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New COVID-19 Testing Site Opens In Downtown San Diego

A woman checking in at a new COVID-19 testing at the Mexican Consulate in dow...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: A woman checking in at a new COVID-19 testing at the Mexican Consulate in downtown San Diego on Sept. 14, 2020.

A comprehensive outreach strategy to expand testing access for Latino residents and other communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic started Monday in downtown San Diego.

The new program began with the opening of a testing site at the Mexican Consulate at 1549 India St. Starting at 8 a.m. Monday, walk-up appointments became available and will run until 3:30 p.m. on a weekly basis.

Listen to this story by Jacob Aere.

The new site at the consulate is just one of several upcoming COVID-19 testing locations. Two other confirmed sites include San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside and St. Anthony of Padua Church in National City.

The program is being led by San Diego county’s T3 Testing Team. The three T’s stand for testing, tracing and treatment. Team leader, Ryan Clabo says these new testing sites are safe spaces for people of all backgrounds.

“It’s important to get tested. These are free tests, confidential," Clabo said. "We don’t ask citizenship questions, we don't ask national origin questions."

San Diego resident Hector Rodriguez, who got tested at the consulate, suggests all people take advantage of the expanded testing sites.

“I am glad that they are doing this. I recommend everybody to do it, even if you don't feel nothing, you are still at risk,” Rodriguez said.

The county is partnering with the Catholic Diocese of San Diego and the Chicano Federation to reach out to the Latino community.

The new COVID-19 testing sites across San Diego county will have different locations assigned to each day of the week. Dates, times and additional locations of the other testing sites will be announced in the coming days.

San Diego County public health officials reported 265 new COVID-19 infections and no new deaths Sunday, bringing the county's totals to 42,679 cases and 734 fatalities.

Reported by Jacob Aere , Video by Matthew Bowler

Of the 8,281 tests reported Saturday, 3% returned positive, moving the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 4.4%, well below the state's 8% guideline. The seven-day average number of tests performed in the county is 7,200.

Of the total positive cases in the county, 3,296 — or 7.7% — have required hospitalization since the pandemic began, and 781 — or 1.8% — were admitted to an intensive care unit.

RELATED: San Diego County And Mexican Consulate Announce Latino COVID-19 Testing Strategy

San Diego State University reported 29 new COVID-19 cases among students Sunday, bringing the total number of student cases to 621 since the fall semester began Aug. 24.

University officials said they were aware of 617 confirmed cases among students and four probable cases. The university has not received any reports of faculty or staff who have tested positive, SDSU health officials said.

The majority of the 621 cases are students living off-campus in San Diego, according to the university. About 75% of students testing positive live in off-campus housing not managed by the university, with 73% of the cases among the freshman and sophomore classes.

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San Diego County COVID-19 Data Sept. 13, 2020

San Diego County COVID-19 Data Sept. 13, 2020

San Diego County COVID-19 Data Sept. 13, 2020

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On Saturday, county health officials reported five new community outbreaks. Three were in restaurants, one in a restaurant/bar and one in a business.

In the past seven days — Sept. 7 through Sunday — 14 community outbreaks were confirmed. The number of community outbreaks remains above the county's goal of fewer than seven in a seven-day span. A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households in the past 14 days.

RELATED: San Diego Beaches, Parks And Restaurants Are Open, But Playgrounds Remain Closed

Under the new state monitoring metrics, San Diego County is currently in Tier 2, also called the Red Tier. San Diego's state-calculated unadjusted case rate was 6.9 per 100,000 residents and the testing positivity percentage was 4.2%.

The state will assess counties weekly, with the next report scheduled for Tuesday.

The city of Chula Vista announced Friday it was distributing 25,000 reuseable cotton masks printed with the city logo and website. Residents can pick up the free masks at the Civic Center and Otay Ranch libraries from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Chula Vista police, fire, park rangers and open-space personnel will also be distributing the masks when they come into contact with people without masks.

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