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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: April 19 - April 23 (midday), 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from April 19 - April 23 (midday), 2020

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from April 19 - April 23 (midday), 2020. Click here for real-time updates for April 23, 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 37,788 confirmed cases in California, according to Johns Hopkins' COVID-19 map and 1,469 deaths, according to Governor Gavin Newsom.
  • 3,357 Californians are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 1,219 are in the ICU, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • Approximately 308,700 tests have been conducted. At least 301,547 results have been received and another 7,200 are pending as of April 21, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • A senior hotline has been set up to answer questions at 833-544-2374.

April 23

Governor Newsom signs executive order to halt garnishing of COVID-19 related relief

Governor Gavin Newsom announced Thursday during his daily media briefing update for the state that he signed an executive order Thursday to stop debt collectors from garnishing COVID-19-related to individuals.

“Californians are receiving the COVID-19 relief funds they desperately need right now. That relief should not be taken from them,” Newsom said.

Click here for the full story.

‘We’ve got to get a handle on the spread of this virus’: Chula Vista to announce mandatory face coverings plan

Mayor of Chula Vista, Mary Casilla Salas announced that all citizens who enter an essential business must wear a face covering. For a full rundown on the plan, click here

All USS Theodore Roosevelt crew members tested for COVID-19

The Navy reported Thursday that 100% of the San Diego-based USS Theodore Roosevelt's crew members have been tested for COVID-19, with 840 positive cases among the carrier's crew. The ship's widely publicized COVID-19 outbreak has left it docked in Guam for nearly one month, where 4,234 sailors have been moved ashore as of Thursday.

Click here for the full story.

SANDAG: Nearly 300,000 San Diego County residents lost jobs due to COVID-19

Communities in the South Bay and central San Diego have been hit the hardest by unemployment and nearly 300,000 San Diego County residents have lost jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report released Thursday. 

Click here for the full story.

Walmart and Nextdoor launch new “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program

Walmart and Nextdoor announced Thursday the launch of their “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program, an effort to make it easier for neighbors across the country to help one another during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this new program, a first for both companies, Nextdoor members in cities across the country can now request assistance – or offer to help someone in their community – with shopping for their essential items at Walmart. For more information, click here.

City of Imperial Beach to reopen neighborhood parks for limited use

The city of Imperial Beach announced Wednesday that its neighborhood parks will reopen for limited use for local residents only, effective April 22, 2020 until further notice. For more information, click here.

April 22

Chula Vista offers food resource helpline to residents

The City of Chula Vista has established a food resource and delivery helpline for residents to request food resources or food delivery. Residents can call (619) 476-5340 Monday through Saturday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Spanish speaking operators are available. Food deliveries typically will be scheduled within 24 hours of receiving the call; most will be same-day delivery. There are no deliveries on Sundays.

How the pandemic is impacting people with Alzheimer’s disease, their families

People living with dementia or Alzheimers disease are facing unique challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. The stress has taken a toll on — not only them but also their caregivers. CBS News correspondent Nichelle Medina reports on how they’re getting through these difficult times and spoke with New 8’s Marcella Lee about some of the challenges and ways to cope.  

Click here for the full story.

More drivers cited for speeding as traffic declines

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Highway Patrol is issuing a lot more tickets to motorists feeling the need for speed on roadways where lanes are wide open during the coronavirus pandemic. 

From March 19, when the stay-at-home order began, through April 19, officers issued 87% more citations to drivers suspected of speeding in excess of 100 mph. That's compared to the same period last year. 

The jump in speeding tickets coincides with a 35% decline in traffic volume.

Officials say work crews taking advantage of reduced traffic to perform road maintenance are put in danger by speeding motorists.  

US judge denies bid to open California churches in pandemic

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday says he will deny a bid by three Southern California churches to hold in-person church services during the pandemic. 

He says government’s emergency powers trump what in normal times would be fundamental constitutional rights. 

