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San Diego County Reports 267 New Coronavirus Cases, 6 Deaths Tuesday

– 3:45 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020

County health officials on Tuesday reported 267 new COVID-19 cases and six additional deaths Tuesday, raising the region’s totals to 38,871 cases and 688 deaths.

Four women and two men died, and their ages ranged from the late 40s to the late 80s. All had underlying medical conditions.

Of 6,986 tests reported Tuesday, 4% returned positive, raising the county’s 14-day rolling positive testing rate to 3.7%, well below the state’s 8% guideline. The seven-day average number of tests performed in the county is 6,751.

Of the total positive cases in the county, 3,125 — or 8% — have required hospitalization since the pandemic began, and 755 — or 1.9% — were admitted to an intensive care unit.

County health officials reported one new community outbreak Tuesday, bringing the number of outbreaks in the past week to 16. The outbreak was in a restaurant/bar setting. — City News Service

County Reports 304 New COVID-19 Cases Monday

– 4:35 p.m., Monday, Aug. 31, 2020

San Diego County public health officials reported 304 new COVID-19 cases Monday, raising the county’s cumulative cases to 38,604 while multiple industries reopened some indoor operations under new state guidelines.

No new deaths were reported, keeping the county’s deaths tied to the illness at 682. Of 5,731 tests reported Monday, 5% returned positive, raising the county’s 14-day rolling positive testing rate to 3.7%, well below the state’s 8% guideline. The seven-day average number of tests performed in the county is 6,543.

Businesses including movie theaters, gyms, museums and hair and nail salons resumed indoor operations Monday, with modifications, under newly issued state guidance. Restaurants, places of worship and movie theaters are only allowed up to 25% occupancy or 100 people — whichever is less. Museums, zoos and aquariums are also required not to exceed 25% occupancy.

The county will put in place Monday night a new policy that restaurant patrons sitting indoors must wear masks at all times, except when actively eating or drinking. Outdoor patrons may still remove masks while not consuming food or beverages.

Gyms, dance studios, yoga studios and fitness centers may operate with 10% occupancy. Hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, piercing shops, skin care and cosmetology services and nail salons may operate indoors with normal capacity, however, a new policy states they must keep an appointment book with names and contact information for customers to track potential future outbreaks.

San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox thanked San Diegans for working hard to bring the case rate down but offered a word of measured caution on Monday.

“This is not a green light, this is a yellow light,” he said. “We can’t gun the engine of the economy full throttle yet.” — City News Service

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13 San Diego State Students Test Positive For COVID-19

– 3:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 31, 2020

San Diego State University reported another 13 students who have tested positive for COVID-19 Monday, a week after school begins.

Those 13 students, some of whom live in campus housing, join seven other students who tested positive for the illness last week. None of the students have attended any in-person classes.

An SDSU statement said the university had taken direct action with the students who live in university-owned housing.

“Three of the cases live on-campus at Zapotec, Villa Alvarado Apartments and South Campus Plaza North,” the statement said. “Two on-campus students have been moved to a designated isolation room, per SDSU’s Office of Housing Administration COVID-19 protocol. The other student was already isolating away from campus, prior to seeking testing this weekend. All are recovering well.”

A total of 31 SDSU students have contracted COVID-19 since March. — City News Service

San Diego Mayor Delays Parking Enforcement Again To October

– 12:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 30, 2020

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Monday he has directed city staff to delay full enforcement of parking regulations until Oct. 1, to provide more support for residents impacted by COVID-19.

Parking enforcement has been limited to holiday or Sunday regulations in San Diego since March 16. During that time, the city has suspended citations for vehicles violating street sweeping parking restrictions, metered parking, time limits and yellow commercial zones. Citations have continued to be issued for vehicles parked illegally at red, white and blue painted curbs.

Previously, restrictions had been scheduled to return on July 1, Aug. 1 and Sept. 1, but the ongoing pandemic has prompted a delay each time.

