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Tracking Covid 19

Live Blog: San Diego County Reports 245 COVID-19 Infections, 12 Deaths

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


San Diego County Reports 245 COVID-19 Infections, 12 Deaths

– 5:45 p.m., Saturday April 17, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 245 new COVID-19 infections and 12 deaths Saturday as case rates continue to decline.

Saturday's statistics increased the region's totals from throughout the pandemic to 274,811 infections and 3,674 deaths.

Of the 12,214 test results reported Saturday, 2% returned positive. The 14-day rolling average of positive tests is 1.8%, a decline from Thursday's reported 1.9%.

Hospitalizations due to the coronavirus decreased from 183 Friday to 176 on Saturday. Patients in intensive care beds declined from 60 Friday to 58 on Saturday. There were 49 staffed, available ICU beds in the county as of Saturday.

Nearly 2.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, and 1,271,551 county residents — or 63% of the county's goal of 75% of its eligible population — have received at least one dose.

The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve so-called herd immunity — equating to around 2.02 million San Diego County residents.

The county reported on Saturday a total of 797,590 people in San Diego County — or 39.5% of that goal — are fully vaccinated. The numbers include both county residents and those who only work in the region.

There were two community outbreaks reported Saturday, and 18 over the last seven days with 71 cases associated with the two outbreaks. – City News Service

San Diego County Reports 317 COVID-19 Infections, 9 Deaths

– 5:33 p.m., Friday, April 16, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 317 new COVID-19 infections and nine deaths Friday as case rates continue to decline.

Friday's statistics increased the region's totals from throughout the pandemic to 274,566 infections and 3,662 deaths.

Of the 18,038 test results reported Friday, 2% returned positive. The 14-day rolling average of positive tests is 1.8%, a decline from Thursday's reported 1.9%.

Hospitalizations due to the coronavirus increased for the fourth day in a row, from 182 Thursday to 183 Friday. Patients in intensive care beds declined from 62 Thursday to 60 Friday. There were 46 staffed, available ICU beds in the county as of Friday.

Nearly 2.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, and 1,254,146 county residents — or 62.2% of the county's goal of 75% of its eligible population — have received at least one dose.

The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve so-called herd immunity — equating to around 2.02 million San Diego County residents.

The county reported a total of 784,730 people in San Diego County — or 38.9% of that goal — are fully vaccinated. The numbers include both county residents and those who only work in the region. — City News Service

San Diego County Prepares for Expansion of Vaccine Pool

– 7:16 p.m., Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Wednesday's statistics increased the region's cumulative totals from throughout the pandemic to 273,968 infections and 3,648 fatalities.

Of the 25 deaths reported Wednesday, 21 occurred in December and January according to the county Health and Human Services Agency, which did an audit of deaths and death certificates during the height of the mid-winter peak of deaths and hospitalizations in the county.

Of the 16,297 test results reported Wednesday, 2% returned positive. The 14-day rolling average of positive tests is 1.9%.

More than 2.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, and 1,216,170 county residents — or 60.3% of the county's goal of 75% of its eligible population — have received at least one dose. The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve so-called herd immunity — equating to around 2.02 million San Diego County residents.

The county reported a total of 757,355 people in the San Diego area — or 37.5% of that goal — are fully vaccinated. The numbers include both county residents and those who only work in the region.

Following federal guidance, San Diego County stopped administering Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday. — City News Service

Newsom Pushes School Reopening As Many Districts Resist

– 3:01 p.m., Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration said Wednesday that all California schools should reopen when the new academic year begins next fall, though his guidelines remain merely an expectation rather than a mandate.

Facing political pressure and a recall effort, Newsom has said he plans to lift most of California’s coronavirus restrictions June 15 as part of reopening the state to business-as-usual. Earlier this month, he made a similar pronouncement, but many districts and teachers remain reluctant.

Newsom has repeatedly said he sees no barriers to getting kids back into classrooms now, as California’s COVID-19 infections continue to drop and more residents get vaccinated. His administration reiterated that push on Wednesday, ahead of a visit to an elementary school in Santa Rosa.

