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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: May 12 - 13, 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from May 12 - 13, 2020

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from May 12 - 13, 2020. Click here for real-time updates for May 12, 2020.

Key facts in San Diego:

Key facts in California:

  • California governor issued a statewide stay at home order on March 19.
  • There are 69,382 confirmed cases in California and 2,847 deaths, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • 3,248 Californians are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 1,093 are in the ICU, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • 991,897 tests have been conducted as of May 10, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • A senior hotline has been set up to answer questions at 833-544-2374.

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.

May 12

California governor unveils guidelines for dine-in restaurants to reopen

Governor Gavin Newsom has unveiled more guidelines businesses will need to follow, when the state eases stay at home restrictions.

Though no restaurants are allowed to offer dine-in services yet, the guidelines are giving restaurant owners a better idea of what reopening their dining rooms will look like.

Read the full story.

San Diego to donate face shields to Tijuana as border command group works to address COVID-19

For the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the City of San Diego addressed the surge in COVID-19 cases crossing the border into the region. 

The U.S.-Mexico border remains closed to non-essential travel, but officials attribute the influx to legal crossings from Tijuana. They include workers in high contact jobs such as grocery stores, driving delivery vans, and working in personal care positions.

Read the full story.

California barbers, beauticians sue state lawmakers in L.A. in bid to reopen

The organization representing hairstylists and salon owners in the Southland and elsewhere on Tuesday sued Gov. Gavin Newsom and state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, seeking a court order forcing officials to allow personal grooming shops to reopen as quickly as possible. 

Read the full story.

Phase 2: San Diego County allows more businesses to reopen

All San Diego retail business can offer curbside pickup and office buildings were given the green light to reopen Tuesday if they meet certain requirements.

The decision was made by the county after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced local health officers can give permission to reopen these buildings.

“We encourage telework strongly where possible, but individuals who need to be present at office-based businesses can resume,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

Read the full story.

Los Angeles County reopens beaches closed by virus concerns

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County reopens its beaches Wednesday in the latest cautious easing of coronavirus restrictions that have closed most California public spaces and businesses for nearly two months. County beaches and many city-owned beaches along the 75 miles of coastline are reopening but with social distancing rules designed to reduce the chance of spreading infections. 

The move comes as California tentatively eases some stay-at-home restrictions that have closed businesses and thrown millions out of work. Gov. Gavin Newsom last week permitted many retail businesses to reopen under restrictions. On Tuesday, he said some business offices can reopen. 

Meanwhile, seven rural Northern California counties have received state permission to reopen their economies more quickly.  

Cold cases get colder as coronavirus pandemic wears on

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Detectives are struggling to connect with victims through thick masks, and investigators accustomed to wearing plainclothes are digging out their dusty uniforms for patrol duty as the coronavirus pandemic rages. 

Police departments nationwide are grappling with changes the virus has wrought on their investigations, even as law enforcement agencies report major decreases in crime due to stay-at-home orders. 

Authorities say enough wrongdoing abounds to keep police busy, and detective work must still be in-person and hands-on, despite COVID-19. 

Evidence has to be collected, statements must be taken in person and death notifications need to be made face-to-face.

7 California counties get OK to more quickly reopen

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom has further eased the coronavirus choke-hold on California’s economy. He announced Tuesday that car washes and pet groomers could resume services and business offices can reopen for people who can’t easily work from home. 

Malls can begin offering the same curbside pickup allowed for other retailers. Newsom also followed through on his promise to allow some counties to reopen businesses more quickly if they have been minimally harmed by the pandemic. 

Seven rural Northern California counties -- El Dorado, Butte, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Amador and Shasta -- had their plans approved by the state.  Among other things, the counties can open restaurants to diners.

California Senate proposal tackles rents, economic recovery

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would cover rent payments for some low-income residents impacted by the coronavirus under a proposal unveiled Tuesday that is backed by state Senate leaders. 

The plan would give landlords tax credits that would cover the cost of their lost payments. Tenants would have 10 years to pay back the state, with some not having to pay the full amount because of a hardship exemption. 

The proposal includes a $25 billion economic recovery fund to aid businesses, nonprofits and local governments. 

The money would come from letting some taxpayers voluntarily prepay taxes at a discounted rate.

California outlines changes for restaurants as they reopen

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California gave approval on Tuesday to several Northern California counties to reopen dining rooms in restaurants, with more expected in the weeks to come — all with a long list of new rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Restaurants are required to screen diners for symptoms, ensure workers and servers wear masks and limit the use of condiments and table settings. 

The state also suggests they frequently disinfect surfaces and have workers wear masks if they can't distance from customers. The state rules don't set a maximum capacity for restaurants.

California diners may be screened for virus before seated

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — California's governor wants restaurants to screen guests for symptoms, have servers wear masks and keep diners at least 6 feet apart to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration isn't setting a strict limit on the number of diners but suggested using outdoor seating and encouraging takeout where possible. 

