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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: April 12 - 14 (midday), 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from April 12 - 14 (midday), 2020

SAN DIEGO — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from April 12 - 14 (midday), 2020. Click here for real-time updates for April 14, 2020 and on.  

Key facts in San Diego:

Key facts in California:

  • California governor issued a statewide stay at home order on March 19.
  • There are 23,338 confirmed cases in California and 758 deaths, according to the California Department of Public Health.
  • Approximately 215,400 tests had been conducted. At least 202,208 results have been received and another 13,200 are pending as of April 13, according to the California Department of Public Health.
  • 3,124 Californians have been hospitalized, and 1,177 are in the ICU, according to the California Department of Public Health.
  • A senior hotline has been set up to answer questions at 833-544-2374.

April 14

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announces $1.08 billion to California airports in response to COVID-19 

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced Tuesday the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award $1.08 billion in airport aid to 188 airports in California to help respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency. View a list of California airports receiving funding on an interactive map, along with funding for all U.S. airports on FAA’s website. 

Chula Vista community thanks first responders

On Tuesday morning, officers were given greeting cards along with candy and other sweets to thank them for their service. For the full story, click here.

Governor Newsom reveals roadmap for easing COVID-19 stay-at-home orders to reopen California

Governor Gavin Newsom addressed Californians Tuesday and laid out parameters and tools needed before the state would modify California’s statewide stay-at-home orders and other broad COVID-19 interventions.  

Newsom revealed a roadmap, that includes six key indicators, for gradually releasing California from the coronavirus restrictions that have kept 40 million residents indoors for much of the last month.

Read the full story here.

April 13

Drive-thru COVID-19 antibody test site pops up in Cardiff-by-the-Sea

A drive-thru COVID-19 testing site now is operating in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, offering finger-stick antibody testing and results while you wait.

The site is offering both nasal-swab testing that takes about three days to get test results, as well as the finger-stick antibody blood test with results on the spot.

Read the full story here.

San Diego fisherman wants to know why lakes are closed

The coronavirus has put a lot of restrictions on our daily lives from sheltering in place to social distancing. Fishermen and women that use the lakes in San Diego County said they have always practiced social distancing.   

Gilbert said social distancing is part of fishing and doesn't understand why the lakes were so abruptly shut down.

Gilbert started a petition to get some answers why and the petition is getting traction with nearly 1,500 signatures as of Monday night.

Read the full story here.

Californians on food stamps might get benefit boost in April, May

Californians on food stamps might be seeing some extra funds on their EBT card pretty soon, according to the California Association of Food Banks. You can read the full story here.

Advocates worry San Diego homeless communities aren't getting the resources they need

Community Advocates for Just and Moral Governance sent a demand to cease and desist letter to city leaders urging them to stop the police sweeps and tickets to the homeless for quality of life offenses. You can read the full story here.

Caltrans permitting overweight trucks to deliver emergency COVID-19 supplies

Caltrans announced Monday it is issuing special permits authorizing "overweight" trucks to deliver emergency COVID-19 supplies in Southern California and across the state.

"Authorizing these special exceptions clears a path for greater volumes of material vital in the fight against COVID-19," Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin said. "Emergency medical supplies and equipment, groceries, perishable items, water and countless other essential items will now reach their destinations more rapidly than they did before, at a time when people need them most."

The permits increase the maximum allowable gross vehicle weight from 80,000 to 88,000 pounds and will be valid until further notice. You can read the full story here.

7 crewmembers of USNS Mercy test positive for COVID-19, isolated off ship

The Navy has confirmed that seven crewmembers who were on board the USNS Mercy in Los Angeles have tested positive for COVID-19 and are being isolated off the ship. 

The ship was serving as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients admitted to shore-based hospitals. On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new way the USNS Mercy will be used. Newsom said the ship will prioritize seniors from nursing homes that are not infected with COVID-19. He said the ship will be used to get the healthy people away from those who are infected trying to reduce hot spots.

A public affairs officer issued the following statement on the crewmember outbreak saying it won't affect the ship's ability to receive patients.

“Seven Medical Treatment Facility crewmembers on board USNS Mercy have tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently isolated off the ship. All who were considered to have been in close contact with those crewmembers remain in quarantine off the ship and have tested negative for COVID-19 with the exception of one crewmember who was the fifth confirmed positive case. The ship is following protocols and taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of all crewmembers and patients on board.”

The hospital ship departed from Naval Station San Diego last month to help fight the spread of COVID-19.  

See here for the full story.

Nearly 50 gun violence restraining orders served in San Diego since beginning of March

The San Diego City Attorney's Office announced Monday that it has obtained nearly 50 gun violence restraining orders since the beginning of March against people who posed a threat to themselves or others.

The GVRO orders, which allow police to remove firearms from people suspected of posing a risk of violence and prevent the lawful purchase of new firearms, have been served against more than 300 individuals since the program's inception in December 2017, with more than 500 firearms removed.

Since COVID-19 related stay-at-home orders took effect, the city attorney's office expressed concerns of domestic abuse and gun violence among residents confined to the close quarters of their homes. 

See full report here.

2nd crew begins work at Carlsbad desalination plant amid COVID-19 pandemic

A 10-person crew is in the midst of a three-week shelter-in-place shift at the Claude "Bud" Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, relieving an initial crew that self-quarantined on site for three weeks to continue producing clean drinking water for county residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting March 19, the first crew of 10 "mission-critical employees" was stationed at the plant to continue operations, working two 12-hour shifts each day and sleeping in RVs in the plant parking lot, according to Poseidon Water, which manages the plant. Food and other supplies were delivered on a daily basis.