“If current trends and best practices continue, the next school year can begin with offering full in-person instruction to all students,” the California Department of Health said in a presentation Wednesday that focused on school reopening. It specified that schools should plan to offer full days of instruction, five days a week.

That’s a far cry from the current situation in California, where many schools have reopened classrooms part-time with a mix of in-person and at-home learning. Many district officials and teachers are reluctant to return. And it remains unclear if all 6.2 million public school students will be back in classrooms this year or at the start of the next school year. — Associated Press

California Says J&J Pause Won't Affect Reopening, Vaccination Push

– 3:25 p.m., Tuesday, April 13, 2021

California officials say the state's pause on using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as federal agencies examine a possible and rare side effect is likely to have little effect on vaccination efforts.

State officials directed counties and other providers on Tuesday to pause use of the J&J vaccine while federal agencies examine the side effects.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said vaccinations will open to people 16 and older as scheduled on Thursday and California still plans to lift most pandemic restrictions as announced in mid-June.

Nearly 900,000 Californians have received the J&J shot, including the governor. More than 15 million Californians are fully or partially vaccinated. — Associated Press

Dr. Fauci Reminds Of Tiny Risk For J&J Vaccine

– 10:28 a.m., Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci says Americans who’ve recently received a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine shouldn’t be anxious about the “pause” in shots because of reports of blood clots.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for the pause Tuesday to investigate six reports of potentially dangerous blood clots, among more than 6.8 million doses administered.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert says, “It's less than one in a million.” Fauci adds people should “pay attention” to symptoms associated with the blood clots, particularly between one and three weeks after the shot.

The White House was first informed of the announcement Monday night, coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients says. He defended the administration’s notification to states, saying, “there was no heads up here.”

Fauci says the pause by regulators is a “testimony to how seriously we take safety.” — Associated Press

San Diego County Pauses J&J Vaccine Following Feds' Guidelines

– 9:20 a.m., Tuesday, April 13, 2021

San Diego County announced Tuesday morning that it is pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, following guidance from the federal government.

The county made the announcement in a tweet Tuesday morning.

"More detailed information will be provided later (Tuesday) morning and (Tuesday) afternoon," the tweet said. "This development comes as the CDC and CDPH are pausing use of the (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine." — City News Service

US Agencies Recommend Pause On Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

– 8:12 a.m., Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Food and Drug Administration says it expects a short pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccines while regulators investigate reports of potentially dangerous clots in a small number of patients.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, the agency’s acting commissioner, says, “We expect it to be a matter of days for this pause.”

The U.S. FDA and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the pause Tuesday to investigate unusual clots in six women that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination with the J&J vaccine. The clots occurred in veins that drain blood from the brain and occurred together with low platelets. All cases were in women between the ages of 18 to 48.

Nearly 7 million J&J doses have been administered in the U.S., almost all without serious side effects.

Regulators say they want to educate patients and medical professionals about spotting and treating the clots. The clots were observed along with reduced platelet counts, making the usual treatment for blood clots, the blood thinner heparin, potentially “dangerous.” — Associated Press

Scripps Del Mar Fairgrounds Vaccination Super Station Closing Due To Vaccine Delivery Shortfall

– 9:00 a.m., Monday April 12, 2021

The Scripps Del Mar Fairgrounds Vaccination Super Station will be closed later this week due to the low number of COVID-19 vaccine doses that were delivered to Scripps Health last week.

The site will be closed Wednesday, April 14; Friday, April 16; Saturday, April 17; and Sunday, April, 18.

However, the site will be open Thursday, April 15 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Patients who have appointments scheduled on those dates will be rescheduled automatically through the MyTurn online appointment system.

– KPBS Staff

San Diego Officials Report 229 New COVID-19 Cases, 8 More Pandemic Deaths

– 6:36 p.m., Sunday, April 11, 2021

Public health officials in San Diego County have reported 229 new COVID-19 cases and eight more local deaths from the disease, increasing the region's cumulative totals to 273,286 infections and 3,621 fatalities.

More than 2.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, according to the county Health & Human Services Agency, and 1,164,650 county residents — or 43.3% — have received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccines.

