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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: May 5 - 7 (midday), 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from May 5 - 7 (midday), 2020

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from May 5 - 7 (midday), 2020. Click here for real-time updates for May 7, 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 58,815 confirmed cases in California and 2,412 deaths, according to the CA Department of Public Health. 
  • 3,334 Californians are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 1,140 are in the ICU, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • 809,036 tests have been conducted as of May 5, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • A senior hotline has been set up to answer questions at 833-544-2374.

May 7

DMV reopening offices, including San Diego, San Marcos locations

The California Department of Motor Vehicles will reopen 25 of its field offices Friday, including San Diego and San Marcos locations, to assist customers with appointments and "transactions that require an in-person visit to a field office."

The offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except on Wednesdays, when offices will open at 9 a.m.

Read full story here.

Apple awards $10 million to San Diego area company for COVID-19 response 

Apple is awarding San Diego (Murietta)-based COPAN Diagnostics $10 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to rapidly accelerate their supply of sample collection kits for Covid-19 tests for hospitals across the US. COPAN expects to add more than 50 new employees to support this effort.

COPAN is a global player in the field of specimen collection and preservation for infectious disease diagnostics. The company has been in California for 25 years and currently employs 100 people; with this effort, they expect to add more than 50 new employees in the US.

No customers inside when San Diego businesses reopen

As more San Diego County businesses prepare to reopen, it is important to remember that only curbside pick-up will be allowed, and no customers should be inside the premises.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to announce modifications to his order later this week and allow more businesses to safely open.

Read the full story.

San Diegans urged to stay home and stay cool during heat warning

Residents are reminded to avoid activities that may cause overheating due to high temperatures this week in San Diego’s valleys and deserts.

“With hot weather comes huge risks for many San Diegans, especially our seniors and the disabled,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents much of East County. “In light of the current stay-at-home orders, it’s critical that we are in contact with family, friends and neighbors and make sure they are doing all they can to stay cool.”

Read the full story.

May 6

Report: San Diego County unemployment numbers pass Great Depression Levels

The San Diego region's estimated unemployment rate has risen to 26.8% amid the coronavirus pandemic, a high not seen since the Great Depression, according to a report released Wednesday by the San Diego Association of Governments.

The report was prepared with data from April 18-25, before Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an order to open some retail, manufacturing and logistics businesses this Friday. 

Read the full story.

California to get $247M refund as masks face delivery delay

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will get a $247 million refund because of delayed delivery of protective masks it ordered under a deal with a Chinese manufacturer. A state spokesman said Wednesday that the N95 respirator masks failed to meet an April 30 deadline for U.S. federal certification. 

The state disclosed the refund when it released the nearly $1 billion contract with BYD, a Chinese-based electric vehicle company now making masks. Tens of millions of masks were set to arrive in California this month. 

The company now has until May 31 to get certification and must refund the rest of the state's up-front payment if it fails to meet that deadline.

Reopening plan has big changes for California restaurants

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California restaurants have drafted a plan they hope will guide the mostly idled industry's reopening. 

The recommendations obtained by The Associated Press envision a changed world within dining rooms, as an industry built on face-to-face contact looks for ways to safely conduct business and avoid spreading the coronavirus. 

The plan from the California Restaurant Association will be submitted to Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday. It suggests servers wear masks, recommends eliminating buffets and salad bars, and calls for far more cleaning. 

The association hopes to avoid a requirement that customers have their temperature taken and the number of tables be dramatically limited.  

Mall reopens as rural California counties defy virus order

YUBA CITY, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds of shoppers — many not wearing masks — streamed into the first California mall to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, prompting a warning from the local public health director. Doors opened Wednesday at Yuba Sutter Mall. 

It's in rural Sutter County, which along with adjacent Yuba County have defied the governor by allowing many businesses to reopen. 

Hours after the mall opened, the county health officer sent a letter to businesses saying it had become clear that some weren't following rules that she issued requiring masks and social distancing. 

She urged compliance and warned failure to follow the rules could bring a return of the virus and stricter regulations.  

Study says new strain of coronavirus is more contagious

Scientists have published a new study that has identified a new strain of the coronavirus that appears to be more contagious than the earlier versions. The study says this new strain appeared in Europe before migrating to the U.S. East Coast and could have a serious impact on developing a vaccine. 

The scientists believe a new strain of the original coronavirus in China is now dominant across the world. They said it's more contagious than the early versions and may make people more susceptible to a second infection. The research finds it appeared in February in Europe. It stated Italy was one of the first countries to see the new virus then the state of Washington was the first state in the U.S. to get hit with the original strain by late February, and a mother later, the mutated strain dominated. 

