Most beaches in San Diego County remain closed Wednesday in an attempt to encourage social distancing and limit the spread of the coronavirus, but beaches in Coronado and Oceanside have not yet been deemed off-limits.
Both cities shut down playgrounds and public beach parking lots on Monday, but neither city has officially closed its coastline as long as beachgoers maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from people who are not a part of their household.
Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego and Solana Beach closed their beaches, trails and parks on Monday, while Imperial Beach and the Port of San Diego announced similar closures on Tuesday.
Health officials on Tuesday confirmed the second death of a county resident from the coronavirus, a person in their late-70s.
The individual had “many” underlying health issues, San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said.
Wooten also reported the first two infant cases on Tuesday. No further details on the cases were made available.
“We are seeing positive tests continue to rise,” San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Tuesday.
“And due to increased testing, we should expect that to continue and even to accelerate. The reality is at this point we still don’t know how long we will continue on this trajectory.”
Wooten said she and other county health officials believed the crest of cases had not yet passed. On Tuesday, county data showed 242 cases, an increase of 12 from the day before — the fewest additional daily cases in nearly a week.
Wooten reminded people who are showing symptoms that unless they were extremely ill, to stay at home and avoid going to a hospital to help save beds for an influx of patients, saying that “81% of those who get COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms.”
She said that if an individual is exhibiting symptoms, it is safest to self-quarantine if possible, and avoid leaving the home until three days after the last signs of a fever or cough, and at least a week after the initial onset of symptoms.
— The city of San Diego moved 55 families, comprised of 153 people, from a shelter at Golden Hall to rooms in two motels. The Regional Task Force for the Homeless, Father Joe’s Villages and the city planned to move 106 women from two shelters into the expanded Golden Hall shelter. The additional space will allow more San Diegans to get off the street while maintaining social distancing. San Diego was outfitting portions of the convention center as a temporary shelter during the COVID-19 crisis.
— The San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office announced it was standing firm on its state-mandated date that the second installment of property taxes was due April 10. However, taxpayers who are directly impacted by the coronavirus and unable to pay on time can file a penalty cancellation request. All such requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis after April 10. This will require documentation of how the taxpayer was impacted by the virus that interfered with the ability to deliver the payment by April 10.
— The San Diego County Board of Supervisors passed an eviction moratorium, deferment of health permit fees and authorization of $10 million from the county’s reserve management fund to assist with the health crisis;
— It was announced that the COVID-19 Response Fund, begun last week with $1.3 million, has grown with more than 1,000 donations to $6 million. It provides food assistance and loss-of-wages help.
— San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said he was in discussions with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s staff to determine if retail gun shops were deemed “essential” businesses and allowed to remain open. Gore cited an increase in public concerns over security and law enforcement concerns that closing legal businesses would drive the demand for firearms to underground, illegal sales, as reasons he was hoping Newsom’s office would deem the businesses necessary. Gore encouraged firearm retailers to conduct business by appointment only to reduce in-person contact.
— The county was preparing for a potential future shortfall of masks for non-healthcare personnel. Rob Sills, San Diego County’s assistant medical services administrator, said the county was considering bandanas and woven masks should the county begin running out of supplies in 60 days.
— Wooten said the county had no plans to rescind any of the public health orders anytime soon. “It’s not time to start easing back into business as usual,” she said.
Of the 242 people in San Diego County with positive diagnoses, health officials said 226 are county residents and 16 are not. Men testing positive outnumbered women 157-85.
Of the 45 patients who have been hospitalized, 44 are county residents. Twenty-one of those hospitalized were in intensive care units, as was one non-county resident. Cases in patients between 20 and 49 formed the bulk of total cases, 163 overall.
The first coronavirus death of a San Diego resident was reported Sunday by San Diego County Health Department officials. The man, who was in his early 70s, died in Santa Clara County, Wooten said.
Wooten said the man had recently returned from a trip to Hawaii, but no further information was released. That individual remains the only death from COVID-19 from San Diego County.
A San Diego State University staff member has tested positive for the coronavirus, the university announced Tuesday.
“As the university has moved to telework, the employee confirmed to have COVID-19 is at home and recovering,” SDSU said in a statement Tuesday. “The employee has not been to campus for nearly two weeks, except for one brief time on March 17, and has since been teleworking.”
All college community members suspected of having direct or indirect contact with the staff member are “receiving appropriate guidance,” university officials said.
UC San Diego announced Monday that an unidentified student who has been living in campus housing has tested positive for the coronavirus.
“The student resident has self-isolated while receiving care,” UCSD officials said in a campus alert. “We are working closely with San Diego County Public Health officials and are following their guidance on notification to individuals with recent close contact.”
Navy officials announced Tuesday that three sailors on the San Diego-based aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for COVID-19.
The latest cases bring the number of shipboard cases in San Diego to 13, including seven sailors on unnamed ships, two sailors on the USS Boxer and one sailor on the USS Coronado.
Three sailors at a Naval Base San Diego schoolhouse have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as one sailor at Naval Air Station North Island.
Three Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and one marine at Camp Pendleton have also tested positive for the virus.