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Tracking Covid 19

Live Blog: San Diego County Reports 358 New COVID-19 Cases As It Awaits State Data

This is a breaking news blog for all of the latest updates about the coronavirus pandemic. Get our complete coronavirus coverage here →

San Diego Avoids Purple Tier Again As Coronavirus Numbers Improve Slightly

– 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020

For yet another week, San Diego County avoided the fate of dropping into the dreaded purple tier of California's coronavirus monitoring system Tuesday, with an adjusted case rate of 6.5 new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population.

While the county's unadjusted case rate is 7.4 per 100,000 — enough to be in the most restrictive purple tier, which has a floor of 7 per 100,000 — the high volume of tests the county is able to perform daily allows for an adjustment from the state. This adjustment has saved the county from shutting down nearly all non-essential indoor businesses for several weeks in a row.

The state data, which is updated every Tuesday, reflect the previous week's cases to determine the fate of counties in the state's four-tiered reopening system

San Diego County did show modest improvement, dropping .4 from last week's unadjusted case rate of 7.8. The testing positivity rate continued an upward trend, rising .2% from last week to reach 3.5%, but remains low enough for this metric to remain in the orange tier. If a county reports statistics meeting metrics in a higher tier for two consecutive weeks, it will move into that more restrictive tier for a minimum of three weeks.

The state's health equity metric, which looks at the testing positivity for areas with the lowest healthy conditions, dropped from 5.5% to 5.1% and entered the orange tier. This metric does not move counties backward to more restrictive tiers but is required to advance.

County health officials reported 269 new COVID-19 infections and seven deaths Tuesday, bringing the case total to 55,210 and the death toll to 877.

Five men and two women died between Oct. 22 and Oct. 25, with one death occurring July 19. Their ages ranged from early 60s to mid-80s. All had underlying medical conditions.

Of the 10,456 tests reported Tuesday, 3% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases to 2.7%. The 7-day daily average of tests is 11,173.

Two new community outbreaks were confirmed Tuesday, one in a day care and one in a business. In the past seven days, 24 community outbreaks were confirmed. A community outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

Of all cases, 3,875 — or 7% — have required hospitalization. And 898 — or 1.6% — of all cases and 23.2% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit. —City News Service

Supervisors Call For More Local Control On COVID-19 Restrictions

– 1:50 p.m., Oct. 27, 2020

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution asking the state governor's office for more local control when it comes to further restrictions in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proposed by Supervisors Jim Desmond and Kristin Gaspar, the resolution was approved after board members received an update on the county's efforts on combating the virus.

According to the resolution, the county is requesting that "the state continues to regularly consult and incorporate the expertise and judgment of local health officers in the determinations for the most effective non- pharmaceutical interventions in local jurisdictions."

Further, "the state's reopening blueprint must account for hospital and medical system capacity and readiness to provide medical treatment by incorporating data into the analysis in some manner, such as case rate readjustment factor," the resolution states.

— City News Service

San Diego Unified Cautiously Looks To January For Expanding In-Person Learning

– 1:50 p.m., Oct. 27, 2020

Citing ballooning COVID-19 rates and multiple cases of the illness among students in other school districts, leaders of the San Diego Unified School District announced Tuesday they are cautiously looking to Jan. 4 for a major expansion of in-person learning — depending on the course of the pandemic.

Speaking Tuesday at Gage Elementary School, the SDUSD officials said safety measures put in place over the summer have so far prevented any documented cases of COVID-19 transmission on the campuses that have reopened on a limited basis.

"Safety has been our strategy from the start," said SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten. "The safety precautions put in place at schools like Gage and elsewhere appear to be working. So far, we have had zero documented outbreaks of COVID-19 and zero documented cases of transmission on campus, as determined by the County Office of Public Health. Exactly two weeks into Phase 1, we are encouraged."

— City News Service

San Diego County Reports 358 New COVID-19 Cases As It Awaits State Data

– 4:50 p.m., Oct. 26, 2020

San Diego County health officials reported 358 new COVID-19 infections Monday, bringing the case total to 54,941, including a new case in the Vista Unified School District.

