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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: March 15 - 21, 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego, CA from March 15-21, 2020.

SAN DIEGO — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego, CA from March 15-21, 2020.  Click here for real-time updates for March 22, 2020 and future.  

Key facts in San Diego:

  • San Diego County declared a local health emergency on Feb 14, 2020.
  • There are a total of 159 confirmed cases in San Diego County.
  • San Diego County has banned gatherings of 10 people or more.
  • San Diego County is following the California stay at home order.
  • Many private and public K-12 schools have been closed through March.
  • Students can still receive meals while schools are closed.
  • The San Diego County Public Health Laboratory is now able to test for the novel coronavirus without sending to the CDC.
  • Text COSD COVID19 to 468-311 to get updates from San Diego County.

Key facts in California:

  • California declared a state of emergency on March 4th.
  • California governor issued a statewide stay at home order on March 19th.
  • There are a total of 1,224 confirmed cases in California. 23 people have died.
  • Gov. Newsom projects that 25.5 million Californians will be infected with the virus.

March 21

7:10 p.m. 

San Diego County Democratic Party chairman Will Rodriguez-Kennedy announced on Facebook that he currently in the ICU after testing positive for coronavirus / COVID-19.  He praised the medical team that has been treating him and said he is receiving the best care.

His Facebook post adds, "Thank you to the hundreds of people who have reached out. I’ll try and get back to everyone but I am exhausted and sick so it will take time."

7:00 p.m.

The number of reported COVID-19 cases in San Diego County jumped to 159 on Saturday, up from the reported 131 on Friday.


  • 0-9 years: 0
  • 10-19 years: 2
  • 20-29 years: 33
  • 30-39 years: 39
  • 40-49 years: 30 
  • 50-59 years: 18
  • 60-69 years: 13
  • 70-79 years: 16
  • 80+ years: 7
  • Age Unknown: 1


  • Female: 54
  • Male: 104
  • Unknown: 1

Deaths: 0

Confirmed Cases by City of Residence Report as of 3/21/2020 10:00 a.m.

 These data are preliminary and subject to change

6:30 p.m.

Did you know that of the 131 positive cases in San Diego, almost 90 of them are people 50-years-old and under? The highest amount of cases comes from people ages 30-39. The county says the majority have minor symptoms which makes it easier for them to ignore social distancing and spread it to more vulnerable populations. 

News 8’s Monique Griego headed to La Jolla Shores to see if she could find anyone and she was shocked with what she found.

5:15 p.m.

Governor Newsom held a press conference to update residents on where California is in regards to fighting the coronavirus.

2:30 p.m.

Kelvin Barrios, a candidate for the San Diego City Council's 9th District, tested positive on Saturday for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, his campaign spokeswoman said.

Barrios, who came in first in the March primary to replace Georgette Gomez on the council and will be in a November runoff against Sean Elo, announced the positive test on his Facebook page.

His spokeswoman, Dee Rivera, said he was hospitalized on Friday after feeling ill.

"Having ups and downs, with fever, headache and shortness of breath," Barrios said in the post. "But still doing OK."

1:00 p.m.

One of San Diego's top resorts, the Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in Rancho Santa Fe, said today it will close starting Sunday through April 22 as a precaution during the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials at the facility, located at 5921 Valencia Circle, said they are announcing the closure "with a heavy heart but great hopefulness."

"We will continually re-evaluate our next course of action and aim to communicate future plans as we know more during this incredible unprecedented time," a resort statement said. "This decision did not come lightly. But in solidarity with the directives of the state of California, we feel that this is the only responsible course of action at this time."

The Manchester Grand Hyatt, the Pendry, the L'Auberge Del Mar and Paradise Point on Mission Bay have announced closures. Also in San Diego, the Hotel Solamar and San Diego Mission Bay Resort are planning to close.

11:30 a.m.

The San Diego District Attorney along with the San Diego Sheriff's Department announced on Saturday they have enacted policies that will release individuals arrested for low-level, non-violent crimes who normally would have been released if the court was open or can’t afford to post bail. For a full rundown of what this means, click here

11:00 a.m.

The State of California released new numbers of infections on Saturday morning.

1,224 – Positive cases

23 – Deaths (including one non-California resident)

Ages of all confirmed positive cases:

  • Age 0-17: 19 cases
  • Age 18-64: 876 cases
  • Age 65+: 321 cases
  • Unknown: 8 cases

Cases not related to repatriation flights: 1,200

  • 96 – Travel-related
  • 122 – Person to person
  • 325 – Community transmission
  • 657 – Under investigation

24 – Positive cases related to federal repatriation flights

March 20

10:30 p.m.

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday deployed California National Guard members to provide short-term food security to isolated and vulnerable Californians.  

