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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: Sept. 17 - 19, 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Sept. 17 - 19, 2020

Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Sept. 17 - 19, 2020.  Click here for real-time updates for Sept. 19, 2020, and on. 

Key COVID-19 facts in San Diego and California:

Sept. 19

USD requiring all students living on campus get COVID-19 test during this weekend’s move in

It's a move-in day at the University of San Diego unlike any other. Due to Covid-19, there are no large carts provided to wheel all the stuff in. Parents and students had to bring in each box, bag, suitcase and pillow one by one.

"I feel safe here, you know, they're taking the extra precautions,” said USD freshman moving into the dorms Isabella Santoro.

Extra safety steps include: every student on campus will be tested for Covid-19 and temperature checked before entering any building. Then all students and staff will be tested every 2 weeks. The results of the tests are expected to be provided to the student and USD Health Center within 1-3 days.

For the full story, click here

Sept. 18

San Diego County reports 388 new COVID-19 cases as it considers suing state

San Diego County health officials reported 388 new COVID-19 infections and three deaths tied to the illness today, raising the region's totals to 44,007 cases and 757 deaths as the county considers taking legal action against the state should reopenings for some still-closed businesses be rolled back next week. 

The county will find out Tuesday if it will slip back to the "purple" tier of the state's coronavirus reopening roadmap. If so, it would likely shutter indoor operations for restaurants, houses of worship and gyms, limit retail businesses to just 25% capacity and have major impacts on indoor business for most other industries until the county can improve its numbers.

Read the full story here.

Healthcare workers continue to make up significant part of COVID-19 cases

California has 769,831 confirmed cases to date. The state is nearing 15,000 COVID-19 deaths as well. 

As of September 16, local health departments have reported 36,460 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 171 deaths statewide.

Global coronavirus cases reportedly top 30 million

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus have topped 30 million worldwide, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

The worldwide count of known COVID-19 infections climbed past 30 million on Thursday, with more than half of them from just three countries: the U.S., India and Brazil, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins researchers.

Full story here.

Sept. 17

San Diego County reports 174 new cases, awaits potential move to restrictive "purple" tier

San Diego County health officials reported 174 new COVID-19 infections and six deaths tied to the illness Thursday, raising the region's totals to 43,619 cases and 754 deaths as the county waits to see if it will have to roll back business openings next week.

Of the 9,495 tests reported Thursday, just 2% returned positive -- potentially a good sign as San Diego County appears poised to regress into the state's most restrictive public health tier due to increasing COVID-19 numbers by Tuesday, when state data is released.

Read the full story here.

No decision made on potential San Diego County coronavirus lawsuit against state

About two hours after the San Diego County Board of Supervisors met for a closed session Thursday night to discuss the potential of filing a lawsuit against the state over its coronavirus case rate, the board's chairman Greg Cox released a statement saying that no decisions were reached. San Diego County could be forced into a higher tier next week, which would require some businesses to modify operations.  

Click here for the full story.

Poway Unified announces plan to return to in-person instruction

Poway Unified School District announced its plan to return to in-person learning. However, for those students who do go back, it will be anything but business as usual.

The plan will require kids to be placed into groups. Some will attend school in the morning, while others will attend in the afternoon. The district says this is being done to keep the number of children in the classroom at any given time to a minimum. Ten elementary schools will return on October 1st.  

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.