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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: March 26 - 28, 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego, CA from March 26 - 28, 2020

SAN DIEGO — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from March 26 - 28, 2020.  Click here for real-time updates for March 29, 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 488 confirmed cases in San Diego County and seven 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 4,643 confirmed cases in California and there have been 101 deaths in the state from COVID-19.

March 28

5 p.m.

Another 71 positive cases were reported in San Diego on Saturday bringing the total number of currently infected to 488. The county also reported one more death, a man in his 80's who had underlying health issues. 

Age Groups 

  • 0-9 years - 3
  • 10-19 years - 5
  • 20-29 years - 102
  • 30-39 years - 118
  • 40-49 years - 85
  • 50-59 years - 74
  • 60-69 years - 36
  • 70-79 years - 38
  • 80+ years - 25
  • Age Unknown - 2


  • Female - 206
  • Male - 280

Unknown - 2

Hospitalizations - 96

Intensive Care- 42

Deaths - 7

Credit: KFMB

2:30 p.m.

San Diego officials held their daily health briefing. Supervisor Nathan Fletcher reported that the county has extended the public health order from March 31 to "until further notice." He went on to say that "we are going to be in this posture for a while." When asked about the options on the table to stop the spread of the virus, Dr. Nick Yphantides said that curfews are not in place at the moment, but the could certainly be an option. The county also introduced a new website called Live Well @ Home which will have resources to keep kids of all ages busy and engaged during this time stuck at home. Watch the briefing here

2 p.m.

California released its newest numbers on Saturday. 

4,643 – Positive cases
101 – Deaths (including one non-California resident)

  • 923 – Community-acquired cases
  • 3,720 – Cases acquired through person-to-person transmission, travel (including cruise ship passengers), repatriation, or under investigation.
    • This includes 73 health care workers.

Ages of all confirmed positive cases:

  • Age 0-17: 54 cases
  • Age 18-49: 2,368 cases
  • Age 50-64: 1,184 cases
  • Age 65+: 1,016 cases
  • Unknown: 21 cases

Gender of all confirmed positive cases:

  • Female: 2,057 cases
  • Male: 2,536 cases
  • Non-binary: 0 cases
  • Unknown: 50 cases

1 p.m.

Governor Newsom is addressed COVID-19 in California as well as toured the Bloom Energy site. The company has transformed its production facility to quickly refurbish life-saving ventilators that the state had held in storage. During his press conference, the governor said ICU bed occupancy went up 105% from Friday to Saturday. He stressed the importance of paying attention to the stay at home order as officials expect the numbers of infected to get worse over the next few weeks. Watch the press conference on demand.

11:00 a.m.

Multiple San Diego Casinos including Barona and Viejas have extended their closures due to COVID-19. Barona said their closure would extend to April 19 while Viejas did not release a date they expect to be open.

March 27

9:30 p.m.

With many residents confined by stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office said Friday that resources remain available for domestic violence victims, who may be at increased risk while self-quarantined. Find the resources here.

On Friday, nurses at UC San Diego Hillcrest Medical Center took action and spoke out about the grim reality they're facing on the ground. Read the story here

California is beginning to see the surge of coronavirus cases that threatens to overwhelm hospitals. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday said California's cases grew 26% in day. Read the full story here.

Leaders of San Diego-area biotech companies came together Friday to discuss their efforts to develop vaccines for the coronavirus with a push toward clinical trials in the race to stop the virus. Read the story here.

7:00 p.m.

The FBI is putting out a public warning about fraudulent web sites and telephone calls related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“They’re praying upon people's fears associated with a very real and serious disease,” said Todd Hemmen, assistant special agent in charge of the San Diego FBI office. 

You can read more about the scams to look out for here.

6:10 p.m. 

Another 76 COVID-19 cases were reported Friday in San Diego County, bringing the total to 417. County health officials also reported two more deaths of county residents, a man in his mid-50s and a man in his early 80s. 

Age Groups 

  • 0-9 years - 3
  • 10-19 years - 4
  • 20-29 years - 84
  • 30-39 years - 106
  • 40-49 years - 73
  • 50-59 years - 65
  • 60-69 years - 31
  • 70-79 years - 29
  • 80+ years - 20
  • Age Unknown - 2


  • Female - 166
  • Male - 249

Unknown - 2

Hospitalizations - 85

Intensive Care- 38

Deaths - 6 

3:30 p.m.

Chairman Greg Cox, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, Dr. Wilma Wooten, and Dr. Eric McDonald gave an update on COVID-19 in San Diego County at 2:30 p.m. You can watch it all here.

Wooten announced the deaths of a male in their 50's and a male in their 80's. Additionally, a San Diego County resident described as a "young adult" died in Riverside County. McDonald announced the death of a cruise ship passenger in their 80's, but who did not live in San Diego County. 