According to Faulconer’s office, before March the city processed an average of 42,000 parking citations per month. In April, the city issued 1,704 parking citations for violations of the holiday or Sunday regulations. — City News Service

San Diego Businesses May Reopen Indoors Operations Monday

– 11:30 a.m., Monday, Aug. 31, 2020

Starting Monday, businesses including movie theaters, gyms, museums and hair and nail salons can resume indoor operations, with modifications, under newly issued state guidance related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Restaurants, places of worship and movie theaters can reopen indoor operations Monday, but are only allowed up to 25% occupancy or 100 people — whichever is less. Museums, zoos and aquariums are also required not to exceed 25% occupancy.

Gyms, dance studios, yoga studios and fitness centers may operate with 10% occupancy. Hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, piercing shops, skin care and cosmetology services and nail salons may operate indoors with normal capacity.

But when it comes to retail businesses, Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said the county would follow state guidelines that they’re to be restricted to 50% occupancy.

All indoor businesses must still abide by social distancing- and face- covering mandates, as well as having a detailed safe reopening plan on file with the county.

Gov. Gavin Newsom released a new state system Friday that sorts counties into one of four tiers based on the extent of the area’s COVID-19 outbreak.

Wooten said San Diego County had made it to “tier 2,” the only county in Southern California to earn that designation. The county still has a “substantial” COVID-19 presence, but unlike Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles and Imperial counties it is not considered “widespread.”

The two metrics the state was monitoring in that tier list include an old one — the percentage of positive tests — and a new one — the number of daily new cases per 100,000 people. San Diego County is at 3.7% and 5.8 per 100,000 respectively. To make it to the next tier, the county must show rates of between 2% and 4.9% positive tests and between 1 and 3.9 new daily cases per 100,000 population.

Because the county currently exceeds one of those numbers, it cannot start its path to the next tier. — City News Service

263 New COVID-19 Cases, 3 Deaths Reported In San Diego Saturday

– 5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020

On Saturday, the county reported 263 new COVID-19 cases and three new deaths, raising the region’s totals to 38,047 cases and 679 deaths.

Two women in their mid-80s and one man in his early 80s died. All three had underlying medical conditions.

Of the 6,796 tests reported, 4% returned positive. The 14-day rolling average of positive tests is 3.7%, well below the state’s 8% guideline. The seven-day average number of tests performed in the county is 6,978.

Of the total positive cases in the county, 3,083 — or 8.1% — have required hospitalization since the pandemic began, and 749 — or 2% — were admitted to an intensive care unit.

County health officials reported six new community outbreaks Friday, bringing the number of outbreaks in the past week to 20. The outbreaks were in a food processing setting and five in business settings.

The number of community outbreaks remains well above the county’s goal of fewer than seven in a seven-day span. A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households in the past 14 days. — City News Service

S.D. County To Allow Some Indoor Businesses To Open Monday

– 4:40 p.m., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020

Hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom released a new system for the state that sorts counties into one of four tiers based on the extent of the area’s COVID-19 outbreak, San Diego County officials announced some local businesses would be able to operate indoors in a limited capacity starting Monday.

On Aug. 31, restaurants, places of worship, movie theaters and museums will be allowed to maintain up to 25% occupancy or 100 people — whichever is less. Gyms may operate with 10% occupancy. Hair salons, barbershops and nail salons may operate indoors with normal capacity. The impact to retail spaces currently open for indoor operations is unclear, although Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, alluded that they might be restricted to 50% occupancy.

All indoor businesses must still abide by social distancing and face covering mandates, as well as having a detailed safe reopening plan on file with the county.