The county also reported a total of 681,263 people in the San Diego area — or 25.3% — are fully vaccinated. The numbers include both county residents and those who only work in the region. The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve so-called herd immunity — around 2.02 million San Diego County residents.

One new community outbreak was reported Sunday. In the past seven days, 16 community outbreaks were confirmed. Cases associated with the outbreaks numbered 66.

— City News Service

361 More COVID Cases Reported In San Diego As Vaccination Rates Continues To Rise

– 5:42 p.m., Saturday, April 10, 2021

Public health officials in San Diego County have reported 361 new COVID-19 cases and 13 more local deaths from the disease, increasing the region's cumulative totals to 273,057 infections and 3,613 fatalities.

More than 2.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, according to the county Health & Human Services Agency, and 1,119,988 county residents — or 41.7% — have received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccines.

The county also reported a total of 652,257 people in the San Diego area — or 24.3% — are fully vaccinated. The numbers include both county residents and those who only work in the region. The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve so-called herd immunity — around 2.02 million San Diego County residents.

One new community outbreak was reported Saturday. In the past seven days, 19 community outbreaks were confirmed. Cases associated with the outbreaks numbered 80. — City News Service

San Diego Officials Report 202 New COVID Cases, Eight More Pandemic Deaths

– 7:07 p.m., Friday, April 9, 2021

Public health officials in San Diego County reported 202 new COVID-19 cases and eight more local deaths from the disease Friday, increasing the region's cumulative totals to 272,696 infections and 3,600 fatalities.

More than 2.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, according to the county Health & Human Services Agency, and 1,097,317 county residents — or 40.8% — have received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccines.

A total of 642,123 people in the San Diego area — or 23.9% — are fully vaccinated. The numbers include both county residents and those who only work in the region. The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve so-called herd immunity — around 2.02 million San Diego County residents.

Three new community outbreaks were reported Thursday — one in a business setting, one in a grocery/retail setting and one in a retail setting. In the past seven days, 18 community outbreaks were confirmed.

The county moved into the less-restrictive orange tier of the state's coronavirus reopening system Wednesday, and a 10 p.m. curfew for all restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and wineries was lifted. — City News Service

San Diego County Reports 300 New COVID-19 Cases, 4 Deaths

– 5:53 p.m., Thursday, April 8, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 300 new COVID-19 infections and four deaths Thursday, increasing the region's cumulative totals to 272,494 cases and 3,592 deaths.

Three women and one man died between March 16 and April 7. Of the people who died, three were in their 70s and one was in their 50s. Three had underlying medical conditions while the other did not.

Of the 16,596 tests reported Thursday, 2% returned positive. The 14- day running average as tallied by the county is 2.3%.

Hospitalizations related to the virus decreased to 173 from the 181 reported Wednesday. Patients in intensive care units remained unchanged at 57. There are 61 available, manned ICU beds in the county.

More than 2.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, according to the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency, and 1,097,317 county residents — or 40.8% — have received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccines.

A total of 642,123 people in San Diego County — or 23.9% — are fully vaccinated. — City News Service

County Moves To Orange Tier; 328 New COVID-19 Cases, 3 Deaths Confirmed

– 5:45 p.m., Wednesday, April 7, 2021

San Diego County moved into the less-restrictive orange tier of the state's coronavirus reopening system Wednesday and a 10 p.m. curfew for all restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and wineries in place since July was lifted as public health officials reported 328 new infections and three deaths.

Wednesday's COVID-19 data increased the county's cumulative totals to 272,194 cases and 3,588 since the pandemic began.

The three deaths were men who died between March 3 and March 21. One was in his 80s, one in his 70s and one in his 60s, health officials said.

Of the 14,322 tests reported Wednesday, 2% returned positive. The 14-day running average as tallied by the county is 2.2%.

More than 2.06 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, according to the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency, and 1,066,410 county residents — or 39.7% — have received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccines.

A total of 625,632 people in San Diego County — or 23.3% — are fully vaccinated.

