SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Oct. 20 - 22 (afternoon), 2020. Click here for real-time updates for Oct. 22, 2020 and on.
Key COVID-19 facts in San Diego and California:
San Diego County officials held a media conference Thursday to help promote County-sponsored free flu vaccine clinics and urged San Diegans to get vaccinated against the flu, especially this year in light of the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.
San Diego sees increase in kids with COVID, officials blame school reopenings
San Diego County health officials are reporting a new spike in COVID-19 cases in young children and teens. They say it’s a small increase but may be linked to the recent return to the classroom.
San Diego County too close for comfort to purple tier
On Wednesday, San Diego County held a COVID-19 briefing as the county remains on the border of two tiers -- red and purple -- in California's tier system. In fact, just two cases made all the difference between the two tiers. The county said that its red status is largely in part to widespread testing efforts, which is still free in San Diego County. After urging San Diegans to take this pandemic seriously by washing their hands and wearing facial coverings, San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu discussed the various ways San Diegans can vote in this election without risking their health. This includes in-person voting and vote-by-mail. PPE will be available to voters and workers for what could be the largest voter turnout in county history. You can watch the full briefing here.
Theme park industry reacts to new California guidelines
California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA) and Theme Park Presidents held a virtual media conference Wednesday to discuss their response to guidance issued by Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday.
All members in attendance Wednesday were in agreement that the governor should allow major theme parks to reopen when the state reached the "orange" tier of the state's four-tier COVID-19 economic-reopening roadmap.
Disney and other California theme parks to remain closed unless counties reach 'yellow' tier
State health officials released long-awaited guidance for the reopening of theme parks amid the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, but the restrictions will likely translate to several more months of closures at major attractions such as Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood.
Under the guidelines, major theme parks will only be permitted to reopen in counties that have reached the least-restrictive "yellow" tier of the state's four-tier COVID-19 economic-reopening roadmap.
Vista Unified heads back to school in-person
Reaction was mixed about going back to in-person learning on Tuesday. About half of students opted to come back to campus. You can watch the full story here.
San Diego County remains in red tier with a 7.0 adjusted case rate
San Diego County will remain in the red tier this week despite a rise in coronavirus cases. The state erroneously listed the county with a rate of 7.1 Tuesday morning. However, the county’s rate was actually a 7.0, which is the upper limits of the red tier.
Last week, health and county officials feared the county’s rate would be above 7.0, which would have started a countdown toward potentially entering the most restrictive tier, purple. A county that has a case rate of 7.0 for two consecutive weeks is placed into the higher tier.
County officials said the error occurred because the state did not update its website after the county prevailed in an adjudication process between when the adjusted rate was initially calculated over the weekend and when it was published Tuesday.
San Diego County inches closer to purple tier, awaits data from state
The county awaits data from the state Tuesday which could forecast a tipping point toward closing some businesses again. No new deaths were reported Monday, and the death toll remains at 853.
The county will receive an update about its data from the California Department of Public Health and how it fits into the state's four-tier reopening plan. Rising case rates could tip San Diego County into the "purple" tier, the state's most restrictive.
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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.