Food banks are seeing a shortage in volunteers and experiencing greater need due to COVID-19.

Governor calls for California food bank volunteers & launches partnership Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign with Nextdoor.com & California Volunteers to safely deploy volunteers to help the most vulnerable Californians.

10 p.m.

Father Joe's Villages announced Friday that it has established an emergency fund to raise money for the homeless during the COVID- 19 crisis.

With its thrift and donation stores shuttered, and donation pick-ups and drop-offs on hiatus as part of the shelter's efforts to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to clients and staff, Father Joe's representatives say the new fund will be crucial to continue to provide shelter, health care, food, showers and laundry for those in need. Donations can be made online.

The Port of San Diego is working with cruise lines to conclude voyages that were underway when the cruise companies suspended operations last week, it announced Friday.

"No ship has or will be allowed in San Diego Bay without first being cleared by medical authorities, and no new sailings have begun or will begin out of San Diego Bay until at least mid-April," port officials said in a statement.

5:45 p.m.

The number of reported COVID-19 cases in San Diego County jumped up again on Friday by 26 - bringing the number to 131 cases.

Of those cases, 110 are San Diego County residents, 11 are federal quarantine, and 10 are non-San Diego County residents. 

No deaths have been reported in San Diego County related to the virus. 

Age Groups:

  • 0-9 years: 0
  • 10-19 years: 1
  • 20-29 years: 24
  • 30-39 years: 31
  • 40-49 years: 28 
  • 50-59 years: 14
  • 60-69 years: 10
  • 70-79 years: 15
  • 80+ years: 7
  • Age Unknown: 1


  • Female: 45
  • Male: 85
  • Unknown: 1

Hospitalized: 27

Deaths: 0

Friday, March 20, 2020

4:48 p.m.

San Diego's Mayor Faulconer joined Councilmember Mark Kersey, Police Chief David Nisleit, and Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell to discuss the "stay at home" order. Faulconer thanked the public for cooperating and staying home. You can watch the full media conference here. 

3 p.m.

San Diego County leaders updated the public on COVID-19. You can watch the entire conference here.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said people that work in 16 essential sectors can go to work. If you are one of those essential businesses, you still can only have a max of 10 employees in that space and must adhere to social distancing. Some places, such as a grocery store or homeless shelter, will inherently have more than 10 people, but still need to enforce social distancing. 

“Each and every one of us is on the front lines,” said Fletcher. 

According to Dr. Eric McDonald, San Diego County now has its youngest patient, someone he described as a 19-year-old on home isolation.

The county is currently aware of 105 cases of COVID-19. However, the actual number is actually probably 10 times that amount since a lot of people with mild symptoms aren’t getting tested, according to McDonald. This is why it’s important to stay home. 

“We need to prevent the preventable so we can prepare for the inevitable,” said Dr. Nick Yphantides.

11:45 a.m.

A sixth San Diego-based sailor has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Navy announced Friday.

The latest sailor tested positive Wednesday, but the Navy waited to announce the results. The sailor, assigned to Commander, Naval Air Forces, is currently isolated at home and restricted in movement in accordance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

11:05 a.m.

California released new infection numbers on Friday.

1,006 – Positive cases

19 – Deaths (including one non-California resident)

Ages of all confirmed positive cases:

  • Age 0-17: 18 cases
  • Age 18-64: 711 cases
  • Age 65+: 273 cases
  • Unknown: 4 cases

982 – Cases not related to repatriation flights

  • 86– Travel-related
  • 108 – Person to person
  • 266 – Community transmission
  • 522 – Under investigation

24 – Cases of positive tests related to federal repatriation flights

22 – State and county health labs currently testing

11 a.m.

The Franchise Tax Board has extended the filing and payment deadline for all California taxpayers until July 15, 2020, due to COVID-19.

UPS officials announced Friday that one of their employees in San Diego has been positively diagnosed and is under quarantine. "The Department of Public Health completed a comprehensive investigation and recommended that three additional employees be quarantined as a safety precaution. None of the other employees have reported symptoms at this time. All areas where the employee worked have been cleaned and disinfected, and the Department of Public Health has not recommended taking any additional precautions other than continuing to follow the CDC’s personal hygiene guidelines that include hand washing and social distancing."

9 a.m. 

The United States and Mexico have agreed to restrict "non-essential travel" at the U.S.-Mexico border starting Saturday in order to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, White House officials announced today.

The agreement, which will go into effect at midnight Friday, does not apply to transportation of commercial goods and other "lawful trade and commerce," President Donald Trump said.

6 a.m.

