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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: Aug. 4 - 6 (afternoon), 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Aug. 4 - 6 (afternoon), 2020

Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Aug. 4 - 6 (afternoon), 2020. Click here for real-time updates for Aug. 6, 2020 and on.

Key COVID-19 facts in San Diego and California:

Aug. 6

San Diego County health officials reported 348 new COVID-19 cases and 10 additional deaths 

The new totals reported on Wednesday raise the county's totals to 30,864 cases and 578 deaths.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Wednesday that California had reported issues with private labs and reporting, meaning some additional cases might be retroactively added to both local and statewide case totals in coming weeks.

Of the total positive cases, 2,655 -- or 8.6% -- required hospitalization and 666 -- or 2.2% -- were admitted to an intensive care unit. Officials estimate more than 24,000 people have recovered from the virus.

The rate of the population testing positive has dropped to 105.7 per 100,000 people. The state's goal is to be below 100 per 100,000. One week ago the rate was 134.4 per 100,000 -- a trend which could potentially get San Diego County off the state's watch list. 

Watch the full update here.

Aug. 5

San Diego County reports improvements in coronavirus tracing, ramps up public health order enforcement

San Diego County continued making progress toward lowering its coronavirus case rates and improving how quickly it is tracing confirmed cases. However, it is still several weeks away from any new reopenings under state guidance.

On Wednesday, the county reported a case rate of 105.7 per 100,000 residents, the lowest rate since July 1 and before the county went on the state’s “watch list.” It needs to have a rate of 100 per 100,000 or lower for 14 consecutive days before it can make changes to the public health order.

The county has also vastly improved how quickly it is opening trace investigations. It has a goal of opening 90% of cases within 24 hours of receiving a positive result. On July 18 the county was tracing just 7% of these cases. However, it improved to 73% on Wednesday.  

Click here for the full story.

California lawmakers propose legislation requiring employers to report COVID infections

Lorena Gonzalez, along with Assemblymembers Eloise Gomez Reyes, D-San Bernardino, and Robert Rivas, D-Hollister, asked their fellow legislators to pass Assembly Bill 685, under which employers would be required to provide a 24- hour notice to all employees at a worksite should any worker be exposed to COVID-19. 

A hearing on the bill began Wednesday morning in the Senate's Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee. 

Read the full story.

San Diego County supervisors approve opening parks to worship and workouts

 The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to immediately open up county-owned parks for worship and fitness activities, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Supervisors also voted to streamline the application process and waive permit fees for qualified applicants wanting to use park space. Under the proposal, businesses will not be allowed to interfere with the park’s activities, infrastructure, environment or rules. 

Read the full story.

Aug. 4

290 new COVID-19 cases, 3 new deaths reported in San Diego County 

San Diego County health officials reported 290 new cases on Tuesday, down from the previous five days of reporting over 300 cases per day.  The total tests were a 30-day low of 4,168 reported from the prior day.

The rate of the population testing positive has dropped to 114.9 per 100,000 people. The state's goal for each county is to be below 100 per 100,000 residents.

Click here for the full story.

SD City Council moves $700,000 in CARES Act funds to underserved businesses 

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to allocate $700,000 from San Diego's Small Business Relief Fund toward helping hard-hit businesses in historically underserved communities to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The influx of money from the city's previously allocated Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds will provide grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, specialized outreach, and technical assistance to business owners. You can learn more here.

Supervisors approve $48M in pandemic money for childcare, food programs

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved spending $48 million in federal pandemic-related funding to help child care providers, testing in schools and meals for senior citizens.

The board directed $25 million to child care providers, who have been struggling to stay afloat since March, in the form of grants.

The county will also spend $18.8 million on senior food programs -- including an expanded Great Plates program that involves prepared meals delivered to the elderly -- while also supporting participating restaurants.

The board voted to spend $5 million to support the county Department of Public Health's testing, tracing and treatment strategy dedicated for kindergarten through 12th-grade schools.

Businesses adapting to working outdoors

Nail salons got the green light to reopen outdoors, but one business owner in Escondido said it is not ideal long term.

San Diego City Council moves $700,000 in CARES Act funds to underserved businesses 

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously today to allocate $700,000 from San Diego's Small Business Relief Fund toward helping hard-hit businesses in historically underserved communities to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County sees uptick in community outbreaks over summer

San Diego County gave a COVID-19 briefing Monday afternoon, which you can watch here. A total of 343 new cases Monday raises the county total to 30,226. No new deaths were reported Monday, keeping that number at 565.

Of 6,536 tests the county recorded Monday, just over 5% of them returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average of positive tests down to 5.3%. The state's target is fewer than 8% of tests returning positive.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher described July as a "roller coaster," but the end of the month showed promising trends which he hopes will carry on into August and beyond.

The rate of the population testing positive has dropped to 118.2 per 100,000 people. The state's goal is be below 100 per 100,000. A week ago that number was above 140 per 100,000. There have been 132 confirmed community outbreaks since June 1.

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 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

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.

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.