The guidance applies statewide but restaurants can only reopen for dine-in service once their counties get state approval. Rural areas with few virus cases are expected to do so soon. 

Butte and El Dorado counties have already been cleared.

Free mental health help available during pandemic

Here's where to find free help if you're feeling anxious, stressed, and/or depressed.

San Diego County COVID-19 death toll rises to 190

On Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., San Diego County gave an update on COVID-19, which you can learn more about here.

SANDAG 'Bike to Work Day' postponed until 2021

The 30th Annual SANDAG Bike to Work Day, originally scheduled this Thursday, May 14, has been postponed until next year. Instead, SANDAG has shifted its focus to providing digital resources for bike commuting and education and launching a new Shared Streets pilot program to support San Diego region residents. 

Read the full story.

May 11

San Diego small businesses struggle to stay afloat, restaurants begin to close permanently

Many San Diego businesses have decided to close for good despite the fact that roughly 70% of California's economy has been allowed to reopen.

The state's chamber of commerce doesn't keep track of business closures, but San Diegans are starting to. 

Read the full story.

Mayor Faulconer and County Chairman Cox urge Gov. Newsom to let county decide

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday, urging him to give San Diego County the authority to open sections of its economy as its leaders see fit. 

Cox and Faulconer contend in the letter that Newsom's orders have been confusing and misguided.

Read the full story.

California official: Bad mask deals lost no taxpayer money

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's top emergency official is defending the state from scrutiny over high-priced deals that fell apart as officials pursued personal protective equipment. Mark Ghilarducci of the state's Office of Emergency Services says taxpayers didn't lose any money on the deals because California was refunded when the agreements went bad. 

He says the state was doing its best amid a worldwide scramble for protective equipment for the coronavirus pandemic. He spoke during a Monday oversight hearing by Assembly lawmakers who wanted details on the failed deals. 

California has spent roughly $2.2 billion on 180 contracts for personal protective equipment.  

California counties push to reopen ahead of state guidelines

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom says more than two dozen counties have asked permission to loosen their stay-at-home plans beyond what the state allows. Newsom on Monday promised a speedy review and said some counties could have their plans approved by Tuesday. 

The governor loosened the statewide stay-at-home order last week to allow some retailers and manufacturers to reopen with restrictions. He said counties can go further if they meet strict state standards. But densely populated counties are having difficulty meeting the requirements. 

Newsom said Monday that he would consider adjusting those standards. He said some large counties have special circumstances that must be taken into account.

California sheriff says inmates tried to infect themselves

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County sheriff says inmates at a jail tried to infect themselves with the coronavirus by sharing a container of water and a mask. Sheriff Alex Villanueva showed surveillance videos on Monday from two units at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic. 

The footage captured inmates in one unit sharing water and others in a second unit sniffing a mask. Authorities say 30 inmates in the units were later diagnosed with COVID-19, two of whom were later released. 

Villanueva said the inmates mistakenly believed that they would be freed if they were infected.   

San Diego County to crack down on vacation rentals, beach partiers

Over the weekend, some residents in Mission Beach complained about large parties and gatherings despite the public health order. Here are the do's and don't of AirBnb during the pandemic.

San Diego County surpasses 5,000 cases of COVID-19

San Diego County gave a COVID-19 update on Monday. You can watch it all here.

California joins 4 western states to request $1 trillion in aid

Governor Newsom announced the joint request made by leaders of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Colorado to the Federal Government to help support the public systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full story here. 

San Diego State University to hold virtual commencement on Saturday

San Diego State University announced Monday it will host a virtual commencement celebration on Saturday to honor the Class of 2020 graduates, in light of COVID-19-related physical distancing and stay home orders.

The celebration will be held at noon May 16 and can be viewed via livestream at on their website and on their Facebook page. Graduates simply need to tune in, and no registration is required in advance. SDSU welcomes alumni to tune in, as well.

Read the full story here.

Sony to Donate 10,000 N95 Masks to Scripps Hospitals in San Diego County

 Sony Electronics announced Monday that it will donate 10,000 N95 masks to Scripps hospitals throughout San Diego County.

The company, which has its North American headquarters in San Diego, said it is donating its stock of personal protective equipment to various locations in California and New Jersey, including to Scripps' five San Diego-area hospitals.

Scripps continues to accept donations of masks and other PPE, as well as monetary donations to its COVID-19 Response Fund, which can be made here. Donations of PPE can be made here.

Nurses Week: Honoring a Sharp Memorial hospital hero

Nurse Jennifer Hites is on the front lines at Sharp Memorial with a very important job -- making sure all of the emergency room nurses are as safe as possible during this COVID-19 crisis.

“It's been quite interesting how quickly we have been able to adapt and learn,” said Jennifer.

Not that anything in an ER is ever easy, but Jennifer says quickly pivoting to protect her crew from catching, or spreading COVID-19 has been a tough, learn-on-the-fly experience. 

Read the full story 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. 

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. 

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