The San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk's Office announced Friday that it will be closing its doors to the public starting Monday and suspending all over-the-counter services amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"San Diego County residents are encouraged to visit their website for online services and forms that can be completed by mail," said Ernest J. Dronenburg Jr., county Assessor/Recorder/Clerk. "Our staff is continuing to provide great customer service by processing all electronic and mail submissions during this crisis to limit interruption to the public."

Parkway Plaza temporarily suspended its hours starting Friday, March 20, at 7 p.m. until further notice. Check with their center’s restaurants or other service retailers as they may be open at various hours to provide essential services for El Cajon and its surrounding neighborhoods. For further center updates, click here.

Five tribal casinos in San Diego County will close starting at noon Friday amid concerns over the coronavirus and will remain closed through the end of the month. The Barona Resort & Casino, Golden Acorn Casino, Jamul Casino, Sycuan Casino Resort and Viejas Casino & Resort will shut down, according to a joint statement from tribal government leaders.

March 19

11:35 p.m.

North County Fire Protection District has reported that four additional employees have tested positive for COVID-19. All these employees had close and prolonged contact with an employee who later tested positive with COVID-19.

All these employees have subsequently been quarantined at home and report mild symptoms. The agency has expanded notifications to the patients with whom these employees had encountered. 

9:30 p.m.

The United States and Mexico are working on plans to halt much of cross-border travel without disrupting trade. Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard says he proposed steps that won't paralyze economic activity and promised details Friday.

8:30 p.m.

Chula Vista Councilman Steve Padilla who confirmed last weekend that he had tested positive for COVID-19 was admitted to UCSD Thornton Hospital ICU, according to a statement on his Twitter account

A statement by Padilla's daughter read in part:

"After experiencing worsening symptoms, Steve Padilla was admitted to UCSD Thornton ICU where is receiving additional treatment, including a respirator to aid with difficulty breathing associated with COVID-19. 

8 p.m.

The San Diego Humane Society is just one of many adoption centers throughout the country looking for volunteers to foster animals amid the global pandemic of coronavirus. 

If you now have the time to watch over a foster animal while they await their forever home, you can apply to the San Diego offices by clicking here.

7 p.m.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has put the nation's most populous state on a stay-at-home order. It expands to nearly 40 million people restrictions he said already applied to about half the state. 

He said late Thursday that the statewide restriction on any non-essential movement outside the home is needed to control the spread of the coronavirus that threatens to overwhelm the state's medical system.

He earlier in the day issued the dire prediction that 56% of California's population could contract the virus over the next eight weeks.   

5:10 p.m.

San Diego County's coronavirus monitoring page has been updated to reflect a total of 105 cases in the county - up 25 from Wednesday numbers. Eighty-nine of those people are San Diego County residents, eight are in federal quarantine and another eight are non-San Diego County residents. 

Thirteen people who have tested positive were hospitalized as of Thursday. No deaths have been reported in the county related to COVID-19. 

5 p.m.

The North County Transit District announced Thursday it will temporarily reduce service for its Coaster commuter trains starting Monday until further notice amid a drop in ridership tied to the coronavirus outbreak. Amtrak will also be implementing service reductions. 

4:50 p.m.

Projecting that 25.5 million Californians will be infected with the coronavirus within two months, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday he sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking that the U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy be deployed to the Port of Los Angeles from the port in San Diego.

4:30 p.m.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer held a daily COVID-19 update and was joined by San Diego City Councilmember Vivian Moreno, San Diego Food Bank CEO Jim Flores, and American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties regional CEO Sean Mahoney.

Faulconer and the other speakers talked about San Diego's "critical needs" including the need for blood donations and volunteers for food distribution. 

“While we must limit physical contact, we can still lend a helping hand,” said Mayor Faulconer. “San Diego’s compassionate spirit never ceases to amaze me, and there are ways folks can responsibly and safely volunteer right now while practicing social distancing. Two critical needs are blood donations and food distribution and assistance.”

Flores said all San Diego Food Bank programs will continue through the COVID-19 outbreak. 

"There is plenty of food to go around," he said. 

However, the nonprofit is in need of volunteers who can help with distributing that food. Flores said their distributors and volunteers are working on "touchless distribution" and seniors and others at risk can send someone as their proxy to pick up food. He also said the food bank has implemented ways to keep volunteers healthy and safe. 

Mayor Faulconer donated blood at the American Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties on Thursday. He and Councilmember Moreno thanked San Diegans who are rolling up their sleeves for this critical need. Mahoney spoke about the ongoing need of the American Red Cross. 

“As a community, this is a time where we must take care of one another including those most vulnerable among us and our hospital patients,” said Mahoney. “One way to help is by donating blood for those who depend on lifesaving transfusions, such as surgical patients, accident victims, patients going through cancer treatment and more. Donating blood is a safe process, which is why we need those who are healthy and well to make an appointment, roll up a sleeve, and give.”

