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Tracking Covid 19

Live Blog: SDSU To Start Limited In-Person Classes Oct. 12

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

SDSU To Start Limited In-Person Classes Oct. 12

– 6:35 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020

San Diego State University (SDSU) will be starting a limited number of in-person classes effective Oct. 12, the school announced Tuesday.

In-person courses will be mostly upper-division or graduate level, and “cannot be fully carried out in the virtual space due to equipment use, off-campus research or clinical requirements, or because of accreditation or licensing requirements,” according to a statement emailed to the campus community.

Prior to the pause on in-person classes, 6,200 students were enrolled in an on-campus course. After Oct. 12, approximately 2,100 students will be taking an in-person course, according to SDSU.

A pause on in-person instruction was placed after SDSU saw steadily increasing COVID-19 cases since Aug. 24, the first day of instruction for the school’s fall semester. Its positive cases now total 1,080. On-campus learning was originally paused until Oct. 5, but SDSU extended it until Oct. 12.

SDSU reported three new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 1,080 since Aug. 24. – Lara McCaffrey, KPBS web producer

County Remains In Red Tier As 251 New Cases, 5 Deaths Reported

– 6:17 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020

San Diego County public health officials reported 251 new COVID-19 infections and five additional deaths related to the illness Tuesday, raising the county's total to 46,985 cases and 781 deaths.

The new data comes as the county again avoided being pushed into the "purple" tier, the most restrictive in the state's four-tier reopening plan. The county will remain in the red tier for COVID-19 cases, with a state- adjusted case rate of 6.7 per 100,000 residents, county Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten told the Board of Supervisors during their meeting Tuesday.

California officials announced changes to the monitoring system for counties on Tuesday. County public health officials said their unadjusted case rate was above 7.0, at 7.2. However, because testing levels were above the state median testing volume, the county's adjustment level was decreased. – City News Service

San Diego Will Start Enforcing Parking Regulations Again In October

– 4:27 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020

The city of San Diego will begin enforcing parking regulations again starting Oct. 1 with a two-week grace period before full enforcement Oct. 15, officials announced Tuesday.

The city temporarily suspended parking enforcement on March 16 following the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Multiple attempts in the following months to reinforce parking regulations have been thwarted by ongoing shutdown orders.

In developing a plan to restart parking enforcement, city staff consulted with several business groups representing communities across San Diego.

Starting Thursday, the city will issue written warnings for vehicles parked in violation of:

— Posted street sweeping routes;

— Metered parking restrictions;

— Curb time limits; and

— Commercial zones.

Citations will continue to be issued for vehicles parked illegally at red, white and blue painted curbs. Drivers are encouraged to follow posted signage when looking for a parking space. - City News Service

SD County Remains in Red Tier For COVID 19, Supervisors Told

– 12:30 p.m., Sept. 29, 2020

San Diego County will remain in the red tier for COVID-19 cases, with a state-adjusted case rate of 6.7 per 100,000 residents, the county's public health officer told the Board of Supervisors during their meeting Tuesday.

California officials announced changes to the monitoring system for counties on Tuesday. County public health officials said their unadjusted case rate was above 7.0, at 7.2. However, because testing levels were above the state median testing volume, the county's adjustment level was decreased.

While it's not possible to predict what the future holds for the state testing system, the county is exceeding testing numbers, Dr. Wilma Wooten said.

Nick Macchione, county Health & Human Services director, said that by next moth, testing capacity is on track to increase to roughly 30,000 tests a week.

Machionne said that along with facilitating the testing needs of schools, improved capacity will help the county stay above the state's testing median. The county also now has seven community-based organizations working to stop virus spread, Macchione said.

The county's testing positivity percentage is 3.8%.– City News Service

San Diego County Remains In Red Tier For COVID-19 Cases

– 11:33 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020

San Diego County will remain in the red tier for COVID-19 cases, with a state-adjusted case rate of 6.7 per 100,000 residents, it was just announced during the Board of Supervisors meeting. In related news, parks are slated to reopen this week, the chief administrative officer told the board. – City News Service

Outdoor Playgrounds In California Can Now Open

– 9:41 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020

All outdoor playgrounds across California can now reopen as of Tuesday, according to an announcement from the California Department of Public Health.