U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal in Los Angeles said he will reject the temporary restraining order the churches sought against Gov. Gavin Newsom and other officials. 

They argued that the state’s stay-at-home orders violate the First Amendment right to freedom of religion and assembly. An attorney for the churches says it is not yet clear if or when the churches will appeal.  

California takes small step toward reopening amid outbreak

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom says California hospitals will resume scheduled surgeries. He called it the first significant change to the state's stay-at-home order that has been in place for more than a month. 

The change covers surgeries that are not emergencies. Newsom said examples include procedures for tumors, heart valves and chronic disease. 

The change does not include purely cosmetic surgeries. He said state officials will be monitoring hospitals closely to make sure they are not overwhelmed. 

If there is a surge of coronavirus cases, the scheduled surgery ban could be put back in place  

California Highway Patrol bans rallies due to coronavirus

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Highway Patrol is temporarily banning rallies at the state Capitol and other state facilities because of the pandemic. 

The change in policy Wednesday came after hundreds of protesters gathered on the Capitol grounds in Sacramento on Monday, many without wearing masks or following recommendations to remain more than 6 feet apart to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

The same group had planned additional rallies in coming days against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s orders that people remain at home except for essential activities. Additional similar rallies have been happening across California and the nation. 

Protest organizers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  

New virus timeline: California had 2 deaths weeks earlier

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Health officials say two people infected with the coronavirus in California died as many as three weeks before the U.S. reported its first death from the disease in late February — a gap that underscored shortcomings in the nation’s surveillance system for detecting outbreaks. 

The deaths in early and mid-February show that the virus was spreading in California well before officials realized it and that outbreaks were underway in at least two parts of the country at about the same time.

Vista to reopen parks for limited use on Friday

The city of Vista announced Wednesday that its city parks will reopen for "passive use" beginning Friday, following just over three weeks of COVID-19-related closures.

Parkgoers will be limited to individual or household unit activities, such as walking, jogging or running. Dogs on leashes will be permitted. Read the full story here.

Woman may be charged for Saturday's San Diego protest against stay-at-home order

A woman who organized last weekend's protest in downtown San Diego, opposing stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic, is facing possible misdemeanor charges that could result in 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, the woman and her attorneys said Wednesday.

Naomi Israel, 27, was one of hundreds who demonstratively opposed California's stay-at-home orders during a "Freedom Rally" Saturday afternoon in front of the Hall of Justice. You can read the full story here.

Plasma donations from COVID-19 survivors arrive at San Diego Blood Bank

A recent San Diego Blood Bank call for recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma generated 17 units that were given to local patients fighting the illness, it was announced Wednesday.

While COVID-19 has no proven treatment, plasma taken from those who have recovered may help patients currently fighting the virus.

Click here for the full story.

Chula Vista Moves to Buy 2,000 WiFi Hotspots for Students at Home

Chula Vista will begin providing 2,000 WiFi Hotspot devices to families who need internet connectivity for their children to attend virtual classrooms.

The Chula Vista City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to execute an agreement with T-Mobile and potentially other telecommunication providers for services and the devices.

Funding for the devices and service, totaling $650,000, will be paid by the Public Education Grant Fund budget and will not affect the city's general fund. 

San Diego County officials report 9 additional deaths bringing total to 96

San Diego County officials reported an additional nine deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday bringing the total loss of life in the county to 96. They also reported an additional 57 cases bringing the total to 2,491. 

Click here for the full story.

Coronado 2020 Fourth of July Independence Day celebration canceled

The Coronado Fourth of July Committee and the City of Coronado announced Wednesday the 72nd annual Fourth of July Parade and the fireworks display have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the City of Coronado. 

Read the full story here.

National City mandates face coverings in public settings

Starting Wednesday, everyone who goes out in public in National City is required to wear a face covering. The City Council unanimously passed an emergency order Tuesday mandating the practice amid the COVID-19 pandemic, making National City the first city to do so in San Diego County. 

Read the full story here.