The Red Cross will continue to accept donations during this challenging time to help meet patient needs. 

Local organizations looking for volunteers, according to the mayor's office include: 

211 San Diego
Call: 211

Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank
Call: 866-350-FOOD

San Diego Blood Bank
Call: 619-326-4926 

Serving Seniors
Call: 619-235-6572

Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties
Call: 1-800-RED-CROSS

Feeding San Diego
Call: 858-452-3663

Meals on Wheels San Diego County
Call: 619-260-6110

3:23 p.m.

San Diego County officials held a news conference Wednesday afternoon, which you can watch here.

“This is hard, but it’s necessary and we are all in this together,” said Wooten. “Everyone needs to adhere to social distancing."

Here are some key updates: There are no pediatric cases of COVID-19 at this time in San Diego County, according to Dr. Eric McDonald. A flight carrying people from MCAS Miramar that was supposed to leave Wednesday is now leaving Friday. Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said that MTS ridership is dropping significantly and MTS will continue to operate as an essential service so people can "get to the grocery store." In-person visits to family resource centers are discontinued, but help is available over the phone in many languages at (866) 262 9881. Lastly, anyone experiencing emotional distress or loneliness during this stressful time can call (888) 724 7240.

2:30 p.m.

A San Diego molecular diagnostic company announced Thursday it has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund development of its coronavirus diagnostic test, which the company says would provide results in about 30 minutes.

Mesa Biotech Inc. will receive both $561,330 in funding and "technical expertise" from the HHS's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority -- or BARDA -- to complete developmental work needed to obtain Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


As campus is shuttered and classes prepare to move online, Palomar College gave 344 students a computer and food to help during the quarantine, it announced Thursday.

The college is transitioning to online classes starting March 30, but hundreds of students drove up or walked in Wednesday to receive a laptop donated by the college, Darlene Shiley and nonprofit Computers2Kids.

2:10 p.m.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has sent a letter to President Trump requesting the immediate deployment of the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to the Port of Los Angeles through September 1, 2020, to help "decompress the state’s health care delivery system in Los Angeles in response to COVID-19."

12:45 p.m. 

Representatives from the Crssd music festival at Waterfront Park confirmed that two concertgoers tested positive for COVID-19. 

12 p.m.

Effective Friday, March 20, Ralphs will dedicate 7:00 am to 7:30 am daily at all locations, solely for the shopping needs of senior citizens until further notice. For all other customers, temporary store hours will begin 30 minutes earlier with temporary store hours of 7:30 am to 8:00 pm until further notice.

All of the City of San Diego reservoirs will remain closed for public use until further notice. (Barrett, El Capitan, Hodges, Miramar, Murray, Otay, San Vicente, Sutherland). For up to date reservoir information, click here.

11:30 a.m.

Nathan Fletcher along with several other San Diego leaders held a press conference on Thursday to urge immigrants and refugees to use San Diego’s coronavirus resources. The leaders stressed people in the country illegally would not be asked for documentation. To view the press conference in its entirety, click here

11:15 a.m.

San Diego County is canceling its curbside library service two days after launching it, citing concerns about spreading novel coronavirus. Library patrons can still digitally access all the library's e-books and magazines 24 hours a day using the Libby or Flipster apps. All 33 branches are closed and no returns are accepted. Due dates for checked out books have been extended until the libraries reopen.

9:15 a.m.

Major League Baseball has announced the cancellation of the Mexico City series that would have featured the San Diego Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 18-19. For more information, click here.

8 a.m.

The Fashion Valley shopping mall, Carlsbad Premium Outlets and Las Americas Premium Outlets will be closed through March 29 as part of a nationwide closure of all Simon-owned properties in an attempt to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. 

Walmart announced U.S. stores will adjust operating hours to 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Stores that open later than 7 a.m. will continue their regular starting hours.

"Beginning March 24, Walmart stores will host an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older. This will start one hour before the store opens. Our pharmacies and Vision Centers will also be open during this time."

Stores will have limits for customers in certain categories including paper products, milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, water, diapers, wipes, formula and baby food. The full-length blog can be found on the Walmart corporate site. 

6 a.m.

Effective Thursday, March 19, San Diego County’s Family Resource Centers, as well as the Housing and Community Development Services office are temporarily suspending in-person services. The closures are intended to help county residents practice social-distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Residents looking to apply for essential services, including food and housing assistance, medical coverage and other vital support programs, can apply for benefits online. They can also call 2-1-1 San Diego and a live representative can help with the application process by phone.

March 18

9 p.m.

