Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Oct. 30 - Nov 4, 2020. Click here for real-time updates for Nov 5, 2020 and on.
Key COVID-19 facts in San Diego and California:
Mountain Empire Unified School District moving to distance learning after someone tests positive for COVID-19
The Mountain Empire Unified School District Superintendent in Pine Valley sent out a note to families on Wednesday that a member of the district has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the district is moving all classes online and off campus through at least Nov. 30 as a precaution. The county will contact any individuals that may have come into contact with the person that tested positive.
CA announces 7.4 COVID-19 case rate for San Diego County
The State of California announced a new adjusted weekly COVID-19 case rate of 7.4 for San Diego County on Wednesday on their state website putting the county above the 7.0 case rate threshold for the red tier.
This higher rate does not move San Diego immediately up from the current red tier into the most restrictive purple tier, but it does start a timeline that may result in changes to the status of the county by next Tuesday, Nov 10.
San Diego County reports 307 new COVID-19 cases
San Diego County public health officials have reported 307 new COVID-19 cases, raising the region's case total to 57,409, while the death toll was unchanged at 891.
No new community outbreaks were reported Monday; in the previous seven days, 28 community outbreaks were confirmed.
San Diego County reports 352 new COVID-19 cases
San Diego County public health officials have reported 352 new COVID-19 cases and no new fatalities, raising the region's total to 57,102 cases with deaths remaining at 891.
Of the 12,879 tests reported Saturday, 3% returned positive with 239 people hospitalized.
The county avoided the state's purple tier, the most restrictive, for yet another week on Tuesday, remaining in the less restrictive red tier of the state's four-tiered coronavirus monitoring system.
The county's adjusted case rate dropped to 6.5 new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population. You can read more here.
California nearing 1,000,000 COVID-19 cases
California has 926,534 confirmed cases to date of COVID-19, including 4,529 newly-recorded confirmed cases Saturday. The 7-day positivity rate is 3.0% and the 14-day positivity rate is 3.2%. More than 17,000 Californians have died from the virus.
It was still Halloween in San Diego, just a little different in 2020
Happy Halloween San Diego! Though we’ve been wearing masks for the majority of 2020, this is one of the only days where we can make it fun!
Since San Diego County has put some major guidelines out to stop the spread of the coronavirus, like prohibiting parties and carnivals and discouraging actives like Trick or Treating, the county stepped up and encouraged parents and kids to walk-by or drive-by rec centers around the county for some sweet treats.
San Diego County reports 381 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday
The total positive cases in the county are now at 56,750. The county also reported 3 new deaths bringing the total in San Diego County to 891 deaths tied to COVID-19.
San Diego County health officers issues cease-and-desist orders to 8 potential SDSU party houses
As San Diego County enters Halloween weekend, public health officials issued cease-and-desist orders to eight addresses around San Diego State University on Friday, warning that any parties or large gatherings in violation of public health orders could be slapped with misdemeanor citations.
Of the 8 letters issued, 2 were addressed to private residences, while 6 were addressed to properties that house fraternities and sororities.
San Diego health officials report 471 new COVD-19 cases, the highest day in more than a month as state increases testing capacity
471 new cases were confirmed among San Diego County residents on Oct. 29. The region’s total is now 56,369. San Diego County’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate is currently 6.5 per 100,000 residents as of Tuesday's state update. The limit for Tier 2, the Red Tier, is 7.0.
On the same day that San Diego saw the increase in positive cases, Governor Newsom celebrated the opening of a high-tech COVID-19 testing lab in Valencia designed to dramatically increase the state's coronavirus testing capacity while reducing the turnaround time for processing results.
Trick-or-treating candy poses minimal, but not zero, COVID-19 spread risk
According to research published Friday by UC San Diego School of Medicine and San Diego State University researchers, the risk of contracting COVID-19 from handling trick-or-treat candy that has been in contact with a coronavirus-positive person is minimal, but not zero.
In the study published Friday in the journal mSystems, the researchers analyzed the viral load on Halloween candy handled by patients with COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes the illness COVID-19, is primarily transmitted by respiratory droplets and aerosols.
Health officials urge residents to maintain COVID-19 vigilance over Halloween
As San Diego County heads into a Halloweekend, public health officials are urging members of the public to practice COVID-19 protocols -- including avoiding large gatherings such as Halloween parties and door-to-door trick-or-treating.
"These activities involve face-to-face interactions with people from different households," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "If a COVID-19 infection is detected among a participant, it will be very difficult to find and notify those who may have been exposed."
UC San Diego needs people to take part in convalescent plasma treatment trial
A century-old treatment is being used in a never-before-seen way. Convalescent plasma is now being injected into people who've been exposed to the coronavirus but aren't testing positive yet. The effects of the groundbreaking trial are being studied by experts at UC San Diego in a partnership with Johns Hopkins University. However, they need more people to take part.
San Diego County reports 358 new COVID-19 cases as Halloween weekend approaches
San Diego County public health officials reported 358 new COVID-19 cases and four additional coronavirus fatalities Thursday, raising the region's total to 55,898 cases and 885 deaths.
Three men and one woman died between Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. Their ages ranged from mid-30s to early 80s. All had underlying medical conditions.
Of the 13,338 tests reported Thursday, 3% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases to 2.8%. The 7-day daily average of tests is 11,110.
A total of eight new community outbreaks were confirmed Thursday, four in businesses, two in grocery settings, one in a preschool and one in a restaurant. These bring the total in the past week to 37. You can read more here.
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.
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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.