“We’re only 19 days into this,” said Cox. “We are merely at the doorstep. It’s up to us how soon this ends."

Wooten said 20% of San Diego County patients have been hospitalized.  Wooten also added that some people affiliated with a "residential living facility" in El Cajon have tested positive for COVID-19. 

According to Fletcher, 111,000 surgical masks have been delivered to San Diego County. In terms of motel rooms, 85 of  the 1,810 motel rooms that the county reserved are occupied. 154 of the 216 rooms designated for homeless people are occupied. Fletcher said they expect to add 100 more rooms. 

The county has launched a new Live Well At Home website to promote health.

2:12 p.m.

Governor Newsom also announced at the aforementioned press conference that California now has a statewide moratorium on residential evictions for those impacted by COVID-19. This will be in place until at least the end of May.

"No one should lose their home because of COVID-19," said Newsom.

2:00 p.m.

The USNS Mercy arrived in Los Angeles on Friday, March 27 to support the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts. The ship left San Diego on Monday. 

Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti visited the ship on Friday. You can watch the entire conference here.

While in Los Angeles, the ship will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients. The USNS Mercy is “a relief valve” for local hospitals. They goal is not to help COVID-19 patients, but rather to lighten the load of hospitals so those hospitals can treat COVID-19 patients.  For example, someone may be treated on board if they have pneumonia or a broken leg.  

“This will be COVID-19-free bubble,” said Garcetti. “This is a ship that is full of angels in this city of angels.” 

Garcetti said health officials predict that LA is five days behind NYC in terms of cases.

“Doctors will have to make excruciating decisions,” said Garcetti.  

Newsom said they’re temporarily licensing 4th-year medical students. Additionally, Over 2,000 retired medical professionals have enlisted to help in LA alone.

“This time for partnership, not partisanship,” said Newsom.

Read the entire story here.

12:45 p.m.

District Attorney Summer Stephan is reminding the public of resources available to victims of domestic violence.

“We acknowledge the necessity of Governor Newsom’s order, but want to be sure we provide a lifeline to those who may be at increased risk of violence at the hands of an intimate partner,” DA Summer Stephan said. “Additional stressors such as losing a job and kids at home due to school closures can be triggers for domestic violence. We want people who are seeing warning signs of abuse or who are being abused to know that we stand ready to help them and that they shouldn’t suffer in silence.”

12 p.m.

The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation announced Friday that the temporary closure of Sycuan Casino Resort will be extended until further notice as there are too many unknowns to confidently provide a date. For more information and to stay up-to-date about Sycuan Casino Resort, click here.

11:30 a.m.

News 8's Shannon Handy sat down with the first person diagnosed with coronavirus at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. 56-year-old Paul Martinez said the virus made him the sickest he has ever been. Click here to see what Martinez did to thank the healthcare workers at Palomar. 

11 a.m.

Governor Gavin Newsom issued the following statement on the federal supplemental stimulus bill passed Friday:

“The stimulus bill passed today will provide critical support for California to fight COVID-19 and strengthen our hospitals and health care system. It means an additional $600 a week in Unemployment Insurance for the many Californians who have already lost jobs and the many more who will during this crisis, provides emergency loans and grants to help small businesses and non-profits keep people employed, and it provides direct aid to state and local governments so that we can respond to this emergency and aid communities and families during this time.

“States and local governments are on the front lines of fighting this pandemic -- scaling up the capacity of our health system, supporting first responders, providing food aid, and supporting workers as they seek to make ends meet amid massive job losses. State and local governments will need additional and flexible funding to ensure they can continue responding to this crisis and continue critical services. California businesses and residents will also need additional federal support to weather this economic storm. California will work closely with our federal partners for more help to ensure that Californians can quickly recover from the economic, health, and humanitarian impacts from COVID-19.”

See full report here.

10 a.m.

LEGOLAND California will extend the closure of its theme park, water park, SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Hotels until April 15, 2020. 

"The health and safety of our guests and our staff remains our top priority and we’ll continue to follow the safety measures recommended within the federal, state and CDC guidelines." For more information, click here.

9:45 a.m.

Jamul Casino will extend its coronavirus-related closure for another two weeks, after initially planning to reopen at the end of the month. The casino is now slated to reopen April 12, following its closure last week in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

9 a.m.

On Friday morning, the USNS Mercy hospital ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles. The U.S. Navy ship will increase California’s hospital capacity during the COVID-19 outbreak.

6 a.m.

Emerald Oil in La Mesa, located at 5600 Baltimore Drive, announced Friday, March 27, that they will be launching a giveback campaign for first responders. Contact the gas station for further details.