Wooten said San Diego County had made it to “tier 2,” the only county in Southern California to earn that designation. The county still has a “substantial” COVID-19 presence, but unlike Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles and Imperial counties it is not considered “widespread.” – City News Service

Newsom Unveils New, More Gradual Reopening Process

– 12:45 p.m, Friday, Aug. 28, 2020

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday a new process for reopening businesses that is slower and more gradual than what the state tried earlier this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The new rules create a four-tier, color-coded system that counties will move through based on their number of cases and percentage of positive tests. It will rely on two metrics to determine which tier a county is in: case rates and the percentage of positive tests.

The new process will put more power with the state instead of the counties.

The new rules come nearly two months after Newsom shut down bars, restaurants for indoor dining and a slew of other businesses following a surge in cases after the state’s first reopening attempt.

Under the new process, counties will have to meet certain metrics for three weeks before they can reopen certain businesses. Newsom didn’t immediately say which businesses will be included in which color tier or what the reopening will look like.

The state will now report virus statistics, such as case numbers, on a weekly basis.

The new approach is aimed at ensuring the state’s cases don’t skyrocket when businesses begin to reopen. — Associated Press

SD County Reports 277 New COVID-19 Cases, Five Deaths

– 3:45 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020

San Diego County public health officials reported 277 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths from the illness Thursday, raising the region’s totals to 37,499 cases and 673 deaths.

Three women and two men died between July 28 and Aug. 26, and their ages ranged from their early 40s to their early 90s.

Of the 5,235 tests reported Thursday, 5% returned positive, raising the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 3.7%, well below the state’s 8% guideline. The seven-day average number of tests performed in the county is 6,946.

Of the total positive cases in the county, 3,040 — or 8.1% — have required hospitalization since the pandemic began, and 738 — or 2% — were admitted to an intensive care unit.

The case rate for the county remained under the state’s 100 cases per 100,000 population, at 80.6 per 100,000, which means that schools are still on track to be able to open as soon as Sept. 1.

County health officials reported three new community outbreaks on Thursday, bringing the number of outbreaks in the past week to 20. Two outbreaks were reported in businesses, the third in a restaurant.

The number of community outbreaks remains well above the county’s goal of fewer than seven in a seven-day span. A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households in the past 14 days. — City News Service

SD County Reports 228 New COVID-19 Cases, Three Deaths

— 4:48 p.m., Aug. 26, 2020

As San Diego County inches closer toward allowing schools to reopen, county officials announced Wednesday that they would expand free testing for school staff throughout the region.

Even as the county reported 228 new COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths Wednesday, a case rate continuing to remain under the state’s 100 cases per 100,000 population (it was 80.2 per 100,000 on Wednesday) means that schools will be able to open in the county be as soon as Sept. 1.

According to County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, testing for school staff — teachers, paraprofessionals and others — will be made available for free at all of the county’s 20 testing sites. Additionally, Fletcher said more will open by the end of September to increase testing accessibility.

The county still does not advise that asymptomatic children get tested, but Fletcher said parents can seek guidance through primary care physicians or seek testing through Rady Children’s Hospital, Tri-Care or Kaiser Permanente — depending on what health insurance, if any, a family has.

Paul Gothold, the county’s office of education superintendent, thanked county officials Wednesday for passing a $6.55 billion budget the previous day that contained many COVID-19 and education-related line items, including $2 million to make sure students from low-income families have access to the internet for distance learning during the school year.

“This has been an incredibly difficult time,” he said. “We miss our students, our teachers and our classified staff.”

The county’s office of education oversees 42 school districts, more than 80,000 staff members and has at least partial oversight of hundreds of private and charter schools.

Some districts, such as San Diego Unified, have stated that they will have much stricter guidelines before in-person learning will begin again.

The new case data increased the total cases in the county to 37,222, and 668 deaths. A total of 8,327 tests were reported Wednesday, with 2.7% returning positive — lowing the 14-day rolling average to 3.6%, well below the state’s 8% guideline. The seven-day average number of tests performed in the county is 7,607.

