The continued, slow rollout of the coronavirus vaccine. New initiatives for COVID-19 equity in hard-hit zones. The lifting of the regional stay-at-home order. Much like the many months prior, January 2021 was an eventful one for life amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Here's a look back at what happened in January 2021 in San Diego County.
COVID-19 Patients in San Diego County
San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials confirmed there have been 238,042 positive COVID-19 cases and 2,619 deaths since Feb. 14, 2020.
Here's the San Diego County Public Health Order as of Jan. 25, 2021:
Second Half of January 2021 in San Diego
New Vaccination Super Station Opens: A third Vaccination Super Station at Cal State San Marcos' Sports Center at 333 South Twin Oaks Valley Rd began distributing vaccine doses on Sunday. The site will be open Sunday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eventually, the site will vaccinate up to 5,000 people a day but will start with about 250 to 1,000 people a day due to limited doses available.Appointments can be made here.
Cases, deaths: Officials said 1,274 new COVID-19 cases reported by the county, a total of 238,042 since the pandemic first appeared in San Diego County. There were 16 deaths recorded on Saturday. Since February 2020, 2,619 San Diegans have been killed by the coronavirus.
Community outbreaks: Ten new community outbreaks were reported on Jan. 30, 56 in the past seven days.
Cases, deaths: Officials said 2,128 new COVID-19 cases reported by the county, a total of 236,768 since the pandemic first appeared in San Diego County. There were 32 deaths recorded on Friday. Since February 2020, 2,603 San Diegans have been killed by the coronavirus.
Community outbreaks: Five new community outbreaks were reported on Jan. 29, 57 in the past seven days.
Closures, cancelations: Mangia Italiano on Third, a centerpiece for family and political events in Chula Vista, announced that it was closing its doors on Sunday.
The business' owner said he was forced to make the decision to close after he and his landlord couldn’t reach an agreement on the rent moving forward. Sparks needed it to decrease because his business has been slashed. However, the landlord insisted on increasing it.
Also on Friday, Riverside County health officials announced that they were canceling the popular Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals, annual destinations for thousands of San Diegans every spring.
Cases, deaths: Officials said 1,670 new COVID-19 cases reported by the county, a total of 234,640 since the pandemic first appeared in San Diego County. There were 37 deaths recorded on Thursday. Since February 2020, 2,571 San Diegans have been killed by the coronavirus.
Community outbreaks: 11 new community outbreaks were reported on Jan. 28, 59 in the past seven days.
County Joins State's MyTurn Vaccine Scheduling: From this point forward, all new vaccine sites, including seven current vaccination "pods" -- which can vaccinate up to 500 people a day -- will schedule appointments through the state-run MyTurn website. Appointments for those eligible can be made here.
Free Rides for Vaccines: In order to get people to their vaccine appointments, the Metropolitan Transit System will be offering free rides by bus or trolley to anyone with proof of an appointment.
Vaccines: To date, the county has surpassed its goal of administering 250,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of January. On Thursday, 269,218 doses had been administered thus far.
COVID-19 Variant: There are 153 confirmed and probable cases of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7. in San Diego County. "That’s a small number compared to the total of cases in the county, but we do think that that number is increasing,” said Dr. Eric McDonald.
Cases: There were 1,489 new COVID-19 cases reported by the county, continuing a downward trend. Just last week, cases were still in the 3,000 to 4,000 a day range.
Deaths: Deaths, which are considered a lagging indicator of cases in the community, were still high. There were 69 more people who died from COVID-19 reported on Thursday for a total of 2,534.
Hospitalizations: Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 were also trending downward but ICU capacity was showing less improvement. Fletcher said that in the coming weeks, even if COVID-related ICU admissions decrease, we may not see any decreases in overall ICU capacity. That's because several elected surgeries that were canceled to accommodate COVID-19 patients will need to be made up. Hospitals may continue to be overwhelmed for several weeks.
First Death from COVID-19 Variant: San Diego County reported its first death linked to the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant -- a 71-year-old man with underlying health conditions. The county said the case was not sequenced, but the man was a direct household member of a B.1.1.7 case, so it is safe to assume it was also a variant case.