These numbers include both county residents and those who work in San Diego County. The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve herd immunity — around 2.02 million San Diego County residents. — City News Service

SDSU, UCSD Plan To Return Primarily In-Person This Fall

– 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 7, 2021

San Diego State University and UC San Diego will return primarily to in-person education and reopen on-campus housing for students in the fall term, it was announced Wednesday.

As an initial step, SDSU plans to share updated guidance next week for faculty members and researchers intended to allow them to gain increased access to their on-campus research and academic spaces this spring, subject to custodial and staff support capacity limitations. A more comprehensive return to academic spaces is expected in late summer, according to SDSU officials.

As a result of the state's plan to lift all COVID-19 restrictions — aside from masks and general social distancing guidelines — on June 15 if metrics hold, SDSU is planning to ramp up spaces for students, as well.

At UCSD, officials said they expects around 90% of students and 85% of on-site staff to be fully vaccinated by the fall quarter, citing positive trends regarding vaccinations and the school's "Return To Learn" COVID-19 response. Campus residence halls will be at near 100% occupancy, with no more than two students per room, according to a UCSD statement.

Facial coverings will still be required in all public spaces, while physical distancing guidelines are expected to be reduced from six feet to three feet in most settings.

Most instruction will be in-person in either indoor or outdoor classrooms, though "appropriate remote learning options will be made available for students who are unable to arrive from abroad due to visa delays or travel restrictions," the university said. – City News Service

San Diego County Moving Into Orange Tier

– 12 p.m., Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Starting Wednesday, San Diego County will be moving into the less-restrictive orange tier of the state’s color-coded COVID-19 risk levels, the state announced Tuesday morning.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher also confirmed the announcement, saying it’s “yet another significant step in our recovery from COVID-19.”

The county will also lift the 10 p.m. curfew for restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and wineries that has been in place since last July, Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said.

“The vaccine has given us a path to save lives, restore our economy, send our kids back to school and get our way of life back,” he said in a statement. “The combination of a low case rate plus the state hitting vaccine milestones allows us to continue moving forward.”

Earlier Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state would lift most coronavirus restrictions June 15, provided the vaccine supply remains stable and infection rates remain low.

Under the orange tier, more businesses, such as bars that do not serve food, can reopen. Restaurants can operate indoors at 50% capacity, wineries, distilleries and breweries can resume indoor service, and outdoor live events such as sports and entertainment can increase capacity to 33%. — KPBS staff

Gov. Newsom Announces State To Reopen June 15 With Some Restrictions; Mask Mandate Still In Place

Starting June 15 everyday activities can resume and most businesses can fully reopen with “common-sense risk reduction measures.”

Governor Gavin Newsom made the announcement Tuesday afternoon, citing California’s vaccination progress and low COVID-19 hospitalization rate. State officials are reporting more than 20 million doses have been administered and 41% of state residents over 16 are now vaccinated with their first dose.

“It is incumbent upon all of us not to announce mission accomplished, not to put down our guard but to continue that vigilance that got us where we are today — the lowest case rates, positivity rates in America,” Newsom said during televised remarks in San Francisco Tuesday. “We are seeing bright light at the end of the tunnel and on June 15th all things being equal we continue that good work we’ll have moved beyond that blueprint and reopening businesses as usual.”

California Health and Human Service Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly added that most businesses will not have capacity requirements. But he said conventions with over 5,000 people will be prohibited until October, unless organizers can prove all attendees will be vaccinated or have a negative test. International convention attendees will only be allowed if they are fully vaccinated. Ghaly added officials are still working to bring back large outdoor and indoor events, like Coachella, which will still not be allowed after June 15th.

RELATED: Tracking COVID-19 Vaccines

California’s mask mandate will stay in place. The current color-coded tier system will be gone in ten weeks and the entire state will see restrictions removed on June 15th.

“This will not be county by county as the blueprint has been,” Ghaly said. “This means the end to our color code tiers. This means we can go to the beach and see family.”

Ghaly said demand is still high for vaccinations, and officials are working on new guidance to gradually reopen sectors of the economy while incentivizing vaccinations.

