be as safe as we possibly can be,” said David Glanzer, spokesperson for Comic-Con. Comic-Con also required masks at its scaled-down “Special Edition” last November. Glanzer said an overwhelming number there were on board with covering up.

“I don’t know if they were excited about  having to wear a mask but they didn’t seem upset about it,” Glanzer told CBS 8.  “They were just excited to be able to join comic con again after two years of no in person events.”

Comic-Con plans to use the Clear Health Pass, which you can download on your mobile phone, to quickly show proof of vaccination. for more details on that and their masking policy, click here. 

WATCH RELATED: COVID cases, hospitalizations rising in San Diego County (July 2022).