After being blocked from slides and swings for six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, kids can now use any outdoor playground regardless of what tier their county falls in.

But there are a few new rules:

– Everyone age two and up must wear a face mask

– Different households should keep 6 feet apart, and families should come back later if a playground is too crowded to make this social distancing possible

– Families should limit their visits to 30 minutes when others are present

– No eating or drinking

– Wash hands before and after

– Caregivers must supervise children to make sure they follow these rules

– Claire Trageser, KPBS Investigative Reporter

Global COVID-19 Deaths Surpass 1 Million Mark

– 6:15 p.m., Monday, Sept. 28, 2020

The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus has eclipsed 1 million.

The milestone, recorded by Johns Hopkins University, comes nine months into a crisis that has devastated the global economy, tested world leaders’ resolve, pitted science against politics and forced multitudes to change the way they live, learn and work.

The virus has also spread untold misery. One million is greater than the population of Jerusalem or Austin, Texas. It is more than four times the number killed in the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

Even then, the toll is almost certainly a vast undercount because of inadequate or inconsistent testing and reporting. — Associated Press

124 New COVID-19 Cases Reported Monday

– 5:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 28, 2020

San Diego County public health officials confirmed 124 new COVID-19 cases Monday, increasing the region's totals to 46,734 cases as the county awaits the state's data for reopening Tuesday.

The state will hold its weekly update Tuesday, with San Diego last week barely avoiding the dreaded "purple" tier. Under state monitoring metrics, San Diego County is currently in the second tier, or the red tier. The county's state-calculated, adjusted case rate is 6.9 per 100,000 residents. The testing positivity percentage is 3.8%.

No new deaths associated with the illness were reported Monday and the total fatalities remain at 776.

Of the 6,010 tests reported Monday, 2% returned positive, dropping the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases to 3.3%. The state-set target is less than 8%. The seven-day daily average of tests was 8,431.

Chicano Federation Report Finds Barriers With COVID-19 Testing, Tracing — City News Service

– 3:09 p.m., Monday, Sept. 28, 2020

According to a report released by the Chicano Federation Monday, there are significant and systemic barriers preventing Latinos from receiving COVID-19 testing and participating in contact tracing efforts in San Diego County.

However, the report, "Perceptions of Contact Tracing Among San Diego Latinos," finds that Latinos in San Diego can and will participate in testing and contact tracing if the county's testing, tracing and treatment strategy — also known as T3 — is available in both Spanish and English, addresses privacy and financial concerns and removes isolation barriers.

The Chicano Federation — established in 1969 to provide neighborhood- based services to underserved youth, families and seniors across San Diego County — reported that the brunt of the coronavirus has fallen on Spanish- speaking Latinos and the county's response to help this community has been seriously lacking. – City News Service

SD County Reports 279 New COVID-19 Cases, One New Death

– 4:16 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020

San Diego County public health officials confirmed 279 new COVID-19 cases and one additional death Sunday, increasing the region's totals to 46,610 cases and 776 fatalities.

The one death was a woman in her late 70s who had an underlying medical condition.

One new community outbreak in a business was confirmed as of Saturday. From Sept. 20 to Sept. 26, 18 community outbreaks were confirmed. The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days.

The county reported 8,550 tests as of Saturday and the percentage of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 3%.

The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 3.3%. The target is less than 8%. The seven-day daily average of tests was 8,483. – City News Service

SDSU Reports Another 25 Cases Of COVID-19

– 1:52 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020

San Diego State University reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 1,072 since Aug. 24, the first day of instruction for the fall semester.

The new totals reported by Student Health Services reflect numbers as of 6 p.m. Saturday.

Of the students living on campus, 385 have tested positive and students living off campus totaled 666 positive cases, health services said. A total of eight faculty or staff members have tested positive and 13 "visitors," people who have had exposure with an SDSU-affiliated individual, have tested positive.

