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Chula Vista leaders discuss ways to slow the spread of COVID-19

Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas, and other city leaders announced Friday measures the city is taking to keep the community safe.

SAN DIEGO — Chula Vista leaders held a media conference Friday to talk about ways the city is trying to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas, Police Chief Roxana Kennedy, Fire Chief Jim Geering and City Attorney Glen Googins were all in attendance to address measures the city is taking to keep the community safe and stop the spread of COVID-19.

The city leaders talked about stay-at-home directives, what facilities and areas are closed off, what essential businesses can remain open, and how these changes are being enforced.

"I appreciate what San Diegans are doing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but we need to do more and stronger measures must be enforced," said Chula Vista Mayor Casillas Salas.

The mayor also mentioned during the media conference that Chula Vista Councilman and California Commission Chairman, Steve Padilla, was out of the ICU.

"I'm so happy to announce that Steve Padilla is out of the ICU and finally off the ventilator after 11 days, and will be home soon," Mayor Casillas Salas said.

Steve Padilla posted the below statement on Facebook and Twitter Friday:

RELATED: Chula Vista Councilman Steve Padilla announces recovery from COVID-19

Police Chief Roxana Kennedy said it's more important than ever that the community come together.

"You can stay healthy by staying home and following orders and guidelines provided by the city and the state of California - we are out in force and we are watching," Chief Kennedy said.

Chula Vista announced it would offer small business loans through San Diego's small-business relief fund. Loans ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 are available to businesses in the city. 

On Thursday, San Diego County health officials amended public health orders, shutting down park and beach parking lots and mandating that people in essential industries who interact with the public must wear facial coverings, effective Friday at midnight.

Further orders include businesses remaining open that serve the public must now post social-distancing and sanitization guidelines near the entrance of their business and a recommendation that anyone who leaves their home for any essential purpose should wear a facial covering -- a bandana, scarf, homemade mask, etc. -- while maintaining social distancing. These coverings should not be medical-grade masks, officials said.

RELATED: Coronavirus in San Diego and California: Latest updates and news

RELATED: Gov. Newsom announces new initiative to help small businesses in CA amid coronavirus

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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.  

We also have a Frequently Asked Questions page we will continue updating with the latest information and reports.  

Click here to watch "Facts Not Fear," a News 8 Special on coronavirus from March 26, 2020. 

BACKGROUND:  

According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.  

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

Know how it spreads:  

  • There is no vaccine  

  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus 

  • It is thought to spread mainly from person-person between people in close contact 

  • And believed to be spread by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes 

Protect yourself 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds 

  • If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol 

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick 

  • Put distance between yourselves and others 

Protect others 

  • Stay home when you are sick 

  • Wear a facemask if you are sick 

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash 

  • If you don't have tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow 

  • Immediately wash your hands after coughing and sneezing  

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe 

You can find information on disinfecting and cleaning on the CDC's How to Protect Yourself page. 

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.  

The County of San Diego has made face coverings mandatory for those working with the public including grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and similar businesses. 

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.