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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: Latest updates and news

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 — Key facts in San Diego: 

Key facts in California:

  • California governor issued a statewide stay at home order on March 19.
  • There are 76,793 confirmed cases in California and 3,204  deaths, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • 3,157 Californians are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 1,067 are in the ICU, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • 1,179,126 tests have been conducted as of May 14, according to the CA.gov.
  • A senior hotline has been set up to answer questions at 833-544-2374.

RELATED: CDC releases guidelines for reopening schools. What will the 'new normal' look like?

May 16

2020 graduation ceremonies held differently amidst pandemic

From live streamed commencements to a parade of cars commencement, schools are graduates are celebrating differently. To see how schools celebrated, click here.

City of San Diego reopens three lakes after COVID-19 related closures

As of Friday, Lake Miramar, Lake Murray and Lower Otay opened during regular business hours for jogging, cycling, fishing, and boating.

For a full list of the new protocols that will need to be followed, click here

San Diego to open additional COVID-19 test sites next week

n addition to the County’s site at SDCCU Stadium, state-run walk-up test sites will open at the Tubman-Chavez Center at 415 Euclid Avenue and at the San Diego County Assessor Office at 200 S. Magnolia Avenue in El Cajon.

The state-run sites open on Tuesday, May 19, and are in addition to state sites already operating in Escondido and Chula Vista. To make an appointment at any of the state-run locations, visit www.lhi.care/covidtesting or call (888) 634-1123.

Additionally, the County’s Live Well on Wheels Mobile Office tomorrow will once again offer COVID-19 testing at Euclid Health Center, located at 292 Euclid Ave. An appointment is required and can be set up by calling 2-1-1. The mobile test site will continue to operate at Euclid Health Center each Saturday for the foreseeable future.

For a full rundown on sites, click here

Petition launched to reopen boardwalk for popular rollerblader 'Slomo'

With local boardwalks closed due to COVID-19, SanDiegoVille created a petition to ask San Diego County and city officials to reopen the boardwalk for Slomo. For a full interview with Slomo and to see an interview with him, click here.

May 15

Judge orders Los Angeles to move thousands of homeless

Associated Press (AP) — A federal judge has ordered Los Angeles city and county to move thousands of homeless people who are living near freeways, saying their health is at risk from pollution and the coronavirus. 

Judge David O. Carter issued a preliminary injunction Friday requiring relocation of an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 people camping near freeway ramps and under overpasses and bridges. 

The order would take effect on May 22. Carter says those people are at risk from the coronavirus, lead and other pollutants, and from accidents and earthquakes.  

Will Congress help California? Governor's budget banks on it

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom has hung his hopes for avoiding drastic California budget cuts squarely on the federal government. His budget proposal Thursday warned of $14 billion in cuts to public education and other areas if Congress doesn't approve more coronavirus-related funding. 

The money may not come easily in a divided Congress, even with two Californians in top roles in the U.S. House. 

Newsom supports a bill by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California that provides $1 trillion in aid to state and local governments. Another Californian, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, opposes it.

California's budget cuts threaten environmental spending

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom's proposed budget cuts would cancel billions of dollars in climate change spending. The cuts have worried environmental advocates who see the state as a stopgap to the Trump administration's weakening of federal protections. 

Newsom's proposal would cancel $4.75 billion in borrowing to prepare for climate change disasters like floods, droughts and wildfires. It would eliminate a $250 billion payment into a program aimed at jump starting investment in technology to clean up private sector polluters. 

And it anticipates less money for programs to encourage businesses to convert to electric vehicles.  

Vitamin D deficiency linked to some COVID-19 deaths

Are COVID-19 deaths linked to deficiencies in vitamin D? Would taking a vitamin D supplement ward off COVID-19 or make it less serious? 

There is evidence to the idea that vitamin D can benefit some people's ability to fight any sickness -- including COVID-19. This benefit is almost exclusively seen by people who were previously deficient in vitamin D.

Read the full story.

Some answers to your commonly-asked masks questions

Many people have questions about when it's necessary to wear a mask/face covering, especially if you have a disability. Here are some common questions from News 8 viewers.