In addition, there were now 89 confirmed B.1.1.7 cases, 37 probable cases and two hospitalizations.
Vaccines and Latinos: County data shows just 14% of coronavirus vaccines administered locally have gone to Latinos. Among the factors causing the lag for some of the county's most vulnerable people, like older Latinos, are distrust, misinformation and even inefficient online registration systems. Latinos represent more than half of the coronavirus infections in San Diego County and 44% of the deaths.
Cases: 1,415 cases were reported to the county on Jan. 26 with a positivity rate among total tests of 9%. There were a total of 231,481 cases since the start of the pandemic
Deaths: Officials said 44 new COVID-19 deaths were reported Jan. 26. The region’s total is 2,465.
Community Outbreaks: Eight community outbreaks were confirmed Jan. 26 for a total of 53 community outbreaks in the last seven days. .
Cases: County officials said that 1,434 new cases had been reported, a total of 230,066 since the pandemic began.
Hospitalizations: There has been an 11% decrease in the 7‐day average daily number of confirmed COVID‐19 hospitalized patients compared to the prior 7 days.
Deaths: Forty-six new deaths were reported on Jan. 25.
Regional Stay-at-Home Orders Lifted: The state of California lifted regional stay-at-home orders across the state in response to improving coronavirus conditions, returning the state to the color-coded, county-by-county system of restrictions.
San Diego remains in the Purple Tier, the most restrictive, because of its out-of-compliance case rate (60.6) and testing positivity percentage (14.8%).
the state also made some small but notable adjustments to the restrictions in the purple tier itself, notably allowing the return of some intra-team sports and live entertainment. A variety of low-contact adult and youth recreational sports will now be allowed. In San Diego, sports teams may practice but there must be no contact. Also, San Diego will allow live music and other forms of entertainment, could be performed outdoors at restaurants, wineries and bars that served food.
Petco Park Super Station: Monday's wet weather impacted the county's coronavirus response, prompting the closure of the coronavirus vaccination super station at Petco Park. Appointments would be rescheduled.
Cases: San Diego County reported 1,437 new COVID-19 cases out of 14,573 cases, a daily positivity rate of 10%. The county's 14-day daily positivity rate average has fallen to 10.2% after peaking at nearly 14% in mid-January.
Hospitalizations: Total hospitalized COVID-19 patients are trending down from an all-time high set earlier this month. COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU have increased by 12% over 30 days, and only .2% over 14 days. Remaining ICU bed capacity is at 83%.
Community Outbreaks: Ten new community outbreaks were reported, bringing the 7-day total to 55.
Deaths: No new deaths were reported, keeping the county's total at 2,375.
New Vaccine Site: A new county-run COVID-19 vaccination site will be offering about 500 vaccines a day to health care professionals and people 75 years and older in Oceanside, with an appointment.
Cases: Out of 25,922 tests reported, 1,637 COVID-19 positive cases were reported, a 6% positive rate.
Deaths: 31 deaths were reported on Jan. 23, bringing the total up to 2,375
Cases: Out of 26,715 tests reported, 2,980 COVID-19 positive cases were reported, an 11% positive rate.
Deaths: 43 deaths were reported on Jan. 22, bringing the total up to 2,344.
Community Setting Outbreaks: Seven new outbreaks were reported on Thursday. In the last seven days, 46 outbreaks have been confirmed.
Cases: A total of 2,847 COVID-19 positive cases were reported with a 6% positive rate. The county received a batch of tests not previously reported, leading to a higher number than usual. A total of 1,329 or 0.6% of all cases have had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.
Deaths: A record 79 deaths were reported, breaking this week's previous record of 65. Of the deaths reported, 61 occurred during the week of Jan. 15 to Jan. 21. Add to that the 67 deaths that were previously reported during the same period and the total jumps to 128. The total number of deaths for the county is now at 2,301.