Assemblymember Todd Gloria to join San Diego Unified to distribute food to students 

California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria will join the San Diego Unified School District to distribute food to students at a new food service site set-up by the school district to serve students living in the beach communities. The new site comes as a result of advocacy by Assemblymember Gloria’s office, who was contacted by residents in the beach and bay neighborhoods about the lack of district food service sites in that area. For more information, click here.

California governor to update plans for lifting virus orders

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has promised an update on the state's plans to reopen once the threat of the coronavirus has passed. Newsom is scheduled to give an update on Wednesday about the state's ability to test people for the coronavirus. 

He says the state is averaging 14,500 tests per day. That's an increase from the 2,000 tests per day the state was averaging at the beginning of April. State officials have already issued new guidelines that recommend testing people for the virus in high risk settings even if they do not have symptoms. 

California has more than 35,600 confirmed cases.  

April 21

California recommends virus tests for some with no symptoms

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — New testing guidelines from the California Department of Public Health recommend testing people in high-risk settings even if they don't have symptoms. The new guidelines are aimed at health care workers, prisoners and the homeless. 

The California Department of Public Health released the testing guidelines in a memo dated Sunday that was first reported by the Los Angeles Times. Recent outbreaks have hit two California homeless shelters in Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

Most of the people infected in the San Francisco shelter did not have symptoms. 

California is now testing an average of 14,500 people per day.

Face coverings  are now mandatory for everyone in National City

The National City City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to enact an emergency order that requires residents to wear face coverings anytime they leave their home and are in public settings.

The National City Community Services Department created an easy no sew face coverings how to video which will walk you through step by step using items you may already have around your home.

Firefighters trying to stay healthy as peak wildfire season for San Diego looms ahead

As we get ready for temperatures to start increasing, the coronavirus is adding a new twist when it comes to wildfire season. Cal Fire San Diego is doing everything it can to make sure it has the manpower to fight fire locally and statewide but are also asking the public to do their part.

“We do know it’s going to start drying up here quickly,” said Thomas Shoots, a spokesperson for Cal Fire San Diego.

While San Diego hasn't seen any major outbreaks with first responders, they have popped up in other parts of the state and country.

Click here for the full story.

Dead Carlsbad woman receives a $1,200 stimulus check from the IRS

The dead woman's son, John, who currently lives in Lakeside, has no interest in keeping the money and tried to return it. He went on the IRS's website, but couldn't find any information about returning stimulus money. He also couldn't find any government stimulus contacts. Read more.

San Diego companies report increased sweatpants and loungewear sales

What would you say if you heard that jogger sweatpants sales are up by 1,000%? Read the full story here.

San Diego ACLU chapter files lawsuit calling for detainee release at Otay Mesa Detention Center

The American Civil Liberties Union's San Diego chapter filed a class-action lawsuit Tuesday calling for a drastic reduction in the number of detainees at the Otay Mesa Detention Center, where a COVID-19 outbreak has infected both detainees and staff members.

The ACLU is also seeking an emergency temporary restraining order demanding the immediate release of all Otay Mesa detainees over the age of 45 and people with underlying medical conditions, due to a heightened risk of coronavirus-related illness or death.

Click here for the full story.

San Diego mayor calls on landlords to rent units to homeless, receive incentives

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer called upon local landlords Tuesday to rent open units to San Diegans experiencing homelessness, including seniors and veterans. Mayor Faulconer was by San Diego Housing Commission President and CEO Richard C. Gentry at his daily briefing at which also included updates about the city and region's response to COVID-19. 

Mayor Faulconer's office said the call on landlords to use their rental units for the city's homeless is an effort that builds on the mayor's "Housing Our Heroes" initiative which found housing for 1,000 homeless veterans over the course of 18 months.

Click here for the full story.

San Diego faces additional $50M shortfall due to coronavirus pandemic

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer told the San Diego City Council on Tuesday to prepare for deeper cuts as the fiscal year 2021 budget comes to terms with massive economic and revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

An initial proposed $3.9 billion balanced budget for FY2021 completed on March 30 is already out of date, and Faulconer said the city anticipates another loss of $50 million in revenue before a revised budget is presented to the council in May.

