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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: Sept. 13 - 15 (afternoon), 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Sept. 13 - 15 (afternoon), 2020

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Sept. 13 - 15 (afternoon), 2020.  Click here for real-time updates for Sept. 15, 2020 and on.  

Key COVID-19 facts in San Diego and California:

Sept. 15

County Supervisors approve $14 million small business grant relief program

San Diego County Supervisors approved a small business relief plan on Tuesday. The vote determined how much money each district will receive from the program.

District 2 Supervisor Dianne Jacob recommended more than $4 million be handed out to small businesses. The individual grants are between $5,000 and $25,000.  

For the full story, click here

Doctor: Flu shots can help with health care resources during COVID-19

An infectious disease expert for Scripps Health reminded San Diegans Tuesday to get influenza shots early this season to avoid potentially overloading the region's medical system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If you normally get the flu shot each year, then now is the time to make arrangements for your vaccination, and if you rarely or never get a shot, then this is the year to start doing it," said Dr. Siu Ming Geary, an internal medicine physician and vice president of primary care for Scripps Clinic Medical Group.

Click here for the full story.

Sept. 14

State set to release new coronavirus numbers for San Diego County

On Tuesday, the state will release the latest coronavirus numbers for San Diego County. 

Those anticipated new numbers could signal whether San Diego is on the 14-day path to reverting from its current "red tier" to the far more restrictive "purple tier," which would deal a significant blow to businesses now struggling to survive.

Click here for the full story.

San Diego patients express mixed feelings over flu shot despite doctors' urging to get vaccinated

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, more than ever before, many health professionals are urging the flu vaccine for all Americans over the age of 6 months. They are worried that even a mild flu season could strain hospitals already coping with COVID.

But they also worry, despite warnings over a potential "twindemic," many won’t get vaccinated.

Click here for the full story.

Speeding tickets up in San Diego, across California amid pandemic

California Highway Patrol ticketed more than twice as many drivers for speeding in excess of 100 mph during the pandemic. Officers wrote more than 15,000 tickets statewide between mid-March and mid-August, including about 1,000 in the San Diego area. 

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County reports 208 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

San Diego County public health officials reported 208 new COVID-19 infections and no new deaths Monday, bringing the region's total caseload to 42,887, while the number of deaths related to the illness remained at 734.

Of the 5,921 tests reported Monday, 4% returned positive, moving the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 4.2%, well below the state's 8% guideline. The seven-day average number of tests performed in the county is 7,076.

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County's state-calculated positivity rate creating anxiety

208 new cases were confirmed among San Diego County residents on Sept. 13, 21 of which are connected to SDSU. The region’s total is now 42,887. No new deaths were reported.The county has documented 14 community outbreaks over the past week. 

Under the new state monitoring metrics, San Diego County is currently in Tier 2, also referred to as the Red Tier. San Diego’s state-calculated, unadjusted case rate is 6.9%. A rate of 7% would push San Diego County back into more restrictions. The state evaluates counties on Tuesdays. 

Scripps Health forms vaccine committee for future COVID-19 treatment

Scripps Health announced Monday it has established a COVID-19 Vaccine Committee to recommend which coronavirus vaccine or vaccines to consider offering for patients, employees and physicians.

The team of Scripps' medical, pharmaceutical and vaccine experts will begin meeting this week. They will review and analyze the leading COVID-19 vaccines from an evidence-based perspective.

Click here for the full story.

UC San Diego to roll out smartphone pilot program for COVID-19 exposure alerts

University of California Health announced Monday UC San Diego will be one of two campuses to pilot a smartphone technology that notifies users if they have had a high-risk COVID-19 exposure.

The limited pilot program will roll out incrementally at UCSD later this month. UC San Francisco will start using the technology a few weeks later for students, faculty and staff participating in onsite activities at select locations.

Click here for the full story.

Sept. 13

San Diego County reports 265 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

San Diego County public health officials reported 265 new COVID-19 infections Sunday and no new deaths, bringing the county's totals to 42,679 cases and 734 fatalities.

Of the 8,281 tests reported Saturday, 3% returned positive, moving the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 4.4%, well below the state's 8% guideline. The seven-day average number of tests performed in the county is 7,200.

Click here for the full story.

San Diego State reports 29 new student cases of COVID-19

San Diego State University reported 29 new student cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the total number of cases to 627 since the fall semester began Aug. 24.

University officials said they were aware of 623 confirmed cases among students and four probable cases.

The university has not received any reports of faculty or staff who have tested positive since fall instruction began, SDSU health officials said.

Click here for the full story.

Coronavirus complicates wildfire evacuations on West Coast

Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes as destructive wildfires roar across the West Coast, and many of them could end up in shelters, raising potential health risks during the coronavirus pandemic, the Associated Press reported Sunday.

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. 

BACKGROUND: 

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 

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 distancing measures 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 disinfectants 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 temperature if 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.

Violations can be reported online.

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.