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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: May 26 - 28 (midday), 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from May 26 - 28 (midday), 2020

Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from May 26 - 28 (midday), 2020.  Click here for real-time updates for May 28, 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 98,980 confirmed cases in California and 3,884  deaths, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • 3,114 Californians are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 1,095 are in the ICU, according to the CA Department of Public Health.
  • 1,736,894 tests have been conducted as of May 26, according to the CA.gov.
  • A senior hotline has been set up to answer questions at 833-544-2374.

May 28

CVS to open seven more drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in San Diego County

The new San Diego County sites are among 91 slated to open across California on Friday, with the ultimate goal of processing up to 1.5 million tests per month nationwide, subject to availability of supplies and lab capacity.

Patients will utilize self-swab tests in their car while monitored by pharmacy technicians, who will provide the test kit and instructions. Tests will be sent to an independent third-party lab, with results available in about three days, according to CVS Health.

Patients must register in advance at CVS.com beginning Friday to schedule an appointment. You can see the list of sites here.

Del Mar Racetrack proposes opening date of July 10

July 10, pending the approval of the California Horse Racing Board.

The state's Horse Racing Board will decide at its June 11 meeting whether to approve the Del Mar racetrack's plan, which would employ a Friday through Sunday race schedule.

For a full rundown of the plan and to see if spectators will be allowed, click here.

May 27

A pandemic pregnancy: Premature twin baby girls and parents home safe

A mom successfully delivered rare twins at Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego Health during the pandemic. Here's how twins Emilleen and Emabelle are doing. 

City of San Diego announces $1 million to help local art community

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced $1 million in funding for local artists. The hope is to bolster public art in neighborhood parks and expand the Civic Art Collection.

“Now more than ever, we have discovered the importance of arts connecting with each other,” said Faulconer.

You can watch the full conference here.

Hair salons and barbershops reopen

Hair salons and barbershops that have remained empty for the past few months are finally able to welcome back clients. Here are the changes you can expect.

San Diego restaurants grapple with following new rules while trying to make money

With San Diego restaurants reopening, many owners are grappling with how to make money while also following a steep list of safety guidelines One of those rules includes not being able to run at full capacity.  

Click here for the full story.

California State Superintendent details changes to next school year

It should come as no surprise that school will look a lot different for many kids when they return in the fall. The California State Superintendent held an online news conference Wednesday going over some of the changes.

Tony Thurmond said not every school will start at the same time.

Click here for the full story.

California expected to release guidelines for reopening gyms, fitness centers soon

State guidelines for the reopening of gyms and other fitness operations that have been shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic could be released "within a week or so," Gov. Gavin Newsom said today, noting the need to address the diverse types of businesses within the industry.

Speaking during an online video-conference with fitness-industry leaders across the state, Newsom said reopening guidelines will be released in the "very near future."

"I don't want to say next week, but within a week or so we believe we'll be in a position to make public the guidelines in your sector," Newsom said. "But one thing we also recognize is your sector is multifaceted, and we don't want to be naive and just put out something that's bland and that doesn't meet your unique criteria and your unique considerations, and also look at this from a regional perspective as we do everything." 

San Diego expands social calls program to help with loneliness

To help residents impacted by feelings of loneliness and isolation during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order and as the city begins to slowly reopen, San Diego expanded its AgeWell Social Calls Program Wednesday to offer comfort to San Diegans of all ages, including those who only speak Spanish.

"The AgeWell Social Calls Program already offers invaluable comfort to seniors ages 55 and older," said Kristina Fraijo, program manager. "Now, thanks to our expanded program, younger residents and members of our Spanish- speaking communities will also be able to benefit from compassionate, live conversations on a weekly basis."

City staff will check on the wellbeing of residents and connect them with enhanced life resources from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. up to three times a week. Residents interested in taking advantage of the program can sign up for free and indicate their weekly phone call preferences by going to www.sandiego.gov/social-calls.

Those in need of assistance with the sign-up process can contact their nearest library or recreation center or call 619-236-6905 to receive direct assistance from Parks and Recreation Department staff.

The San Diego AgeWell Services program offers activities and events for older residents in our communities to keep them healthy, engaged and active. For more information, click here.

 

County and Rady Children's Hospital announce COVID-19 testing initiative 

Rady Children's Hospital and San Diego County announced a collaborative COVID-19 testing initiative Wednesday aimed at testing up to 2,000 children and their families per day.

The COVID Collaborative for Children will provide testing for Rady's young patients, as well as their parents and caregivers regardless of symptoms, county and Rady representatives said at a Wednesday morning news conference.