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County COVID-19 death count increases

Dr. Wilma Wooten, Chairman Greg Cox, Dr. Eric McDonald, and Supervisor Nathan Fletcher gave a coronavirus update Tuesday afternoon. 

The county announced 15 new deaths, which Fletcher said is the single highest number of deaths reported in a single day. The COVID-19 death total in San Diego County is 87 as of Tuesday. 

Fletcher also announced 109 new patients have tested positive for COVID-19, which Fletcher called “highest daily total reported in more than two weeks.” 

So, this means 2,434 San Diego County residents have tested positive out of the 34,920 people that have been tested total. 24% of those 2,434 people have been hospitalized, Wooten said.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors approves $5 million small business loan program

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday afternoon approved a $5 million no-to-low interest loan program to help small businesses in unincorporated areas of the county that have been impacted by COVID-19.

Supervisors Jim Desmond and Dianne Jacob sought the Board of Supervisors' approval for the loan program, which will "cushion small business losses related to coronavirus" according to Miles Himmel, Desmond's communications director.

Businesses in the county’s unincorporated area with 50 or fewer employees could seek loans of up to $50,000 each. You can read the full story here.

Governor Newsom launches one-stop website for volunteers in fight against COVID-19

Governor Gavin Newsom provided his daily update on COVID-19 in California Tuesday and launched the "Californians For All" volunteer corps website to match Californians with safe volunteer opportunities so they can support their communities. During these difficult times, Newsom said Californians can come together to help each other by joining the movement at californiansforall.ca.gov.

Read the full story here.

San Diego begins limited reopening of city parks following COVID-19 closures

San Diego city parks will partially reopen Tuesday following weeks of COVID-19-related closures. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who announced the re-openings on Monday, said parkgoers will be limited to individual activities, with all social distancing, face-covering recommendations and other health-related measures remaining in effect. For a list of parks slated to reopen, click here.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob hosts East County virtual town hall

Supervisor Dianne Jacob, joined by a small business development expert, will host an online town hall at 4 p.m. to discuss business recovery efforts and take questions. Jacob will also discuss an initiative going to the board of supervisors for consideration Tuesday --  a $5 million loan program to help small businesses in the county's unincorporated area. For more information, click here.

April 20

Mayor Faulconer says city neighborhood parks will reopen in a limited capacity

The mayor of the City of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer, on Monday announced the limited reopening of the city's neighborhood parks starting Tuesday after being closed nearly five weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

If the rules are not followed, Mayor Faulconer warned the parks would once again be closed.  

A full list of parks slated to reopen is now available on the city's website at sandiego.gov/coronavirus.

Read the full story here

Los Angeles study suggests virus much more widespread

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new study estimates that 320,000 adults in Los Angeles County may have been infected with coronavirus. That's according to preliminary results of a study that suggests the illness is far more widespread than current testing shows and the death rate is much lower. 

The study conducted by the county and the University of Southern California estimated that approximately 4.1% of the county’s adult population of 8 million has antibodies to the virus. 

The study shows more people than were known have been silent carriers of the virus that has killed more than 1,200 people in California. 

An immigrant rights law firm asking for the release of four migrant detainee

An immigrant rights law firm has filed a petition in San Diego federal court asking for the release of four migrant detainees from the Otay Mesa Detention Center amid a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.

The petition for habeas corpus alleges those in charge of running the facility have not taken steps to "adequately depopulate Otay Mesa, as expert opinion demands."

As of Monday, 18 ICE detainees and eight ICE employees have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the latest numbers publicly released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

San Diego County supervisor looking for ways to get small businesses back to work

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond released a questionnaire, asking business owners which safety precautions they'd be willing to take in order to have small businesses reopen. You can read the full story here.

