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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: March 29 - April 2 midday

Real-time updates and developments around the coronavirus outbreak and how it is affecting San Diego as we work to separate facts from fear.

SAN DIEGO — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from March 29 - April 2 (midday), 2020. Click here for real-time updates for April 2, 2020 and on 

Key facts in San Diego:

  • San Diego County declared a local health emergency on Feb 14, 2020.
  • There are a total of 849 confirmed cases in San Diego County and 15 confirmed deaths of local residents. 
  • Early estimates indicate the city of San Diego will lose $109 million in tax revenue by June 30 due to the fiscal impact of COVID-19.
  • All San Diego city-owned beaches, parks and trails are closed. Other cities including Encinitas, Carlsbad, Del Mar, and Solana Beach have implemented similar closures for various public areas.
  • San Diego County is following the California stay at home order.
  • Many private and public K-12 schools have been closed through March.
  • Students can still receive meals while schools are closed.
  • The San Diego County Public Health Laboratory is now able to test for the novel coronavirus without sending to the CDC.
  • Text COSD COVID19 to 468-311 to get updates from San Diego County.
  • Click here for previous daily updates

Key facts in California:

  • California declared a state of emergency on March 4.
  • California governor issued a statewide stay at home order on March 19.
  • There are a total of 9,690 confirmed cases in California and there have been 207 deaths in the state from COVID-19.
  • The state has set up a hotline to answer questions and find ways to support the senior citizens in California. The phone number is 833-544-2374. The state has also partnered with the 2-1-1 service to help connect people to needed services.

April 2

12:20 p.m.

According to Governor Newsom, a whopping 70,000 Californians have stepped up and applied to the California Health Corps in just a few days. 

12 p.m.

A San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company reported promising results Thursday from a clinical trial of COVID-19 treatment conducted in collaboration with Renmin Hospital in Wuhan, China.

Ansun Biopharma said preliminary data showed that DAS181, a drug with antiviral properties, may have contributed to the reduction and elimination of COVID-19 symptoms in four patients suffering from severe bilateral viral pneumonia and hypoxemia. The patients were given a 10-day treatment regimen of nebulized DAS181, according to Ansun.

"These results are highly encouraging, as they demonstrate that DAS181 may potentially help reduce or eliminate some of the most significant symptoms associated with COVID-19," said Dr. Zuojiong Gong and De. Ke Hu, the study's principal investigators at Renmin Hospital.

9:30 a.m.

Feeding San Diego in partnership with the San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council, will host a mass “drive through” food distribution for San Diego families, and seniors in need at SDCCU Stadium on Saturday, April 4, from 9 a.m. until all of the food is gone. Teachers, construction workers, nurses, grocery workers and more are mobilizing donations, volunteering and providing logistical support to ensure San Diegans are able to access food during the crisis.
The food distribution will target vulnerable families and seniors affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Food will be placed directly in the trunk, keeping a six foot separation at all times.   

NOTE: For health and safety reasons, no one will be allowed to “walk up” or receive food on foot. Individuals and families who are not able to arrive by car should visit: https://feedingsandiego.org/need-help/food-distributions/for a community food distribution site near their home.  

9 a.m.

State Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) will host a Facebook Live Q&A at 8 p.m. PST, April 2, featuring legal experts discussing California's unemployment program. Gloria says more than a million unemployment claims have been filed in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The event can be found here. Questions can be submitted in advance by emailing assemblymember.gloria@assembly.ca.gov and including "EDD'' in the subject line.

7 a.m.

The U.S. Postal Service has learned that an employee at the San Diego Rancho Bernardo Post Office tested positive for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

"We are in process of reaching out to the local public health office and will follow the guidance they provide. We believe the risk is low for employees who work at the Rancho Bernardo Post Office, but we will keep our employees apprised as new information and guidance becomes available. As you may know, under the Rehabilitation Act and the Privacy Act, specific employee medical information must be kept confidential and may only be shared in very limited circumstances. Therefore, the Postal Service cannot share the name of the employee who tested positive for COVID-19 or further specifics of his or her medical condition. The safety and well-being of our employees is our highest priority. To ensure the health of our employees, we are continuing to follow recommended guidance and strategies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, both the CDC and the World Health Organization as well as the U.S. Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can spread through the mail and packages. Out of an abundance of caution, we have enhanced and supplemented current cleaning protocols using disinfectants across the facility."

5:30 a.m.

For the next eight weeks, middle and high school teachers and students can gain access to 22 free, self-paced online courses through the San Diego Zoo covering a variety of taxonomic groups and individual animal species.

Offered by the San Diego Zoo Global Academy, the interactive courses are designed to be completed by students in as little as one to two hours. They include video, images and quizzes to teach students about mammals, birds, reptiles, monotremes and more.

Beginning April 1, new animal species online learning modules will be made available each week -- and will remain online through May 24. For more information, click here.

5 a.m.

To help support those who are working around the clock to keep us safe, McDonald’s Southern California franchisees will offer free breakfast to first responders beginning April 2 at the company’s 700+ locally owned and operated restaurants in Southern California. All healthcare workers, police officers and firefighters with a valid ID or uniform are eligible to receive a free small coffee and Egg McMuffin sandwich during breakfast hours at participating McDonald’s restaurants in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and Imperial counties.

