Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Aug 9 - 11 (afternoon), 2020. Click here for real-time updates for Aug. 11, 2020 and on.
Key COVID-19 facts in San Diego and California:
San Diego County tax collector offers relief for defaulted property tax bills
More than 28,000 defaulted bills were sent out to San Diego County taxpayers this week, but the county's treasurer announced Tuesday that his office is offering penalty relief.
"We know many of the late bills are due to COVID-19, and we want our taxpayers to know there could be relief," Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister said. "They may qualify to have their penalties waived if they file for a COVID-19 cancellation request. Our customers must provide documentation as evidence to show how the pandemic impacted their ability to pay their second installment by April 10."
San Diego County reports 228 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths
San Diego County health officials on Monday reported 228 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the total to 32,975. There were no new deaths reported with the total remaining at 594.
Five new outbreaks were confirmed as of Aug. 9, officials said Monday. One each in a restaurant/bar, a business, a grocery and a government setting. In the past seven days, 24 community outbreaks were confirmed. A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households in the past 14 days.
7,570 tests were reported to San Diego County on Aug. 9. The number of laboratory-confirmed cases was 3%. The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 5%.
San Diego hot destination during COVID-19
After months of decline due to the pandemic, tourism is starting to pick up and San Diego is a top destination.
While the numbers aren't nearly what they usually are in the summer, big hotel chains are re-opening their doors to accommodate the demand.
Hotel leaders say many guests are driving in and they're also seeing a lot of staycations.
States may not have money to carry out Trump's unemployment aid order
Governors and state labor department officials were scrambling Monday to determine whether they could implement President Donald Trump’s executive order to partially extend unemployment assistance payments to millions of Americans struggling to find work in the pandemic-scarred economy.
Trump’s order allocates $44 billion in federal dollars from FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund to boost unemployment aid for the jobless and calls on states to kick in roughly $15 billion. The Trump administration says states can pull from federal coronavirus relief funds already distributed to states earlier in the crisis.
Families await rental assistance from City of San Diego
During the pandemic, many are struggling. Friday was the deadline to apply for the City of San Diego's Rental Assistance Program and now families are anxiously waiting to see if they will be approved.
Nancy Maldanado is the President of the San Diego Chicano Federation.
“We work with community-based organizations and help community members who have questions about the program and help with applications [for] much-needed service,” Maldonado told News 8.
Gov. Newsom appoints new California Department of Public Health Director after Dr. Angell abruptly resigns
California's top public health official has stepped down. State officials confirmed California Department of Public Health Director and State Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell announced her resignation effective immediately. The governor's office said Angell will be replaced by Sandra Shewry as acting California Department of Public Health Director and Dr. Erica Pan as acting State Public Health Officer.
Newsom said state has used previous coronavirus aid, can't handle proposed economic burden of Trump's new unemployment plan
Governor Newsom on Monday afternoon said there is "no money in the piggy bank" to fund part of President Trump's $400 weekly unemployment plan, citing that the effort would put too much of a financial burden on states, even a state as large as California. Newsom said the plan would cost California $700 million per week. He added that funding from the prior CARES Act has all but run out.
Additionally, Newsom said state lawmakers are meeting this week to brainstorm solutions to prevent evicting renters that can't pay their rent during the pandemic. You can watch the full update here.
SeaWorld Entertainment announces revenue, attendance losses amid pandemic
SeaWorld Entertainment Monday announced major revenue and attendance declines in the second quarter stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
SeaWorld parks drew 300,000 guests during the quarter, down from 6.5 million guests from the year-ago second quarter. The company reported $18 million in revenue in the second quarter, down from $406 million during the same time last year. The company reported a net loss of $131 million during the second quarter.
Over 400 new COVID-19 cases reported in San Diego County, 1 new death
San Diego County health officials on Sunday reported 417 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the total to 32,474. There was one new death of a male in his 60s reported bringing the total to 594. The deceased male had underlying health conditions and died on July 26.
Four new outbreaks were confirmed as of Aug. 8, officials said Sunday. All were at businesses. In the past seven days, 24 community outbreaks were confirmed. A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households in the past 14 days.
6,236 tests were reported to San Diego County on Aug. 8. The number of laboratory-confirmed cases was 7%. The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 5.3%.
President Trump signs executive order for unemployment plan, questions remain over legality
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Saturday that, if implemented, would give $400 in additional unemployment money per week to people who lost their job or had their hours reduced because of the coronavirus pandemic. A previous benefit that provided unemployed workers with an extra $600 each week ran out on July 31.
The executive order bypasses Congress, which has been unable to negotiate an economic package with the White House. Sunday marked the second week unemployed workers have received reduced benefits.
College students return to campus amid coronavirus pandemic
Many California schools are starting the year online while other states experiment with in-person learning. For those opening up, several rules have been put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
News 8’s Steve Price just sent his son Aaron off for his freshman year at Duke University in North Carolina. Prior to leaving for college, Duke asked students to quarantine at home for two weeks.
US surpasses 5 million coronavirus cases as the world reacts to containment response
The United States' failure to contain the spread of the coronavirus has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe, as the world's most powerful country surpassed a global record of 5 million confirmed infections on Sunday, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University.
As Axios reports, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb has sent out a warning, saying that the death toll will "definitely" reach between 200,000 and 300,000 by the end of this year.
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.
On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, "CO" stands for "corona," "VI" for "virus," and "D" for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.
There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.
Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, as with any other respiratory illness:
Know how it spreads:
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Protect yourself and others
Wash your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- It’s especially important to wash:
- Before eating or preparing food
- Before touching your face
- After using the restroom
- After leaving a public place
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After handling your cloth face covering
- After changing a diaper
- After caring for someone sick
- After touching animals or pets
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancingmeasures are difficult to maintain.
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectantsexternal icon will work.
Monitor your health daily
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- Take your temperatureif symptoms develop.
- Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
- Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
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.
As of April 4, 2020, all employees in San Diego County who may have contact with the public in any grocery store, pharmacy/drug store, restaurant or food establishments, convenience store or gas station are required to wear a cloth face covering while at work as an additional measure to help “flatten the curve” in the San Diego region.
As of May 1, San Diego County requires everyone in the county to wear face coverings in many public settings. The coverings help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are part of our path to reopening San Diego. See full health order here.
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.