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Live Blog: 245 UCSD Students Have Tested Positive For COVID-19 Since Winter Quarter Began
Friday, January 15, 2021
This is a breaking news blog for all of the latest updates about the coronavirus pandemic. Get our complete coronavirus coverage here →
245 UCSD Students Have Tested Positive For COVID-19 Since Winter Quarter Began
– 12:04 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15, 2020
UC San Diego reported that 245 of its students have tested positive for COVID-19 since the winter quarter began on Jan. 4.
Of the 245 positive cases, 109 live at UCSD and the other 136 students live off campus in the San Diego area, according to university data. Sixty- one employees have also tested positive for the virus.
The university has recorded 92 cases among students returning after winter break, 14 cases among students who remained in on-campus housing and 4 cases among students who live off-campus.
Since the start of the year, positive COVID-19 cases have been associated with more than 20 residence halls, the main student union, the Telemedicine Building, Biological Research Facility II, dining halls, the school's new Target store, the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine and the Nimitz Marine Facility in San Diego Bay, according to the university.
About 7,300 students currently live on campus, with just 2% of class sections held in person during the winter quarter. — City News Service
– 6:48 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2020
San Diego County public health officials reported 2,595 new COVID-19 infections and 53 virus-related fatalities Thursday, as the county's death toll officially crossed the 2,000 mark.
The deaths reported include a 19-year-old male, the youngest San Diegan to die from complications of COVID-19.
Thursday's cases marked the 45th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. More than 3,000 daily infections have reported 17 times, while the 4,000 case mark has been crossed three times.
The county's cumulative case total rose to 204,175, and the numbers of deaths to 2,005.
Of the 42,878 tests reported Thursday, 6% returned positive, dropping the 14-day rolling average from 14.2% on Wednesday to 13.6%. The county and its health partners have administered more than 3 million tests since the pandemic began. — City News Service
– 6:46 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2020
UC San Diego Health on Thursday was moving forward with vaccinations for some patients 65 and older after getting the proper clearance.
In an emailed statement, UCSD said up to 500 seniors could be vaccinated per day.
"Per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, UC San Diego Health has expanded into Phase 1B-Tier 1 for vaccinating its patients who are age 65 and older," the statement read.
"Eligible patients will receive a direct invitation to be vaccinated through their electronic medical record or a direct call from their health care provider. Due to limited supplies of vaccines, first priority will go to patients who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 infection and who have comorbid health conditions."
For local health care systems, the number of doses they can offer to seniors depends on how many they have.
"The only vaccine we've been given is for the health care provider, and we just started about a week ago the second dose of the vaccine for health care providers," Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder said.
Scripps is ready to scale up in a big way, he said.
"If the government really wanted to speed up the process just get us the vaccine," Van Gorder said. — Matt Hoffman, KPBS General Assignment Reporter
San Diego Crosses 200,000 COVID-19 Case Mark
– 5:45 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2020
San Diego County public health officials reported 3,261 new COVID-19 infections and 54 deaths from the virus Wednesday as the county officially crossed the 200,000 total case mark and neared 2,000 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began.
Wednesday's cases marked the 44th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. It was also the 17th time that 3,000-plus daily infections have been announced. More than 4,000 cases have been reported three times.
The county's cumulative totals are now 201,580 cases and 1,952 deaths.
The state of California Wednesday authorized immediate access to COVID-19 vaccines for all residents aged 65 and older, following new guidance from the federal government.
"There is no higher priority than efficiently and equitably distributing these vaccines as quickly as possible to those who face the gravest consequences," Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement announcing the change. "Individuals 65 and older are now the next group eligible to start receiving vaccines. To those not yet eligible for vaccines, your turn is coming. We are doing everything we can to bring more vaccine into the state."
However, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher asked San Diegans to temper their expectations for the time being. There are more than 620,000 people in the county counted in the Tier 1A vaccine distribution cohort. With the 65+ group, health officials are looking at another 500,000 for well over a million people eligible for vaccines. Both vaccines on the market are not effective without two doses. — City News Service
— 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021
California is immediately allowing residents 65 and older to get scarce coronavirus vaccines.
Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement Wednesday puts seniors in line before emergency workers, teachers, childcare providers and food and agriculture workers even as counties complain they already don’t have enough doses to go around.
While health care workers and those in nursing homes and other congregate living facilities can still be vaccinated, state officials are expanding to those 65 and up because they are at the greatest risk of being hospitalized and dying.
California has seen virus cases and hospitalizations explode since Thanksgiving, though in recent days the numbers have flattened. — Associated Press
– 6:14 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
San Diego County public health officials reported 3,524 new COVID-19 infections and 41 deaths from the virus Tuesday, as the county nears 200,000 total cases since the pandemic began.
Tuesday's cases mark the 43rd consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. It is also the 16th time 3,000-plus daily infections have been announced. More than 4,000 cases have been reported three times.
Of the 18,119 tests reported Tuesday, 19% returned positive, raising the 14-day rolling average to 13.8% from Monday's 13.6%. The county and its health partners have administered more than 3 million tests since the pandemic began.
The county's cumulative case count rose to 198,319, while the death toll increased to 1,898.
RELATED: Community Health Workers Get Vaccinated To Be Allies During Public Rollout
Hospitalizations resulting from the virus rose by 29 to a record 1,772, while the intensive care unit saw no new admissions and the occupied bed count dropped from a record 426 Monday to the second-highest total of 418 on Tuesday. A total of 33 staffed ICU beds remain in the county. Only 219 ICU beds are occupied by patients without COVID-19. — City News Service
– 4:27 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
San Diego residents planning to ignore health warnings and travel overseas will soon have to obtain a negative COVID-19 test before being allowed to return to U.S. soil, as will any foreign visitors to the country, under a new federal rule released Tuesday.
The regulation announced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires anyone traveling to the United States to have a negative COVID-19 test within three days of the flight. Passengers must provide the airline with written documentation of the test before they will be allowed to board the flight.
If a passenger fails to provide such documentation, "the airline must deny boarding to the passenger," according to the CDC.
The requirement will take effect Jan. 26. — City News Service
– 1:16 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
The county Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved several COVID-19 measures, including stepped-up enforcement of businesses not complying with restrictions, and a fair and consistent application of policies based on scientific data.
Supervisors voted 4-1, with Jim Desmond opposed. The compliance measures cover inspections responsive to complaints, proactive inspections, and citations for those violating the Safe Reopening Plan.
Based on a proposal from Supervisor Nora Vargas, where legally possible, businesses not in compliance with public health orders will not be eligible to receive county relief funding.
The board also voted in favor of continuing the county's Great Plates program, which provides thousands of meals to senior citizens on a weekly basis.
Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher said the county is "increasing resources and reaffirming our commitment to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in San Diego County, by expanding the scope and commitment of enforcement by our compliance team. Taking these actions will protect lives and help in the regional effort to beat COVID-19."
Desmond said he supported other staff recommendations and Great Plates — but not increased enforcement on businesses, some of which have claimed being discriminated against.
"I believe all businesses should be able to operate safely," Desmond said. "If you treat people like adults, they'll act like it." – City News Service
– 1:14 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
Japan Airlines announced Tuesday it will resume nonstop flights between Tokyo, via Narita International Airport, and San Diego International Airport beginning in early March.
Japan Airlines — which suspended service last April due to the COVID- 19 pandemic — will operate three flights a week, with the first arrival into San Diego on March 2 and the first departure from San Diego on March 3.
"Japan Airlines provides the greater San Diego area with an important nonstop link to Asia," said Kimberly Becker, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority's president and CEO.
"By providing Japan with direct access to our region, San Diego is more competitive and attractive to those individuals looking to vacation or conduct business in Southern California, which is critical to rebuilding our economy post-COVID-19," she said. "We look forward to welcoming travelers from Asia once again and thank Japan Airlines for resuming this important service."
The announcement comes as San Diego County is reporting record case numbers, deaths and hospitalizations from the virus — far more than were present regionally last April. San Diego County remains under a state stay-at- home order. – City News Service
San Diego County Reports 2,907 New COVID-19 Infections
– 8:22 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021
Public health officials in San Diego County reported 2,907 new COVID-19 infections Monday, making the 42nd consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses.