5 a.m.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on Thursday announced it would temporarily close field offices statewide beginning March 27 and reopen, virtually, on April 2.

All in-office appointments have been canceled. 

To continue processing critical transactions, the DMV said it was moving essential services online starting next week. 

See full report here

March 26

9:15 p.m. 

Feeding San Diego announced it is expanding its food distribution efforts in east San Diego County due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The organization said it is launching a weekly-drive thru food distribution in Ramona, increasing food supplies at its 10 Feeding East County rural mobile pantry distributions and adding two additional distributions starting Monday in Campo and Jacumba.

See full report here.

9:01 p.m.

Andrea Cardenas, a candidate for the Chula Vista City Council on Thursday announced she has tested positive for COVID-19. She made the announcement on her Facebook page. 

"Before anything else, I want to say that I am currently at home and recovering fairly well. Neither the doctors or myself foresee any complications so I’m staying cautiously optimistic," she wrote in her post. 

The full Facebook post can be read here

7:10 p.m.

A nurse who works at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, March 25th. The nurse has been isolated at home since March 22nd after feeling ill. 

San Diego County Sheriff's Department Detention Services Bureau has identified all inmates and staff who may have come into close contact with this nurse. Clinical face to face interactions between this nurse and inmates were done with the nurse wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Nine employees are considered at a low exposure risk. As of March 26th, and out of an abundance of caution, these employees were told to self-quarantine at home. 

Out of the more than 4,300 Sheriff's Department employees, 31 have reported flu-like symptoms and have self-quarantined. 

In addition to the nurse, two others have undergone testing under orders of their medical provider. Those two results are pending. 

To date, no inmate has tested positive for COVID-19 in San Diego County Jails.

6 p.m.

Scientists at Scripps Research and UC San Diego are looking for COVID-19 survivors to help develop a treatment for the deadly illness.

They want to collect antibodies from the blood of patients who are one to two months into recovery.

The antibodies can be used to produce an antibody drug as a treatment, as well as a coronavirus vaccine down the road.

See our full report here.

5:45 p.m.

The union that represents Navy childcare workers has demanded Child and Youth Programs enforce Navy policies intended to stop the spread of coronavirus.

American Federation of Government Employees Local 1235 cited several examples that could put workers and children at risk.

“Child and Youth Programs keeps putting out measures but unfortunately they’re not following through with those measures,” said Melissa Tovar, President of AFGE Local 1235.

See Brandon Lewis's full report here

5:30 p.m.

Ages of all confirmed positive cases in San Diego County (341 cases total):

  • Age 0-9: 3 cases
  • Age 10-19: 3 cases
  • Age 20-29: 66 cases
  • Age 30-39: 89 cases
  • Age 40-49 61 cases
  • Age 50-59 53 cases
  • Age 60-69 26 cases
  • Age 70-70 25 cases
  • Age 80 and older: 14 cases
  • Unknown: 1 case

Gender of all confirmed positive cases:

  • Female: 134 cases
  •  Male: 207 cases
  • Unknown: 0 cases

69 people have been hospitalized and 31 people are in intensive care. Three people have died so far in San Diego County (two people in their 70's and one person in their 80's). 

5:00 p.m.

In less than two weeks, San Diegans have donated millions of dollars to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. Now, we're starting to see how some of that money is being used. The COVID-19 Community Response Fund has more than $6 million in it. Some of that money helped make a food giveaway possible on Thursday. 

4:30 p.m.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer says current estimates indicate the city will lose $26 million in sales tax revenue and $83 million in tourism tax revenue in the next four months for a total of $109 million in losses estimated through June 30 when the city's fiscal year ends. He said the numbers change by the day and sometimes by the hour but he wanted to be upfront with San Diegans on the fiscal impact of the virus. 

Faulconer also announced that a San Diego Lifeguard has tested positive for COVID-19. He reminded locals that with the weekend coming up, everyone needs to adhere to the stay-at-home order. 

"This is a reminder why we need everyone to stay at home," Faulconer said. "Thi is one of the reasons access has been closed to beaches and parks. You can help prevent the spread of this virus among our public safety professionals that keep you and your families and our communities safe." 

See full report here.

2:45 p.m.

Gun stores can remain open for business in San Diego County during the coronavirus crisis -- subject to restrictions -- despite California's far-reaching limits on retail operations amid the pandemic, Sheriff Bill Gore said Thursday.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom decided that he would defer to the state's sheriffs "on whether gun stores are essential businesses that should remain open under his (COVID-19-related) executive order," Gore announced in a prepared statement released this afternoon.

See full story here.

2:30 p.m.

Chairman Greg Cox, County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, Dr. Nick Yphantides, and Dr. Patrick Frias of Rady Children’s Hospital gave an update on COVID-19 in San Diego County. You can watch the entire conference here.