The number of confirmed cases was 1,030, with 42 probable cases.

The information is based on cases reported to Student Health Services by an individual or by a public health official. As more private labs are administering tests, there is a possibility that not all cases are being reported to Student Health Services.

For privacy reasons, SDSU does not report names, affiliations or health conditions of students, faculty or staff who test positive for COVID-19 unless a public health agency advises that there is a health and public safety benefit to reporting such details. – City News Service

SD County Reports 330 New COVID-19 Cases, No New Deaths

– 3:53 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020

San Diego County public health officials confirmed 330 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, increasing the region's total to 46,331, but no new deaths, with that total remaining at 775.

Five new community outbreaks were confirmed as of Friday, three in business settings, one in a restaurant/bar and one in a government setting. From Sept. 19 to Sept. 25, 18 community outbreaks were confirmed. The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days.

The county reported 9,914 tests as of Friday and the percentage of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 3%.

The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 3.3%. The target is less than 8%. The seven-day daily average of tests is 8,561. – City News Service

Sixteen New COVID-19 Cases Reported at SDSU

– 3:04 p.m., Sept. 26, 2020

Sixteen new cases of COVID-19 were reported today by San Diego State University, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,064 since Aug. 24, the first day of instruction for the fall semester.

The new totals reported by Student Health Services reflect numbers as of 6 p.m. Friday.

Of the students living on campus, 380 have tested positive and students living off campus totaled 663 positive cases, health services said. A total of eight faculty or staff members have tested positive and 13 "visitors," people who have had exposure with an SDSU-affiliated individual, have tested positive.

The information is based on cases reported to Student Health Services by an individual or by a public health official. As more private labs are administering tests, there is a possibility that not all cases are being reported to Student Health Services.

For privacy reasons, SDSU does not report names, affiliations or health conditions of students, faculty or staff who test positive for COVID-19 unless a public health agency advises that there is a health and public safety benefit to reporting such details.

The university will also not disclose the specific location of the individual who was infected for privacy reasons and also because avoiding the physical location does not inherently lower a person's risk of infection. – City News Service

County Reports 405 New COVID-19 Cases Friday, Two Additional Deaths

– 5:50 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25, 2020

San Diego County public health officials Friday confirmed 405 new COVID-19 cases, increasing the region's total to 46,001 and two additional deaths, raising that total to 775.

A man in his mid-50s and another in his late 80s, both with underlying medical conditions, died of the coronavirus Wednesday, a county official said.

Nine of the 405 new cases, and one new probable case, are connected to San Diego State University, the official said. In addition, 17 previously reported cases are now being associated with SDSU.

The county narrowly avoided being dropped to the dreaded "purple" tier of COVID-19 reopening Tuesday, with 6.9 new daily cases per 100,000 population, just 0.1 away from the state's most restrictive tier. — City News Service

California Coronavirus Hospitalizations Could Surge In Next Month

– 4:45 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25, 2020

California has begun to see early but concerning upticks in coronavirus data after a period of decline.

California Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Friday the increases include the case rate, hospital emergency department visits for COVID-19 and new hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected cases.

Ghaly says the trends appear largely attributable to the Labor Day holiday and could lead to an 89% increase in hospitalizations in the next month.

He noted the state is heading into another hot weekend which could increase people gathering with others. He urged renewed efforts to prevent spread. — Associated Press

San Diego County Reports 171 Cases Of COVID-19, Six Deaths, Seven Outbreaks

– 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020

San Diego County public health officials reported 171 new COVID-19 infections and six additional deaths related to the illness, raising the region's totals to 45,596 cases and 773 deaths.

Three men and three women died between Sept. 17 and Sept. 22, and their ages ranged from mid-50s to early 90s.

Of the 13,609 tests reported Thursday, just 1% returned positive, lowering the 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases to 3.4%. The county has averaged 8,828 daily tests over the past week.