The county's cumulative case count now stands at 194,795. No new fatalities from the disease were reported, leaving the death toll at 1,857.
In the county's daily updates of coronavirus statistics, the 3,000- infection mark has been crossed 15 times since the start of the pandemic, and the 4,000 mark three times.
Hospitalizations resulting from the virus rose another 46 to 6,284 on Monday. There were two new intensive-care admissions, bringing the total to 1,273.
The county has surpassed 80% of its hospital bed occupancy, a significant number due to the county reserving the last 20% of its licensed beds exclusively for COVID-19 patients. New patients, according to a plan developed by the county Health & Human Services Agency last year, could be turned away in some cases. – City News Service
San Diego Zoo Gorillas Test Positive For COVID-19
– 12:23 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
A gorilla troop at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park tested positive for COVID-19, the zoo announced Monday.
Caretakers noticed two gorillas began coughing on Jan. 6 and tested fecal samples of the gorillas for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. On Jan. 11, positive COVID-19 results were confirmed. These results confirm the presence of the virus in some of the gorillas in the troop but don't rule out the presence of the virus in other members, the zoo said in a statement.
It is suspected the gorillas contracted the virus from an asymptomatic staff member. Studies have indicated some non-human primates are susceptible to COVID-19, but this is the first known instance of natural transmission to great apes, San Diego Zoo said. It is unknown if they will have any serious reaction.
“Aside from some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are doing well,” said Lisa Peterson, executive director, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “The troop remains quarantined together and are eating and drinking. We are hopeful for a full recovery.”
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has been closed to the public since December 6. – Lara McCaffrey, KPBS web producer
– 7:40 a.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
UC San Diego Health, San Diego County and the Padres are teaming up to vaccinate at least 5,000 healthcare workers per day against the novel coronavirus, starting Monday.
Those partners, along with the City of San Diego, will run the "Vaccination Super Station" near Petco Park in an effort to safely vaccinate the 500,000 healthcare workers in the region eligible for Phase 1A-Tier categories on California's vaccine priority list.
"The Vaccination Super Station increases our ability as a county to administer the vaccine to healthcare workers," said San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher.
"Opening this supersized vaccination site will be an important milestone in the state of California's COVID recovery when it opens on Monday. With UC San Diego Health assisting this new regional partnership, we will get vaccines into the arms of healthcare workers much faster," he said.
The decision to begin a large-scale vaccination site was made Thursday and comes as hospitals throughout the county are bracing for a post-New Year's Eve surge in infections that will challenge the region's ability to care for COVID patients. – City News Service
– 7:40 a.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
The second round of Oceanside Small Business Grants will open to business owners at 8 a.m. Monday as part of an effort by the Oceanside City Council to keep small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, the council approved a grant program to provide financial assistance to local businesses impacted by COVID-19. The program is funded with $750,000 in unused funds from the COVID-19 business loan program that began in April 2020.
This second round of grants builds on the initial grant program where 130 local businesses were awarded $257,000, along with a no-to-low interest business loan program, a shop local campaign, relaxed business regulations and a utility relief program.
Grants ranging from $1,000 to $7,500 will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. A tiered system that considers the business type and financial impact of COVID-19 will be used to determine grant amounts. – City News Service
– 7:40 a.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021
San Diego County public health officials have reported 3,288 new COVID-19 infections and 33 additional deaths from the virus.
The county's cumulative cases now number 191,888 and the death toll stands at 1,857.
Sunday's reported cases mark the 41st consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses.
Cases have crossed the 2,000 mark in 31 of the past 30 days after Tuesday's 1,814 broke a 26-day streak. The 3,000-mark has been crossed 15 times since the start of the pandemic while the 4,000-mark has been crossed three times.
Hospitalizations resulting from the virus rose another 32 to a total of 6,238 on Sunday. There were four new intensive care admissions, bringing the total to 1,271.
The county has surpassed 80% of its hospital beds occupied, a significant number due to the county reserving the last 20% of its licensed beds exclusively for COVID-19 patients. New patients, according to a plan developed by the county HHSA last year, could be turned away in some cases.
The HHSA reported a 89% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the last 30 days and a 67% increase in ICU admittance in the same period. – City News Service
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