The county didn't record any deaths related to COVID-19 on Monday, and the death toll remains at 870. It will receive an update from the state Tuesday as to the county's reopening status.

Of the 7,827 tests reported Monday, 5% returned positive, raising the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases to 2.8%. The 7-day daily average of tests is 10,981.

One new community outbreak was confirmed Monday in a youth sports setting. In the past seven days, 27 community outbreaks were confirmed. A community outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

Of all cases, 3,859 — or 7% — have required hospitalization. And 892 — or 1.6% — of all cases and 23.1% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit. — City News Service

Second Mission Vista High School COVID-19 Case Leads To 150 In Quarantine

– 2:00 p.m., Monday, Oct. 26, 2020

Less than a week after fully reopening its schools, the Vista Unified School District reported a second COVID-19 case involving a Mission Vista High School student, leading to the quarantine of about 150 students and four teachers.

According to the district, the second student tested positive for the illness on Sunday. That student attended school Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week and is not connected to the other case in a student confirmed last week, the district said.

"The parents notified us that the student likely contracted the virus while traveling on a club athletic team not affiliated with school," a district statement reads. "We immediately notified all parents, students and staff who may have come into contact with the student."

While it is unlikely the student came into close contact with all 150 students and four teachers, the district said it was "proceeding with an abundance of caution" and placing all of them on a 14-day quarantine and pivot to Zoom and Canvas distance-learning classes.

According to the district's COVID-19 safety dashboard, it has recorded five cases since Sept. 8, and just one since Oct. 20.

– City News Service

San Diego County Reports 269 New COVID-19 Cases, Two Additional Deaths

– 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020

Health officials in San Diego County reported 269 new COVID-19 infections Sunday, bringing the total to 54,583 since mid-February, and two new deaths, bringing the overall fatality total to 870.

The two deaths were men reported to have died earlier this month. They ranged in age from late 60s to early 70s, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

Of the 10,819 new tests reported, 2% returned positive. The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 2.7%. The 7-day daily average of tests is 11,127.

Two new community outbreaks were confirmed, one in a health-care setting and the other in a restaurant. In the past seven days — Oct. 18 through Oct. 24 — 26 community outbreaks were confirmed.

A community outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

Of all cases, 3,850 — or 7.1% — have required hospitalization. And 889 — or 1.6% — of all cases and 23.1% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit. – City News Service

San Diego County Reports 386 New COVID-19 Cases; No Additional Deaths

– 9:40 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020

Health officials in San Diego County have reported 386 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total to 54,314 since mid-February, but no new deaths, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

The last new death was reported Thursday, which pushed the overall total to 868.

Of the 10,784 tests reported Saturday, 4% returned positive.

Five new community outbreaks were reported Friday. Twenty-five community outbreaks were reported between Oct. 17 and Oct. 23.

A community outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

San Diego State University announced Thursday that it had issued a stay-at-home advisory for all students. The advisory is set to begin at 6 p.m. and run through Monday, Nov. 2 at 6 a.m. – City News Service

San Diego County Reports 430 COVID-19 Cases, One Death Friday

– 5:45 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23, 2020

Public health officials in San Diego County reported 430 new COVID-19 infections and one more death Friday, raising the region's cumulative totals to 53,928 cases and 867 fatalities.

Of the 13,360 tests reported Friday, 3% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases to 2.7%, far below the state-set target of less than 8%.

Of the total COVID-19 cases in the county, 3,827 or 7.1% have been hospitalized, with 884 — or 1.6% — spending at least some time in an intensive care unit. The number of current COVID-19 hospital patients in the region is 236, with 73 of those in the ICU.

Five new community outbreaks were reported Friday. In the past seven days, 21 community outbreaks were confirmed, well above the trigger of seven or more in a week's time.

A community outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

San Diego State University announced Thursday that it had issued a stay-at-home advisory for all students. The advisory is set to begin at 6 p.m. and run through Monday, Nov. 2 at 6 a.m.

University officials said the move was made to discourage students from participating in Halloween events where physical distancing cannot be done. Students are advised to stay home unless they had an essential need. — City News Service

San Diego County Reports 235 COVID-19 Cases, Three More Deaths

– 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020

Public health officials in San Diego County reported 235 new COVID-19 infections and three more deaths Thursday, raising the region's cumulative totals to 53,498 cases and 866 fatalities.