Tijuana police using drones to monitor social distancing

Tijuana police followed Chula Vista in using drones to slow the spread of coronavirus. You can read the full story here.

San Diego community leaders question lack of citations for weekend protesters

Over the weekend, San Diegans took to the streets to express their frustrations over local and statewide stay-at-home orders issued last month due to the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. There were two rallies: one in Downtown San Diego on Saturday and one in Encinitas on Sunday. Several community leaders are now speaking out about how the rallies played out and what they would like to see from local law enforcement.   

The concern is the lack of consistency with many asking why some people have gotten $1,000 tickets when they go out to get fresh air while protestors have been allowed to do what they want without any intervention.   

Community leaders Francine Maxwell, president of the NAACP San Diego branch, and Reverend Shane Harris with the People's Alliance for Justice are both questioning why citations were not issued citing racial bias. 

See the full story here.

San Diego County officials report COVID-19 cases at 2,325, deaths at 71

San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten announced 57 additional cases of COVID-19 in the county at a briefing Monday bringing the total to 2,325. Dr. Wooten also reported one additional death bringing the total in the county to 71. The latest death was a woman in her mid-80s with an underlying health condition, according to Wooten.  

Regarding plans to re-open business and other sectors in San Diego, Supervisor Greg Cox - who is also a chairman for Mayor Kevin Faulconer's San Diego Economic Recovery Advisory Group - outlined six indicators the state of California will use to decide when to lift or modify the stay-at-home order.  

See the full story here.

Alibaba founder donates personal protective equipment to UCSD Health

The founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has sent nearly half a million pieces of personal protective equipment to hospitals in the San Diego region, much of it expected to arrive this week, UC San Diego Health announced Monday. Joe Tsai is a resident of San Diego with his wife Clara and their children. The Tsai family reached out to UCSD to help distribute equipment throughout the region to keep health care workers safe while battling COVID-19.

"Our university is privileged to play a role in assisting Joe and Clara in providing their generous donation of masks and goggles to health care institutions in the greater San Diego community and other parts of California," said UCSD Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. "This equipment is invaluable as our region prepares for a likely surge in the number of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic."  

California announces efforts to close 'digital divide' in education

Governor Gavin Newsom, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced efforts to close the "digital divide" during this distance learning period for students of lower socioeconomic status and students of color. 70,000 students will receive chromebooks, laptops, and iPads due to the $30 million fund. You can read the full story here.

Alibaba Co-Founder Joe Tsai and his wife Clara donate 500,000 pieces of PPE to San Diego Health Care Providers 

This week, nearly half a million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) are expected to arrive from China thanks to a donation by Joe and Clara Tsai. Much of the donated equipment, which will provide assistance in combating the COVID-19 pandemic in the state of California, will be shipped to the University of California San Diego and other health care providers in our region. To learn more on how you can help, click here.

Sweetwater Union High School District begins distance learning

A number of districts in the South Bay and East County will begin distance learning, Sweetwater Union High School is one of the districts making the move on Monday. Teachers will have a choice of using either Jupiter, Google Classroom, or Canvas to house their lessons, assignments, and activities. 

Click here for the full story.

Feeding San Diego expands Feeding Heroes programs to address hunger for military and veteran families during COVID-19 

Feeding San Diego announced today the expansion of the Feeding Heroes initiative to provide additional hunger-relief services to military and veteran families throughout San Diego County at new sites, including Dewey Elementary and Armed Services YMCA. Amid the growing need for food assistance, San Diego is home to the largest concentration of military and veterans in the country, including 143,000 active-duty service members with 260,000 military dependents.  

Assemblyman Todd Gloria hosts an interactive webinar for small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, will team with the San Diego and Imperial Small Business Development Center Monday, April 20, to host an interactive webinar for small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar will take place via Zoom and will focus on providing the latest information on state and federal assistance for small businesses. For more information, click here.

