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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: April 28 - 30 (midday), 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from April 28 - 30 (midday), 2020

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from April 28 - 30 (midday), 2020.  Click here for real-time updates for April 30, 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 46,500 confirmed cases in California and 1,887 deaths, according to the CA Department of Public Health
  • 3,495 Californians are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 1,186 are in the ICU, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • More than 603,139 have been conducted as of April 28, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • A senior hotline has been set up to answer questions at 833-544-2374.

April 30

Gov. Newsom identifies beaches in Orange County to temporarily close, San Diego beaches to remain open

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered beaches in Orange County to close until further notice.

Newsom made the announcement Thursday, days after tens of thousands of people in Orange County packed beaches during a sunny weekend.

Newsom said he hopes the order won’t last very long. But he said he felt he had to do it to protect public health.

Click here for the full story.

April 29

Del Mar Beaches will not reopen April 30

Del Mar was set to reopen its beaches for recreation activities Thursday morning, but city officials have withdrawn those plans amid reports that Gov. Gavin Newsom will order all California beaches closed starting Friday.

In a statement Wednesday night, the City of Del Mar stated:

"In anticipation of California Governor Newsom’s April 30th announcement that all California beaches and State parks will be closed as of May 1st, the City of Del Mar will not be opening its beach as previously planned on Thursday, April 30th. 

Read the full story here.

Memo says California governor will order all beaches closed

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A memo sent to California police chiefs says Gov. Gavin Newsom will order all beaches and state parks closed starting Friday to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

The California Police Chiefs Association sent the bulletin to its members Wednesday evening. Association President Eric Nuñez said it was sent to give chiefs time to plan ahead of Newsom’s expected announcement Thursday. Most state parks already are closed and many communities have shut their beaches. 

But some of those open in Ventura and Orange counties attracted large crowds last weekend, drawing Newsom's ire. 

He called them an example of  “what not to do” if the state wants to continue its progress in fighting the virus.

Read the full story here.

Mayor: LA 1st major US city offering all residents tests

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The city of Los Angeles will offer free coronavirus testing to all residents regardless of whether they have symptoms. Until now tests were reserved for those with symptoms and frontline employees like health care and grocery store workers. Mayor Eric Garcetti says LA will be the first major U.S. city to offer widescale testing to all its residents. 

People can sign up online for appointments starting immediately. 

Priority will still be given to people with symptoms, such as a fever, cough and shortness of breath. People will be able to go back for tests several times, without limit.

Slow Streets program to expand roads for pedestrians amid the pandemic

Stretches of four streets in San Diego will be closed to vehicle traffic beginning Thursday to increase walking and cycling space, allowing residents to get outside while maintaining social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The initial set of streets in the "Slow Streets" pilot program are Diamond Street from Mission Boulevard to Olney Street, Adams Avenue over Interstate 805 and Howard Avenue from Park Boulevard to 33rd Street along with a street in District 4 which has not been finalized, Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. 

Read the full story here

San Diego County meets 4 of 5 criteria for easing, lifting restrictions of health order

San Diego County is using five federal criteria and state recommendations to determine when and how to ease or lift some of the restrictions in the local health officer order.

The county has met four of the five federal criteria – symptoms, cases and hospitals –and has made progress in the remaining testing criteria, according to officials.

While four criteria have been met and significant progress has been made in the remaining fifth metric, San Diego County will await guidance from the state before fully lifting the local stay-at-home order, which the county announced today would be extended indefinitely.

Click here for the full story.

Some people having trouble getting refunds for canceled or postponed events

Some people said it's tricky to redeem a refund for a sporting event, concert, or half marathon during this pandemic. You can read more here.

Urgent care doctor says people are hurting themselves trying new hobbies

Have you tried gardening or skateboarding lately? Perhaps a different hobby? An urgent care doctor said while overall visits are down, patients are coming in after hurting themselves trying a new DIY activity. You can read more here.

San Diego County to extend stay-at-home order indefinitely while awaiting guidance from state

San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H. said the local stay-at-home order which was set to expire April 30 will be extended indefinitely. San Diego Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox noted that county's cannot ease restrictions ahead of the state and must adhere to guidance from California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Click here for the full story.

California connecting farmers and ranchers to food banks

On Wednesday at noon, Governor Gavin Newsom gave an update on COVID-19 in California. Newsom discussed a more than $3 million “farms to families” program with Karen Ross, California’s Secretary of Agriculture. Right now, farmers are experiencing a 50% drop in demand, and much of that food is perishable. Conversely, some food banks are seeing a more than 70% spike in demand. In order to reduce both food waste and address food insecurity, the state is connecting farmers and ranchers to food banks. You can watch the full briefing here.

Acting Navy Secretary orders second investigation into USS Roosevelt outbreak

Acting Navy Secretary James E. McPherson said Wednesday that he has ordered a second investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak aboard the San Diego-based USS Theodore Roosevelt, as the preliminary inquiry into the outbreak left him with "unanswered questions."

Click here for the full story.

Carlsbad company JLab Audio donates 3,000 headphones to San Diego County students

Citing students' lack of equipment necessary to participate in distance learning during stay-at-home orders, local company JLab Audio has donated 3,000 headphones to San Diego County school districts, education officials announced Wednesday.

Click here for the full story.

McDonald’s celebrates health care workers and first responders with free “Thank You Meals” 

While the majority of America is staying home, McDonald’s remains open and in appreciation for the health care workers, police officers, firefighters and paramedics committed to our health and safety, McDonald’s is offering free Thank You Meals to these front-line heroes. Through May 5, Thank You Meals will be available during breakfast, lunch or dinner, served in McDonald’s iconic Happy Meal box. For more information, click here.

