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Board of Supervisors approves county’s plan for accelerated reopening

The proposal includes $17 million "for implementing economic stimulus programs for restaurants and small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic."

SAN DIEGO — Editor's note: An earlier version of this story indicated that Supervisor Fletcher voted against the accelerated reopening plan. That was incorrect and this story has been updated.

The San Diego Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 on Tuesday to approve the county's plan for an accelerated reopening of San Diego County. In a separate vote, the board passed another item by a vote of 4-1 for San Diego to become a pilot program to open some Stage 3 businesses. Supevisor Nathan Fletcher was the one party who voted against the Stage 3 plan and elaborated on his votes on Twitter. 

Although the county must wait for Newsom's approval, Supervisor Jim Desmond called the pilot plan "a step in the right direction."

Desmond said if the county doesn't allow for more facilities to reopen, the health crisis will only expand based on how the stay-at-home mandate is affecting people, and unemployment will increase.

Health officials told the board they are confident the region meets new state criteria that would allow it to move further into Stage 2 of the California resiliency roadmap. The criteria include:

  • Less than 5% of daily COVID-19 hospitalizations over a 7-day period or no more than 20 COVID hospitalizations on any single day in the past 14 days.
  • Fewer than 25 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days or less than 8% testing positive in the past 7 days.
  • Have a capacity to be able to test 1.5 per every 1,000 residents and at least 15 staff per 100,000 county population trained and available for contact tracing.
  • Hospital capacity for a possible surge of 35% of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 cases in addition to providing usual care for other patients.

The plan will now be immediately submitted to the California Department of Public Health for review.

“The County meets the modified metrics that have been shared with us by the state,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “We will continue to monitor other metrics to inform our further opening of local businesses, organizations and activities to strike a balance between the protection of the public health and economic viability of our region.” 

If San Diego County is cleared to accelerate into Stage 2, which will include in-person dining reservations and retail shopping with social distancing.

Restaurants and retail shops are encouraged to review the state guidance for their business and complete the County’s Safe Reopening Plan, which is required to be displayed on the premises.

Most counties in the state are expected to meet the new criteria to reopen at a faster pace.

State Testing Sites

In the past few weeks, COVID-19 testing in the region has ramped up and the region is now regularly surpassing more than 4,000 a day. To date, more than 108,000 tests have been administered in the region.

Two state-run walk-up test sites will open Tuesday, May 19. One is located at the Tubman-Chavez Center at 415 Euclid Avenue and the other at the former San Diego County Assessor Office at 200 S. Magnolia Avenue in El Cajon.

These two sites are in addition to those already operating in Escondido and Chula Vista. All the state-run locations require appointments, which can be made at  www.lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling (888) 634-1123.

County Testing Sites

A County testing site is now re-opened from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday at San Diego County Credit Union Stadium in Mission Valley. This site can test up to 180 people daily. To make an appointment at a County site, call 2-1-1.

On Saturdays, the County’s Live Well on Wheels Mobile Office will offer COVID-19 testing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Euclid Health Center, located at 292 Euclid Ave. An appointment is required and can be set up by calling 2-1-1.

COVID-19 testing options include calling your doctor or medical provider to schedule an appointment, signing up on the state website, or calling 2-1-1.

COVID-19 Testing, Cases and Deaths


  • 3,408 tests were reported to the County May 17 and 110 or 3% were positive.
  • 4.1% was yesterday’s 14-day, rolling average percentage of positive tests.


  • 110 new cases were reported for a San Diego County total of 5,946.
  • 1,115 or 19.8% of the total cases have required hospitalization.
  • 339 or 5.7% of all cases had to be placed in intensive care.


  • Two additional COVID-19 deaths were reported today, bringing the region’s total to 211.
  • A woman in her early 70s died April 27 and a man in his late 80s died May 4.
  • Both had underlying medical conditions.

The number of active outbreaks, deaths and cases at nursing homes and other congregate living facilities are:

  • 73 active outbreaks, 50 at congregate living facilities and 23 in community settings.
  • 1,318 cases, including 104 deaths in congregate living facilities.
  • 310 cases, including five deaths in community settings.

The public can watch the live stream for the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors meeting at the County Administration Center. 

RELATED: Mayor Faulconer, Supervisor Jacob announce safe reopenings ahead of Tuesday vote

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