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order Wednesday to waive, pending federal approval, this year’s statewide testing for California’s more than 6 million students in K-12 schools as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“This time is stressful enough for students, families and educators without the additional burden of annual testing,” said Newsom. “This is an unprecedented time, and our main focus is on supporting the mental and socioemotional health of students, while continuing to provide educational opportunities such as distance learning.”

The California Teachers Association President E. Toby Boyd issued a statement "on behalf of 310,000 teachers and the students they teach":

“We appreciate Gov. Newsom’s leadership and quick action in suspending all statewide mandated testing for this school year. On any given day, and under the best circumstances, test scores alone fail to tell us how a child is doing and where they need improvement. That would be even more certain for students in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic aftermath. Test scores would mean nothing but a source of stress for our kids. Anxiety and emotions are rampant among us and we need to take this time to focus on the needs of our students, their health and safety, and ensuring they have nutritious meals.”

7:30 p.m.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he would spend $150 million to provide emergency housing for the homeless. 

He said Wednesday that $100 million will go directly to local governments to spend on homeless services. 

The other $50 million will be used by the state to purchase 1,300  travel trailers and lease hotel rooms for emergency housing.  California has more than 150,000 homeless people, the most in the nation. 

There's concern that as the rest of the state's residents are being urged and forced to stay apart and frequently wash their hands, the homeless are living just as they did before the outbreak.  

7:05 p.m.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced a $4 million economic relief package Wednesday for struggling local businesses affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 threat, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Wednesday it will temporarily suspended operations at its Trusted Traveler Program enrollment centers nationwide, including two locations in the Southland and one in San Diego.

The program's suspension begins Thursday and will last until at least May 1, according to the CBP.

6:15 p.m.

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday thanked the San Diego District Attorney for going after price gougers

5:40 p.m.

The Franchise Tax Board extended the filing and payment deadline for all California taxpayers until July 15, 2020, due to COVID-19.

5:30 p.m.

San Diego County updated its coronavirus monitoring page with the latest numbers bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 80 - up from 60 reported on Tuesday. 

The cases broken down by age: 

  • 0-17 years old: 0 cases
  • 18-64 years old: 63 cases
  • 65 years old and up: 17 cases

Cases by gender: 

  • Female: 27
  • Male: 53

Eleven of those who have tested positive are currently hospitalized. There have been no deaths from COVID-19 in San Diego County. 

5:00 p.m.

Another sailor aboard the San Diego-based USS Boxer has tested positive for COVID-19, the Navy announced Wednesday, and Marine Corps and Navy officials instituted emergency protocols to limit the spread of the virus.

The USS Boxer reported its first sailor with the novel coronavirus on Friday. The second sailor works in a different department from the first and Navy officials said there was no indication the two were in close contact on the ship.

The case marks the fifth positive case among naval personnel in the San Diego region.

Both sailors are currently in home isolation. 

Two Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar have also tested positive for the virus, one on Friday and another on Saturday, leading to new health protections on the base.

The Ramada hotel in Kearny Mesa announced it will be used as a quarantine site for people potentially exposed to coronavirus.

The Ramada by Wyndham San Diego North Hotel & Conference Center located near Kearny Mesa Road, north of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard near state Route 163, will be used by the federal government to house patients currently under quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The hotel has 151 rooms.

The patients being transferred from the base to the hotel are experiencing mild or no symptoms, the hotel said.

The hotel will be closed to the public during the quarantine.

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System will continue running normal weekday and weekend service through March 31, it announced today.

MTS will continue to monitor bus and trolley ridership and adjust service levels if necessary.

3:30 p.m.

Tribal government leaders of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, Campo Kumeyaay Nation, Jamul Indian Village, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians on Wednesday jointly announced that they are temporarily closing their casinos amid concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) beginning on Friday, March 20 at noon through the end of the month.

What San Diego casinos are closed?

  • Viejas Casino
  • Barona Casino
  • Sycuan Casino
  • Pala Casino

Valley View Casino in Valley Center announced it would close its casino and hotel from Monday, March 23 through Sunday, April 5. They plan to reopen to reopen at 8:00am on Monday, April 6.  

2:30 p.m.

San Diego County elected and health officials provided their daily update on COVID-19 and efforts to slow the spread. County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten reported that the confirmed cases remain at 60 as of the last update on Tuesday night. Numbers will be updated Wednesday night. 

San Diego County is now banning all gatherings of 10 people or more. Wooten said all non-essential gatherings are discouraged. 

“We must limit the number of people coming together if we are to keep COVID-19 from spreading locally,” said Wooten. “This is a fluid situation and people should stay home to avoid getting the novel coronavirus.”

Dr. Wooten went through several amendments and updates to the public health order announced Monday. One of the main additions was the directive for all gyms to close. 