The testing is optional and will be provided during the patients' existing appointments, according to Rady COO Nicholas Holmes. Children who appear at Rady's urgent care or emergency care departments will also be offered the test regardless of their purpose for visiting.

"The intent is to test every patient we see, not just the high-risk patients, and provide the testing in a convenient setting," Holmes said.

Holmes said the testing has already been implemented at its urgent care and emergency departments and would be expanded to the system's clinics and primary care visits in the first week of June.

However, parents won't be able to schedule appointments solely to acquire tests, he said, as testing is part of the patient's regular visit.

Experian Data labs created new, interactive COVID-19 heat map

Eric Haller from Experian Data Labs joined Morning Extra to explain what the heat map is and how it can be used to help county's determine when and what to open.

To watch the full interview, click here

San Diego houses of worship can reopen doors to the public on Wednesday

It is the day many religious people have been waiting for for months. Houses of worship all across San Diego can reopen their doors to in-person religious services on Wednesday.

On Monday the state released new rules that allowed the reopenings to happen.

For a full rundown on all the rules and guidelines that will be in place, click here

May 26

VERIFY: How high are COVID-19 ventilator mortality rates?

A number of COVID-19 patients have wound up so sick, they've been put on ventilators. Some studies suggest the mortality rate for people on ventilators can be as high as 90%. But some experts believe that number is skewed, and that the mortality rate for those on ventilators is actually much lower.

The bottom line-the numbers vary. 

Click here for the full story.

Federal judge denies request to release 34 detainees amid Otay Mesa Detention Center COVID-19 outbreak

A San Diego federal judge refused Tuesday to release 34 "medically vulnerable" detainees from the Otay Mesa Detention Center, which has the largest COVID-19 outbreak among the nation's U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement facilities.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw previously ruled that a group of medically vulnerable detainees be released, in respose to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union alleging that overcrowded conditions at Otay Mesa put detainees at serious risk of contracting the virus. 

Click here for the full story.

What the 'new normal' will look like for getting a hair cut

From face coverings to waiting outside for your appointment, here are some safety guidelines impacting hair salons. 

New food guidelines around COVID-19 causing increase in use of plastics

As the economy reopens new guidelines on how food can be served is causing an increase in the use of plastics, just as people were using less.

At grocery stores that sell in bulk or may have a salad or olive bar, now everything is packaged in plastic tubs. What might normally take one container now takes four. At the restaurants News 8 came across they were having to use plastic for everything. 

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County hair salons, barbershops can open with Safe Reopening Plan

San Diego County officials announced 85 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths Tuesday bringing the county totals to 6,882 cases and 249 deaths. It was noted that numbers often lag early in the week.  

Officials also discussed the reopening of places of worship along with service businesses like hair salons and barbershops at a briefing Tuesday.

Supervisor Fletcher said San Diego hair service businesses are now cleared to reopen as soon as they complete county's Safe Reopening Plan and comply with its components.

Click here for the full story.

Governor Newsom says counties can decide whether to reopen hair salons with safety modifications

Governor Gavin Newsom gave an update on COVID-19 in California at noon on Tuesday. The briefing came after California issued new guidelines for places of worship and in-person retail shopping on Monday. You can watch the entire briefing here.

Newsom said while a lot of people enjoyed themselves while respecting social distancing guidelines over the three-day weekend, some did not.  

Forty-seven counties have self-attested for regional variance, meaning they can move further into the reopening process. San Diego County is one of those. On Tuesday, Newsom announced hair salons and barber shops can re-open with a safety plan when a county allows. 

Click here for the full story.

Scripps Health reopens clinics in Escondido, Solana Beach and Santee

Scripps Health reopened a trio of outpatient clinics in the San Diego region Tuesday as the health system continues to restore services shuttered in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Scripps also has begun resuming time-critical surgeries at its five hospital campuses and outpatient surgery centers in San Diego County.

Click here for the full story.

Here is where to get a COVID-19 test in rural San Diego starting Tuesday

Rural communities in San Diego County will have access to free COVID-19 tests starting on Tuesday. CalFire will set up drive up test sights throughout the backcountry and various libraries.

The firefighters will be assisting San Diego County Health and Human Services in their mission to test residents in the rural, unincorporated areas of the county.

For a full list of the sites that will offer free tests to the public, click here.

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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. 

RELATED: San Diego high schools planning graduation ceremonies at Santee Drive-in

RELATED: Governor Newsom says counties can decide whether to reopen hair salons with safety modifications

RELATED: VERIFY: How high are COVID-19 ventilator mortality rates?

RELATED: The 'new normal' for getting a haircut in San Diego County