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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: July 19 - 21 (afternoon), 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from July 19 - 21 (afternoon), 2020

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from July 19 - 21 (afternoon), 2020.  Click here for real-time updates for July 21, 2020 and on.   

Key COVID-19 facts in San Diego and California:

July 21

San Diego County reports 358 new COVID-19 cases, 9 deaths 

San Diego County public health officials Tuesday announced 358 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of cases to 24,520, and 9 new deaths were reported.

The new cases are the lowest daily total reported since July 7 had 264 cases.  9,030 tests were reported to the County on July 20 and 4% were positive new cases.

The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive tests is 5.8% and the target is to stay less than 8.0%

San Diego County launches Latino outreach campaign for COVID-19

San Diego County officials announced additional outreach campaigns Tuesday to the region's Latino community, which has been the hardest-hit group in the COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, of the county's more than 24,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases with known race/ethnicity, about 60% are Latino. That ethnic group makes up about 34% of the local population.

Click here for the full story.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly to give update on COVID-19

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly will host a video conference at 12 p.m. Tuesday to provide an update on COVID-19. The update will be streamed live on the California Department of Public Health YouTube account.

CSU chancellor expects future furloughs because of revenue reductions

The California State University system is not planning to negotiate a furlough program for this fiscal year, but one "is most likely necessary" in the 2021-22 fiscal year because of revenue reductions related to the coronavirus outbreak, Chancellor Timothy P. White wrote.

The system, which includes San Diego State University and California State University San Marcos, will spend a portion of its discretionary reserves during the 2020-21 fiscal year and each of the next two fiscal years "knowing that we are facing at least a three-year fiscal challenge," White wrote Monday in the letter to all CSU faculty and staff.

Click here for the full story.

July 20

What can San Diego County do to get off state watchlist?

On July 3, San Diego County was placed on the state’s Monitoring List after the region’s case rate went above 100 positive cases per every 100,000 people three days in a row.

The county has not met that metric since then, and the case rate stands now at 145.3.

What does San Diego County need to do to get off the watchlist? The answer is in San Diegans’ hands.

Click here for the full story.

San Diego hair, nail salon owners set up outdoor services under new state guidance

Chelsea Adair wasn't sure at first how she'd do it.

But within hours of Governor Gavin Newsom's new guidance for California, the owner of Adair Salon pulled out the table and the tools.

“I just feel like, we're going to try to it,” she said.

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County reports 453 new COVID-19 cases, testing crosses half-million mark

San Diego County public health officials Monday announced 453 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of cases to 24,135, but no new deaths were reported.

Monday's number marked the fewest new cases since July 15, when there were 409, in what was the worst week since the start of the pandemic. Between July 13-19, the county also reported the most hospitalizations -- 163 -- and the most deaths -- 56 -- in any one-week span since COVID-19 began spreading in the U.S. in March.

The number of coronavirus fatalities remained unchanged at 478 on Monday.

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County health officials provide an update on COVID-19

County public health officials gave an update on Monday and reported 453 new positive cases and no deaths overnight. COVID-19 related ICU and hospitalizations remained relatively stable compared to the past few days. 

The county currently has 223 active case investigators but many more are needed to follow up on new cases. There will be 97 new investigators starting this Friday and they will be hiring 212 more case investigators.

Watch the full briefing on YouTube.

High school sports fall season to be rescheduled by CIF

California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced Monday that the high school sports season will be delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It is anticipated that most Section start dates will commence in December 2020 or January 2021. 

CIF Commissioner Rob Wigod held a virtual press conference to announce the 2020-21 Sports Year for the CIF Southern Section.‬  

Click here for the full story.

Governor Newsom gives a California COVID-19 update

Governor Newsom gave an update on California and COVID-19 on Monday afternoon. He directed business owners to refer to updated guidance on the state website as every business is asked to create a safe, low-risk environment.  

California released new guidelines Monday afternoon allowing businesses like nail and hair salons to open outdoors with safety modifications in place. Other services, like tattoo and piercing shops, cannot open outdoors.

Gov. Newsom reported 6,864 new cases overnight and 9 new fatalities related to COVID-19.

San Diegans can begin applying for COVID-19 rental assistance

Low-income San Diegans who have experienced financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic can begin applying Monday for one-time emergency financial help to pay their rent.

The program, which the San Diego Housing Commission is administering for the city, will provide up to $4,000 per household to help eligible families and individuals pay past-due and upcoming rent.

Online applications will be accepted through Aug. 7. Payments are expected to be made beginning in mid-August and continuing through September and potentially into October.