“We’ve been inspired by the commitment of our first responders working tirelessly to keep our communities safe,” said Jamie Straza, McDonald's franchisee and board member of the McDonald's owner operators group. “On behalf of our franchisees and employees, San Diego County McDonald’s restaurants stand ready and proud to serve our local heroes.”

April 1

10:45 p.m.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced Wednesday that the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California State Board of Education (SBE) have issued new guidance on graduation requirements and grading for seniors. 

“We are thinking of our seniors and the impact that the current COVID-19 public health emergency and subsequent physical closure of schools has had on them, and we hope that this guidance will help relieve some stress and anxiety,” said Thurmond. 

“All seniors who are on track for graduation should be able to graduate,” said State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond. 

California is also extending flexibility on a wide range of issues, including testing requirements, timing of transcripts, and considerations about financial aid.

10:15 p.m.

The City of Coronado Mayor, Richard Bailey, on Wednesday announced Sunset Park will be closed effective April 2 for the duration of the public health emergency. 

In a Facebook post, Mayor Bailey said:

"Earlier today several groups were found in violation of state and county health orders at Sunset Park. The City Council recognizes that this type of behavior jeopardizes the public’s health and is unacceptable.

So long as social distancing guidelines are being followed, we will continue to allow the community to enjoy limited-use of public amenities in a safe and responsible way, but we will have no tolerance for people flagrantly violating health guidelines and we will act immediately to stop it.

The City of Coronado’s emergency declaration allows this decision to be made unilaterally by the mayor’s office. However, the city council has been briefed, and will have the opportunity to make changes to this direction if necessary at the next city council meetings.

Each Coronado councilmember takes the health of the community seriously and I am confident is supportive of this action, given the activities that occurred today at Sunset Park."

8 p.m.

California’s health officials issued new guidance Wednesday on the use of cloth face coverings to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The guidance does not require anyone to wear face coverings and came with a warning that social distancing and handwashing are still the best actions in the fight against the virus.  

The California Department of Public Health and state officials do not recommend the public use N-95 or surgical masks which are needed by health care workers and first responders.  

State health officials want to remind Californians that the best defense against COVID-19 continues to be:  

  • Staying at home and physical distancing 
  • Washing hands frequently 
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands 
  • Avoiding being around sick people

See full report here.

7:45 p.m.

Two San Diego TSA agents at the San Diego International Airport have tested positive for COVID-19. One of the agents is a non-screening employee and had limited to no interaction with the traveling public. 

The other TSA agent was last at work on Tuesday, March 24 at security check point 6 between 2 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Other TSA agents who may worked with the employee during the shift have been alerted and have taken appropriate action. 

“If someone believes they may have come in contact with this officer at some point during their travels and they are concerned about their health, they are asked to reach out to their medical provider or their local public health department," said a spokeswoman. 

The TSA has created a website www.tsa.gov/coronavirus that lists airports, locations and shifts where our screening officers have tested positive for the virus in the past 14 days. 

7:30 p.m.

Baja California officials have worked to implement a "stay home" order amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The health department confirmed 43 residents tested positive and 149 others are suspected of having COVID-19 in the area.  

Law enforcement in the state is allowed to approach residents to ask why they are out of their homes. Like with orders in California, law enforcement is not forcing people to remain inside.

See the full report here. 

7:15 p.m.

Though the doors at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are closed during this coronavirus outbreak, staff wants the public to know the animals are being well cared for.  

They're working hard cleaning animal habitats and preparing individual meals for everyone, using fresh produce.

If you want to keep tabs on your favorite animals, you can through the San Diego Zoo's live web cameras.

See more here.

7:00 p.m.

San Diego County courthouses will likely remain shuttered through the end of April for all but emergency business, per a request from the court system's presiding judge to extend its COVID-19 related closures.

Arrangements are being made to conduct some San Diego County criminal cases by video starting next week for defendants who are in custody. Attorneys may have the option to appear telephonically in some circumstances.

The court will remain open for a limited number of emergency purposes such as ex-parte requests for civil harassment restraining orders, domestic violence restraining orders, and gun violence protective orders. Some judges will be on hand to cover emergency civil, family law, juvenile and probate orders.

6:30 p.m.

Last week, San Diego County health officials began sharing more detailed information about confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 . Each day the county has been providing an update with the number of cases broken down by age and gender – they have now added daily tables breaking the cases down by zip code and city to their monitoring page. 

Click here for a report on reaction to the new data and click here to view an interactive map of the current San Diego County cases of coronavirus/COVID-19 as they break down by zip code and city.  

6:00 p.m.

San Diego attorneys will provide free legal representation to Asian Americans who have experienced discrimination due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the People's Alliance for Justice announced Wednesday. You can learn more here.

5:30 p.m.

The first of the month means rent, mortgage, and utility bills are due for many, but with many struggling to make ends meet due to the coronavirus crisis, people just cannot pay. 

The San Diego County United Way Worker Assistance Initiative is here to help people. So far more than 6,500 people have applied for the program in a short period of time.

See full report here.

4:30 p.m.

Mayor Faulconer said all empty or surplus San Diego city buildings will be used to help fight coronavirus. Faulconer, Chris Van Gorder of Scripps Health, and Dr. Joelle Donofrio-Odmann of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department hosted a media conference. You can watch it all here.

For example, the city could utilize recreation centers, libraries, and parking lots. 

“Space is just one resource we need in this battle,” said Faulconer.