Is it safe to eat at a salad bar or buffet?

An experiment in Japan has gone viral. A San Diego doctor weighed in on how it's easier than you think to spread coronavirus over dinner. Read more here.

Doctor from Netflix's 'Pandemic' series working on COVID-19 medicine

The Bay Area scientist featured in the Netflix series 'Pandemic' said after conducting trials on hamsters, the medicine could be available by fall. You can read the full story here.

San Diego County expanding COVID-19 testing

San Diego is working towards its goal of testing 5,200 people countywide daily. 4,055 people were tested on Thursday, May 14, which represents the single highest day of testing countywide so far. As of Friday, 96,150 people have been tested for COVID-19 countywide so far.                                           

Dr. Wilma Wooten announced 132 new positives on Friday, as well as eight new deaths, which brings the death total to 208 countywide. Of those eight deaths, the patients ranged in age from 65 to 94. All had underlying health concerns. Earlier this week, Dr. Eric McDonald said the most common underlying health condition in people that die of COVID-19 is hypertension, both locally and nationally. You can watch the full briefing here.

Cal State San Marcos held a parade to celebrate graduates

Students at Cal State San Marcos celebrated with a parade that allowed for social distancing. Organizers say it was a unique way to honor the hard work graduates have put in over the last several years.

Graduates who RSVP’d were encouraged to put on their cap and gown, decorate their car, and drive the predetermined route as faculty and staff salute cheer for them.

University staff said around 700 graduates took part in the event.

For more details and coverage of the event, click here.

U.S. Airforce Squadron, the Thunderbirds, fly over San Diego to salute essential workers

In a show of national solidarity, the Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, have conducted a series of multi-city flyovers and flew over San Diego on Friday.

The 30-minute flight started at 12 p.m. in Chula Vista and worked north through the city of San Diego then up the coast to Carlsbad before finishing over Escondido.

To view chopper coverage of the flyover, click here

Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival postponed til 2021

Given the COVID-19 pandemic and California’s Public Health Order prohibiting large events and gatherings, the second Wonderfront Festival will have to wait until 2021.

The event, previously planned for November 2020 is now is planning for an even better festival in 2021 that would take Wonderfront to the next level.

May 14

Billions in cuts proposed as California revenue plunges

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing canceling $6.1 billion in planned spending increases from a variety of programs as part of next year's budget. 

He says the budget revision prioritizes education, health and safety, but there are still deep cuts to those programs. The budget also calls for 10% pay cuts for state employees, which the governor says includes him and his staff. Republican Sen. J

im Nielsen of Red Bluff says the budget relies too much on money California hopes to get from the federal government and doesn't include enough long-term efficiencies. 

Newsom plans to tap the state’s $16 billion rainy day fund over three years to soften the blow. 

San Diego to open three reservoirs this weekend for public recreation

The city of San Diego is preparing to reopen three of its reservoirs for public recreation, with the Miramar and Murray reservoirs opening Friday, followed by the Lower Otay Reservoir on Saturday.

With new protocols in place, the three reservoirs will be open during regular business hours for walking, jogging, cycling, fishing and boating. Normal fishing and boating fees will apply. More info here.

Californians having difficulty filing for unemployment

With so many people out of work in California due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it's nearly impossible to get in contact with the California Employment Development Department (EDD).  You can read the full report here.

San Diego County announces senior meal partnership, library reopenings, and 'aggressive' economic reopening plan in works

92,095 people have been tested total for coronavirus in San Diego County, with 3,998 people receiving a test on Wednesday. 5,391 people have tested positive for COVID-19 countywide. Dr. Eric McDonald said those numbers are people who have consistent symptoms and have officially tested positive for COVID-19, either during illness or shortly after death. 200 people have died. You can read the full report here.

USS Roosevelt sailor tests positive for COVID-19

A sailor recently cleared to return to duty on the USS Roosevelt has tested positive for COVID-19. The sailor was aboard the carrier, but has since been removed from the ship, according to CBS News.

An outbreak of the coronavirus led to the San Diego-based ship being taken out of service and docked in Guam for more than a month. Now, a sailor cleared to be brought on board, may have exposed other sailors and crew to the virus again.