Two new community outbreaks were reported Thursday, one in a business setting and the other at a health care setting. In the past seven days, 17 community outbreaks were confirmed, well above the trigger of seven or more in a week's time.

A community outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla announced Thursday all employees able to effectively work remotely will continue to do so through March 12, the end of its winter quarter.

"Empowering employees to continue to work from home whenever possible greatly reduces the population density on campus, which helps protect our students, student-facing employees and other essential staff working on site," said Nancy Resnick, UCSD's chief human resources officer. — City News Service

Holiday Bowl Canceled Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

–6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020

San Diego County Reports 263 COVID-19 Cases, Six Deaths

– 5:17 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020

San Diego County public health officials reported 263 new COVID-19 infections and six additional deaths Wednesday, raising the region's cumulative totals to 53,263 cases and 863 deaths.

The numbers came as officials reminded county residents the region is "too close for comfort" to the most-restrictive purple tier in the state's four-tier coronavirus monitoring system. On Tuesday, despite an unadjusted daily COVID-19 case rate of 7.8 per 100,000 population, the county was again able to avoid being pushed into the purple tier, which would have placed indoor activities at restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and a number of other locations in jeopardy.

The state adjusted the data for the week of Oct. 4-10 down to 7 per 100,000 — the highest it can be without heading into purple — due to the county's high rates of testing. The data are reported on a one-week delay.

"Yesterday we dodged a bullet. We could not have gotten any closer without tripping into the purple tier," County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said. "But we don't want to live or die on the tiers by how many tests we've done."

Of the 10,449 tests reported Wednesday, 3% returned positive, keeping the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases at 2.8%, far below the state-set target of less than 8%. – City News Service

Theme Parks Still Not Able To Reopen In California

– 7:20 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020

California will allow fans to attend outdoor professional sporting events in areas at less risk for the coronavirus even as it prohibits larger theme parks from reopening.

But Tuesday's announcement by the state’s top health official may have little immediate effect for sports fans. Some teams are done for the year and the home of football's 49ers won't immediately ease restrictions.

San Francisco meanwhile moved into the state’s least restrictive tier, the first urban area to join much geographically larger and far more rural areas scattered near the Oregon border or in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. — Associated Press

San Diego Avoids Slipping Into Purple Tier

– 5:25 p.m, Tuesday, Oct, 20, 2020

Despite an unadjusted daily COVID-19 case rate of 7.8 per 100,000 population, San Diego County was again able to avoid being pushed into the most restrictive purple tier of California's four-tier reopening system Tuesday.

High rates of testing helped the county stay in the red tier, county officials said. The positive adjustment is given by the state to counties that are testing at higher levels than the state's median. That adjustment prevented the county from data that would have landed it in purple, which would have placed indoor activities at restaurants, movie theaters, gyms and a number of other locations in jeopardy.

"Remaining in the red tier is good news, but the new adjusted rate is not. The new figure clearly shows the region is not moving in the right direction," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County public health officer. "It is extremely important San Diegans follow the local health guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep the region from falling into the purple tier."

The county's unadjusted case rate for the week of Oct. 4-10 rose from 7.2 to 7.8 cases per 100,000 residents. It was adjusted down to 7 per 100,000. The data are reported on a one-week delay. — City News Service

Vista Unified Schools Open As County Awaits State COVID-19 Statistics

3:30 p.m, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020

The Vista Unified School District fully reopened its school Tuesday morning, becoming one of the first in the region to do so, even as San Diego County appears poised to slip back toward more restrictive COVID- 19 tiers as infections surge.

The district, which has 29 elementary, middle and high schools, eschewed the more cautious measures some other school districts are taking, moving into its "Phase 3" reopening plan. The plan, "Vista Classic" allows every school in the district to reopen at full capacity. Parents and guardians will still be able to keep students in "Vista Virtual," the district's distance-learning program, if they so choose.

The district said it will attempt to have social distancing as much as possible, but will allow as many as 38 students in a single classroom, so desks will not be spaced six feet apart.