Wooten provided guidance for childcare and daycare facilities saying children should be kept in "stable" groups of 10 or less - stable meaning the kids stay with the same group each day and groups to not co-mingle. She said each group should be kept in separate rooms with the same childcare provider staying with the same group each day. 

San Diego County Board of Supervisor representative Nathan Fletcher provided information about care for the homeless population in the county. Fletcher said public health nurses are working at the county's bridge shelters and in outreach teams. He said one focus of these teams is to provide hygiene information and kits to the homeless to help them protect themselves. He said the other main focus is to identify anyone with signs or symptoms of COVID-19. 

Fletcher said the county has secured 1,472 motel rooms for use with unsheltered/homeless individuals needing to be quarantined. 

"We appreciate our partners in the tourism industry," Fletcher said. 

He said the rooms will also be used for individuals who test positive, are under investigation or are exhibiting symptoms and do not have the capacity to self isolate - for example, someone who lives in a group nursing home or a person who shares a small home with many individuals. 

Supervisor Fletcher also said 277 handwashing stations have been requested from the county with 187 placed and 90 in process. He also said the county has the capacity to install additional stations as requested. 

Dr. Eric McDonald discussed a Holland America cruise that arrived in San Diego Wednesday saying passengers from the Eurodam were heading home for the recommended self-quarantine of 14 days. He said all cruise ship passengers who disembark after being in international waters should self-quarantine. 

2:00 p.m.

An undercover investigation into suspected online price gouging in the San Diego area amid the coronavirus pandemic resulted this week in eight arrests of people allegedly selling health-related products at exorbitant cost, authorities reported today. 

In response to California's state of emergency over the deadly disease, deputies at the Fallbrook Sheriff's Substation on Tuesday monitored peer-to-peer sales websites and internet applications, identifying "a large number" of private parties involved in the crime, Lt. Arnold Aldana said.

12:00 p.m.

Starting Wednesday, March 18, County library patrons can use the Library’s online catalog or call their branch libraries, place orders for the books they’re looking for and then pick them up at the Library’s curbside weekdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. when the material is ready.

11:30 a.m.

Several grocery stores have opened special shopping hours for seniors and people with preexisting conditions, like Barons from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

10:30 a.m.

President Trump confirmed in a news conference Wednesday that a Navy ship based at Naval Base San Diego will be used to assist hospitals in response to the spreading coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.

According to USNI News, the Pentagon has already begun the process of boarding medical staff and equipment onto two ships, the USNS Mercy in San Diego and USNS Comfort in Virginia.

8 a.m.

San Diego State University students were sent an email Tuesday morning stating the university had plans to "expedite move-out plans for students this week."

The university said that students living on campus are being asked to make arrangements to move out immediately. Most students should be out by 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Exceptions include students who can't go home, those without a home to return to and those with known health and safety risks.

University of San Diego had originally asked residential students to move by March 22, but sent a memo Tuesday advising that all students should move out of their dorms by late Wednesday.

7:30 a.m.

News 8 talked with San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten about what the district is doing for students. During the interview, Marten also addressed concerns from parents that arose on Tuesday when Governor Gavin Newsom said the 2019-2020 school year may not resume. 

March 17

10:30 p.m.

The San Diego Unified School District and the San Diego County HHSA on Tuesday night confirmed that a person(s) associated with La Jolla High School, La Jolla Elementary School, and Bird Rock Elementary School tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).  

10:30 p.m.

With the coronavirus spreading at an alarming rate, California is preparing to deal with worst-case scenarios that could overwhelm hospitals and drain the state's spending reserves. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that he is putting the California National Guard on alert for duties such as ensuring food distribution. 

Newsom also said the state is negotiating with about 900 hotels to acquire tens of thousands of rooms that could be used for hospital patients and for the homeless.

6:00 p.m.

In a press conference Tuesday evening, Newsom discussed California schools.

“Don’t anticipate schools are going to open up in a week,” said Newsom.

Newsom said schools likely will not reopen before summer. He said he had to explain that to his daughter Monday night when she was upset.

"Honey, I don’t think the schools are going to open again [by summer]," said Newsom. 

Newsom said educators are “diving deep into curating curriculum” to help home school kids during this time. However, California is still allowing daycares to remain open that follow proper safety guidelines.

5:30 p.m.

The U.S. Border Patrol's San Diego-area office had no immediate response to a published report that the federal government plans to begin turning back all asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico line over concerns about the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

The border-enforcement agency has had no local discussions about Tuesday's report in The New York Times, which attributed the information to four unnamed Trump administration officials, Supervisor USBP Agent Jeff Stephenson said.

4:45 p.m.