Faulconer mentioned “Operation Shelter to Home” which aims to help prevent the spread of virus amongst the homeless community. Faulconer said he spoke with Senator Kamala Harris in the morning to discuss the need for money to help house homeless people in motels and hotels. 

“It is San Diego’s medical professionals who are leading the charge,” said Faulconer.

The speakers urged the public to take this stay-at-home order seriously, now more than ever. 

“Complacency is indeed the enemy,” said Van Gorder.

Van Groder said our local healthcare system will be overwhelmed by June if even some people don’t take social distancing seriously. 

“These are really scary times, to know that a hospitalization during covid is a hospitalization without your family,” said Donofrio-Odmann.

Donofrio-Odmann said we need to social distance and eliminate all non-essential interactions immediately because we won’t know if we’re flattening the curve until later this month.

3:30 p.m.

The map below shows the current COVID-19 cases in San Diego County broken down by zip code. 

2:30 p.m.

At the County of San Diego's daily COVID-19 briefing, the county's chief medical officer Dr. Nick Yphantides announced five new deaths from the novel coronavirus and confirmed a probable death that was announced Tuesday. The county has now suffered 15 deaths from COVID-19. The latest deaths include a 90-year-old female, an 83-year-old male, a 74-year-old male, a 73-year-old male and a 71-year-old male. There are now 849 confirmed cases in the county. 

Dr. Yphantides also announced that two San Diego police officers had tested positive for COVID-19. The county later sent a tweet clarifying that one of the two had recovered and is back at work. 

Also at the briefing, San Diego Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox announced a partnership between the county, Rady Children's Hospital and the Rock Church to collect and track donated medical supplies. Cox was joined by Miles McPherson, senior pastor of the Rock Church, and Dr. Patrick A. Frias, MD., president and CEO of Rady Children’s Hospital for the announcement. 

"Keeping our health care providers protected and supplied with the equipment they need to care for us all will enable them to continue to do their jobs safely, help reduce the spread of infection throughout our community and be another step forward in restoring San Diego back to normal," said Dr. Frias. 

"It is an honor to serve our city," said Pastor Miles who also said a prayer for San Diego while speaking. He said through the partnership they will screen calls from those wanting to donate medical supplies and collect equipment to distribute where needed.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher then provided an update on the number of coronavirus cases and showed several graphics. He stressed the importance of focusing on broad trends - week to week - rather than daily numbers as they are limited by batch reporting. Fletcher said over one million pieces of PPE have been given out in San Diego amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

There are 533 available ventilators in the county with 22 of 23 hospitals reporting, Fletcher said. 

The month of April is going to determine the county's trajectory going forward, Fletcher said. He called for a month of aggressive and intentional action to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

"We believe this is the month that will determine if we end up like Italy and New York or if we find ourselves through a better pathway and a better direction," said Fletcher. "It is time for San Diego as a region to fully and 100% commit ourselves to the actions that are in our control." 

He thanked San Diegans for practicing social distancing, following public health orders, and adhering to hygiene stands and other guidance

"We thank you... we ask you hang in there as we continue," Fletcher said. "Your actions will save lives." 

The supervisor went on to issue a plea to those who have not embraced the orders and guidances in the county and state. 

"Some San Diegans out there have not quite bought into the seriousness of the issue in front of us. They have not quite subscribed to the vital importance. They have not quite understood how their actions impact others," Fletcher said. "And for these San Diegans we plead with you and we ask that the month of April is the time in which we must all come together." 

Fletcher also discussed confusion over the use of face masks by the general public. He said the state is expected to issue updated guidance on this in the near future but reminded people that no matter what medical grade masks should be reserved for use by medical staff only. 

2:15 p.m.

U.S. Navy officials say nearly 3,000 sailors aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier where the coronavirus has spread will be taken off the ship by Friday as military leaders struggle to quarantine crew members in the face of an outbreak, according to the Associated Press and other reports out Wednesday. The USS Theodore Roosevelt is now docked in Guam.   

The announcement came after the captain of the San Diego-based nuclear aircraft carrier asked the Navy for more resources and "decisive action" as the ship's crew battles a coronavirus outbreak among its sailors. A military official said Tuesday that the Navy was working to address the captain's concerns.  

See full report here.

1:45 p.m.

The San Diego Humane Society received a $50,000 matching gift Wednesday from Charles and Carol Baum, which will double donations made to the organization during the month of April.

The gift was made in memory of the Baums' pets, Chelsea, Winston, Sullivan and Jordan, and will provide critical support for the Humane Society during the COVID-19 pandemic and related shutdowns, according to President and CEO Dr. Gary Weitzman.

Read full report here.  

12 p.m.

Governor Newsom addressed the media on Wednesday and he touched on many different things. Perhaps the most important is that California school districts will continue distance learning through the end of the school year. Newsom also touted a new partnership with Google that will see the tech giant donate 100,000 internet access points and thousands of chromebooks for children who don't have computers. 

The governor also previewed new guidelines on face covers that can be worn when going outside. He stressed that citizens should not use face masks as a substitute for social distancing and they should not pull N95 masks away from healthcare professionals. It was said there is some evidence that face coverings may reduce asymptomatic carriers of the virus from transmitting to other people and the covers may decrease infectious particles in the air when coughing or sneezing. A full list of guidelines should be expected later Wednesday. 

11:30 a.m.