A rally Thursday by teachers and parents at Foothill Oaks Elementary School attempted to dissuade the Vista Unified School Board from reopening Tuesday, with many educators believing the safety measures inadequate. — City News Service

San Diego County Adds 380 New COVID-19 Cases, Death Toll Unchanged

– 4:24 p.m., Monday, Oct. 19, 2020

San Diego County public health officials reported 380 new COVID-19 infections Monday, raising the region's total case count to 52,735 as the county awaits data from the state tomorrow which could forecast a tipping point toward closing some businesses again.

No new deaths were reported Monday, and the death toll remains at 853.

On Tuesday, the county will receive an update about its data from the California Department of Public Health and how it fits into the state's four-tier reopening plan. Rising case rates could tip San Diego County into the "purple" tier, the state's most restrictive.

Officials are imploring San Diegans to maintain vigilance as positive case rates for the coronavirus continue to increase in the region.

"We are now concerned about the trends and we are concerned about the likelihood we could tip back to purple," Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said on Twitter Sunday. The county is now in the red tier and the limit for the purple tier — the state's most restrictive tier — is 7.0 cases per 100,000 residents.

Fletcher pointed to positive unadjusted case rates over six days (Oct. 11-16): 6.9 out of 100,000 residents, to 7.2 to 7.3 to 7.4 to 7.7 and 7.8, respectively. – City News Service

San Diego County Reports 373 New COVID-19 Cases

– 5:06 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020

San Diego County public health officials Sunday reported 373 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths, bringing the county's totals to 52,355 and the death toll remaining at 853.

Officials are imploring San Diegans to maintain vigilance as positive case rates for the coronavirus continue to increase in the region.

"We are now concerned about the trends and we are concerned about the likelihood we could tip back to purple, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said on Twitter today. The county is now in the red tier and the limit for the next tier is seven cases per 100,000 residents.

Fletcher pointed to positive unadjusted case rates over six days (Oct. 11-16): 6.9 out of 100,000 residents, to 7.2 to 7.3 to 7.4 to 7.7 and 7.8.

The county will be in the red, or "substantial," tier for at least another two weeks.

But Fletcher and Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten held an emergency meeting Friday to "sound the alarm" as the future case rate appears to cross into the purple tier of the state's four-tier reopening system.

With the state's monitoring system having a seven-day lag, the adjusted case rate of positive COVID-19 tests is 6.8 per 100,000 residents, up from 6.5 in the previous assessment. – City News Servce

San Diego County Reports 201 New COVID-19 Cases

– 4:01 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020

San Diego County public health officials are imploring San Diegans to maintain vigilance as positive case rates for the coronavirus continue to increase in the region, and as 201 new cases and three additional deaths were reported Saturday.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten held an emergency meeting Friday to "sound the alarm" as the future case rate appears to cross into the "purple" tier of the state's four-tier reopening system.

The county will be in the red, or substantial, tier for at least another two weeks.

With the state's monitoring system having a seven-day lag, the adjusted case rate of positive COVID-19 tests is 6.8 per 100,000 residents, up from 6.5 in the previous assessment. The limit for tier two is 7.0.

Nearly all non-essential indoor businesses would close under the purple tier. – City News Service

County Leaders ‘Sound The Alarm’ As COVID-19 Case Rates Climb

– 4:01 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16, 2020

San Diego County public health officials implored San Diegans to maintain vigilance Friday as positive case rates for the COVID-19 pandemic continues to increase in the region.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten held an emergency meeting to "sound the alarm" as the future case rate appears to cross into the "purple" tier of the state's four-tier reopening system. The county is currently in the red, or substantial, tier for at least another two weeks.

The state's monitoring system features a seven-day lag, both the adjusted and unadjusted case rate of COVID-19 tests returning positive for next week look to be above seven new daily cases per 100,000 population — the state's metric for the most restrictive purple tier.

The good news is that it will take two consecutive weeks with data in purple tier levels before the county is officially moved back to that step, so there may be a chance of reversing trends and avoiding that precipitous drop. Nearly all non-essential indoor businesses would close under the purple tier. — City News Service

Tribal Casinos Keep COVID-19 Details Private While Juggling Economics, Safety

– 3:54 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16, 2020

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.

