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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: Oct. 15 - 17, 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Oct. 15 - 17, 2020

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Oct. 15 - 17, 2020.  Click here for real-time updates for Oct. 18, 2020 and on.   

Key COVID-19 facts in San Diego and California:

Oct. 17

Tribal casinos keep COVID-19 details private while juggling economics, safety

As many businesses remained under orders to stay closed during the coronavirus pandemic, tribes in San Diego County bucked recommendations from outside leaders and reopened their casinos with measures designed to limit the spread of illness.

It’s unclear if the gamble paid off.

To read the full story, click here

Pandemic causes deep cuts to San Diego refugees’ income, housing security, healthcare

San Diego’s Karen refugees, an ethnic minority of Burma, are used to uncertainty.

They were persecuted, their villages burned. They fled through jungles, not knowing if they would meet life or death. The survivors waited for decades in refugee camps for permission to start over somewhere new.

That’s why for the Karen people and for other refugees and asylum seekers from around the world who have resettled in San Diego, COVID-19 has been one more blow, said Nao Kabashima, executive director of the nonprofit Karen Organization of San Diego.

To read the full story, click here

Oct. 16

San Diego County holds unscheduled briefing to address rising case rate

On Friday, San Diego County leaders expressed serious concern over the county's climbing case rate over the last 48 hours. If changes aren't made, San Diego County will tip into California's purple tier and this would impact businesses. 

Health officials reported 311 cases and 3 new deaths related to COVID-19.

"Today we are here to sound the alarm," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. 

The county is encouraging people to avoid gatherings and telecommute to work if possible. You can watch the entire briefing here.

Parents, students protest outside Steele Canyon High School to return to in-person learning

It's been an ongoing debate during the coronavirus pandemic. Should students return to in-person learning? That's what students and parents at Steele Canyon High School said they want.

On Friday morning, Steele Canyon students and parents started a protest on the street. There were about 100 parents and students collectively. They stood outside of the school and then when the student's classes began, they moved onto the campus. 

Click here for the full story.

Oct. 15

San Diego economic recovery not expected until 2024 as report projects $12.4B lost in 2020 due to pandemic

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may cost the region's economy more than $12.4 billion in 2020, according to a report released Thursday from the San Diego Association of Governments.

SANDAG's Chief Economist Ray Major said tourism is taking a hit even worse than during the 2008 financial crisis.

"Because people still came to San Diego for vacations [in 2008,]" said Major. "[There were] still business conventions here."

Click here for the full story.

San Diego reports 3 deaths, 143 new positive COVID-19 cases

8,315 tests were reported to the County on Oct. 14, and the percentage of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 2%.

17 new community outbreaks were confirmed on Oct. 14: ten in business settings, three in restaurant/bar settings, two in faith-based agency settings, one in a food processing setting and one in a restaurant.

In the past seven days (Oct. 8 through Oct. 14), 47 community outbreaks were confirmed. The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days.

One woman and two men died between Oct. 2 and Oct. 14, and their ages ranged from early 70s to late 80s.

City parking enforcement to resume in San Diego Thursday

Following a two-week warning period, the City of San Diego will resume parking regulation enforcement across the city Thursday after months of limited enforcement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the city, restarting parking enforcement will allow for increased turnover at parking meters and businesses, ensuring accessibility for patrons visiting local stores and restaurants.

Click here for the full story.

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. 


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 

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.

Violations can be reported online.

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.