The University of California Board of Regents announced Wednesday that it will ease admissions requirements for students applying to its nine campuses, including UC San Diego, during the coronavirus pandemic.

The board voted Tuesday to suspend using SAT scores and letter grade requirements for A-G courses completed within the 2020 school year for all students who apply.

"We want to help alleviate the tremendous disruption and anxiety that is already overwhelming prospective students due to COVID-19," said John Perez, chair of the UC Board of Regents. "By removing artificial barriers and decreasing stressors ... for this unprecedented moment in time, we hope there will be less worry for our future students."

Additionally, the Board of Regents suspended standardized test requirements for students applying for fall 2021 freshman admission. For more information, click here.

11 a.m.

Sharp Rees-Stealy will be operating Outdoor Respiratory Clinics outside each of its five Urgent Care facilities – Chula Vista, Downtown, La Mesa, Rancho Bernardo and Sorrento Mesa.

This service will be offered to Sharp Rees-Stealy patients who have been referred after speaking to a Sharp Rees-Stealy provider on the phone. Patients must have a referral. They may then walk-in to any of the outdoor respiratory clinics. The service is for assessment and care. For more information, click here.

10 a.m.

Furthering efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among San Diego’s homeless population, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Wednesday that the San Diego Convention Center will begin opening its doors as a temporary shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the news conference on Wednesday, city officials said three homeless people have tested positive for COVID-19 and city leaders say they expect there will be many more.

The move, starting with groups from the city's bridge shelters, is part of an effort to adhere to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines advising people to remain 6 feet apart during the pandemic.

See full report here.

7 a.m.

Are you a renter in San Diego who has lost their job due to COVID-19? Even though San Diego has an eviction moratorium you must act by today! For the website and full details of what you need to do to keep from being kicked out of your home, click here.

March 31

7:30 p.m.

California's State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, on Tuesday announced students will not be allowed to return to school campuses before the end of the 2019-20 school year.

The California Department of Education's decision comes due to safety concerns and the need for ongoing social distancing.  

"In order to allow schools to plan accordingly, and to ensure that learning still occurs until the end of the school year, we are suggesting that schools plan and prepare to have their curriculum carried out through a distance learning model," said Thurmond in a statement. 

See full report here. 

7:15 p.m.

Scripps Health shared video on Instagram of pop sensation Lizzo sending healthcare workers at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla a message of support and thanking them for their hard work. 

"I thought you know it would be nice to send y'all some food just to give you a token of appreciation for how much you really mean to us," Lizzo said in the message. "You guys are truly heroes. So, thank you so much and I hope you enjoy your lunch." 

In the second video hospital is staff is seen thanking the singer for her message and for lunch. 

7 p.m.

A San Diego woman is giving others a look at what a mandatory lockdown might look like as she is quarantined in Italy. Mirella Presti-Silippo used to live in Temecula before moving back home to Italy. She has been under lockdown for weeks as the country faces one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world.  

Complicating matters is the fact that Presti-Silippo is pregnant and in Italy your partner cannot be in the room for delivery due to COVID-19 pandemic - something being implemented or considered by hospitals worldwideShe said her fiancé will drop her off and she will go through the process by herself – obviously, not how she planned it.   

See the full report here

6 p.m.

Sharp Grossmont Hospital is honoring its staff amid the evolving COVID-19 pandemic by lighting up the hospital’s west tower with this message to show strength, resiliency and solidarity. "This is our way of raising awareness and to thank our healthcare workers for all they do. Living proof that not all heroes wear capes," said hospital officials.

5:30 p.m.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who is also co-chair of the County of San Diego’s COVID-19 subcommittee, will be joined by county public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten for a telephone town hall. They will deliver the latest information about the county’s response to the coronavirus, and answer questions from the community.     

To participate: Call 712-832-8700 (or 712-832-5583 for T-Mobile customers) and when prompted dial the conference ID: 989974 to join.

5:00 p.m.

Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer joined City Council President Georgette Gómez and United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 135 to outline steps grocers, employees and customers are taking to keep grocery shopping safe and sanitary during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can watch live at the top of this page.

Faulconer recommended that people don't take their entire family to the grocery store. Rather, go alone or with as few people as possible. Also, Faulconer recommended avoiding cash. Credit/debit cards, or better yet, mobile pay, can help reduce the spread.

“Grocery stores will continue to remain open,” said Faulconer. “Shop for only what you need. There is plenty to go around."

Shoppers should stand six feet apart from one another on premeasured markings. Also, there is no perfect time to grocery shop - just spread out the crowds.

Grocery shopping is particularly concerning for seniors. 

“We’ve worked with nurses to make sure we’re practicing the best procedures possible,” said Jim Hays of Stay Home San Diego. 

Stay Home San Diego is a free grocery delivery service to help keep seniors home.

“It’s close to our heart,” said Hays. 

Faulconer said the "Lyftup" initiative has given $20,000 worth of rides to help at-risk populations, such as senior citizens.

“Thank you Lyft. Thank you for making a difference in San Diego," said Faulconer.

4:00 p.m.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Covered California is expanding its special enrollment period through June 30 to help anyone uninsured and eligible to obtain health coverage because of job loss or other qualifying life events. The action builds upon Covered California's special enrollment period that took effect in January, to help consumers who didn't know about tax penalties for not having health insurance, or weren't aware of the new state subsidy program and financial help available to pay their monthly health care costs.