Of the total positive cases in the county, 3,022 — or 8.1% — have required hospitalization since the pandemic began, and 738 — or 2% — were admitted to an intensive care unit. — City News Service

California Signs Deal To More Than Double Testing Capacity

– 2:28 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020

California has signed a contract worth up to $1.4 billion with a company to provide a significantly cheaper coronavirus test that will allow the state to eventually more than double the number of people tested to 250,000 per day, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday.

Gov. Newsom Provide Update On State’s Response To Wildfires And COVID-19

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California now averages about 100,000 tests per day, with the state paying $100 per test and results taking between five and seven business days. Newsom said the state’s contract with Massachusetts-based PerkinElmer will increase the state’s testing capacity to a quarter-million per day with each test costing about $31. Results would come within two days.

The contract will initially cost the state $100 million, with a maximum amount of $1.4 billion, according to the Newsom administration. The goal is to begin processing tens of thousands of new tests by November and reach at full capacity by March. – Associated Press

San Diego County Reports 267 New COVID-19 Cases, Five More Deaths

– 4:11 p.m., Tuesday, August 25, 2020

San Diego County public health officials reported 267 new COVID-19 infections and five additional deaths Tuesday, increasing the regional totals to 36,994 cases and 665 deaths — but were still awaiting guidance from the state toward a reopening framework for businesses.

Tuesday’s data revealed that three women and two men died, ranging in age from mid-60s to early 90s.

Of the 5,534 tests reported Tuesday, 5% returned positive, raising the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 3.6%, well below the state’s 8% guideline. The seven-day average number of tests performed in the county is 7,386.

Of the total positive cases in the county, 3,006 — or 8.1% — have required hospitalization since the pandemic began, and 736 — or 2% — were admitted to an intensive care unit.

County health officials reported one new community outbreak on Tuesday, bringing the number of outbreaks in the past week to 21. The outbreak was reported in a health care setting.

– City News Service

With School Online, Blood Bank Asks For Donations To Make Up Lost Blood Drives

– 1:50 p.m., Tuesday, August 25, 2020

With schools and colleges moving online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Diego Blood Bank put out a call to the public Tuesday asking for more blood donations as campus blood drives are canceled or put on hiatus.

According to the blood bank, it is working with schools on creative avenues to support blood donation, such as community drives. However, high school and college blood drives would normally start this week — meaning the loss of hundreds of pints of blood. – City News Service

San Diego County Reports 187 New COVID-19 Cases. No New Deaths

– 3:56 p.m., Monday, August 24, 2020

Even as the COVID-19 numbers continue to improve in San Diego County, with 187 new infections and no deaths reported Monday, local officials said there remains no guidance from the state as far as a framework toward reopening the county — leaving many people in limbo.

“We still have not yet received clarity,” said County Supervisor Greg Cox. “We do not yet know when we will get these guidelines.”

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said the county was hoping to hear from the state this week.

The cases reported Monday raised the region’s cumulative total caseload to 36,727. The number of deaths remains unchanged at 660. The 187 positive cases is the fewest reported in the county since Aug. 10, and the second-fewest in the past month.

Of the 7,351 tests reported Monday, 3% returned positive, lowering the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 3.5%, well below the state’s 8% guideline. The seven-day average number of tests performed in the county is 7,394.

Of the total positive cases in the county, 2,989 — or 8.1% — have required hospitalization since the pandemic began, and 733 — or 2% — were admitted to an intensive care unit. Currently, 275 people are in regional hospitals with COVID-19, 103 of whom are in intensive care – City News Service

SeaWorld San Diego to Reopen With Limited Capacity ‘Zoo Days’ Event

— 1:00 p.m., Monday, Aug. 24, 2020

SeaWorld San Diego, which has been closed to the public for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, will reopen on a limited- capacity basis for a several-weekend program called “Zoo Days Bayside BBQ & Brews,” it was announced Monday.