Click here for the full story.

Airlines reduce service to San Diego

San Diego International Airport saw a 95% reduction of people passing through its terminals in April compared to a year ago as people avoid unnecessary travel. Airlines have responded by swiftly cutting the number of flights and cities served. 

The airport has begun consolidating operations to reduce costs and consolidate demand. Several gates are blocked off in both terminals and about half of the security checkpoints are closed.

Hawaiian Airlines was the first to apply to end service to San Diego. Allegiant Air, Sun Country and JetBlue soon followed citing a steep decrease in demand.

Click here for the full story.

1st COVID-19 related death of Otay Mesa Detention Center detainee confirmed

The first COVID-19 related death of an asylum seeker detained at the Otay Mesa Detention Center has been confirmed, according to California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San DiegoThe death was later confirmed by Dr. Eric McDonald, M.D., M.P.H., Medical Director, San Diego County Epidemiology and Immunization Branch during the county’s COVID-19 briefing.  

Two recent lawsuits against the detention center by the ACLU San Diego Chapter and other civil rights organizations said an outbreak of novel coronavirus cases at the facility was not only among detainees but had affected ICE agents, healthcare workers, and staff of CoreCivicthe private company that runs the facility.   

Dr. McDonald said the man who died Wednesday morning was 57 years old and had been hospitalized since late April. McDonald said the center's outbreak is the largest one to date in the county.  

Click here for the full story.

San Diego mayor highlights in-home caregivers, invites seniors to join check-in program

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer highlighted nurses and in-home caregivers at a briefing Wednesday. Faulconer also outlined resources for seniors who are one of the groups most vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. 

In honor of National Nurses Day, Faulconer opened the briefing by thanking nurses in San Diego for their life-saving work especially in the time of COVID-19. 

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County announces new COVID-19 deaths

Dr. Wilma Wooten announced 159 new positive cases of coronavirus, so 4,319 people have tested positive total in San Diego County. 363 people are in the hospital countywide as of Wednesday. 158 people have died. The newly-announced deaths were people ranging in age from their 40's to their 80's, according to Wooten. You can watch the county's full Wednesday briefing here.

Governor Newsom signs executive orders expanding worker's comp, putting off property tax late fees

The governor discussed two new executive orders, as well as a new website to help find coronavirus testing sites in California, on Wednesday. You can watch his full briefing here.

Carlsbad company's rapid sequencing technology identified COVID-19 strains

A Los Angeles hospital was recently able to rule out on-site COVID-19 transmission between virus patients and infected health care workers through the use of Carlsbad-based Thermo Fisher Scientific's next-generation sequencing technology, the company said Wednesday.

Thermo Fisher says its Ion AmpliSeq SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel provides results in about 24 hours, and can rapidly identify which strain of the virus is present, helping medical professionals track its spread and contain potential hot spots.

Click here for the full story.

'We need to get back to work': San Diego leaders urge county government to open more businesses

Just a day after the county voted to approve a guideline for some businesses to reopen, a handful of local leaders asked the state for even more types of businesses to get back to work.

The group on Wednesday included El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones, Phil Pace, Founder of Phil's BBQ, and San Diego City Councilman Scott Sherman, who wrote that he plans to lay out his request to open more businesses than are already outlined or planned to reopen soon in Governor Newsom’s plan. 

Read the full story here.

Water Authority Distributes Protective Masks to Regional Water Agencies

The San Diego County Water Authority this week started distributing 25,000 cloth face masks to water and wastewater agency employees in six Southern California counties as part of the national effort to ensure essential workers have enough protective gear during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The masks are available to public and private water and wastewater utilities in Mono, Inyo, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego and Imperial counties. Water Authority staff created a drive-through operation to maintain physical distancing while handing out the face masks.

May 5

UC San Diego will do mass testing of students for COVID-19

UC San Diego on Tuesday announced its Return to Learn program would allow mass testing of thousands of students, faculty, and staff on campus on a recurring basis for COVID-19. 

According to the university, the initial phase of the program will begin this month with the 5,000 students currently living on campus. 

Read the full story.

San Diego's Illumina donates $1 million to front-line workers, local students

San Diego biotechology company Illumina announced Tuesday it is donating $1 million to the region's front-line workers affected by COVID-19 and local K-12 students. 

The donation is composed of $300,000 for front-line workers' "critical needs" such as personal protective equipment, and $700,000 to support distance learning, technology and STEAM education for San Diego-area students.

Read the full story.

Navy SEAL recruits resume training while social distancing

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Navy SEAL recruits and their instructors are being tested for the coronavirus as the candidates in one of the military's most grueling programs return to training with new social distancing guidelines. 

