SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Oct. 27 - 29 (afternoon), 2020. Click here for real-time updates for Oct. 29, 2020 and on.
Key COVID-19 facts in San Diego and California:
Parents, students rally over in-person learning at San Diego Unified School District
Thursday marks a new push to expedite in-person learning at San Diego Unified School District. This comes just days after the district laid out its plans for the next phase of reopening.
San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate and parents with students in the San Diego Unified School District will hold a rally Thursday morning in front of Mira Mesa High School on the corner of Mira Mesa Boulevard and Marauder Way to ask the district to reopen San Diego Unified Schools.
San Diego County continues to teeter between red and purple tiers
San Diego County public health officials reported 330 new COVID-19 cases and four additional coronavirus fatalities on Wednesday, raising the region's total to 55,540 cases and 881 deaths.
These statistics come a day after the county avoided the state's "purple" tier for yet another week, remaining in the less restrictive "red" tier of the state's four-tiered coronavirus monitoring system.
Chula Vista City Councilmember shares COVID-19 survival story
On Wednesday, Chula Vista City Councilmember Stephen Padilla shared his experience about nearly dying from COVID-19 earlier this year. He lost about 30 pounds in 12 days by burning 7,000 calories per day on a ventilator.
"The virus nearly took my life," said Padilla, who called the virus "very real."
Padilla expressed his gratitude for the medical care he received at UCSD Health and urged San Diegans to take the virus seriously adding, "it's not fake news."
"My body was spending every ounce of energy it had to simply breathe and to stay alive and it had no energy left to fight the virus that was attacking my body," said Padilla.
Padilla also criticized the national response, or alleged lack thereof, to the pandemic.
City of San Diego offers free candy for Halloween at 'Grab and Go' recreation centers
The City of San Diego is providing a safe and contactless alternative to trick or treating this year at a number of recreation centers throughout the city.
Grab and Go candy distribution will be provided at 27 recreation centers across all nine council districts in an effort to bring some spooky fun to young people and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vista Unified temporarily closes high school to address campus COVID cases
Vista Unified School District only re-opened for in-person learning about a week ago and already the issue over how quickly the coronavirus pandemic has spread is of huge concern.
La Mesa Police Department to resume parking regulation enforcement on Nov. 9
The La Mesa Police Department will resume parking regulation enforcement citywide starting the second week of November, officials announced today.
La Mesa suspended the issuing of parking tickets on March 17 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Are people hoarding toilet paper again?
There are reports of people hoarding toilet paper again. In a study called the "Back to Normal Barometer," 52% of people said they plan to stockpile or have already stockpiled essential goods. More than half of those surveyed said they did so over a concern for a COVID-19 resurgence, 23% said it's due to uncertainty over the upcoming election and 19% said they're worried for social unrest tied to racial concerns. You can read the full story here.
San Diego remains in red tier with 6.5 adjusted case rate
San Diego avoided the possibility of moving to the state's most restrictive purple tier next week and will stay in red tier with 6.5 adjusted case rate, down from 7.0, according to data from the state.
The state’s health equity metric, which looks at the testing positivity for areas with the lowest healthy conditions, decreased from 5.5 to 5.1%. San Diego’s figure moved from the Red Tier into the Orange Tier, but the metric does not on its own allow counties to advance to a less restrictive tier.
The testing positivity percentage went up slightly from 3.3 to 3.5%, keeping this metric in the Orange Tier or Tier 3.
While two of the three metrics qualify the County for the Orange Tier or Tier 3, the state assigns counties to the most restrictive tier. Therefore, San Diego County will stay in the Red Tier or Tier 2.
269 new cases were confirmed among San Diego County residents on Oct. 26. The region’s total is now 55,210.
Seven new deaths were reported in the County on Oct. 26. The region’s total is now 877.
Special meeting called by Vista Unified School district over coronavirus concerns
According to the district superintendent, a student tested positive for the virus on Sunday but was said to have been at school on the preceding Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The superintendent told parents that this is an isolated case where the student likely contracted the virus while traveling on a club athletic team that is not affiliated with the school. This positive test has 150 students and four teachers quarantining. This adds to the numbers of people who are quarantining. A first positive test sent 130 students and staff into quarantine early last week.
For the full story, click here.
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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.