New guidance expected by April 15th will expand capacity for private events if people are vaccinated and/or have a recent negative test. Ghaly said announcing the move now, will prepare businesses and communities to be ready for the “post-bluepret era in California.”

“California has made incredible progress controlling the spread of COVID-19 by staying home, masking, and getting vaccines out quickly to Californians in every corner of the state, including in those communities hardest hit by this pandemic. In order to take the next step, we must continue to do our part to keep this momentum moving in the right direction, and that means continuing to wear a mask and ensuring everyone who is eligible gets the vaccine,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

In San Diego County, nearly two million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered and 1,034,511 county residents — or 38.5% — have received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccines, according to the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency.

A total of 611,154 people in San Diego County — or 22.7% — are fully vaccinated. These numbers include both county residents and those who work in San Diego County.

The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve herd immunity — around 2.02 million San Diegans.

– KPBS Reporter Matt Hoffman

Official: EU Agency To Confirm AstraZeneca Blood Clot Link

– 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 6, 2021

A top official at the European Medicines Agency says there's a causal link between the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and rare cases of blood clots, but he says the benefits of getting the vaccine still outweigh the risks.

Marco Cavaleri, head of health threats and vaccine strategy at the EU agency, told a Rome newspaper that the agency is preparing to make a more definitive statement this week.

He says it will be based on the evidence that there is a clear association even though the cause isn’t yet understood. The EU agency said a press conference may be held later this week.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is critical to Europe’s immunization campaign and a linchpin in the global strategy to get vaccines to poor countries. — Associated Press

Official: Biden Moving Vaccine Eligibility Date To April 19

– 9:27 a.m., Tuesday, April 6, 2021

President Joe Biden is set to announce that he's shaving about two weeks off his May 1 deadline for states to make all adults eligible for coronavirus vaccines.

A White House official says Biden will make the announcement later Tuesday. With states gradually expanding eligibility beyond such priority groups as seniors and essential, front-line workers, the president plans to announce that every adult in the U.S. will be eligible to be vaccinated by April 19.

That’s about two weeks earlier than Biden’s original May 1 deadline. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Biden’s plans before the formal announcement. — Associated Press

San Diego County Reports 127 New COVID-19 Cases, As It Awaits State Guidance

– 6:07 p.m., Monday, April 5, 2021

San Diego County public health officials Monday reported 127 new COVID-19 infections raising the total to 271,654, while hospitalizations related to the virus dropped to 189, eight less than a day earlier.

The number of patients in intensive care units increased by two to 57. There were no additional deaths reported, leaving the total at 3,583.

Of the 5,517 tests reported Monday, 2% returned positive. The 14-day running average as tallied by the county is 2.2%.

Nearly 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, according to the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency, and 1,034,511 county residents — or 38.5% — have received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccines. — City News Service

UC San Diego Leaders Announce Fall Return To In-Person Classes

– 5:57 p.m., Monday, April 5, 2021

UC San Diego plans to return to in-person teaching with normal classroom occupancy for the fall term, university officials said Monday, citing the school's "Return To Learn" COVID-19 response and increasing vaccination numbers.

"We will support the health and well-being of students, staff and faculty in fall 2021 in accordance with the public health guidelines from the county and the state," Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla and Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth H. Simmons wrote in a joint letter released Monday. "The appropriate services and support mechanisms (e.g., vaccination, symptom screening, on-arrival testing, asymptomatic testing, contact tracing, isolation/quarantine housing, wastewater monitoring, outdoor classrooms, compliance protocols, and cleaning services) will continue to be provided as necessary."

UCSD touts its Return to Learn virus response and prevention measures as a reason there have been no documented transmissions of the virus in the university's classrooms or research laboratories. — City News Service

Del Mar Vaccination Super Station Closing Due To Vaccine Delivery Shortfall

The Scripps Del Mar Fairgrounds Vaccination Super Station will close Wednesday, April 7 through Sunday, April 11, due to a shortage of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

People who already have appointments scheduled at the super station during the days it will be closed should reschedule automatically through the MyTurn online appointment system.

Vaccines are available at the super station by appointment only.

