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Tracking Covid 19

Live Blog: County Expands Coronavirus Vaccinations To Those 65-Plus

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


County Expands Coronavirus Vaccinations To Those 65-Plus

– 4:36 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021

The county of San Diego expanded the category of those eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccination to include those ages 65 and older Saturday.

Appointments are still required and vaccinations are available based on supply, she said. These new requirements apply to all sites providing the county vaccine.

More information is at coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine and reservations can be made at vaccinationsuperstationsd.com

Only health care workers and those 65 and older can visit vaccination sites, Wooten said. They are encouraged to first contact their doctor or health care provider to request the vaccine, but if none is available, they should make an appointment for a county site.

Appointments are required; walk-ups and drive-ups without appointments will be turned away.

County Reports Record 79 COVID-19 Deaths, 2,847 New Cases of Virus

– 5:16 p.m., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021

A record 79 COVID-19 deaths were reported by San Diego County public health officials Friday, along with 2,847 new COVID-19 cases and 437 positive intensive care patients.

The previous record of 65 deaths was set on Wednesday, with 62 on New Years Eve the third-highest death toll.

Friday marked the 53rd consecutive day with more than 1,000 cases. It is the 25th time in the past 30 days with more than 2,000 new cases of the virus and snaps a two-day streak of fewer than 2,000 cases. Despite more cases than Thursday, Friday's data continues a slight downward trend in the percentage of tests returning positive. A total 0f 49,562 tests were reported Monday and just 6% returned positive, bringing the county's 14-day rolling average from 12% on Thursday down to 10.7% Friday.

The county's cumulative case total increased to 222,578 and the death toll is now at 2,301.

Additionally, overall hospitalizations from the pandemic decreased to 1,618 while the number of patients in ICU beds is just one shy of a record 438 set Thursday.

A record 1,804 hospitalized patients was set Jan. 12. A total of 36 staffed ICU beds remain in the county. — City News Service

County Reports 1,176 New COVID-19 Cases, 48 Deaths; ICU Patients Hit Record

– 4:36 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021

Deaths from COVID-19 remain high in San Diego County, even as health officials reported the fewest new cases in more than a month, with just 1,176 positive cases reported Thursday.

The 48 deaths reported Thursday follow a record 65 deaths from the pandemic on Wednesday. The county's cumulative case total increased to 219,731 and the number of deaths to 2,222.

Thursday marked the 52nd consecutive day with more than 1,000 cases. It is just the fifth time in the last past 30 days with fewer than 2,000 new cases of the virus.

Additionally, overall hospitalizations from the pandemic decreased to 1,656 while the number of patients in intensive care units set another record with 438. A record 1,804 hospitalized patients was set Jan. 12. A total of 46 staffed ICU beds remain in the county.

What declining cases and overall hospitalizations might mean while ICU patients and deaths continue to increase is a likely tapering down of a major wave of the pandemic.

A median two-week period between infection and first symptoms along with additional time between symptoms and hospitalization, serious symptoms and death could mean these record numbers are from people who were initially infected around the Christmas and New Years Day holidays. — City News Service

California Found 'No Scientific Basis' To Continue Pause On Moderna Vaccine

– 9 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021

California says it’s safe to resume using a batch of coronavirus vaccine after some people fell ill and a halt to injections was recommended.

Wednesday’s decision frees up more than 300,000 doses to counties, cities and hospitals struggling to obtain supplies.

The state Department of Public Health on Sunday urged a pause in using a specific lot of the Moderna vaccine. That came after fewer than 10 people had possible allergic reactions after receiving shots at a San Diego vaccination site.

But the state’s epidemiologist says a safety review found “no scientific basis to continue the pause” and shots can resume immediately. — Associated Press

San Diego Reports Record COVID-19 Deaths Since New Year's Eve

– 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021

The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units in San Diego County set a record Wednesday, according to public health officials, who also reported 1,720 new COVID-19 cases and a record 65 additional deaths.

The reported deaths surpassed the previous record of 62 deaths reported on Dec. 31, 2020.

The number of hospitalizations overall related to COVID-19 decreased to 1,706, the lowest number in two weeks, after setting a record of 1,804 hospitalized patients on Jan. 12.

Conversely, the number of coronavirus patients in ICUs reached a record 430 on Wednesday, while another 242 patients are in ICUs for other reasons. — City News Service

San Diego County Reports 2,498 New COVID-19 Cases As Hospitalizations Decrease

– 5:59 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 2,498 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths Tuesday as hospitalizations continue a slow decline.

Tuesday marked the 50th consecutive day with more than 1,000 cases and the 27th time in the past 30 days with more than 2,000 new cases of the virus. Of the 12,675 tests reported Tuesday, 20% returned positive, raising the 14-day rolling average from 11.8% on Monday to 12.1%.