The crew was relieved last Thursday and the current crew will remain at the plant until April 30. 

See full story here.

San Diego County officials give coronavirus update, announce 2 more deaths in county

The COVID-19 death toll in San Diego County neared four dozen Monday, with two new fatalities reported, raising the county total to 47. Health officials announced 43 new cases of the virus, lifting the total to 1,847.

See the full report here.

UCSD Health Researchers empirically tie Loss of senses to COVID-19

Researchers at UC San Diego Health announced today the first empirical findings that strongly associate the temporary loss of smell and taste with COVID-19.

See the full story here.

Newsom releases newest numbers and shares new $42 million effort to help vulnerable children on welfare or in foster care. 

According to Governor Newsom, 3,015 Calfiornians are in the hospital as of Monday. 22,348 Californians have tested positive for COVID-19. 687 people have died from COVID-19 statewide. You can read the full story here.

San Diego County tax collector offers penalty cancellations ruring COVID-19 pandemic

San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister announced Monday his office will consider penalty cancellation requests from those directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

See the full story here.

USS Theodore Roosevelt sailor dies from COVID-19 complications

A sailor assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) has died from complications of a COVID-19 infection, the Navy announced on Monday. 

See the full story here.

Mayor Faulconer directs flags to half-staff on San Diego municipal properties to honor COVID-19 victims

In honor of COVID-19 victims and in solidarity with other parts of the nation that have suffered the heaviest loss of life, Mayor Faulconer has directed all City-operated buildings and facilities to fly flags at half-staff Monday to pay tribute to every person who has lost their life to the coronavirus. For updates on City of San Diego services, and steps the public can take to help reduce the spread of the disease, click here.

Palomar Health nurses and health care workers speak out on layoffs

Palomar Health registered nurses, health care workers, members of the California Nurses Association and Caregivers, and Healthcare Employees Union held a public action in response to layoffs outside the hospital in Poway Monday.

Health care workers said they are speaking out about recent layoffs of more than 220 employees, lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), and other protections for frontline health care workers.

See the full story here.

April 12

No new coronavirus deaths reported Sunday in San Diego

San Diego county health and elected officials did not hold their daily COVID-19 briefing Sunday due to the Easter holiday. However, the county health and human services agency did release new data on the local coronavirus situation. No new deaths were reported but cases grew by 43 making for a total of 1,804 confirmed cases in the county. 

Kelly Hessedal reports on the latest numbers:

Farmers back to business with San Diego farmers markets now considered essential

Some San Diego farmers markets are re-opening but with new coronavirus-related restrictions. Farmers are pleased that the markets are now considered essential in the same way grocery stores are as this gives them back their livelihood.

See the full story here.

San Diego Easter services go online, Riverside County eases restrictions amid coronavirus pandemic

On Sunday, many churches around San Diego County held virtual services, relying on streamlining technology to reach churchgoers who were asked to stay home. The unique Easter Sunday came after San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer urged San Diegans to celebrate Easter and Passover from home to prevent further spread of COVID-19. However, in Riverside County restrictions for churches were loosened after one church fought to have a drive-in service.

See the full story here.

News 8 and San Diego celebrate a unique Easter 2020

Around the world, and in San Diego, many celebrated an Easter Sunday like no other while isolated at home amid the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.  

All around San Diego County our News 8 reporters, anchors, and other staff members celebrated and spread cheer while adhering to guidance from health officials. Here's a look at how some of the News 8 family spent Easter Sunday along with signs of the holiday spotted around San Diego: 

See full story here. 

Burning Man canceled as Nevada’s coronavirus death toll tops 100

The annual Burning Man festival that takes place each year in the northern Nevada desert has been canceled, organizers announced Friday. Just a day later health officials reported 2,700 COVID-19 cases in the state with 107 deaths; by Sunday those numbers had grown to over 2,800 positive coronavirus cases and 112 deaths.

Read full story here.

April 11

San Diego DJ spinning music in support of health care workers

You’ve probably have seen this happening around the country: people coming together to salute health care workers on the frontlines of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. In New York, there’s a neighborhood that applauds every night at 7 p.m. during health workers’ shift change. In Georgia, a man has been playing his bagpipes for medical heroes. And in San Diego, there's a downtown DJ spinning solidarity.  

Navy says USS Theodore Roosevelt has 550 COVID-19 cases


The Navy gave an update on the numbers of COVID positive cases onboard the USS Teddy Roosevelt. For a full rundown on what was said in the update, click here

Latest San Diego COVID-19 numbers

At Saturday's news conference the county updated their numbers. The county has 1,761 total positive cases and 45 deaths. The county has performed 24,430 tests on San Diegans. 

Half of all county's 44 COVID-19 deaths from congregate living facilities

According to the County of San Diego, 23 hospitals in the region have administered 23,353 COVID-19 tests, around 93% of which have returned negative. For a full rundown on the numbers and how much PPE has been given out, click here.

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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. 

BACKGROUND  

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

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

Know how it spreads 

  • There is no vaccine  

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

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

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

Protect yourself 

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

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

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick 

  • Put distance between yourselves and others 

Protect others 

  • Stay home when you are sick 

  • Wear a facemask if you are sick 

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

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

  • Immediately wash your hands after coughing and sneezing  

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

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

The California Department of Public Health has issued guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.  

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

While officials say these face coverings are not a substitute for practices like social distancing and handwashing, there is evidence to suggest that the use of cloth face coverings by the public during a pandemic could help reduce disease transmission. Officials do not recommend the public use N-95 or surgical masks which are needed by health care workers and first responders.