"The goal is to have as many people covered as possible to ensure they have access to vitally needed health care," said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California. "This is the right thing to do and we to make sure no one is left behind in California during this pandemic."

3:45 p.m.

The captain of a San Diego-based nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam has asked the Navy for more resources and "decisive action" as the ship's crew battles a coronavirus outbreak among its sailors, with a military official saying Tuesday that the Navy was working to address the captain's concerns.

Capt. Brett Cozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt wrote in a letter obtained Monday by the San Francisco Chronicle that the COVID-19 infection aboard the ship would spiral if immediate action was not taken, which included removing the majority of the crew from the ship.

See full report here.

3:30 p.m.

Chairman Greg Cox, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher,  Dr. Wilma Wooten, and Dr. Eric McDonald gave a daily county update on COVID-19. You can watch it here. Fletcher announced 131 new patients tested positive, which means 734 people have tested positive in San Diego County. According to Wooten, there are nine confirmed deaths in San Diego County with a "10th probable death" awaiting confirmation. 

"If there is ever a time for all of us to act like millennials, it is now," said Wooten, encouraging people to use technology to keep in touch with loved ones rather than violating the social distancing rule. 

McDonald said that one cruise passenger and three crew members from the Celebrity Eclipse have tested positive for COVID-19. Those in serious condition are hospitalized and those doing better are self-isolating. 

“The reality is, we don’t know," Fletcher said of the precise number of cases in the county. 

Fletcher said that 481 ventilators are available right now in San Diego County, with 19/23 hospitals reporting, as of Tuesday afternoon. 

California responded to the lack of beds in San Diego County by sending a 250-bed mobile field hospital and a 225-bed hospital unit, which Fletcher said comes with staff.

Additionally, Fletcher said the county was working with a local university to secure an empty dormitory for patients too sick to go home, but not sick enough to remain in the hospital. He said the 200 to 250 beds the dorm will provide will "raise the bar" on the number of beds available for any surge in COVID-19 cases. This "alternative care center" would open sometime in the near future, he said.

2 p.m.

Data by Johns Hopkins University shows 7,477 confirmed COVID-19 cases in California and 150 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon.

1 p.m.

San Diego County Health officials confirmed Tuesday that a person aboard the Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship, the last ship allowed to drop off passengers in San Diego, has tested positive for COVID-19.

A passenger confirmed they were sent an email by the cruise line informing them of this case, advising them to self-quarantine for 14 days. County officials say the patient is not a San Diego resident, however, they did not say where that patient is from.

On Monday, when the ship docked port officials said no one on board had any signs or symptoms of any illness. Many passengers say the news of a person patient testing positive for COVID-19 comes as a surprise because they felt they were in a safe place on the ship.

Read full report here

12:00 p.m.

On Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new initiative that will connect senior citizens during this time of social distancing. Newsom said a new hotline has been set up to help people get questions answered and find ways to support senior citizens in California. The phone number is 833-544-2374. For a full breakdown of the new initiatives that have been enacted, click here

11 a.m.

Two more grocery store workers have tested positive for COVID-19. The employees worked at the sprouts off El Camino Real in Carlsbad. The cases were reported on March 15 and 17, 2020. 

According to the company's website, team members who are asked to self-quarantine are eligible to receive up to 14-days of quarantine pay. The store remains open after extensive cleaning and sanitizing. 

10 a.m.

The San Diego Police Department announced Tuesday that it is closing down its police academy for at least two weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The San Diego Regional Public Safety Training Institute held at Miramar Community College was training two academy classes containing a total of 185 recruits, SDPD Lt. Shawn Takeuchi said.

"With the health and safety of those recruits and their families in mind, law enforcement leaders in the region have elected to suspend both academies for the next two weeks," Takeuchi said. "Academy staff will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will determine if a longer suspension is needed."

5 a.m.

First responders have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and some have even been infected with the virus. As they work long hours, sometimes having an outlet just to talk can be good for the soul. 

“They are working tireless hours. Their families also need our support and encouragement,” said The Rock Church Pastor Chaplain, Mickey Stonier.

Pastor Stonier said there are 120 volunteer chaplains with the The Rock Church Chaplaincy service for the community and for first responders.

“It’s like having a pastor in a community, but they are not trained to preach at people. They are trained to love, support, and care for people,” he said.

Read the story here.

March 30 

10:30 p.m. 

April's rent payment is due, but what are the coronavirus protections?

 California housing rights attorney Elena Popp said many people haven't read the fine print - the part of the ordinance that requires tenants to take action on or before rent is due.

“[Renters] are completely confused by these mish-mosh of laws, measures, policies. Tenants in San Diego probably do not realize that right now they have two days to send a letter to their landlord saying 'I cannot pay my rent for these COVID-19 related reasons,'” said Popp. 

Read the story here

The website can be accessed at www.sdhc.org/evictionban.  

A San Diego State University student who lived on campus has tested positive for the coronavirus, the university announced Monday.

The student started to feel symptoms after moving off-campus, a university official said.

Everyone connected to the university who has had contact with the student has been notified and is "receiving appropriate guidance," according to the official.

"As social distancing guidelines have been in effect, the situation is contained to a small number of individuals," the official said.
Information about the student was not released.

9 p.m.