Of the total COVID-19 cases in the county, 3,460, or 7.6%, have been hospitalized with another 814, or 1.8%, spending some time in an intensive care unit.

San Diego State University reported 20 of Thursdays new cases were connected to the university, which now has 933 total confirmed or probable cases -- including four employees and 13 visitors to the campus.

A total of seven new community outbreaks were reported Thursday, raising the number in the past week to 15. Two of the community outbreaks were reported in restaurant settings, two in restaurant/bar settings, two in business settings and one in a faith-based setting.

According to county data, 61.5% of those hospitalized with the illness have been Hispanic or Latino, even as that ethnic group represents around 35% of the county's population. By comparison, 23.3% of those hospitalized have been white, 7.2% Asian and 5.8% Black. — City News Service

Mar Vista High COVID-19 Testing Site Reopens Sept. 24

– 5:51 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020

San Diego County’s COVID-19 testing site at Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach is reopening Sept. 24. The site temporarily closed in order to provide resources to San Diego State University.

The drive-up testing site will be open, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and providing 500 free tests a day. No appointment necessary.

Including Mar Vista, there are six county COVID-19 testing sites that don’t require appointments. The other five are: Viasat Engineering Pavilion at California State University San Marcos, Electronics Recycling Center at University of San Diego, Tubman-Chavez Community Center and San Ysidro Port of Entry. – Lara McCaffrey, KPBS web producer

San Diego County Reports 278 Cases Of COVID-19, Two More Deaths

– 3:45 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020

San Diego County public health officials reported 278 new COVID-19 infections and two additional deaths related to the illness Wednesday, raising the region's totals to 45,425 cases and 767 deaths.

The county's total cases crossed the 45,000 mark Tuesday, and on Wednesday another milestone was reached when the total number of tests reported topped one million.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer, thanked agencies and businesses contributing to testing numbers and said the county would maintain its priority testing for those showing symptoms of the illness.

"Our goal is to test the right people that need to be tested in San Diego County," she said.

With an average of 8,241 daily tests over the past week, the number of tests returning positive is 3.6% of the total over the last 14 days. The county narrowly avoiding being dropped to the dreaded "purple" tier of COVID- 19 reopening Tuesday, with 6.9 new daily cases per 100,000 population, just 0.1 away from the state's most restrictive tier.

San Diego County will remain in the red tier at least until next Tuesday, according to state officials.

Of the total COVID-19 cases in the county, 3,450 have been hospitalized with another 813 spending some time in an intensive care unit.San Diego County public health officials reported 278 new COVID-19 infections and two additional deaths related to the illness Wednesday, raising the region's totals to 45,425 cases and 767 deaths.

The county's total cases crossed the 45,000 mark Tuesday, and on Wednesday another milestone was reached when the total number of tests reported topped one million.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer, thanked agencies and businesses contributing to testing numbers and said the county would maintain its priority testing for those showing symptoms of the illness.

"Our goal is to test the right people that need to be tested in San Diego County," she said.

With an average of 8,241 daily tests over the past week, the number of tests returning positive is 3.6% of the total over the last 14 days. The county narrowly avoiding being dropped to the dreaded "purple" tier of COVID- 19 reopening Tuesday, with 6.9 new daily cases per 100,000 population, just 0.1 away from the state's most restrictive tier.

San Diego County will remain in the red tier at least until next Tuesday, according to state officials.

Of the total COVID-19 cases in the county, 3,450 have been hospitalized with another 813 spending some time in an intensive care unit. — City News Service

San Diego County Remains In Red Tier

– 12 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020

Despite increasing coronavirus numbers, San Diego County will not yet regress into the most restrictive, or "purple" tier, of the state's economic-reopening guidelines, according to data released Tuesday.

State health secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly noted, however, that the county is hovering on the brink of being moved out of the less-restrictive "red" category.

There were concerns the county could slip into the "purple tier," the state's most restrictive because of the outbreak at San Diego State University.

SDSU has reported 880 confirmed or probable cases, including two reports of faculty or staff who have tested positive.

