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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: April 23 - 25, 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from April 23 - 25, 2020

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from April 23 - 25, 2020.  Click here for real-time updates for April 26, 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 41,137 confirmed cases in California, according to Johns ,Hopkins' COVID-19 map and 1,651 deaths, according to the CA Department of Public Health
  • 3,343 Californians are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 1,504 are in the ICU, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • More than 482,097 have been conducted as of April 22, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • A senior hotline has been set up to answer questions at 833-544-2374.

April 25

San Diego mayor, police chief, and lifeguard chief go over rules for opening beaches

Phase 1 of the beach re-opening plan begins Monday at sunrise and includes restrictions such as no group gatherings, no parking and no lying down to soak up the sun.

"The more we do this, the more we can go on to Phase 2," Nisleit said. "No sitting on the beach and no loitering on the beach. For those that want to refuse, they will be cited. We don't want to do that, but we need people to adhere to the rules. It allows us to get to Phase 2 and beyond. The better cooperation, the sooner we do that."

For a full rundown of the plan, click here

San Diego Sheriffs make multiple arrests at Encinitas protest

At least three people were arrested on Saturday morning during a protest at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. The people were taken to patrol stations and were issued a misdemeanor citation for violating the stay-at-home order and stepping foot onto a closed beach. To read more, click here.

Food distributed to 1,200 households at SDCCU Stadium 

Boxes of food were distributed on Saturday to families at SDCCU Stadium by Feeding San Diego and the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council.

About 1,200 households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic were served at the drive-through site, starting at 9 a.m. and continuing until the food ran out, said Dana Williams of Feeding San Diego.

A pre-packed box of canned and boxed foods, a frozen chicken or pork item, and a bag of fresh fruits and vegetables was placed in each trunk, Williams said.

Restaurants and organizations are asked to donate food to the distribution program by visiting the Feeding San Diego website, feedingsandiego.org/coronavirus, Williams said.

Feeding San Diego is a non-profit group established in 2007 as a hunger-relief and food rescue organization. The labor council represents more than 136 labor groups with about 200,000 members.

The stadium food distribution is scheduled for every Saturday at 9 a.m.

April 24

CBP changes hours of operation at the San Diego, Tijuana border after coronavirus travel restrictions decrease traffic

The decrease of traffic at the U.S., Mexico border due to the coronavirus pandemic travel restrictions has led U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to make changes to operational hours for vehicle SENTRI lanes at Otay Mesa. 

The new operating hours for SENTRI vehicle lanes will be 4 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Read the full story here.

Del Mar and Solana Beach will not reopen beaches on Monday

In a joint statement on Friday, the cities of Del Mar and Solana beach announced they would not reopen their beaches on Monday like other parts of San Diego County. 

Del Mar and Solana Beach beaches will remain closed until the two cities "receptively evaluate the necessary staffing, protocols, and logistics in order to reopen the beaches in accordance with the County’s requirements, stated in their yet-to-be-released amended health order, and to protect the health and safety of city personnel and the public."

Read the full story here.

Virus deaths continue to hit California nursing homes hard

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The coronavirus continues to take a deadly toll among residents of California nursing homes, with some facilities being particularly hard hit. 

In Tulare County, there have been 20 deaths among residents of Redwood Springs Healthcare in Visalia as of Friday. In San Bernardino County, 18 deaths have occurred among residents who had COVID-19 at Cedar Mountain Post Acute Rehabilitation. 

Los Angeles County reports most of its 365 deaths in institutional settings have been among residents of skilled nursing facilities. LA County issued new public health orders requiring COVID-19 testing of all residents and staff in such facilities, including those who are asymptomatic.  

San Diego kids, teens writing uplifting letters to seniors in nursing home

Here is how you can become pen pals with a senior with Sunshine for Seniors.

Cardiff COVID-19 testing clinic that was shut down reopens in downtown San Diego

COVID Clinic reopened on Friday, this time in downtown San Diego. The Orange County doctor that runs the clinic said it's fully complying with the county. Read more here.

Face coverings legally mandated in public countywide starting May 1

Fletcher announced a new countywide public health directive that people have to wear a face covering whenever they are within six feet of someone they don't live with. This goes into effect on May 1, but people are encouraged to start wearing a face covering as soon as possible.

San Diego County loosens restrictions on ocean access starting Monday

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced that the county is amending the public health order to allow people to go into the ocean starting Monday morning. This means people can kayak, swim, and surf.  

“[You] can’t sit, lay down, play volleyball, or engage in group activities,” said Fletcher.

However, this doesn't mean people in San Diego County can spend time on the sand. It's up to individual cities to decide if they want to open up the actual beach on Monday morning.

Fletcher said that piers and boardwalks will remain closed. Recreational boating is not allowed at the moment because it’s hard to social distance on a boat and ensure passengers all are from the same household, Fletcher said. 

This amendment doesn’t impact state parks and beaches. You can read more here.

California teaming up with FEMA & local restaurants to provide meals to vulnerable seniors

During Friday's media briefing, the governor announced a plan that will provide nutritious meals to the most vulnerable of California's seniors. The plan is a partnership between FEMA, the state, and local restaurants all across the state. For a full rundown on the plan and an update on what else was said during the press conference, click here

Pilots honor San Diego health care workers with hospital flyovers

Pilots in more than two dozen planes flew in formation over hospitals across the San Diego area Friday to salute health care professionals working the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Read the full story here.

