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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: July 21 - 23 (afternoon), 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from July 21 - 23 (afternoon), 2020.  Click here for real-time updates for July 23, 2020 and on.   

Key COVID-19 facts in San Diego and California:

July 23

San Diego County reports 501 new COVID-19 cases, 7 deaths

San Diego County public health officials Thursday announced 501 new COVID-19 infections and 7 new deaths, raising the total number of cases to 25,608, and 512 deaths in the region.

One new community setting outbreak was reported on July 22 at a restaurant/bar. In the past seven days, 12 community outbreaks were confirmed.

The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive tests is 6.0% and the target is to stay below than 8.0%

San Diego County creates compliance team amid pandemic

As a result of coronavirus numbers that continue to rise, Supervisor Greg Cox announced Wednesday that San Diego County was starting a Safe Reopening Compliance Team that will provide assistance to businesses and residents not in compliance with public health orders.

The team's exact powers were not immediately clear.

"This is a carrot approach, not a stick," Cox said. "But we still have the stick and other tools to ensure compliance."

Click here for the full story.

July 22

First responders said less people calling 911, more people dying at home

Some people hesitate to call 911 during this pandemic. Here's what first responders recommend if you're experiencing a medical emergency. 

California has most coronavirus cases in US, San Diego County remains above state case rate threshold

California now has more coronavirus cases than any other state in the U.S., surpassing New York, which was once the American epicenter.

Health and government officials have continued to stress the importance of hygiene and distancing.

"It’s just another reminder if I need to remind anybody, of the magnitude of impact that this virus continues to have,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County coronavirus cases exceed 25,000

San Diego County health officials reported 587 more COVID-19 cases and 18 additional coronavirus fatalities, raising the region's totals to 25,107 cases and 505 deaths at an afternoon briefing on Wednesday. You can watch the full update here.

Governor Newsom addressed Californians on the same day that California surpassed New York for most coronavirus cases in the nation.

On Wednesday the governor's address was all about Personal Protective Equipment. According to Newsom, the state has so far distributed 86.4 million N95 masks and 297 million surgical masks. He also touched on the number of masks that are currently in the state’s stockpile and where they will be sent to.

Later in his address, he briefly alluded to a talk that will be held on Friday which could contain more information on schools.

For the full address, click here

San Diego County launches Latino outreach campaign for COVID-19

San Diego County officials announced additional outreach campaigns Tuesday to the region's Latino community, which has been the hardest-hit group in the COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, of the county's more than 24,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases with known race/ethnicity, about 60% are Latino. That ethnic group makes up about 34% of the local population.

Click here for the full story.

July 21

Does wearing a mask deplete oxygen levels?

Despite public health orders, some people still refuse to wear masks. One of the claims that's been circulating is masks deplete oxygen levels.

But is it true?

"I want to reassure everyone that is not the case," said Dr. Georgine Nanos of Kind Health Group. "I'm not sure where people get these myths, but they do catch on, unfortunately."

Click here for the full story.

How to get San Diego County off state watch list

San Diego health officials stressed everyone needs to do their part to help the county reduce the number of coronavirus cases and reopen more businesses. The county’s case rate has exceeded the state monitoring threshold for three consecutive weeks.

The county urged residents to continue practicing good hygiene, distancing themselves from people not in their household and using a face-covering in public.

Click here for the full story.

California tops 400,000 COVID-19 cases

California's positivity rate, a key indicator of community spread,is trending upward in the 14-day average. Hospitalization rates are also trending upward in the 14-day average. There are now more than 400,000 confirmed cases statewide.

San Diego County reports 358 new COVID-19 cases, 9 deaths 

San Diego County public health officials Tuesday announced 358 new COVID-19 infections, raising the total number of cases to 24,520, and 9 new deaths were reported.

The new cases are the lowest daily total reported since July 7 had 264 cases.  9,030 tests were reported to the County on July 20 and 4% were positive new cases.

The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive tests is 5.8% and the target is to stay less than 8.0%

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly gives update on COVID-19

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly hosted a video conference Tuesday to provide an update on COVID-19. The update is available on the California Department of Public Health's YouTube account.

CSU chancellor expects future furloughs because of revenue reductions

The California State University system is not planning to negotiate a furlough program for this fiscal year, but one "is most likely necessary" in the 2021-22 fiscal year because of revenue reductions related to the coronavirus outbreak, Chancellor Timothy P. White wrote.

The system, which includes San Diego State University and California State University San Marcos, will spend a portion of its discretionary reserves during the 2020-21 fiscal year and each of the next two fiscal years "knowing that we are facing at least a three-year fiscal challenge," White wrote Monday in the letter to all CSU faculty and staff.

Click here for the full story.

RELATED: Trump asks people who can't socially distance to wear a mask

RELATED: Next virus aid package could easily swell past $1 trillion

RELATED: CDC: Antibody tests show virus rates 10x higher

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

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.