Public health officials have confirmed that more than 300 of the county’s residents who contracted COVID-19 reported visiting a casino shortly before testing positive.

But the county won’t disclose whether any community outbreaks occurred at local casinos because they’re on tribal lands. The tribal governments have released little information and aren’t subject to federal and state disclosure laws as sovereign entities.

That means local outbreaks potentially are being left out of a metric the county considers in reopening decisions. Already, San Diego fails to stay under the threshold for outbreaks set by public health officials.

The casinos began reopening in May with new cleaning, social distancing and face covering policies, but some of their employees have raised concerns. – Camille von Kaenel, inewsource and Jennifer Bowman, inewsource

San Diego Region Projected To Lose $12.4 Billion In 2020 Due To The Pandemic

– 3:53 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16, 2020

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.

According to the SANDAG report, which looks at the first six months following stay-at-home orders, $4.8 billion in wages were lost and more than 176,000 people in San Diego County lost their jobs. The report also found that a disproportionate impact of job losses landed on women, minorities, lower-income earners and younger employees.

Compared to March, the report found in July there were 23% fewer lower-income employees — those making less than $27,000 a year. A total of 80% of jobs lost came in the tourism, retail and education sectors.

Middle-income jobs — those earning between $27,000 and $60,000 — are down 8.5%, while high-income jobs — those earning more than $60,000 — are down just .8%. The report found that the immediate impact for low-income jobs was greater and it will likely take longer for those jobs to recover. — City News Service

San Diego County Reports 143 COVID-19 Cases, 3 Deaths, 17 Community Outbreaks

– 5:15 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020

San Diego County public health officials reported 143 new COVID-19 infections and three virus-related deaths, raising the cumulative caseload to 51,470 and the number of fatalities to 847, amid a rise in confirmed community outbreaks.

One woman and two men died between Oct. 2-14, and their ages ranged from early 70s to late 80s. All had underlying medical conditions, according to the county Health & Human Services Agency.

Of the 8,315 tests reported Thursday, 2% returned positive, keeping the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases at 3%. The seven-day daily average of tests was 10,100.

Of the total number of cases in the county, 3,720 — or 7.2% — have required hospitalization and 862 — or 1.7% of all cases — had to be admitted to an intensive care unit. There are currently 233 COVID-19 positive patients in the region's hospitals; 72 of them in ICUs.

A total of 17 new community outbreaks were reported Thursday — 10 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. — City News Service

San Diego County Reports 303 New COVID-19 Cases, Four Deaths

– 4:46 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020

San Diego County public health officials reported 303 new COVID-19 infections and four virus-related deaths Wednesday, raising the region's totals to 51,327 cases and 844 deaths.

This comes a day after state data confirmed the county will remain in the red, or substantial, tier of the state's four-tier COVID-19 reopening plan for at least another week.

County supervisors Greg Cox and Nathan Fletcher said staying in red wasn't good enough. Cox said the red tier's restrictions still made it incredibly difficult for small businesses to stay open.

Fletcher agreed, saying the county needed to drive down positive tests and new case numbers.

"The overwhelming majority [of county residents] are doing everything right, but we need to see numbers go down," he said. "We need to get off this weekly cliff we stare down." – City News Service

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Workforce Barely ‘Inching Up’ As Cases Surge

– 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020

The United States has more than 50,000 contact tracers for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit, according to a survey of states conducted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in collaboration with NPR.

The total number of contact tracers reported in all U.S. states and territories was 53,116. That's four times the number of contact tracers states reported to NPR in its initial survey in late April, but it falls far short of the more than 100,000 that public health experts have been calling for since the pandemic began seven months ago.

"I see us inching up in terms of increasing the contact tracing personnel, [though] still only really halfway to where we need to be," says Danielle Allen, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and a co-author of a handbook of COVID-19 policy. This latest survey shows a nearly 30% increase from NPR's last survey in early August, which found 41,122 contact tracers across the country, but some of that increase is due to the fact that more states are now included.