Photo credit: State of California

The new color-coded coronavirus county-risk level announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Aug. 28, 2020.

The county Board of Supervisors met Monday and last Thursday nights to discuss its options, including legal action, after Gov. Gavin Newsom rejected a county effort Wednesday to discount the more than 800 positive tests recorded by SDSU since the semester began.

Had the county slipped back to the purple tier of the state's coronavirus reopening roadmap, it would likely have to shutter indoor operations for restaurants, movie theaters, houses of worship and gyms, limit retail businesses to just 25% capacity and have major impacts on indoor business for most other industries until the county can improve its numbers. — City News Service

SD County Reports 348 New COVID-19 Cases As it Waits For State Data

– 6 p.m., Monday, Sept. 21, 2020

San Diego County public health officials reported 348 new COVID-19 infections and no new deaths Monday, raising the region's total cases to 44,925 with the death toll remaining at 760.

The county awaits data from the state Tuesday which could potentially place San Diego in the "purple tier," the state's most restrictive.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors met in closed session Monday to discuss potential action should the state data indicate the county will be placed in the purple tier, including legal action.

Supervisor Jim Desmond said Monday's meeting yielded no action from the board.

"We will continue to work with the state to make sure the metrics accurately reflect the underlying dynamics of the pandemic," he said.

If the state data announced Tuesday shows the county has an average daily new case rate of seven per 100,000 population or higher, it will likely be moved into the purple tier.

Of the 6,374 tests reported on Monday, 5% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 3.7%.

The seven-day daily average of tests is 8,440.

Of the total positive cases reported as of Sunday, 3,418 — or 7.6% — required hospitalization and 801 — or 1.8% — had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

One new community outbreak in a restaurant was confirmed Monday. From Sept. 14-20, 22 community outbreaks were confirmed.

The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days. 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

Faster, Streamlined Access to Unemployment Benefits Is Two Weeks Away, Newsom Says

– 3:35 p.m., Monday, Sept. 21, 2020

Gov. Gavin Newsom reassured Californians that a faster, streamlined process to file for unemployment is on the way, acknowledging that the Employment Development Department's (EDD) out-of-date technology and infrastructure have contributed to a massive backlog of claims.

The EDD released a report on Saturday announcing it would dedicate the next two weeks to an agency-wide reset to make it easier for eligible Californians to apply for and receive unemployment benefits. The department will pause accepting new claims until Oct. 5.

Newsom said that significant delays in processing claims are not a problem unique to California, and outdated technology is in no small part responsible for the trouble. “As a nation, we have a huge IT problem,” he said.

The agency plans to launch a system called ID.me to automatically verify the identity of a claimant. The hope is the changes will make it easier for newcomers to file claims, mitigate fraud and help the department work through a backlog of some 1.6 million cases.

Meanwhile, Newsom said California’s COVID-19 numbers continue to drop. The current seven-day average positivity rate has fallen to 2.8% even as the state continues to expand testing. The number of tests performed dropped significantly during the heat waves, smoke and fires earlier in September, but they have since rebounded.

Newsom expects to see the number of tests increase as the state works towards building out a testing lab and reaching the goal of delivering test results in 24 to 48 hours. California has also seen a fourteen-day average 23% drop in hospitalizations and a 25% drop in ICU admissions. — Nina Sparling /KQED

COVID-19 Outbreak At SDSU Pushes San Diego To Brink Of Another Shutdown

– 3:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 21, 2020

A coronavirus outbreak at a college has pushed one of California's largest counties to the brink of more business shutdowns.

It's a dizzying and discouraging turn of events for San Diego County and its 3.3 million residents.

Less than a month ago, San Diego was the only county in Southern California to advance to a second tier in the state’s four-tiered reopening template for counties. But more than 800 cases at San Diego State University changed the outlook.

On Tuesday, the state will update the state's reopening situation and it's expected San Diego will fall back to the most restrictive tier. Among other things, that means restaurants couldn't offer indoor dining. — Associated Press

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