SeaWorld described the program — which will run Fridays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Aug. 28 through Sept. 27, plus Labor Day — as an opportunity to explore 40 acres of the park while enjoying barbecue foods, craft beer and wine.

Reservations are required, and guests must adhere to public health protocols such as face coverings, physical distancing and temperature screenings.

– City News Service

Governor Newsom gives update on state’s response to wildfires, COVID-19

— 12:00 p.m., Monday, Aug. 24, 2020

Even as hundreds of wildfires continue to rage across California, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday reported a modest downward trend in confirmed statewide COVID-19 cases.

As of Aug. 24, California’s seven-day average for coronavirus cases was just under 6,000, with a 6.5% positivity rate.

The governor did note that the testing numbers were slightly down, but said 11 state coronavirus testing sites have been impacted by the wildfires, which is likely affecting those numbers.

Newsom said officials are trying to curb any further evacuation-related outbreaks of the virus by conducting health screenings in shelters, installing air purifiers and requiring shelter occupants to wear masks and practice social distancing.

But, he added, most people won’t be staying in those shelters for long.

“The majority of people that have been evacuated are no longer being evacuated into those congregate shelters, they’re being evacuated to hotels,” Newsom said, noting that nearly 1,500 evacuees have been placed into 31 hotels.

Addressing the kind of masks people should wear to fight both COVID-19 and wildfire smoke, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the state has sent surgical masks to evacuation centers and is also working on acquiring and sending out N95s.

Newsom added that people should consult their doctors about the best type of masks for their specific medical needs.

— Michelle Wiley/KQED

Governor Newsom Gives Update On State’s Response To Wildfires, COVID-19

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San Diego City Parks Open To Fitness Businesses, Places Of Worship

— 11:00 a.m., Monday, Aug. 24, 2020

Starting Monday gyms, fitness businesses and places of worship will be allowed to operate in San Diego city parks.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced the executive order Tuesday. City Councilman Chris Cate proposed the idea in mid-July, and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a similar ordinance for county parks on Aug. 5.

The directive defers park permit fees for 60 days. Faulconer will bring an ordinance to the council once it is back in session in September that would make the waiving of fees permanent.

San Diego County public health officials reported 337 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, but no new deaths. The region’s totals are now 36,540 cases and 660 deaths.

The county was officially removed from the state’s monitoring list Tuesday, setting in motion a 14-day countdown that could see K-12 students back in the classroom as soon as Sept. 1, depending on the decisions of individual school districts.

Currently, 27 schools — mostly private religious schools — have been approved for in-person learning by the county.

San Diego County Reports 291 COVID-19 Cases And Eight Deaths

— 3:21 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020

As San Diego County awaits guidance on the effects of its removal from the state’s coronavirus watchlist, public health officials reported 291 new COVID-19 cases and eight additional deaths Saturday, raising the region’s totals to 36,203 cases and 660 deaths.

Four women and four men died, officials said Saturday. Their ages ranged from mid-40s to mid-90s. All had underlying medical conditions.

The county was officially removed from the state’s monitoring list Tuesday, setting in motion a 14-day countdown that could see K-12 students back in the classroom as soon as Sept. 1, depending on the decisions of individual school districts.

However, 27 schools — mostly private, religious schools — have been approved for in-person learning by the county.

The schools include Calvary Christian Academy, Francis Parker School, Chabad Hebrew Academy, San Diego French American School, La Jolla Country Day School and others. They were among nearly 50 schools that applied for a waiver to the county’s public health guideline regarding in-person teaching.

Of the 8,824 tests reported Friday, 3% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average to 3.6%, well below the state’s 8% guideline. The 7- day rolling average of tests is 7,292 daily.

Of the total positive cases in the county, 2,961 — or 8.2% — have required hospitalization since the pandemic began, and 728 — or 2% — were admitted to an intensive care unit.

County health officials reported no new community outbreaks as of Friday, bringing the number of outbreaks in the past week to 17. — City News Service

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