San Diego unemployment rate at 4.7%, California at 5%

The San Diego Workforce Partnership reports in March and April nearly 50,000 local workers lost their jobs. And to make things tougher, News 8 has been getting several emails from viewers who are still having a hard time filing for unemployment because the system is overloaded. 

There are record numbers of people on the EDD website and the state has added extra staff and increased call center hoursOne local expert said as frustrating as it might be to try and file online, it's still the best way to file. 

Click here for the full story.

April 19

No weekend protesters cited for violating stay-at-home orders in San Diego County

Sunday marked the second day of protests in San Diego County and police did not issue any citations for those violating the stay-at-home order in place. News 8 received several emails from viewers asking why.  

San Diego Sheriff’s deputies monitored the crowd in Encinitas Sunday but did not issue citations, according to officials. It was the same with protesters who took to the streets in Downtown San Diego on Saturday. 

See the full story here.

Del Mar Races summer season intended to go on as of now

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club released the statement below to News 8 on Sunday regarding their upcoming summer season. As of now, the season is slated to begin July 18.

"The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is following the public health guidelines recommended by state and local officials as well as monitoring the status of the other horse racing facilities in California and around the country.  As of now, we intend to hold our summer race meet on its scheduled dates with a steadfast commitment to ensuring the safety and welfare of our workforce, the public and our equine and human athletes.  We will continue to work with the relevant public health officials as we get closer to our scheduled opening and will make decisions on any potential modifications at the appropriate time."

San Diego County releases new numbers on COVID-19 cases

San Diego County health officials are no longer holding media briefings on weekend days but did provide new numbers on COVID-19 cases. 

There are now a total of 2,268 confirmed cases - an increase of 55 from Saturday; the number of deaths among county residents remained at 71. 

The latest update also stated that 552 or just under 25% of cases have required hospitalization and 188 were placed in ICU (just over 8%). 

More detailed numbers and statistics will be available here around 5 p.m. Sunday. 

Weekday media briefings with county health and elected officials will resume Monday.

Free video series offered to nurses fighting pandemic by San Diego nurse, veteran of AIDS crisis

As COVID-19 continues to take its heaviest toll in the health-care industry, a San Diego nurse attorney, author, and veteran of the AIDS crisis is offering nurses a free video series to help them survive the new pandemic

Lorie Brown put together the video series to provide tips for nurses on the front line of the coronavirus fight. It features 18 experts who provide advice such as keeping up immunity, getting better sleep, practicing mindfulness and understanding nurses' rights. 

Click here for the full story.

Encinitas group gathers to protest the closure of public spaces in North County San Diego

A group organized to protest the widespread closure of public spaces like parks, trails, and beaches as part of the stay-at-home orders by gathering in Encinitas on Sunday morning.

The public Facebook group, Free Encinitas, put the event message out earlier this week and asked for the community to come out in support.

The group met along the 101 in front of Swami's Beach at 10 a.m. and then headed south. They asked supporters to bring signs of support as well as to "keep in motion and stay social distanced."

Click here for the full story.

April 18

State lists 11 San Diego nursing homes with COVID-19 outbreaks

For a full list of the impacted nursing homes, click here

San Diego groups protest government-imposed shutdown orders on Saturday

The Freedom Rallies took place in downtown and featured people on the right and left sides of the political spectrum. For a full rundown on the protests and to watch a live stream of the event, click here

Governor Newsom updates state initiative on keeping homeless safe from COVID-19

Governor Newsom announced a partnership with Motel 6 which will provide over 5,000 new motel rooms. For a full breakdown of Project Roomkey, click here

Cox offers free internet for K-12 students amid COVID-19 school closures

The offer is available to families who have at least one kindergarten through 12th-grader and receive benefits from the National School Lunch Program, SNAP or TANF. For more information, click here.


RELATED: Watch live: Encinitas group gathers to protest the closure of public spaces in San Diego

RELATED: San Diego groups protest government-imposed shutdown orders

RELATED: State lists 11 San Diego nursing homes with COVID-19 outbreaks

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. 


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. 

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