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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: May 3 - 5 (midday), 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from May 3 - 5 (midday), 2020.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from May 3 - 5 (midday), 2020.  Click here for real-time updates for May 5, 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 54,937 confirmed cases in California and 2,254 deaths, according to the CA Department of Public Health. 
  • 3,284 Californians are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 1,179 are in the ICU, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • 747,874 tests have been conducted as of May 3, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • A senior hotline has been set up to answer questions at 833-544-2374.

May 5

San Diego County leaders vote unanimously to adopt framework to reopen businesses

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has unanimously voted Tuesday to adopt a framework to reopen businesses in a safe manner during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The framework offers guidelines on employee and customer safety, sanitation, physical distancing, and general business practices and communications.

Read the full story here.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors plan to help families of essential workers

The County Board of Supervisors will consider taking action Tuesday to help out the families of essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes a day after a caravan of county employees called for hazard pay and safer working conditions.

The Board of Supervisors will consider policies authored by Supervisor Fletcher to grant hazard pay to front-line County employees, and make $5 million available for childcare vouchers for essential workers.

Read the full story here.

3 new COVID-19 testing sites open in San Diego County

State public health authorities opened appointment-only COVID-19 testing locations in San Diego County Tuesday. 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.

Read the full story here.

May 4

San Diego businesses and workers provide reopening strategy

San Diego county and city leaders unveiled a plan Monday that will allow local businesses to safely reopen and operate once state public health restrictions are lifted.

The guidelines aimed at maintaining employee and customer safety were developed by the Responsible COVID-19 Economic Reopening Advisory Group -- RECOVER -- which consists of nearly 30 local business and civic leaders from various industries. 

Read the full story here.

California governor says some business may reopen this week

YUBA CITY, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the state will gradually allow certain business to reopen as soon as Friday, as the state sees hopeful signs in data tracking the spread of the coronavirus. 

The plan outlined Monday includes a range of retailers that would be permitted to reopen, including clothing, sporting goods and flower shops. However there would be restrictions, such as curbside pickups. 

It did not include dine-in eating at restaurants and reopening of offices. 

Newsom says a key consideration for loosening stay-at-home orders is the ability for health authorities to conduct widespread testing and establish a system to determine if someone who is infected might have spread the virus to someone else.  

US Attorney to landlords: Don’t demand sexual favors from financially burdened tenants during COVID-19 pandemic – or ever

U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer issued a warning to landlords Monday reminding them it is against the law to demand sexual favors from tenants who can’t pay rent amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California, Brewer is using all available tools against anyone using the coronavirus crisis to sexually harass those who are financially burdened and/or in need of housing. 

According to Brewer, while many landlords have responded with “understanding and care,” there have been reports of others who have responded to requests for rent deferral by demanding sexual favors.  

Click here for the full story.

What will California do about the rent?

Every first of the month, California’s past due rent bill gets bigger.

As the state enters May sheltering in place for the seventh straight week to stop the spread of COVID-19, nearly 1 in 5 California workers have filed for unemployment, with millions more wondering if their next paycheck will actually materialize.

As missed rent payments mount, California tenants and the landlords that depend on their monthly checks to pay their bills are increasingly and aggressively asking the same questions:

How much rent is going to be owed at the end of this? (A lot).

How long will tenants have to repay it? (Unclear).

Is the state going to pick up some of the tab? (Some, but the real help may have to come from the feds).

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County hiring coronavirus case tracers

In about one day, more than 1,000 people applied to become a coronavirus case tracer for the county. The temporary, full-time position was posted last week as San Diego County expects it will need more help to contact up to 1,200 people daily as it fulfills its “testing, tracing, treatment” strategy, also known as “T3.” 

Currently, the county has 135 tracers, up from 128 last week. They had performed 4,903 investigations as of Tuesday. Some of the new tracers may be existing county staff who will be retrained, but the county expects to fill the ranks with new hires at $19.50 an hour who will remain on the job for between six and nine months.

Click here for the full story.

COVID-19 cases in San Diego County at 4,020 with 144 reported deaths; officials expect San Diego to join state in reopening more industries this week


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.

Click here for the full story.

Governor Newsom announced safety guidelines for certain industries to resume business at the end of the week. You can read the full report here.

Law firm in La Jolla offering pro bono estate planning for San Diego health care workers in response to COVID-19 

Blanchard, Krasner & French, a law firm with offices in La Jolla, California, and Reno, Nevada, is offering remote, pro bono estate planning services to essential healthcare workers, and their spouses, who reside in the San Diego region, in gratitude for their work on the front lines of COVID-19. Recipients of pro bono services will be assessed via application on a first-come, first-serve basis. To learn more about the firm, visit www.bkflaw.com.  

Beaches in Solana Beach, Del Mar and Carlsbad reopen for limited use

City beaches in Solana Beach, Del Mar and Carlsbad will reopen in limited fashion Monday along with state beaches in Torrey Pines and Carlsbad.

Beachgoers will be allowed to run and walk on the sand, as well as surf, swim, kayak and paddleboard in the ocean. Group gatherings, parking in lots and lying down on the beach are still prohibited. Parks and trails in the city of Carlsbad will also reopen Monday at 2 p.m. for walking, running and sitting on the grass. Parking lots at the parks will be open at half-capacity.