The number of hospitalizations related to COVID-19 has decreased from a high of 1,804 reported one week ago to 1,721 on Tuesday. Of those patients, 419 are in intensive care units. A total of 38 staffed ICU beds are available throughout the county.

The county's cumulative case total increased to 216,835 and the number of deaths to 2,109, including three women and three men who died between Dec. 28 and Jan. 9.

Of the six new deaths reported, five were of people 80 years or older and the other was in their 70s. All had underlying medical conditions. — City News Service

San Diego City And County Join National COVID-19 Memorial Event Tuesday Evening

– 2:47 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021

The city and county of San Diego will join communities around the country Tuesday evening by illuminating several historic buildings in an amber light to honor the nearly 400,000 Americans who have died of COVID-19.

President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration committee is leading a nationwide memorial to remember and honor lives lost to the virus. On Tuesday evening, there will be a special light show at the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool in Washington, D.C. Cities and towns throughout the country have been invited to join by illuminating buildings and ringing church bells in a national moment of unity and remembrance.

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Mayor Todd Gloria will join the memorial by lighting multiple buildings in Balboa Park in amber light, including the California Tower, San Diego Museum of Art Museum, and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in amber light. Additionally, the San Diego Convention Center will be illuminated in amber.

"More than 2,000 San Diego County residents have lost their lives to the coronavirus," Gloria said. "It's important the city of San Diego stands with President-elect Biden and communities throughout the United States in this somber occasion and memorialize their deaths. This will serve as a declaration that we must continue to take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 and not allow more preventable deaths."

The Museum of Us, House of Hospitality, Mingei International Museum, Casa de Balboa and other locations in Balboa Park will be illuminated in red, white and blue.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced Tuesday the County Administration Center will be bathed in amber light Tuesday evening.

Fletcher held a COVID-19 Altar De Muertos last year to honor those who have died from the pandemic. — City News Service

Scripps Health To Start Vaccinating Patients 65 And Older At Appointment-Only Clinics

– 5:38 p.m., Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

Scripps Health announced Monday it will start giving patients 65 and older COVID-19 vaccines at appointment-only clinics starting Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Scripps said they will start by using any vaccines left over from its inoculation of health care workers. Scripps has not yet received any COVID-19 vaccine doses from the government to use for the 65-and-older population.

“Scripps is committed to doing everything we can to protect our community during these unprecedented times, and these clinics for our older patients will be an important first step,” said Ghazala Sharieff, M.D., MBA, Scripps Health chief medical officer for acute care, clinical excellence and experience. “We know this will be just a drop in the bucket compared to the demand, but every drop will make a difference. We’re asking for everyone’s understanding. Please rest assured we will let you know as soon as more vaccines are available.”

Eligible patients will receive their vaccine appointment invitation through their MyScripps account, Scripps’ online portal for patients to manage their health care. If you are a Scripps patient and don’t yet have an account, you can create one by visiting www.scripps.org/myscripps.

Scripps said that appointments are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-ins are not being accepted.

– KPBS Staff

San Diego County Reports 2,550 New COVID-19 Cases, No New Deaths

– 4:29 p.m., Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

Public health officials Monday reported 2,550 new COVID-19 cases in San Diego County and expanded the category of those eligible to receive a vaccine to those aged 75 and older.

"We took this action today to add individuals 75 years of age and older because they are at the greatest risk," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer, who cited a slowing of appointments at COVID-19 vaccination sites as one of the reasons for the move.

"It remains our intention to expand vaccines to those 65 and older the week of January 25, contingent of vaccine availability," she said.

The new requirements apply to the Petco Park Vaccination Super Station and other county distribution sites. Previously, due to a shortage of vaccines, the county had authorized only healthcare workers to receive the vaccines, despite federal guidance allowing for those 65 and older to receive them.

There are more than 620,000 people in San Diego County that belong in the Tier 1A vaccine distribution group. With the 65-and-older group, health officials are looking at another 500,000, for well over 1 million people eligible for vaccines.

Both available vaccines are not effective without two doses. – City News Service

San Diego County Expands COVID-19 Vaccination Availability For People 75 And Up

– 12:00 p.m., Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

San Diego County has expanded its COVID-19 vaccination availability to seniors ages 75 and up.

The county says it’s due to a slowing of appointments at vaccination sites, so they expanded the category of those eligible to include those aged 75 and up.

Vaccines were previously only available to health care providers as well as both long-term care employees and residents in Phase 1A (Tiers 1,2 & 3).

Next in line are people 65 and older.

“We took this action today to add individuals 75 years of age and older because they are at the greatest risk,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “It remains our intention to expand vaccines to those 65 and older the week of January 25, contingent of vaccine availability.”

The county adds the new requirements apply to the Petco Park Vaccination Super Station and other San Diego County COVID-19 vaccine sites.

More information can be found here and reservations can be made here.