Jerome’s Furniture announces Frontline Heroes giveaway campaign

Jerome’s Furniture announced Friday the launch of its Frontline Heroes giveaway campaign. Individuals can nominate someone who currently works for the safety of others during the COVID-19 shutdown for a chance to win a $500 Jerome’s Furniture gift card. For more information on how you can nominate someone, click here

California's ambitious virus test goals face short supplies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California is grappling with significant hurdles in its ambitious efforts to ramp up coronavirus testing. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom's goal to reach 60,000 tests per day before he'll consider easing stay-at-home orders face challenges that have existed since the early days of pandemic. 

There are bottlenecks in the supply chain and delays in getting test results. Even as Newsom announced that he had secured a promise Wednesday from President Donald Trump for ample swab supplies, he said other shortages remain.  

April 23

California cities: Virus could mean $6.7 billion in losses

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's 482 cities say they will collectively lose $6.7 billion over the next two years because of the coronavirus. The League of Califonria Cities says most cities will have to layoff workers and cut basic services. 

The city of Yountville is located in California's wine country and gets 74% of its money from sales and hotel taxes. Mayor John Dunbar says the city expects to lose 60% of its revenue in its upcoming budget. 

Grass Valley Councilwoman Jan Arbuckle said the city will likely have to cut public safety spending if the coronavirus restrictions continue much longer.  

California suspends 10-cent grocery bag charge amid virus

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians won’t be charged 10 cents per bag at the grocery store and retailers can again hand out thinner, single-use plastic bags under an executive order signed Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. It’s a change that major retailers have wanted for weeks. 

Many grocery stores have stopped letting customers bring in reusable bags over fears of spreading the new coronavirus. 

Newsom's executive order also lifts the ban on stores handing out single-use plastic bags for 60 days. State law requires stores that do hand out plastic bags to give ones that can be reused.  

Mayor Faulconer, D.A., and City Attorney provide resources to avoid coronavirus scams and prevent abuse

Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer on Thursday was joined by District Attorney Summer Stephan and City Attorney Mara Elliott to highlight resources available to San Diegans related to scams and abuse in a time of crisis. 

Read the full story here.  

City of Encinitas to reopen Coastal Rail Trail, walking path on Highway 101

Starting Friday, the Encinitas Coastal Rail Trail and the walking path on Highway 101 will reopen, according to the City of Encinitas. 

A statement from the city read in part: 

  • Maintain social distance. The recommended minimum distance to keep between others is six feet.
  • Facial coverings strongly recommended.
  • Keep moving, it is important that people continue to move to avoid congestion and congregating.
  • Travel on the right and pass on the left to avoid contact with people moving in an opposing direction.
  • Refrain from gathering.
  • Provide others plenty of space.
  • Please do not use the trail if you are sick."

Coronavirus pandemic hitting the housing market

New U.S. home sales plunged 15.4% in March as coronavirus-related shutdowns began to rattle the housing market. 

"The longer this goes on that's going to be the bigger impact for high-cost expensive areas like Southern California, like San Diego," said Noah Grassi, a realtor with Compass.

He said some of his clients have pulled their homes off the market.

Click here for the full story.

Report Finds 16,000 Essential Workers Use Mass Transit Daily

A report released Thursday by Circulate San Diego found that nearly 16,000 essential workers in the region commute to work every day by public transportation, underscoring the importance of transit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the nonprofit transit advocacy group, nearly 25% of the region's essential workers do not own a vehicle and 30% of San Diego County's highway maintenance workers rely on public transit every day.

Circulate San Diego said it utilized data provided by the national advocacy organization TransitCenter to determine how many transit riders rely on transit to get to essential jobs in the San Diego region.

San Diego couple thanks UC San Diego nurse, staff for helping them through coronavirus recovery

After fighting hard to overcome COVID-19, a San Diego couple has a message of hope and gratitude for anyone fighting the virus. You can read their full story here.

South Bay tightens coronavirus restrictions as case numbers rise

South Bay community leaders rallied to demand more testing and tracing in their communities as the number of coronavirus cases there rises faster than in other parts of the county. You can read the full story here.

San Diego County announces new testing sites, 100th coronavirus death

The county announced 152 new positives, which is single largest number of cases announced on a single day according to Fletcher. Fletcher also noted an increase in testing. This means 2,643 people have tested positive out of the 38,689 tested conducted countywide. 

The county also announced four new deaths, which means 100 people have died of COVID-19 in San Diego County. These deaths are approximately 4% of the cases, according to Wooten. You can read the full story here.

Sheriff's investigators recommend charges for organizer of Encinitas protest against closure of public spaces

Investigators from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department North Coastal Station are recommending charges against the organizer of a protest that took place in Encinitas Sundaythe department said Thursday. A case has been submitted to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office for review and recommends one count be charged against Crista Curtis who planned the North County rally against the closure of public areas due to local and statewide stay-at-home orders.  

According to the sheriff’s department, Curtis could be charged with one count for violation of California Government Code 8665. The charge is a misdemeanor and carries a fine of up to $1,00 and imprisonment of up to six months.  

On Sunday, a group of about 100 people in Encinitas protested the widespread closure of public spaces like parks, trails, and beaches as part of the COVID-19 related stay-at-home orders. 

Curtis organized the demonstration which included surfers, hikers and others.  

Click here for the full story.

The County of San Diego and Palomar Medical Center Escondido launch federal medical station 

A 202-bed field hospital is being set up at Palomar Medical Center. The extra beds will increase the region's ability to cope with a surge of COVID- 19 patients and will be set up on the vacant 10th and 11th floors of the Escondido hospital. You can read the full story here.

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.

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

RELATED: When will stimulus checks be mailed? What to know if you're still waiting

RELATED: ‘We’ve got to get a handle on the spread of this virus’: Chula Vista announces mandatory face-covering rules

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.