Capt. Bart Randall says everyone in the first phase of training will be tested to try to detect if anyone is infected but asymptomatic. About 170 recruits and their instructors returned to training after it was paused in mid-March as a precaution. 

Instructors now wear masks and shout into megaphones rather than recruits' faces as the Navy tries to stop the spread of the virus.  

Rural California counties persist in defying virus order

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Two rural counties that have defied California’s stay-at-home order aren’t backing down. Yuba and Sutter counties this week allowed businesses banned under Gov. 

Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home order to reopen. On Wednesday, the Yuba Sutter Mall will become the first mall in California to reopen. Newsom says the counties are endangering the public but he's stopped short of threatening a crackdown. 

Newsom wants a slower approach to easing restrictions. He plans to make his first significant changes to the stay-at-home order on Thursday and allow some businesses to reopen _ but not malls.  

Newsom chastises counties for defying virus order

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has scolded two rural counties for allowing some businesses to reopen in defiance of his statewide coronavirus restrictions. Yuba and Sutter counties allowed restaurants, hair salons and many other businesses to reopen Monday if they enforce physical distancing and other precautions. 

Newsom said Tuesday that the counties' decision is a big mistake and putting the public at risk. A Sutter County supervisor said he was irritated by Newsom's comments. 

He said the counties are following the guidance of their public health officer. Newsom plans to modify the state's stay-at-home order later this week.

Court upholds California ban on church services in pandemic

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge says California Gov. Gavin Newsom had the right to ban church assemblies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

Judge John Mendez ruled Tuesday that Newsom’s stay-at-home order did not violate the constitutional rights to free assembly and religion when the Cross Culture Christian Center in Lodi was ordered to cease holding services. 

The church held services until its landlord, under threat of misdemeanor from county health officials, changed the locks on the church doors. Pastor Jonathan Duncan said in a statement that he was disappointed with the ruling but would continue to fight for the right to worship.

San Diego Sheriff's Department continues to investigate man wearing KKK hood in Santee store. 

The San Diego Sheriff's Department said Tuesday it continues to investigate the incident of a man photographed in a KKK hood in a grocery store in East County San Diego. 

Detectives have identified the man and will continue their follow-up, according to the department.

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors votes down hazard pay for essential workers, approves childcare vouchers

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday against one action and passed another authored by Supervisor Nathan Fletcher aimed to help the families of essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The voting came a day after a caravan of county employees called for hazard pay and safer working conditions.

The Board of Supervisors was presented policies authored by Supervisor Fletcher to grant hazard pay to front-line San Diego County employees and make $5 million available for childcare vouchers for essential workers.

The board voted against the hazard pay but passed the childcare voucher item. 

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County Sheriff's Department provides clarification on golf cart usage

The County of San Diego's public health order was changed on May 1 with the easing of restrictions in several areas including golf courses. Since the changes, many locals have had questions about the use of golf carts. 

On Tuesday, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department released the following clarification saying golf cart usage is limited to the following groups: 

• Senior citizens over 55 years of age.

• People of any age with disabilities that would prevent them from walking the course. 

People in those groups can share a cart with a member of their household, according to the sheriff's department. 

Governor Newsom meets with small business owners to discuss 'new normal'

On Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom met with a small business owner in Sacramento to discuss how certain industries are planning to reopen later this week with COVID-19 safety guidelines in place.

“We’re not going back to a normal. We’re going to a new normal,” said Newsom, adding that right now is about having safety modifications and tools in workplaces until a COVID-19 vaccine is available. 

You can watch the full conference here.

San Diego County leaders vote unanimously to adopt framework to reopen businesses

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has unanimously voted Tuesday to adopt a framework to reopen businesses in a safe manner during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The framework offers guidelines on employee and customer safety, sanitation, physical distancing, and general business practices and communications.

Read the full story here.

3 new COVID-19 testing sites open in San Diego County

State public health authorities opened appointment-only COVID-19 testing locations in San Diego County Tuesday. The initial locations will be at Grossmont College, the former Sears in Chula Vista and the North Inland Live Well Center in Escondido. 

Testing organized by the State of California is by appointment only. Appointments can be made online - note: the site is currently compatible with desktop computers and Android devices. Compatibility with Apple devices is coming soon. 

For those without Internet access, call 888-634-1123, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Read the full story here.


RELATED: Governor Newsom tours California small businesses

RELATED: San Diego County leaders vote unanimously to adopt framework to reopen businesses

RELATED: 3 new COVID-19 testing sites open in San Diego County

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:  

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. 


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