Community Outbreaks: Six new outbreaks were reported on Thursday for a total of 46 outbreaks in the last seven days.
New Vaccination Super Station Opens: A new vaccine super site opened in Chula Vista on Thursday with the expectation to vaccinate an additional 5,000 people per day in the hard-hit South Bay community. The new vaccination station can be found at the old Sears building in the Chula Vista Center at 565 Broadway. Vaccinations will be offered by appointment only seven days per week.
COVID-19 Variant: The county confirmed that there were 69 cases of the B.1.1.7. variant of COVID-19 and 28 likely cases for a total of 99.
Vaccines: Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said about 442,000 doses have been shipped to the region and nearly 182,000 have been administered.
Currently, the county does not have enough supply to vaccinate those 65 and older but health care systems that do are able to open up appointments on their own accord. UC San Diego Health and Scripps Health have already started doing so.
Hospitalizations: The number of people in ICU beds with COVID-19 was the highest to date with 438 patients occupying ICU capacity. There were 46 staffed and immediately available beds left in San Diego County. Overall, hospitalizations due to the coronavirus continue to trend downward.
Cases: Officials said 1,720 new cases were reported on Tuesday, for a total of 218,555 since the pandemic was first detected in San Diego County.
Deaths: Sixty-five new deaths were recorded -- the highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic -- bringing the total number of lives lost to the disease to 2,171.
Vaccines: Scripps Health became the second health care system to provide vaccines to their patients 65 and older. Within a few hours of their announcement, they already had 6,800 patients scheduled for appointments.
Cases: The county reported 2,498 new cases were reported to the county on Jan. 18. The region’s total is now 216,835.
Deaths: Officials said that 6 new deaths had been reported on Jan. 8, bringing the region's total to 2,109.
Community Outbreaks: Seven new community outbreaks were confirmed on Jan. 18. In the past seven days (Jan. 12 through Jan. 18), 47 community outbreaks were confirmed.
Vaccines opened to residents 75 and older: San Diego County opened up vaccination availability at county sites to residents 75 years old and older. Scripps Health joined UC San Diego Health as the only local hospitals administering vaccines to in-network patients 65 and older.
Case Data: 2,550 new COVID-19 cases were reported, bringing the county's total to 214,337. The county did not report COVID-19 tests.
Deaths: No new coronavirus deaths were reported, keeping the county's total at 2,103. Monday was the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and could account for delays in reported deaths.
Cases: A total of 1,890 cases were reported to the county bringing the region’s total to 211,787.
Deaths: 38 new COVID-19 deaths were reported to the county on Jan. 16. The region’s total is now 2,103.
Community Outbreaks: Twelve new community outbreaks were confirmed on Jan. 16 for a total of 49 community outbreaks in the last seven days.
Cases: A total of 2,695 cases were reported to the county bringing the region’s total to 206,870. About 3.5% of all cases have required hospitalization and 0.6% of all cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.
Deaths: Thirty-two new COVID-19 deaths were reported to the county for a total of 2,037.
Community Outbreaks: Seven new community outbreaks were confirmed on Jan. 14 for a total of 44 in the past week.
Coronavirus Deaths in Your City and State — and Across the US
These charts use daily coronavirus death data from Johns Hopkins University to show the seven-day moving average of deaths at the city, state and country level.
The impact of coronavirus varies enormously in the United States from one place to another.
Source: Johns Hopkins University. Data for San Diego also includes Imperial County.
Credit: Visuals by Amy O’Kruk/NBC, data analysis by Ron Campbell/NBC
The First Half of January 2021 in San Diego
Vaccines: The UC San Diego Health medical system is the first in the county to administer vaccinations to the expanded pool of those 65 and older, officials said, with a goal to vaccinate approximately 500 patients per day.
Cases: A total of 2,695 cases were reported to the county, bringing the region’s total to 206,870.
Deaths: Thirty-two new COVID-19 deaths were reported to the county, bringing the total to 2,037.
Community Outbreaks: Seven new community outbreaks were confirmed: two in business settings, two in healthcare settings, one in a hotel/resort/spa setting, one in a faith-based setting and one in a retail setting.