A San Diego musician is sharing his experience and his thoughts after being diagnosed with COVID-19 – the novel coronavirus. Drew Andrews spoke with News 8 about what his symptoms are and when they started, and what it was like to test positive for coronavirus.    

Andrews who is a musician in several current and former San Diego bands including Bit Maps, Via Satellite and The Album Leaf, first shared news of his diagnosis with on Facebook over the weekend.   

See full report here

7:40 p.m.

A San Diego State University student who lived on campus has tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating off-campus, according to the university. The student started to feel symptoms after moving off-campus. 

7:30 p.m.

Is COVID-19 deadlier than the flu? Since 80% of coronavirus cases do not require hospitalization, San Diego County could see approximately 35,000 cases total, and up to 350 deaths by May, the county modeling showed. Compare those numbers to San Diego County's current flu cases. So far this year, the county has seen 98 flu deaths out of more than 20,000 flu cases, or a 0.5% death rate from the flu. 

Here's the full look at the numbers.

7 p.m.

The unincorporated east county community of Borrego Springs launched a coronavirus education site

6:30 p.m.

More than 5,300 applications were submitted for San Diego's recently opened Small Business Relief Fund for businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Monday evening.

The $6.1 million fund provides grants and micro-loans ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 to help local small businesses retain employees and stay afloat amid various federal, state and local public health orders aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.

The applications have been available on the city's website since 5 p.m. Friday.

Significantly more funding will be needed to meet the high demand, Faulconer said. 

6:20 p.m.

As President Trump recently announced, hydroxychloroquine has shown promise in patients battling COVID-19 (coronavirus). As a result, Kaiser Permanente sent a notice to several patients that currently take the drug, telling them that they have "placed a temporary freeze on refills." Now, Kaiser is changing that policy.

6 p.m.

A California scientist and his team say they have found a potential cure for COVID-19.

Dr. Jacob Glanville of Distributed Bio is one of the doctors featured in the Netflix show "Pandemic." His team in the Bay Area has been working around the clock trying to come up with a drug to treat COVID-19. Monday he announced he believes they've found one.

Read Kelly Hessedal's full report here.

4:40 p.m.

The County of San Diego has released the latest data on COVID-19 in the county. There are now 603 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county and there have been seven deaths. The figures released Monday were skewed by the inability to send test results to the county government on weekends, according to Dr. Eric McDonald, San Diego County's epidemiology director.

The cases break down by age as follows:

  • 0-9 years: 4 cases
  • 10-19 years: 6 cases
  • 20-29 years: 121 cases
  • 30-39 years: 148 cases
  • 40-49 years: 105 cases
  • 50-59 years: 91 cases
  • 60-69 years: 52 cases
  • 70-79 years: 45 cases
  • 80+ years: 29 cases
  • Age unknown: 2 cases

By gender: 

  • Female: 256
  • Male: 345
  • Unknown: 2 

The update includes 118 hospitalizations with 51 in intensive care. The diagnoses announced Monday included a second San Diego Police Department officer, Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. Four San Diego lifeguards and one San Diego Fire-Rescue Department firefighter have also been diagnosed with the coronavirus, according to Faulconer. 

Credit: KFMB

Additional Data on San Diego County COVID-19 Cases

Bar Graph of New and Total COVID-19 Cases in San Diego County by Date Reported 

Summary of County of San Diego COVID-19 Cases by City of Residence 

Map of Cases by City of Residence 

Summary of County of San Diego COVID-19 Cases that Required Hospitalization

County officials shared the following slide today inviting those who want to volunteer to visit justserve.org/sdcounty to find opportunities. 

Credit: County of San Diego

4:40 p.m.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, San Diego Police Department Chief David Nisleit, Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell and Lifeguard Division Chief James Gartland held a news conference on Monday. 

The group discussed the signing of a new executive order that declares San Diego city employees "disaster workers." You can read more and watch here.

3:45 p.m.

The San Diego Housing Commission has created a page that provides information to residents and small businesses on how to avoid eviction through the city’s temporary eviction moratorium.

The San Diego City Council unanimously approved the eviction moratorium on March 25 to provide relief to residents and businesses facing financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

3:15 p.m.

The California Department of Public health announced its latest statistics as of 2 p.m. March 29. Their numbers and breakdown are below, however, data from Johns Hopkins University shows a higher number of confirmed cases: 6,437 in the state and 134 deaths as of Monday afternoon. The CDPH has deaths at 135.

5,763 – Positive cases*
135 – Deaths**

*In order to better focus public health resources on the changing needs of California communities, the state is no longer collecting information about how individuals contracted COVID-19. Community transmission of COVID-19 has been identified in California since late February, and since early March, most of the confirmed cases in the state were not related to travel outside of the United States.

**California is no longer including the death of the one non-California resident. That death is being included in another state’s tally.

Ages of all confirmed positive cases:

  • Age 0-17: 65 cases
  • Age 18-49: 2,973 cases
  • Age 50-64: 1,447 cases
  • Age 65+: 1,252 cases
  • Unknown: 26 cases

Gender of all confirmed positive cases:

  • Female: 2,581 cases
  • Male: 3,083 cases
  • Non-binary: 0 cases
  • Unknown: 99 cases

2:30 p.m.

County of San Diego officials provided their daily update on COVID-19 in San Diego. 

San Diego Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox opened the briefing by reminding people that staff is still available to help those in need apply for programs like CalFresh, MediCal, and Cal Works. He also pointed to meal deliveries as another critical need being fulfilled by the county. 