Contact tracing staffing "feels stagnant," says Crystal Watson, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. She oversaw the survey in collaboration with NPR. "I don't see a lot of evidence that we have a new push or renewed interest in trying to prepare for what we might see this winter," she says, "and we're already seeing cases tick up across the U.S. and in Europe."– Selena Simmons-Duffin, NPR

Jury Seated In First San Diego Criminal Trial Since Pandemic Began

– 6:35 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020

A jury was seated and opening statements were delivered Tuesday in the first criminal trial held in San Diego Superior Court since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 40 people reported for jury duty at the downtown San Diego courthouse Tuesday morning, a stark contrast from typical times, when the court can rely on a pool of around 400 prospective jurors to choose from.

The prospective panelists were escorted to a retro-fitted courtroom featuring plexiglass panels between each seat in the jury box, and panels cordoning off the attorneys, judge and court staff from one another. Jurors not seated in the jury box were spaced out throughout the courtroom.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Frederic Link thanked those who reported for the inaugural pandemic trial, assuring the group that "everything in this room has been sanitized this morning ...We're trying to take every precaution we can to make this safe for you."

A jury panel was seated by early afternoon in the trial of 61-year-old John Homer Scarborough, who is charged with assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse. The trial is expected to continue through at least the end of the week, and another trial is scheduled to begin next Monday at the downtown courthouse.

Since March, San Diego County courthouses have been largely closed to the general public, with most matters held remotely, in which neither defendants nor attorneys have appeared in person.

Trials have been on hold as the court system grappled with the obstacles involved with bringing members of the public into the courthouses for jury duty.

Following nearly six months without trials, jury summons were mailed out last month for the first time since the pandemic began.

With Scarborough's trial, San Diego County courts will begin chipping away at an ever-increasing trial backlog, with the trial possibly serving as a test case for restarting jury trials at the county's other courthouses in Chula Vista, El Cajon and Vista.

"As we safely and cautiously resume trials with a smaller potential juror pool, we will start by seating our first jury at the Central Courthouse before we expand to the other courthouses," Superior Court Presiding Judge Lorna Alksne said. "We know this will be an uphill battle to work through all of the pending jury trials and we will only be able to accomplish this with the support of jurors willing to fulfill this public service. It is more critical than ever that you report for jury duty if summoned."

While Scarborough's case is the first criminal trial in San Diego state court, the local federal courts have been holding a limited number of jury trials and other in-person proceedings. The San Diego Superior Court also brought one jury panel back into the courthouse this summer to render a verdict on a murder trial that was interrupted by the pandemic. — City News Service

SD County To Remain In Red Tier As 278 Cases, 14 Deaths Reported

– 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020

San Diego County will remain in the red, or substantial, tier of the state's four-tier COVID-19 reopening plan for at least another week, even as public health officials reported 278 new COVID-19 infections and 14 deaths from the illness.

According to the California Department of Public Health, San Diego County's state-calculated, adjusted case rate is 6.8 daily infections per 100,000 residents, up from 6.5 the previous week. The unadjusted case rate was 7.2, up from 6.9 last Tuesday.

The adjusted rate is due to San Diego County's high volume of tests but still leaves the county on the precipice of the state's most restrictive tier — purple.

The testing positivity percentage is 3%, considerably less than last week, and that number would qualify for the third — or orange — tier.

To remain in the red tier, the county must continue to have an adjusted case rate of less than 7.0 per 100,000 residents and a testing positivity percentage of less than 5%.

The new cases and deaths reported Tuesday raised the total for the region to 51,024 cases and 840 deaths.

Eight women and six men died between Oct. 3 and Sunday. Their ages ranged from the early 50s to early 100s. All but one had underlying medical conditions.

Of the 10,078 tests reported Tuesday, 3% returned positive, keeping the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases at 2.9%. The seven-day daily average of tests was 10,608.

Of the total number of cases in the county, 3,702 — or 7.3% — have required hospitalization and 857 — or 1.7% of all cases — had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

Six new community outbreaks were reported Tuesday — three in restaurant/bar settings, two in private residences and one in a kindergarten through 12th-grade school. *— City News Service

SD County Reports 195 New COVID-19 Cases As It Awaits State Data

– 4:45 p.m., Monday, Oct. 12, 2020

San Diego County public health officials reported 195 new COVID-19 infections Monday, raising the total to 50,746 cases as the county awaits reopening data from the state Tuesday.