Cases: 2,595 COVID-19 cases were recorded, the county said.
Deaths: Fifty-three COVID-19 deaths were recorded, surpassing a grim milestone of 2,000 deaths in San Diego since the pandemic began.
Community Outbreaks: County officials said that eight new community outbreaks were confirmed.
Vaccines: California -- and San Diego -- continue to face obstacles with the rollout of the vaccine. County health leaders said vaccine supply remains limited and only health care workers who fall into Phase 1-A of the state's vaccination schedule can get their immunization, despite the approval of people 65 and up being approved for the shot.
Case Data: A total of 3,261 COVID-19 cases were reported out of 14,636 tests, resulting in a 22% positivity rate. The total number of cases has now reached 201,580. It took the region 10 months to exceed 100,000 cases, and a little over a month to double that.
Deaths: Fifty-four COVID-19 deaths were reported, bringing the total to 1,952.
Community Outbreaks: Seven new community outbreaks were confirmed on Jan. 12: three in business settings, one in a daycare/preschool/childcare, one in a distribution warehouse setting, one in a faith-based setting and one in a hotel/resort/spa setting.
Vaccines: Gov. Newsom announced that California is immediately allowing residents 65 and older to get scarce coronavirus vaccines, but San Diego officials stated that people will need to be patient because vaccines "have not arrived in significant quantities to be able to administer to those."
Two new, smaller community vaccination centers are now open in San Diego County, one at the Grossmont Healthcare District office in La Mesa and one at the Coronado Community Center.
Allergic reactions in some vaccine recipients caused delays at the Vaccination Super Station near Petco Park, county health officials confirmed.
Case Data: The county reported 3,524 new COVID-19 cases out of a batch of 18,119 tests, resulting in a 19% daily positivity rate.
Deaths: Forty-one new deaths were reported, for a total of 1,898 deaths since the pandemic began.
Community Outbreaks: Six new community outbreaks were reported by the county.
Enforcement: The County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of strengthening enforcement on businesses that aren't complying with pandemic health and safety regulations. Extra steps included making non-compliant businesses ineligible for county relief funding, increasing citations for Safe Reopening Plan violations, and conducting inspections at businesses connected to public health order violation complaints or community outbreaks.
Vaccines: The Trump administration issued new guidelines that expand coronavirus vaccine eligibility to everyone age 65 and older, as well as to those with comorbid conditions, like diabetes.
San Diego Zoo Gorillas Test Positive for COVID-19: Several gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 in what was believed to be the first known case of transmission to apes, San Diego Zoo Global announced.
Downtown San Diego Vaccination Super Station Opens: UC San Diego Health, San Diego County and the Padres opened the county’s first “Vaccination Super Station” on Jan. 11, a drive-thru and walk-up site for immunizations, available by appointment only. The goal is to vaccinate at least 5,000 health care workers daily. The site is on K Street, at Tailgate Lot near Petco Park.
Case Data: San Diego County reported an 11% daily positivity rate with 2,907 new COVID-19 cases out of 25,882 reported tests. Monday was the sixth straight day, and 13th day out of 14 that the daily rate has been in double digits. The 14-day average positivity rate is down to 13.5% after peaking above 14% last week.
Deaths: No new deaths were reported, keeping the county's total at 1,857. Deaths are often reported days or weeks after they actually occur and early-week reporting lags aren't uncommon, county public health officials said. Since Dec. 12, the county has reported 706 deaths, or 38% of its pandemic total.
Community Outbreaks: Three new community outbreaks were reported, bringing the 7-day total to 45.
Case Data: The county reported a record 3,288 positive COVID-19 tests bringing the total to 191,888. A total of 31,189 tests were reported and the percent positive rate was 11%.
Deaths: The county reported 33 new deaths raising the total to 1,857.
Community Outbreaks: Six new community outbreaks were confirmed on Jan. 9. In the past seven days, 43 community outbreaks were confirmed.