– KPBS Staff

San Diego County Reports 193 COVID-19 Cases, 12 Deaths

– 5:45 p.m., Sunday, April 4, 2021

County public health officials have reported 193 new infections and 12 additional deaths.

Sunday's data increased the cumulative number of infections to 271,527 and the death toll at 3,583.

Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 increased to 197 Sunday from Saturday's reported 185. The number of patients in intensive care units decreased to 55.

Of the 13,160 tests reported Sunday, 1% returned positive. The 14-day running average as tallied by the county is 2.3%.

Vaccines were made available to everyone in the state age 50 and older as of Thursday, then will be available to everyone 16 and up on April 15, Newsom announced last week.

More than 1.88 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, according to the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency, and 1,022,026 San Diegans — or 38% — have received at least one dose of the two doses Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. A total of 605,707 people in the county — or 22.5% — are fully vaccinated.

These numbers include both county residents and those who work in San Diego County. The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve herd immunity — around 2.02 million San Diegans. — KPBS Staff

San Diego County Reports 299 COVID-19 Cases, 3 Deaths

– 6:02 p.m., Saturday, April 3, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 299 new infections and three deaths on Saturday.

Saturday's data increased the cumulative number of infections to 271,334 and the death toll at 3,571.

Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 decreased to 185 from Friday's reported 201. The number of patients in intensive care units decreased to 57.

Of the 11,307 tests reported Saturday, 3% returned positive. The 14- day running average as tallied by the county is 2.2%.

Vaccines were made available to everyone in the state age 50 and older as of Thursday, then will be available to everyone 16 and up on April 15, Newsom announced last week.

More than 1.88 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, according to the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency, and 999,769 San Diegans — or 37.2% — have received at least one dose of the two doses Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. A total of 595,147 people in the county — or 22.1% — are fully vaccinated. — City News Service

San Diego County Reports 496 COVID-19 Cases, 13 Deaths, Newsom Praises Vaccine Effort

– 5:20 p.m. Friday, April 2, 2021

Gov. Gavin Newsom toured a COVID-19 vaccination site in City Heights Friday, hailing San Diego for leading the way in the administration of vaccine doses, as county public health officials reported 496 new infections and 13 deaths.

Friday's data increased the cumulative number of infections to 271,035 and the death toll remains at 3,568.

Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 increased to 201 from Thursday's reported 196. The number of patients in intensive care units decreased to 61.

Of the 18,435 tests reported Friday, 3% returned positive. The 14-day running average as tallied by the county is 2.3%.

Vaccines were made available to everyone in the state age 50 and older beginning Thursday, then will be available to everyone 16 and up on April 15, Newsom announced last week.

More than 1.88 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, according to the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency, and more than 975,000 San Diegans — or 36.3% — have received at least one dose of the two doses Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. A total of 586,575 people in the county — or 21.8% — are fully vaccinated.

These numbers include both county residents and those who work in San Diego County. The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve herd immunity — around 2.02 million San Diegans.

— City News Service

California To Allow Indoor Gatherings As Virus Cases Plummet

– 2:19 p.m. Friday, April 2, 2021

California will allow indoor concerts, theater performances and other private gatherings starting April 15 as the rate of people testing positive for the coronavirus in the state nears a record low.

The decision is a sharp turnaround from the slow pace California has taken on lifting restrictions, and comes as the governor urges people to continue being vigilant about wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

To attend gatherings, people will have to either be tested or show proof of full vaccination. California has administered nearly 19 million doses and nearly 6.9 million people are fully vaccinated in a state with nearly 40 million residents. But only people 50 and over are eligible statewide to get the vaccine now. Adults 16 and older won't be eligible until April 15.

Under the new rules, how many people can attend events will depend on the level of restrictions in place at each county. The state divides counties into four tiers based on how widespread the virus is in those places.

The purple tier is most restrictive. Indoor concerts and theater performances aren’t allowed in this tier. They are allowed in the red tier, but at 10% capacity for venues holding up to 1,500 people and 20% capacity for venues with greater capacity. If all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination, that capacity would jump to 25% and 35%, respectively.