Click here for the full story.

Photos of man wearing KKK hood at Santee grocery store as face covering

A disturbing post, showing a man wearing a KKK hood while grocery shopping at Vons, has been circulating on social media.

The photos were taken at the store on Mission Gorge Road in Santee Saturday afternoon.

WARNING: This story contains graphic images that some may find disturbing.

Click here for the full story.

UC San Diego Health offers virtual appointments to patients with COVID-19 

UC San Diego Health now offers a specialized telemedicine clinic to help patients with COVID-19 return to good health in their homes under close observation of an infectious disease team.

“Our goal is to help the patient recover comfortably and with confidence,” said Michele Ritter, MD, clinic director, UC San Diego Health. “Treating COVID-19 can be vexing because symptoms can fluctuate throughout the day. Our team helps patients manage their care with over-the-counter measures and prescription medications when necessary.” 

For more information, click here.

May 3

San Diego law enforcement taking 'educational approach' to facial covering ordinance in first days

Sunday marked the third day San Diegans were under a new facial covering ordinance which went into effect Friday. News 8 has received a lot of emails about the new public health order implemented amid the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic and many are wondering how enforcement of the requirement is going.   

County health officials have said anyone caught breaking the ordinance could be charged with a misdemeanor however San Diego law enforcement opted to take an educational approach in the first few days of the ordinance.  

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County reports 3,927 cases of COVID-19 with 139 deaths

San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency released the latest data on local cases of the novel coronavirus Sunday. The agency reported an increase of 85 cases since Saturday bringing the total to 3,927 and one additional death bringing the total loss of life to 139. 

The latest person to die from COVID-19 was an 81-year-old female with underlying medical conditions, according to the county. 

News 8 highlights small businesses: The Trails Eatery reopens for takeout in San Carlos

All this week, News 8 will be putting the spotlight on small businesses struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis. Special stories will be featured nightly in our 6:30 p.m. newscast hoping to help drive up business and share important information.

Nearly two months after closing its doors due to the coronavirus lockdown, The Trails Eatery in San Carlos is finally back open, dishing out meals to customers. But despite opening back up, it still isn’t business as usual.

For many small, locally owned businesses, that’s their new reality. Finding ways to bring in revenue, despite the fact that the way you do business, has been turned upside down.

Click here for the full story.

New COVID-19 testing sites to open in San Diego County Tuesday

State public health authorities are opening appointment-only COVID-19 testing locations in San Diego County starting Tuesday. 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.

Lifeguards say most San Diego beachgoers following guidelines

Beachgoers were continuing to keep their distance from each other Sunday and follow other guidelines such as only engaging in physical activities like jogging, walking, swimming and surfing, lifeguard officials said.

This weekend was the first time some beaches were open, with restrictions, since the area went on coronavirus lockdown in March. 

Click here for full story.

North County San Diego beaches to reopen Monday

On Monday, city officials in Solana Beach, Del Mar and Carlsbad will begin to open their beaches.

Jorge Moreno with California State Parks confirmed Sunday that state beaches in Carlsbad will open Mondy at 9 a.m. - the same time as the city's beach opens.

Torrey Pines State Beach also will open at 6 a.m., according to Moreno.

San Diego County’s other state park beaches including Border Field State Park, San Onofre State Beach, Silver Strand State Beach and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve will remain closed.

RELATED: Carlsbad parks, trails, beach and golf course to open

RELATED: Which North County beaches are reopening

Lake Poway reopens

The Lake Poway Recreation Area opened to the public at 9 a.m. Sunday and will resume regular hours of 6 a.m. to sunset on Monday, city officials said.

Parking lots at Lake Poway will open to half capacity and boating is not allowed, officials said. The playground will remain closed and active sports are limited to people within the same household, they said. 

Click here for the full story.

San Diego small business owner react to reports of big company’s taking federal relief money

Many San Diego businesses are struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic without federal relief funds. According to a new report from the Washington Post, a lot of that stimulus money ended up going to big businesses with millions in the bank. 

Tim Kirkpatrick, the owner of Wavelines, a surf, skate and snow shop, is in the same place a lot of small business owners are right now: trying to survive while also seeking help from the federal government.

"I didn't even get to apply for two weeks and the money ran out a day later,” he said.  

While the government unveiled a $369-billion relief program to help local mom-and-pop businesses, the Washington Post reports a big chunk of the money went to big businesses. Some of those businesses have up to 500 employees and several have CEOs who make upwards of $10 - $15 million a year.  

Click here for the full story.

California lawmakers set to return as coronavirus lingers

(AP) -- Some California lawmakers are preparing to return to the Capitol after more than a month away because of the coronavirus. It's the first sustained legislative activity since lawmakers recessed on March 16. Some lawmakers will be staying home. 

Assemblyman Bill Quirk is 73 years old, lives in a retirement community and says many of his neighbors are in ill health. He said he has asked Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to let him participate remotely. But Rendon said the state constitution won't allow it. The California Assembly has scheduled nine committee hearings this week.  

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RELATED: Report: Most states fall short of coronavirus testing thresholds

RELATED: San Diegans enjoy reopened beaches with new rules

RELATED: Major fundraisers move online during COVID-19 pandemic

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.