National City Chamber hosts first-ever virtual job fair

The National City Chamber of Commerce will host its first-ever virtual job fair Wednesday, taking its annual fair online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with hopes of addressing rising unemployment. The Career to Pathways Success Job Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Zoom and is free to attend. You can read more here.

April 28

City of Del Mar to reopen beach Thursday

The City of Del Mar will reopen its beach for limited activities and ocean access starting at sunrise Thursday, it was announced on the city's website Tuesday. The city reported the reopening will conform to directives laid out by the County of San Diego. 

According to the city, beach-goers will need to adhere to six-foot social distancing guidelines on the sand and in the water. Individual activities like walking and running on the beach will be allowed. No one will be allowed to stop on the sand and sitting or lying down is not permitted. Group games like volleyball or Frisbee are also not allowed. 

Click here for the full story.

Golden Hill small business owner says he'll have to layoff staff without a federal loan

Diving Unlimited International, or DUI, has been a San Diego County-based company since 1963. Now, it is operating with a third of its staff to make specialty diving equipment for first responders, the military, and actors. However, as company savings dwindle to pay employee salaries, the business owner said he will soon be forced to layoff staff. You can read more here.

San Diego County zip codes with high unemployment also reporting high number of COVID-19 cases

Some communities in San Diego County are getting hit by both COVID-19 and by high unemployment claims. Of the 10 zip codes with the highest number of cases, half are also in the top 10 for unemployment. City leaders said many of these same communities are also home to lower-wage essential workers who may be more vulnerable to contracting the virus. You can read more here.

Pacific Beach tenants say they've been hit with a rent increase starting June 1

Some renters in Pacific Beach said they received a notice that their monthly rent will increase starting on June 1. While evictions are unlawful at the moment, this is still stressful for people struggling financially during this pandemic. You can read more here. 

Alleged San Diego protest organizer could face added charges

San Diego police have submitted a second case against an alleged organizer of two recent protests opposing state and county stay-at-home orders issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, the San Diego Police Department contacted the City Attorney's Office requesting its review for possible charges against 27-year- old Naomi Soria, who also goes by Naomi Israel, for her role in organizing an April 18 "Freedom Rally" in downtown San Diego.

On Monday, police submitted a second case against Soria in connection with Sunday's "Day of Liberty San Diego Freedom Rally" in Pacific Beach, which brought hundreds to the boardwalk, many of whom waved American flags and signs such as "COVID is a LIE" and "PB IS OPEN." 

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County stresses importance of face coverings, shares latest numbers

Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Wilma Wooten announced 173 new cases of COVID-19 in San Diego County and five new deaths. This means 3,314 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 118 people have died countywide. You can watch the entire briefing here.

San Diego mayor reports drop in city's homeless, count used to direct COVID-19 resources across county

A new report shows the number of unsheltered homeless individuals in the City of San Diego dropped by 12% in 2020, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the Regional Task Force on the Homeless announced Tuesday.    

This year’s RTFH count which started Jan. 23 found approximately 2,283 individuals were unsheltered compared to the 2,600 people counted last year. In total, 4,887 individuals were experiencing homelessness in San Diego according to the 2020 count, a 4% reduction when compared to the 5,082 individuals counted in 2019.  

According to the report, the RTFH found that 7,619 homeless San Diegans live in the county, and those numbers are being used to best direct resources during the coronavirus pandemic, the organization said. 

Task force officials said they have begun using this data to aid in the COVID-19 response and will continue to use it to advance regional best practices.

Click here for the full story.

Palomar Health to lay off over 300 employees citing lack of revenue

Palomar Health announced Tuesday that it is laying off 317 employees effective Wednesday, citing significant patient visit declines and loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the hospital, it has seen a 45% to 50% decrease in overall patient visits since the coronavirus outbreak began, absorbing a $5.7 million operating loss in March, "with losses in April expected to be worse, yet hard to estimate given the uncertainty of the virus." 

Click here for the full story.

San Diego clinic offering COVID-19 testing receives $10K donation for personal protective equipment

A community clinic conducting COVID-19 testing at its health centers across San Diego County received $10,000 in donations for personal protective equipment, clinic officials announced Tuesday.

Family Health Centers of San Diego received a $5,000 cash donation and $5,000 worth of N95 respirators, masks, protective coverall suits, goggles, hand sanitizer and more from the San Diego-based American Chinese Culture and Education Foundation.

The clinic said the donation came at a much-needed time, with testing efforts beginning Monday and ending Friday at its Chula Vista location.

The clinic will be rotating its testing sites on a weekly basis. 

Click here for the full story.

Navy destroyer with COVID-19 outbreak stops in San Diego

A deployed Navy destroyer experiencing an outbreak of the novel coronavirus made a stop Tuesday in San Diego, where military personnel will disinfect the ship, the Navy reported. The guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd was conducting counter-drug operations off the Pacific coast of South America last week when sailors began exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

Read the full story here.

Governor Newsom to lay out roadmap to reopening California’s economy

Governor Gavin Newsom and health officials will provide their daily update on COVID-19 in California Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. The media briefing will be streamed live here and across News 8's social media pages.

Newsom is considering a strategy for reopening business in a state divided between rural areas with small numbers of coronarivus cases and urban areas struggling with still-rising death tolls.

Newsom on Tuesday plans to outline what it will take to ease his stay-at-home order that closed most businesses.

Read the full story here.

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RELATED: Oxford COVID-19 vaccine reportedly shows success protecting monkeys from virus

RELATED: Supervisor Jim Desmond and North County mayors calling for some businesses to reopen on May 1

RELATED: Navy destroyer with COVID-19 outbreak stops in San Diego

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.