Capacity increases in each of the lower tiers.

– Associated Press

Newsom Hails SD Vaccination Efforts, Hints At Pending Advance To Orange Tier

– 2:19 p.m. Friday, April 2, 2021

Gov. Gavin Newsom toured a COVID-19 vaccination site in City Heights Friday, hailing San Diego for leading the way in the administration of vaccine doses, particularly in its efforts in hard-hit, underserved communities.

Newsom hailed the city and county for "leading the way in the state of California in terms of doses administered, in terms of meeting not just the ... broad strokes on the issue of equity, but actually manifesting them by doing the hard work of getting into communities like this, working with trusted messengers, working with community-based organizations, partnering with folks ... to do the work of making sure that we are actually delivering on our promises on equity."

The governor also referenced the continuing statewide effort to deliver vaccines to the lowest-income communities hardest hit by the pandemic, saying nearly 3.7 million doses have been administered in such areas. He said the state will hit 4 million by next week, "which will allow cities and counties like San Diego to move more quickly through these tiers, ultimately getting to a green tier that we'll be talking a lot more about next week."

– Associated Press

Audit: Contact Tracing In California Failed To Meet Goals

– 2:19 p.m. Friday, April 2, 2021

Despite promises from Gov. Gavin Newsom to build an “army" of contact tracers to contain the coronavirus pandemic, a new audit says California mustered less than half of the number promised.

But even if the staffing goals were met, it would not have been enough. The intended number of contact tracers was based on an assumption that California would average 5,000 new coronavirus infections a day. But the nation's most populated state averaged 25,000 per day from late November to the end of December.

“The sheer number of cases has overwhelmed local health jurisdictions’ contact tracing efforts,” State Auditor Elaine Howle wrote in the report released Thursday.

Public health officials say one of the best ways to slow the spread of a dangerous disease is to contact infected people and retrace their steps. The goal is to identify others who have been exposed, contact them and ask them to quarantine before they can spread the virus to others.

Contact tracing was central to California’s strategy early in the pandemic. The Department of Public Health estimated the state needed 31,400 contact tracers. Newsom pledged to train 10,000 state workers and deploy them to help local public health departments meet that goal.

– Associated Press

Weekend Vaccination Event Targets Those In 92113 ZIP Code

– 2:19 p.m. Friday, April 2, 2021

On Saturday Family Health Centers of San Diego, American Medical Response (AMR) and the Latino Equity Council are hoping to vaccinate 2,000 residents from the 92113 ZIP code, which includes Barrio Logan.

The event is being held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Logan Heights Family Health Center and appointments are required ahead of time.

"It’s been challenging to get appointments," said former San Diego City Council Member David Alvarez. "So that’s why we’re making really easy for a community where the digital divide exists."

Alvarez and others have been going door-to-door, hitting an estimated 4,000 doors in the Barrio Logan area this week, giving them information and a phone number to call to book an appointment for this Saturday.

– Matt Hoffman, KPBS Reporter

San Diego County Reports 252 New COVID-19 Cases As Vaccine Eligibility Expands

– 5:42 p.m., Thursday, April 1, 2021

COVID-19 vaccines eligibility expanded to millions of Californians age 50 and older Thursday, as San Diego County public health officials reported 252 new coronavirus cases.

COVID-19 vaccines will be made available to everyone in California age 50 and older beginning today, then everyone age 16 and up on April 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last Thursday.

"We know some San Diegans are anxious to get vaccinated, but we're asking people to be patient," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county public health officer. "As we get more vaccines, it will be easier to make an appointment and get vaccinated."

More than 1.88 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, according to the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency and more than 956,216 San Diegans — or 35.6% — have received at least one dose of the two doses Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. A total of 576,336 people in the county — or 21.4% — are fully vaccinated.

These numbers includes both county residents and those who work in San Diego County. The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve herd immunity — around 2.02 million San Diegans.

According to San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, the county saw an increase of around 25% in vaccine doses this past week, and he predicted numbers would continue to climb as the state prepares to make everyone over the age of 16 eligible to receive a vaccine. — City News Service

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