SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Sept. 22 - 24 (afternoon), 2020. Click here for real-time updates for Sept. 24, 2020 and on.
Key COVID-19 facts in San Diego and California:
Poway Unified to discuss how to reopen secondary schools
Families in the third-largest school district in the county are still waiting to hear when their middle and high schools will reopen.
Poway Unified Board of Education is expected to hear about a plan on Thursday to allow those students back on their campuses.
As of now, the only schools that have a return plan are elementary schools. The parents of middle and high schoolers are still waiting to move beyond virtual learning.
To read the full story, click here.
Beyond the numbers: San Diego County's COVID-19 case rate, explained
Coronavirus is now the sixth leading cause of death among San Diego County residents this year. The Health and Human Services Agency found it displaced chronic lower respiratory disease, like COPD, and continues to rise against other causes of death.
San Diego County remains barely in the red tier
San Diego County reported 278 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. The county has officially completed more than 1,000,000 tests countywide since the pandemic began. With flu season fears in the near future, the county is recommending people wear face coverings, wash their hands and receive a flu shot.
'We can't close again' | San Diego County businesses react to COVID-19 tier anxiety
California's announcement that San Diego County will remain in the red tier is good news for small businesses, but owners fear that the emotional roller coaster ride they've been on is far from over.
No reopening timeline for San Diego Unified schools as criticism mounts
A group of parents protested to reopen schools ahead of the San Diego Unified School board meeting Tuesday. They say they want their kids back in classrooms now, but the school board says it has a plan to phase in reopening that won't start until October.
SDUSD, the state's second-largest school system has been fielding growing criticism from parents over reopening plans.
Board members at Tuesday's meeting said they simply don't have dates. They also said they need to make COVID-19 testing and tracing available to all students and staff.
How San Diego County avoided most restrictive purple tier for now
San Diego County narrowly avoided going into Tier 1, or purple, because of its coronavirus cases on Tuesday. A News 8 analysis of episode date data showed the county has had a rate above 7.0 for 13 consecutive days. On Tuesday, the state calculated the county’s rate at 6.9, just 0.1 short of the maximum allowed in Tier 2, or red. Had the county had a 14th day above 7.0 it would have forced the county into Tier 1 for at least 21 days.
San Diego County to remain in state's red tier, narrowly dodges restrictive purple tier
San Diego County was awaiting the state’s data Tuesday on whether San Diego County would slip into the purple tier of the state’s coronavirus reopening roadmap. However, based on state data, which is updated each Tuesday, San Diego County will remain in the red tier until at least Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Local group to announce petition to help safely reopen California
San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond and Orange County Supervisor Donald Wagner along with a group of local business owners held a briefing on Tuesday. During the briefing, the group, OpenCalNow, presented a petition that will call for the reopening of California. OpenCalNow consists of elected officials, leaders, and businesses working on behalf of the public to safely reopen California.
Desmond said, “I am going to fight to continue to keep businesses open safely in San Diego County. We can fight the virus and be open for business!"
To read the full story, click here.
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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.
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
- Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
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
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.
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.
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.