"Please know that critical county services and programs, and community-based services remain open and available to support those in need even in these times of social distancing," said Cox. 

He directed people to visit SanDiegoCounty.gov or call 2-1-1 for more help. 

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and Dr. Eric McDonald, the county's medical director of epidemiology, announced two new public health orders related to cruise ships in San Diego. 

One of the orders will limit the arrival of future cruise ships to San Diego. After March 31, 2020, no cruise ship will be allowed to dock and have those on board disembark, according to McDonald. He said with approval by the health officer, a ship may dock to receive fuel and provisions as long as no one on board disembarks. 

The other public health order is being put in place to implement better controls and parameters to ensure orderly disembarkation from ships, Fletcher said. McDonald said the order puts in legal framework needed to continue planning with the Port of San Diego, CDC, CBP, the city of San Diego and the cruise lines. 

McDonald added that the disembarkation of the Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship was underway using CDC guidelines and reiterated that there are no known cases of people with COVID-19 on board. 

1:45 p.m.

The San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park have extended their closures due to COVID-19 and will remain closed "until further notice" according to a statement issued Monday by San Diego Zoo Global. See the full statement below:

"San Diego Zoo Global takes its role as a leader for the larger San Diego community seriously. We understand the trust our audiences have placed in us over the past 103 years. To serve our community responsibly, we have put the interests of our employees and the wildlife in our care at the forefront of our approach at this unprecedented time in our history. 

Continuing to follow the advice from health experts and government officials, and acting in the best interests of the health and wellness of our greater community, the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park will remain closed until further notice.   

We continue to have essential and dedicated staff on grounds at both parks, ensuring that the remarkable wildlife in our care continue to thrive. The urgent nature of our work to save species is unchanged, even in the face of this pandemic. Species will continue to disappear from the planet at an accelerated rate if we do not remain steadfast in fulfilling our mission. Our support, your support and the support of our partners around the world are vital lifelines for the world’s extraordinary species of animals and plants.

The world-famous parks will continue to be maintained and cared for, so they can be ready to open when you are able to visit us again. And, despite our parks being closed to the public, San Diego Zoo Global has been continuing to financially support its staff, and last week confirmed that it would continue to support all its employees through April 19—and we will continue to do what we can to support the team throughout this challenging time. 

We keep at the forefront of our thoughts the well-being of these dedicated employees and the many volunteers who make our parks such special places to visit. We look forward to the day we get to welcome you back."

1:30 p.m.

Data by Johns Hopkins University shows 6,437 confirmed COVID-19 cases in California and 134 deaths as of Monday afternoon.

12:30 p.m.

California has 1,432 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital beds. 597 of those patients are in ICU beds, according to Governor Gavin Newsom.

According to Newsom, California is preparing for an increase in the number of people who desperately need health care across the state of California during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In order to meet this moment, we need you. We’re opening additional health care sites to treat people affected by COVID-19 and to relieve the pressure on our health care system by providing care for non-COVID-19 cases," Newsom said.

To ensure adequate staff for health care sites throughout California, Newsom says he's calling on health care providers, behavioral health professionals, and health care administrators to register immediately to help care for Californians who need help.

Newsom signed an order waiving certain professional licensing and certification requirements to allow health care facilities to staff at least an additional 50,000 hospital beds. In the last four days, hospitalizations of coronavirus patients in California have doubled, and the number of patients in intensive care has tripled. 

See full report here.

12 p.m.

To help parents navigate through any questions they may have about COVID-19, Rady Children’s has launched a Pediatric Nurse Advice LineThe line is staffed by nurses with pediatric training and is staffed seven days a week. The nurses are available to answer questions from the community about anything related to coronavirus and kids. Parents can call (858) 966-8399 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.

11:15 a.m.

Gov. Newsom joined California health care workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 at a news conference on Monday. He also provided an update on California’s response to the pandemic.

According to Newsom, California is preparing for an increase in the number of people who desperately need health care across the state of California during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"In order to meet this moment, we need you. We’re opening additional health care sites to treat people affected by COVID-19 and to relieve the pressure on our health care system by providing care for non-COVID-19 cases," Newsom said.

To ensure adequate staff for health care sites throughout California, Newsom says he's calling on healthcare providers, behavioral health professionals, and health care administrators to register immediately to help care for Californians who need your help.

The following healthcare workers are needed:

  • Physicians (MD, DO), including medical students
  • Pharmacists
  • Dentists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Physician assistants
  • Nurses (RN, LVN, CNA), including nursing students
  • Behavioral health professionals (psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, LCSW, LMFT, LPCC)
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Paramedics
  • Medical assistants
  • Emergency medical technicians

Newsom said healthcare workers will be paid and given malpractice insurance coverage.

See a full report here.

7 a.m.

Parks in Vista will be closed starting Monday in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus by encouraging social distancing.

The North County city announced the decision on Sunday and had 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday.

The closures include all parks, trails, public restrooms, the South Buena Vista off-leash dog area, athletic fields, basketball courts, pickleball courts, playgrounds, skate parks and tennis courts.

Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Solana Beach, Imperial Beach and the Port of San Diego closed all beaches, trails and parks in their respective cities early last week. For more information, click here.

6 a.m.

A Celebrity cruise ship will dock in San Diego on Monday. The Eclipse is expected to arrive around 5 a.m. with over 2,300 passengers expected to embark over a two-day period. 