The number of deaths in the region from the illness remains at 826.

Of the 7,573 tests reported Monday, 3% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases to 2.9%. The seven-day daily average of tests was 10,424.

Of the total number of cases in the county, 3,692 — or 7.3% — have required hospitalization and 854 — or 1.7% of all cases — had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

One new community outbreak was reported Monday in a restaurant/bar setting. In the past seven days, 46 community outbreaks were confirmed, well above the trigger of seven or more in a week's time. A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

The county remains in the second — or red — tier of the state's four-tier COVID-19 reopening plan. San Diego's state-calculated, adjusted case rate is 6.5 per 100,000 residents, down from 6.7. The unadjusted case rate is 7.0, down from 7.2.

The testing positivity percentage is 3.5%, the same as last week, and it is in the third — or orange — tier. — City News Service

California Relaxes Rules To Allow Small Family Gatherings

– 3:50 p.m, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020

California is easing its coronavirus restrictions to allow multi-household gatherings outdoors.

Three households can socialize so long as they wear masks and follow other safety precautions designed to stem the spread of the virus. State health officials previously had discouraged gatherings outside of a single household.

The state set the limit of three households out of concern that people will be tempted to have even larger indoor activities with the approach of Halloween and other holidays during the colder months. G

ov. Gavin Newsom said Monday the rules recognize the increasing pressure for get-togethers among relatives and close friends. — Associated Press

SD County Reports 408 New COVID-19 Cases, Another Death

– 5:32 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020

San Diego County public health officials have reported 408 new COVID-19 infections and one more death from the illness, raising the county's totals to 50,551 cases and 826 fatalities.

The death of one man was noted Saturday. He was in his mid-40s and had an underlying medical condition.

Of the 9,875 tests reported Saturday, 4% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases to 2.9%. The seven-day daily average of tests was 10,281.

Of the total number of cases in the county, 3,681 — or 7.3% — have required hospitalization and 851 — or 1.7% of all cases — had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

Seven new community outbreaks were reported Saturday, one in a faith- based agency, one in a restaurant, one in a grocery setting, two in businesses and two in restaurant/bar settings.

In the past seven days, Oct. 4 through Oct. 10, 45 community outbreaks were confirmed, well above the trigger of seven or more in a week's time. A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days. – City News Service

SD County Reports 320 COVID-19 Cases, Raising Total To 50,143

– 4:17 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020

San Diego County public health officials have reported 320 new COVID-19 infections and four more deaths from the illness, raising the county's totals to 50,143 cases, a milestone for the region, and 825 fatalities.

Two women and two men died, and their ages ranged from early to late 60s. Three had underlying medical conditions.

Of the 11,371 tests reported Friday, 3% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases to 2.8%. The seven-day daily average of tests was 10,127.

Of the total number of cases in the county, 3,670 — or 7.3% — have required hospitalization and 849 — or 1.7% of all cases — had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

Four community outbreaks were reported Friday, two in businesses and two in restaurant/bar settings.

In the past seven days, Oct. 3 through Oct. 9, 38 community outbreaks were confirmed, well above the trigger of seven or more in a week's time. A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

The county remains in the second — or red — tier of the state's four- tier COVID-19 reopening plan. San Diego's state-calculated, adjusted case rate is 6.5 per 100,000 residents, down from 6.7. The unadjusted case rate is 7.0, down from 7.2.

The testing positivity percentage is 3.5%, the same as last week, and it is in the third — or orange — tier. – City News Service

SDSU Hoops To Begin Mountain West Conference Schedule In December

– 6:15 p.m., Friday, Oct. 9, 2020

The Mountain West Conference will play an 18-game basketball schedule, starting in late December.

The season will begin on Dec. 29 and conclude March 6, according to a news released issued Friday.

Each team will play nine home games and make nine road trips, with individual schedules to be released later.

The conference tournament will be held March 10-13 in Las Vegas.

Utah State won last year's Mountain West tournament by defeating San Diego State in the title game, just before the NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The NCAA pushed back the start of the 2020-21 basketball season to Nov. 25 due to the pandemic. — Associated Press

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