SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif — San Diego County reported 93 additional cases of COVID-19 on Monday bringing the total to 4,020 cases and five additional deaths bringing the total to 144 reported deaths.
Dr. Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer, said the latest people who died from the novel coronavirus included three females ranging in age from their late 70s to early 80s and two males - one in his early 60s and one in his early 80s.
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher spoke about the potential for certain local businesses and industries to reopen as early as later this week following similar announcements by California Governor Gavin Newsom earlier Monday.
"The governor today outlined some initial steps he believes the state of California can take on Friday. That is incredibly good news," said Fletcher. "The governor's action was based on the science and the data and that is the way to do it. Here at the County of San Diego, we will do the same."
Newsom said the state will release guidelines Thursday for phase two of reopening. Local health officials and county supervisors must approve the plans so additional areas can move on to phase two, according to Newsom.
"Given the present state of where we are and the way things are trending, we expect to be able to join in the state of California's loosening around retail, logistics, and manufacturing restrictions on Friday. That is a positive step forward for our region," Fletcher said.
Fletcher warned against getting complacent despite the good news.
"Keep in mind we haven't crossed a finish line," Fletcher said. "This is not the beginning of the end, rather the end of the beginning. We will not truly be out of the weeds until we have a vaccine of therapeutic treatments."
Supervisors Greg Cox and Fletcher said they are planning to introduce a framework to reopen nonessential businesses at Tuesday's board morning, and the county is preparing to loosen business restrictions on some retail stores in conjunction with the state on Friday.
California Department of Public Health Director and State Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell said she hopes specific industries, like manufacturing, can reopen with modifications starting Friday, May 8.
Supervisor Fletcher also mentioned three new appointment-only COVID-19 testing locations opening in San Diego County on Tuesday through a partnership with the state. 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.
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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
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
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.