"The health of the ship is excellent right now," Dr. Eric McDonald, the county's medical director of epidemiology said. County health officials are in continuous contact with the ship's crew for any sign of symptoms, he added.

See a full reports here and here

March 29

5:30 p.m.

Upset over working conditions nurses from Sharp Mary Birch and Sharp Grossmont hospitals gathered Sunday morning to call for changes.

The shortage of protective gear has been a major issue across the state and Sunday afternoon San Diego County leaders addressed it at a news conference.

“We had an extensive call where we spent a lot of time talking about personal protective equipment and we continue to fight to get as much as we can from every available source,” said county supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

But according to workers, those efforts aren’t coming fast enough.

“We’re expected to work with all the different patients that are coming in and we don’t know if they’re positive or not. So we feel there is just not enough protection being provided to us,” Sergio Leos, a nurse at Sharp Grossmont said.

See Monique Griego's full report here.

5:20 p.m.

The Better Business Bureau and government agencies are warning consumers to look out for scams involving the recently approved stimulus package.

There are several claims of people receiving texts, calls and emails asking them to “apply” for the stimulus money or saying they are “pre-approved” to expedite their money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. However, FEMA and the Federal Trade Commission confirm “anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.”

In reality, the money will take several weeks to arrive.

The cases break down by age as follows:

  • 0-9 years: 4 cases
  • 10-19 years: 6 cases
  • 20-29 years: 107 cases
  • 30-39 years 130 cases
  • 40-49 years: 90 cases
  • 50-59 years: 79 cases
  • 60-69 years: 37 cases
  • 70-79 years: 39 cases
  • 80+ years: 26 cases
  • Age unknown: 1 case

By gender: 

  • Females: 219
  • Male: 298
  • Unknown: 2

There are 106 hospitalizations with 47 in intensive care. 

Credit: KFMB

Additional Data on San Diego County COVID-19 Cases

3:45 p.m.

Messages from our San Diego leaders, first responders and essential workers doing their best to keep us safe: 

3:15 p.m.

A message of thanks spotted in Hillcrest: 

2:30 p.m.

County of San Diego officials provided their daily update on COVID-19 in San Diego. 

San Diego Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox opened the briefing reminding people to continue social distancing and implored them to use technology to stay connected with one another. 

Nathan Fletcher with the San Diego Board of Supervisors spoke about the grocery store worker in Escondido saying the county does not believe there is an ongoing risk at that store or any other at this time. He said the store did the right thing by closing, alerting county environmental health officials, following sanitation protocols, then re-opening to customers. 

"If you have a sick worker, they must stay home," Fletcher said, urging employers to call 858-505-6814 to report any sick workers.

Fletcher pointed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidance on the subject. The CDC have said in part: 

"Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food."

County officials also confirmed that there have been four restaurant employees that have tested positive along with the grocery store associate making for five food handlers who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Fletcher that no patients have died in the last 24 hours, leaving the death toll in San Diego County at seven. 

Dr. Eric McDonald, Medical Director, County Epidemiology and Immunization Branch provided an update on the Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship saying it is slated to dock in San Diego on Monday. He said the county has been working with multiple agencies to ensure safety measures as 1,500 people on board disembark. He said the disembarkation should take 24 - 48 hours and everyone on board - including at least 17 San Diego County residents - are told to go to their homes for a 14-day quarantine. 

"The health of the ship is excellent right now," McDonald said. County health officials are in continuous contact with the ship's crew for any sign of symptoms, he said.

New figures for San Diego County are expected after 5 p.m. Sunday. McDonald explained that the number of test results reported may decrease because the labs send those reports to the county electronically and the system is down on the weekends.

"So we expect the test result numbers to go down," McDonald said. 

2:25 p.m. 

A tally by Johns Hopkins University found more than 5,700 cases in California and at least 122 deaths as of Sunday. The California Department of Health is expected to release detailed numbers sometime today.  

11:30 a.m.

An Albertson's store in San Diego County has confirmed an employee has COVID-19. The store located in Escondido was open for business Sunday and the company released the following statement regarding the associate who tested positive:

"The health and safety of everyone who walks through our doors is a top priority. We have learned that an associate at our Albertsons store on W. Valley Parkway in Escondido, CA, has a confirmed case of COVID-19. First and foremost, our thoughts are with the associate who tested positive, and we hope for a full recovery. 

That associate is now receiving medical care. Following CDC guidelines, our Crisis Response Team may recommend that additional members of the store team self-quarantine. These employees will be eligible to receive up to 14 days of quarantine pay. 

The associate has not worked at our Escondido store since March 24th.  The store has been through multiple cycles of our enhanced cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting process since that day. In an abundance of caution, last night, we conducted a thorough cleaning and disinfection with guidance from third-party sanitation experts.    

The store will remain open, and we will continue to follow an enhanced cleaning and disinfection process in every department.

We have reaffirmed with all associates that they need to wash hands and disinfect check stands every hour and to practice social distancing. We have also reminded them that if they develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough or shortness of breath, stay home, and call their healthcare provider right away."

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NEWS 8 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. 


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, along with any other respiratory illness: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 

  • Stay home when you are sick. 

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

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

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

The CDC also says facemasks should only be used by people who show symptoms of the virus. If you’re not sick, you do not have to wear a facemask.  

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