Click here for the full story.

Padres to play at Petco Park for first time in 2020

The San Diego Padres are scheduled to face an opponent at Petco Park for the first time in 2020 Monday, nearly four months later than planned, playing the Los Angeles Angels in an exhibition game.

The March 26 start to the regular season -- which included the Padres opening day game against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park -- was all wiped out by the coronavirus outbreak.

Under the revised schedule which calls for the regular season to begin Thursday, teams can play up to three exhibition games. The Padres other exhibition game will be on Wednesday, also against the Angels, at Angel Stadium, in preparation for opening day Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park.

Click here for the full story.

July 19

San Diego County reports 568 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

The number of daily COVID-19 cases in San Diego County rose by 568 Sunday as the number of total cases grew to 23,682, officials said.

County public health officials reported 568 new cases Sunday but no new deaths, leaving the death count at 478. San Diego Supervisor Nathan Fletcher reported that of the 23,682 reported cases, 2,303 or 9.3% required hospitalization and 571 people were placed in intensive care units.

Of the six deaths reported on Saturday, four were women and two were men. They died between July 8 and 16 and ranged in age from 60 to mid-90s. All had underlying health conditions.

The county recorded 10,290 tests Saturday, 6% of which returned positive. Saturday's test numbers were the second-highest reported during the pandemic, trailing only Friday's figures. The 14-day rolling average is now 6%. The state's target is below 8% positive test rate.

Click here for the full story.

How the coronavirus spread through Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego

Gregory Arnold walked into the warden’s office April 1 as the novel coronavirus ripped through one of the largest immigration detention centers in the United States. Waiting with about 40 guards to begin his shift, he heard a captain say face masks were prohibited.

Incredulous, he and a guard who recently gave birth wanted to hear it from the boss. Arnold told Warden Christopher LaRose that he was 60 years old and lived with an asthmatic son.

“Well, you can’t wear the mask because we don’t want to scare the employees and we don’t want to scare the inmates and detainees,” Arnold recalls the warden saying.

“With all due respect, sir, that’s ridiculous.” Arnold retorted.

The origins of the outbreak are uncertain, but accounts of workers and detainees reveal shortcomings in how the private company that manages the center handled the disease: There was an early absence of facial coverings, and a lack of cleaning supplies. Symptomatic detainees were mixed with others.

Click here for the full story.

San Diego religious services held outside amid pandemic

Some San Diego County churches and other religious organizations have moved services outdoors amid indoor restrictions in the county and across the state. 

Saint Agnes Catholic Church in Point Loma held an outdoor mass Sunday amid indoor restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The church said it will continue hosting outdoor masses Monday through Friday at 7:30 a.m. and on Sunday at 8 a.m. until further notice. Attendees are asked to bring a beach chair.

Click here for the full story. 

Hidden parts of San Diego being explored amid pandemic travel concerns

As people have been dealing with businesses opening and then reopening among fears about the safety of traveling during the coronavirus pandemic, many still feel like they need an escape. So locals have been getting creative and taking advantage of all that San Diego has to offer.  

Click here for full story.

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View all News 8 coverage of coronavirus / COVID-19

News 8 has joined forces with The San Diego Foundation to raise immediate, emergency funds for our most vulnerable neighbors in need. 
Here is how you can help.


On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, "CO" stands for "corona," "VI" for "virus," and "D" for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.

Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, as with any other respiratory illness: 

Know how it spreads: 

  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
    • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
    • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Protect yourself and others

Wash your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • It’s especially important to wash:
    • Before eating or preparing food
    • Before touching your face
    • After using the restroom
    • After leaving a public place
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After handling your cloth face covering
    • After changing a diaper
    • After caring for someone sick
    • After touching animals or pets
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact 

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

Monitor your health daily

  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
    • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

The California Department of Public Health has issued guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. 

As of April 4, 2020, all employees in San Diego County who may have contact with the public in any grocery store, pharmacy/drug store, restaurant or food establishments, convenience store or gas station are required to wear a cloth face covering while at work as an additional measure to help “flatten the curve” in the San Diego region.

Violations can be reported online.

As of May 1, San Diego County requires everyone in the county to wear face coverings in many public settings. The coverings help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are part of our path to reopening San Diego. See full health order here.

While officials say these face coverings are not a substitute for practices like social distancing and handwashing, there is evidence to suggest that the use of cloth face coverings by the public during a pandemic could help reduce disease transmission. Officials do not recommend the public use N-95 or surgical masks which are needed by health care workers and first responders.

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