Read the full story.

Governor Newsom looks to plug $54 billion budget hole

Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to reveal his plan Thursday at noon for plugging a $54.3 billion hole in the state budget.

California's revenues have plummeted since the state has been under a mandatory stay-at-home order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. More than 4.5 million people have filed for unemployment benefits in California since mid-March. You can watch the live stream, here.

May 13

Dental offices reopen with big changes due to COVID-19

Dentist offices have been closed to patients for several weeks for non-emergency procedures, but now that they're opening up, what will your next visit look like as many offices are asking their patients to wear masks.

"Every person that walks in the office must wear a mask. We’ll screen our staff and doctors,’ said Dr. Kami Hoss, CEO and co-founder of The Super Dentists, which has six offices throughout San Diego County.

Read the full story.

Newsom: As California reopens, best to stay close to home

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says it will defeat the purpose of letting some counties reopen more quickly if they start attracting visitors from elsewhere. Newsom says the state wants a “regional focus" on reopening. 

His remarks Wednesday come as the state has approved 17 counties to move faster than the state in easing stay-at-home orders. 

They are mostly rural counties in inland Northern California. Meanwhile in Southern California, four large counties struggling to meet the state's benchmarks for reopening sent a letter asking for a meeting with the governor.

San Diego, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties want to move more quickly than the state allows.  

Locked down neighbors let loose at 'Quaranchella' concerts

LOS ANGELES (AP) — With a bit of Beatles, a little Little Richard and a lot of Elton John, Adam Chester is bringing good vibes to his locked-down Los Angeles neighborhood. Normally, Chester is a surrogate Elton John, who sings and plays the rock superstar's parts at rehearsals. 

With that work on hold, Chester has been giving concerts to his neighbors from a safe social distance in front of his house. 

This past Saturday, Chester opened his show with a tribute to the late Little Richard, played a trio of John songs, and sang the Beatles “Hey Jude” with backup from his neighbors.  

California booze regulators seek swift sanctions amid virus

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s bar and restaurant regulators are seeking emergency powers to immediately crack down on what they call bad actors who are gaming the system by refusing to follow state rules intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

The new proposed regulations take a tougher tone even as the state relaxes rules for sit-down dining in select counties. The pending regulations would allow the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to immediately but temporarily suspend or limit licenses. Under current rules, businesses can remain open while they fight the sanctions. 

The California Restaurant Association did not immediately comment.

San Diego County says staying home has saved thousands of lives

88,097 people have been tested for COVID-19 in San Diego County, with over 3,500 people tested on Tuesday, May 12, alone. 5,278 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in San Diego County total. 6% of those cases have been admitted to the ICU. 

194 people have died of COVID-19 in San Diego County. The county announced five deaths and clarified that a death announced yesterday was actually a duplicate, according to Dr. Wilma Wooten. 

These five new deaths were people that ranged in age from 56 to 97. You can read the full story here.

San Diego Superior Court livestreaming proceedings during COVID-19 closures

The San Diego Superior Court began livestreaming criminal court proceedings Wednesday on its YouTube page in order to provide public access during the court's COVID-19-related closures.

While county courthouses remain shuttered to the public until at least May 26, criminal proceedings have been ongoing for defendants who remain in custody.

Read the full story.

Everyday California reopens kayak and board rentals

La Jolla-based ocean adventure and lifestyle company, Everyday California, announced Wednesday the reopening of their kayak and board rentals. As restrictions begin to lift on beaches and water activities. A full rundown on preventative measures and precautions for Everyday California's rentals can be found here.

South Bay leaders push for new COVID-19 testing due to increase cases

The South Bay is being hit exponentially hard, that's why county leaders are taking several new steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis held a media briefing, along with other South Bay leaders, Wednesday to share how symptomatic and asymptomatic residents of National City can get tested, what resources are in the pipeline, and what local agencies are doing to strengthen T3 efforts (testing, tracking and treatment).

Read the full story.


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.  

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. 

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:  

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. 

RELATED: VERIFY: Smokers are not at less risk from coronavirus

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