SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Oct. 22 - 24, 2020. Click here for real-time updates for Oct. 24 2020 and on.
Key COVID-19 facts in San Diego and California:
San Diego Couty reports latest COVID-19 numbers
San Diego County reported an increase of 386 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday bringing the total to 54,314. There was also one new death reported bringing that total to 868.
Click here for the latest coronavirus stats in San Diego.
San Diego County sees more community outbreaks, but positivity rate is low
Public health officials in San Diego County reported 430 new COVID-19 infections and one more death Friday, raising the region's cumulative totals to 53,928 cases and 867 fatalities.
Of the 13,360 tests reported Friday, 3% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases to 2.7%, far below the state-set target of less than 8%.
Of the total COVID-19 cases in the county, 3,827 or 7.1% have been hospitalized, with 884 -- or 1.6% -- spending at least some time in an intensive care unit. The number of current COVID-19 hospital patients in the region is 236, with 73 of those in the ICU.
Five new community outbreaks were reported Friday. In the past seven days, 21 community outbreaks were confirmed, well above the trigger of seven or more in a week's time.
Students from Mission Vista High School quarantined after student tests positive for COVID-19
More than 100 high school students were in quarantine as of Thursday after a student at an Oceanside school tested positive for COVID-19 just two days after the Vista Unified School District reopened for in-person learning. The positive case was reported at Mission Vista High School where students returned on Tuesday.
California businesses can require customers to wear masks
Viral videos of people refusing to wear masks continue making the rounds on social media. Many have claimed they have a “right” or are “constitutionally” permitted to be in a store without a mask. However, multiple legal experts say the courts have routinely supported laws requiring customers to wear a mask.
San Diego County reports three more COVID-19 deaths
According to county data, 235 new cases were confirmed among San Diego County residents on Oct. 21. The region’s total is now 53,498. 3,815 or 7.1% of all cases have required hospitalization. In the past seven days (Oct. 15 through Oct. 21), 17 community outbreaks were confirmed, which is above the county's predetermined trigger of seven or more in a week.
Free flu shots available
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.
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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.