“There is a human element,” said Yphantides. “We now have what I would call ‘substantial transmission.'” 

“With deep remorse and regret” the county confirmed its third death, a 87-year-old woman. She was the 59th Californian to die of COVID-19. 

UCSD is converting an empty dorm for people who can’t go home but don’t need to be in hospital, according to Fletcher.

“We are still in the eye of that storm,” said Yphantides, who added that healthcare systems are evaluating their readiness based on three factors: staff, structure, stuff.

The county is unaware of the specific number of healthcare workers that have tested positive. Officials don’t know that exact number because the county's data is not sorted by occupational categories.

Sheriff Bill Gore hasn’t issued any fines for social distancing yet, according to Fletcher. 

Medical Reserve Corps is asking for retired military to help. 

2:15 p.m.

The San Diego Padres held an Opening Day ceremony at Petco Park, despite the coronavirus pandemic postponing what was supposed to be the first game of the 2020 Major League Baseball season.

Thursday afternoon was slated to mark the Padres' Opening Day game versus the Colorado Rockies.

Instead, the Padres featured a rendition of "God Bless America" at the game's start time of 1:10 p.m. "as a symbol of solidarity with our resilient country and all of you during this time of crisis," according to a letter tweeted Thursday and signed by Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler and Padres general partner Peter Seidler.

See our full report here

2:00 p.m.

The quaint mountain town, Julian, California, thrives on tourism, from its famous apple pies to its humble shops along Main street, Julian is a popular destination from out of towners. But with many of the stores and restaurants closed down, tourists being asked to postpone their visit.

1:15 p.m.

The latest numbers released by the California Department of Health show a surge in cases of over 450 since Wednesday with 12 additional deaths. The cases break down as follows: 

3,006 – Positive cases

65 – Deaths (including one non-California resident)

  • 886 – Community-acquired cases
  • 2,120 – Cases acquired through person-to-person transmission, travel (including cruise ship passengers), repatriation, or under investigation. This includes 42 health care workers.

Ages of all confirmed positive cases:

  • Age 0-17: 37 cases
  • Age 18-49: 1,505 cases
  • Age 50-64: 764 cases
  • Age 65+: 678 cases
  • Unknown: 22 cases

Gender of all confirmed positive cases:

  • Female: 1,309 cases
  •  Male: 1,665 cases
  • Unknown: 32 cases

RELATED: Hotel del Coronado temporarily suspends operations due to impact of coronavirus

RELATED: COVID-19 projections show San Diego county running out of hospital beds

12 p.m.

The San Diego City Attorney's Office Thursday urged families with guns in the home to practice proper firearm safety while self- quarantining to keep the weapons out of the hands of children.

With stay-at-home orders issued at the state and local levels, and schools closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, City Attorney Mara Elliott's office said gun safety is paramount.

"When you have guns and children in the home and do not practice safe storage, you are increasing the risk that someone will be accidentally shot," Elliott said. "Children are very resourceful when it comes to locating things their parents thought they'd never find. When they find a gun, it often leads to tragedy."

11:50 a.m.

To commemorate what should have been Opening Day for Major League Baseball, the San Diego Padres have teamed up with Phil’s BBQ to provide lunch for many healthcare workers in the county. Some of them include UCSD Healthcare and San Diego Blood Bank employees and volunteers. All of these people are on the front lines fighting the coronavirus. In addition, the Padres will be playing “God Bless America” in front of an empty Petco Park as a symbol of solidarity with our resilient country and all of its citizens in this time of crisis.

11 a.m.

San Diego Zoo Global announced the launch of an education program Thursday to keep parents, teachers and zoo fans connected to their favorite animals through free online content, entertainment and educational tools.

The #WereHereTogether program allows visitors to the site to check in on animals and receive daily updates from livestreaming wildlife cameras as coronavirus prevents in-person visits.

6 a.m.

Rancho Santa Fe resident John Cox, who challenged then Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in the 2018 governor's race, has tested positive for COVID-19. The 2018 Republican gubernatorial candidate made the announcement on social media Wednesday.

"Last week after feeling ill with mild flu-like symptoms, and out of the abundance of caution because my wife is immuno-supressed due to a chronic condition, my physician tested me for COVID-19," Cox said. "I tested positive and we have been following doctors orders at home and the quarantine protocols regarding this disease."

Cox, a 64-year-old Illinois transplant, said his symptoms were relatively mild and he was slowly feeling better.

5 a.m.

News 8's Chief Photojournalist Kenny McGregor captured an empty San Diego as residents are asked to stay home in order to slow the rate of spread of the coronavirus.

View all coverage of coronavirus / COVID-19 

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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