As jobs disappear amid the coronavirus pandemic, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council President Georgette Gomez on Tuesday announced a temporary eviction moratorium which protects City of San Diego residents and business affected by the economic impacts of the virus outbreak. Faulconer said the city attorney will draft a law to go into effect "at least until the end of May" to protect San Diegans from eviction or foreclosure. It would also protect businesses from the harsh economic impacts. 

"As San Diegans we are going to get through this together. No San Diegan should worry about losing their home or business lease," said Faulconer.

Faulconer stressed that the moratorium does not mean residents can just skip paying their rent. 

3 p.m.

San Diego County health officials give an update on COVID-19 in a daily briefing. County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten says cases remain at 55 for San Diego County. 

Dr. Wooten says of the 55 cases 10 are hospitalized and no deaths have been reported in the county. She said the ages of those who have tested positive range from 21 to early 80s. 

Wooten says all evidence points to COVID-19 being transmitted through respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing. She says research indicates that the virus can live on surfaces but how long depends on the type of surface. 

Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox says there have been no major changes in the county. He says 78 more hand sanitizing stations are being added around the county. Cox also reports that San Diego libraries are moving towards drive-thru and pick-up operations. 

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher advises people to text COSD COVID19  to 468-311 to get the latest updates from the county. You can also visit the county's COVID-19 website here

Dr. Eric McDonald, Medical Director, County Epidemiology and Immunization Branch speaks about two "clusters" of patients being investigated that have tested positive for COVID-19. 

The first is a group of four individuals who contracted in the community and are known to one another. One is an active duty military member in the Navy. Of this "cluster" three are on home isolation while one is hospitalized. 

The second group includes seven individuals who recently were on a ski trip together in Colorado. One person in this "cluster" is hospitalized while the rest remain in home isolation.

Dr. McDonald explains that people who test positive are interviewed and asked about recent activities. 

McDonald also gives a brief update on the passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship who were brought to MCAS Miramar for quarantine. Of the 489 flown to MCAS, 132 have left and flown home leaving 357 as of Monday night. Up to 150 are expected to leave sometime Tuesday. He says things on the base are "going well." 

National City closes all city facilities to the public in response to COVID‐19 virus. 

Criminal and civil trials in San Diego federal court will be suspended for 30 days starting Tuesday as part of ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, though the city's federal courthouses will remain open for limited purposes.

In a series of emergency orders drafted Tuesday by Chief U.S. District Judge Larry Alan Burns, all criminal and civil trials at San Diego's two federal courthouses, as well the federal courthouse in El Centro, will be postponed until at least April 16.

2:30 p.m.

The Navy Times reports that two sailors assigned to warships homeported in San Diego and Everett, Washington, tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus, bringing to three the number of known cases tied to Navy surface vessels.

Vallarta Supermarkets becomes the latest chain to announce that it will open its stores -- including its two San Diego County locations in Escondido and National City -- an hour early to accommodate seniors 65 and older, pregnant women and those with disabilities as a way to assist customers amid the coronavirus outbreak.

A major surge in demand at San Diego-based natural goods store Jimbo's during the coronavirus outbreak leads the company to announce it is hiring between 60 and 75 employees at its five local stores.

2 p.m.

San Diego State University announces that it will be closing “all residential communities” on Wednesday, March 18, at 7 p.m. for the remainder of the semester,  except for those with “extenuating circumstances.”

“Exceptions will be made for those who cannot go home, those who have known health or safety risks, and for those students who do not have an alternate residence to return to,” said an SDSU spokesperson.

1 p.m.

The Navy announces it closed its Training Support Command center in San Diego after a third sailor with ties to the school tested presumptive positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Rolling Stones postpone the "No Filter" tour set to begin at San Diego Community Credit Union Stadium on May 8 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

12 p.m.

Researchers at UC San Diego are evaluating a new diagnostic testing system designed by an Orange County company that holds promise for identifying the novel coronavirus in as little as 45 minutes and typically within one hour.

11:00 a.m.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday that it has instituted a nearly month-long spring break for students at the 121 Job Corps centers located in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, including the San Diego center in Imperial Beach, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

7 a.m.

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, all non-essential personnel, and essential personnel whose work can be accomplished remotely, are asked not to come to the San Diego State University campus. Such employees are asked to telework.


California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that authorizes local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slows foreclosures, and protects against utility shutoffs for Californians affected by COVID-19. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom gives updates via Facebook saying confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state have reached 392

The California Legislature approves up to $1 billion in new spending to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The bill now goes to Gov. Gavin Newsom for his review.

The Navy issues a release saying a sailor from Naval Base Point Loma has tested "presumptive positive" for COVID-19

The Escondido Fire Department announces that on Sunday it was made aware of a firefighter paramedic in the department who tested positive for COVID-19. 