– KPBS Staff

Allergic Reactions To COVID Shot At Petco Park Prompts State Action

–10:00 a.m., Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

With the supply of COVID-19 vaccines already a concern as inoculation efforts intensify, the state is warning providers Monday to stop administering a particular batch of the Moderna vaccine due to an unusually high number of people who experienced allergic reactions to the shot at a San Diego clinic.

"A higher-than-usual number of possible allergic reactions were reported with a specific lot of Moderna vaccine administered at one community vaccination clinic," state Epidemiologist Dr. Erica S. Pan said in a statement late Sunday. "Fewer than 10 individuals required medical attention over the span of 24 hours. Out of an extreme abundance of caution and also recognizing the extremely limited supply of vaccine, we are recommending that providers use other available vaccine inventory and pause the administration of vaccines from Moderna Lot 041L20A until the investigation by the CDC, FDA, Moderna and the state is complete. We will provide an update as we learn more."

San Diego County health officials confirmed last week that a half- dozen health care workers who were inoculated at the vaccination center at Petco Park had suffered allergic reactions. — City News Service

San Diego County Reports 1,890 COVID-19 Cases, 38 Deaths, 12 New Outbreaks

–10:00 a.m., Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

San Diego County public health officials have reported 1,890 new COVID-19 infections and 38 virus-related fatalities.

Sunday's cases marked the 48th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. More than 3,000 daily infections have been reported 18 times, while the 4,000-case mark has been crossed three times.

The county's cumulative case total rose to 211,787, and the number of deaths to 2,103.

The county has reported a 56% increase in the number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the past 30 days and a 42% increase in ICU admittance during that same time frame.

The number of hospitalizations rose 104 on Sunday and the number of intensive care admissions increased by three.

Twelve new community outbreaks were confirmed on Saturday.

In the past seven days, 49 community outbreaks were confirmed, tied to 199 cases. The total number of community outbreaks reached 1,050. — City News Service

San Diego County Reports 3,027 COVID-19 Cases, 28 Deaths

–4:28 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021

San Diego County public health officials have reported 3,027 new COVID-19 infections and 28 virus-related fatalities.

Saturday's cases marked the 47th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. More than 3,000 daily infections have been reported 18 times, while the 4,000-case mark has been crossed three times.

The county's cumulative case total rose to 209,897, and the number of deaths to 2,065.

The county has reported a 56% increase in the number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the past 30 days and a 42% increase in ICU admittance during that same time frame.

The number of hospitalizations rose 149 on Saturday and the number of intensive care admissions increased by six.

Seven new community outbreaks were confirmed on Friday — two in business settings, two in health care settings, one in a hotel/resort/spa setting, one in a faith-based setting and one in a retail setting.

In the past seven days, 44 community outbreaks were confirmed, tied to 184 cases. The total number of community outbreaks reached 1,038. — City News Service

San Diego County Reports 2,695 COVID-19 Cases, 32 Deaths

– 6:11 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 2,695 new COVID-19 infections and 32 virus-related fatalities Friday, with cases beginning a downward trend.

Friday's cases marked the 46th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. More than 3,000 daily infections have been reported 17 times, while the 4,000 case mark has been crossed three times.

For the second consecutive day, fewer than 2,000 cases were reported in the county, the first time that has happened since Dec. 28-29.

The county's cumulative case total rose to 206,870, and the numbers of deaths to 2,037. Of the 32 new deaths reported, 30 had underlying medical conditions and one did not. The medical history is pending for one person.

The deaths occurred between Jan. 5 and Thursday. Sixteen of the deaths were among people 80 years or older, seven were in their 70s, four in their 60s, one in their 50s, three in their 40s and one in their 30s. There were 16 men who died and 16 women.

Of the 30,851 tests reported Friday, 9% returned positive, dropping the 14-day rolling average from 13.6% on Thursday to 13.2%. The San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency and its partners have administered more than 3.1 million tests since the pandemic began. — City News Service

245 UCSD Students Have Tested Positive For COVID-19 Since Winter Quarter Began

– 12:04 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15, 2021

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

19-Year-Old Latest COVID-19 Death As County Reports 2,000-Plus Lives Lost

– 6:48 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021

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

UC San Diego Starting To Vaccinate Seniors, Other Health Systems Are Waiting

– 6:46 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021

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, 2021

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

California Opens Scarce Vaccines To Those 65 And Older

— 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

San Diego County Reports 3,524 New COVID-19 Infections, 41 Deaths

– 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

Traveling Overseas? You'll Need A Negative COVID Test To Return To US

– 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

Supervisors OK More Resources For COVID-19 Compliance, Enforcement

– 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

Japan Airlines To Resume Nonstop Flights Between SAN And Tokyo In March

– 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

UCSD To Help County Deliver 5,000 COVID-19 Vaccinations Per Day

– 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

Second Round Of Oceanside Business Grants Opens To Business Owners

– 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

San Diego County Reports 3,288 COVID-19 Infections, 33 New Deaths

– 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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