The San Diego Superior Court suspends all non-emergency services effective March 17, 2020-April 3, 2020. Check their website for ongoing updates

Mayor Kevin Faulconer issues directives in line with the public health order issued in San Diego County. He was joined by San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit and San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell for a media briefing.

San Diego County officials announce public health order to slow the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19. The sweeping public health order includes 11 items - some of the items include prohibiting gatherings of 50 people or more (non-essential gatherings of any size are discouraged), all bars and businesses that serve alcohol only shall close, all restaurants and establishments that serve food shall cease on-site service - only pick-up, drive-thru and delivery food service should be made available. 

Note regarding casinos: The state has released guidance for entertainment venues - including gambling venues - "to help prepare and protect Californians from COVID-19."

San Diego Unified, KPBS and the San Diego County Office of Education have collaborated on an initiative to make available at-home learning options for students. This initiative, “At-Home Learning: Where Children Matter,” offers a solution for students to continue learning while schools are closed.

The County of San Diego, the San Diego Foundation and other major regional partners announced Monday the creation of the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund, with $1.3 million already available for rapid response to help San Diegans as they deal with coronavirus concerns. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to donate here.

The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) is sharing guidance on disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 (coronavirus), which can be accessed by viewing the attached document. The guidance provides information on COVID-19, disinfection for COVID-19, and prevention measures. In addition the California Department of Public Health has industry specific guidance documents available on their website, which can be found here.

In light of the Public Health Department’s weekend guidance of no more than 50 people in a room, the San Diego Superior Court announced Monday that all County residents summoned to appear the week of March 16 -19 in the Superior Court not to come to the courthouse.

The Court is asking all those who are currently seated on a trial or in deliberations to report to the courtroom for further guidance from the judge. As for summoned jurors after March 19, the court is asking people to monitor its website and Twitter account for more information.

Officials at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Monday announced an increase in the level of health protection due to the continued outbreak of COVID-19 including two Marines at the base testing positive for the virus. Effective immediately, drivers entering the gate will hold up ID so guards do not have to touch them.


6:15 p.m.

Navy officials say a sailor assigned to the USS Boxer has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 marking the first case for a sailor aboard a Navy ship.  

"The individual is quarantined at home," according to officials. 

6 p.m.

The Encinitas Union School District issues a letter to staff and family saying an individual at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, according to the County Department of Public Health.

2:30 p.m.

Fire officials in North County San Diego suspend most firefighter and paramedic interactions with the public except to answer 911 emergency fire and medical aid calls.

Earlier Sunday

Churches around San Diego hold their last in-person masses and services for the time being.

Imperial Beach closed City Hall and other public facilities Monday, March 16 as officials assess critical needs.

The National City Police Department says several city facilities will be closed temporarily. They include the Camacho Recreation Center, Casa de Salud, El Toyon Recreation Center, Kimball Senior Center, National City Public Library and the pool.

In the wake of a sailor from Naval Base San Diego who tested "presumptive positive" for the coronavirus, the Navy says it has added safety measures in the San Diego metro area.

Operations for the city of Chula Vista temporarily suspended Monday and Tuesday except for public safety, the city announces Sunday. 

Harrah's Resort Southern California announces it will temporarily close from Monday, March 16 through Monday, March 30. The resort has had no reported cases of COVID-19, but is closing as a precautionary measure.

The Puffer Malarkey Collective announces it will temporarily close its restaurants in San Diego and Orange County amid coronavirus concerns. Effective Sunday, March 15, Herb & Wood, Herb & Eatery, Animae, NIMA Cafe, Herb & Sea, Green Acre Campus Pointe, Green Acre Nautilus, Farmer & The Seahorse, Wood Yu and Herb & Ranch will be closed.


Pechanga Resort Casino announces it will close through the end of March. 

A second Marine at MCAS Miramar tests positive for coronavirus.  The first Marine to test positive was reported on March 12.  

A sailor from Naval Base San Diego tests presumptive positive for the coronavirus, marking possibly the first positive case for a sailor in California.

Two health workers at UC San Diego Health test positive for novel coronavirus, COVID-19, because of exposure and infection in the community.

A firefighter/paramedic employee from the North County Fire Protection District tests positive and is quarantined at home, according to a tweet on Saturday.


Many K-12 schools and districts suspend classes and close campuses across San Diego County as they make decisions related to coronavirus.

While county schools are closed because of COVID-19, students can still receive meals, according to the San Diego County Office of Education.

RELATED: Which schools are closed for coronavirus in San Diego County and when will they reopen?

RELATED: List of places students can get meals while school is canceled in San Diego County


View all coverage of coronavirus / COVID-19.

According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

The CDC also says facemasks should only be used by people who show symptoms of the virus. If you’re not sick, you do not have to wear a facemask. The CDC says the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low. 

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