Case Data: The county reported a record 3,538 positive COVID-19 tests bringing the total to 188,600. A total of 28,365 tests were reported to the county on Jan.8, and the percent positive rate was 12%.
Deaths: The county reported 53 new deaths raising the total to 1,824.
Community Outbreaks: Eight new community outbreaks were confirmed on Jan. 8. In the past seven days, 42 community outbreaks were confirmed.
Vaccination Super Station: 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. A new “Vaccination Super Station” was set to open near Petco Park on Jan. 11.
Case Data: A record 4,550 COVID-19 cases were reported bringing the total to 185,062. A total of 28,952 tests were reported to the county on Jan. 7, and the percentage of new positive cases was 16%. The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 14.3%. Target is less than 8.0%.
Deaths: Thirty-three new COVID-19 deaths were reported to the county on Jan. 7. The region’s total was now 1,771 COVID-related deaths. Twenty-three men and 10 women died between Dec. 13 and Jan. 6. Of the 33 new deaths reported, 13 people who passed away were 80 years or older, six people were in their 70s, nine people were in their 60s, three people were in their 50s, one person was in their 30s and one person was in their 20s. All had underlying medical conditions.
ICU Capacity: The county 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.
Community Outbreaks: Ten new community outbreaks were confirmed on Jan. 7: four in business settings, three in health care settings, two in distribution warehouse settings and one in a daycare/preschool/childcare setting. In the past seven days (Jan. 1 through Jan. 7), 40 community outbreaks were confirmed.
Case Data: There were 3,850 new COVID-19 cases reported for a total of 180,512. The 14-day average percentage of positive cases was reported to be 13.8%.
Deaths: San Diego County reported another 47 COVID-related deaths, for a total of 1,738. To put the number into perspective, San Diego County surpassed 1,000 deaths on Dec. 1, 2020. In California on this date, a new record two-day total was met with 1,042 deaths. The state had deployed 88 refrigerated trailers, up from 60 a few weeks ago, for use as makeshift morgues, mostly in hard-hit Southern California.
Hospitalizations: There were only 40 staffed and immediately available ICU beds left in San Diego County. Out of the 650 patients currently occupying ICU beds, 395 were positive with COVID-19. California projects that by Feb. 1, already hard-hit hospitals could have 30,000 patients in beds.
Community Outbreaks: There were 38 community outbreaks reported in the last 7 days, accounting for a total of 156 positive cases of COVID-19 within the county’s current total.
Vaccines: San Diego County had been vaccinating a select group of people who fall into the state's Phase 1A, Tier 1. On Jan. 6, the county said it would expand vaccinations to all people who fall into the category of Phase 1A, which includes health care workers, and employees and residents of long-term care facilities. The county said anyone who falls into these categories should contact their health care provider for more information.
Also on this day, Kaiser Medical Center in San Diego and Zion Medical Centers began to distribute the second dose of a two-part COVID-19 vaccine to critical care health care workers.
Case Data: 3,015 new cases of COVID-19 were reported. Fletcher said there was a slight dip in cases for the last few days due to a slow-down in testing over the holidays. The 14-day percentage positivity rate was 14%, showing an upward trend.
COVID-19 Variant: At this point, there were at least two dozen local cases of the new COVID-19 strain first detected in the U.K in San Diego County, officials said. The latest cases were in San Diego, Chula Vista and Lakeside and spanned a wide range of ages, including four children under 10 years old. The oldest person in the county with the B.1.1.7. variant is over 70 years old. None of the new cases involved a patient with a history of travel, authorities said, so they were all cases of community spread as well. Read more here.
California Metrics: The county's case rate -- one of two metrics measured by the state every Tuesday and used to determine a county's placement in California's tiered reopening schedule -- was at 53.4, well above the Purple Tier limit of 8.0 needed to be considered for more reopenings of businesses. Even if San Diego were to meet the criteria, reopening considerations from the state were on pause due to a regional stay-at-home order factored by ICU capacity. Southern California's ICU capacity remained at 0%, while San Diego County's capacity was at 18%.
Case Data: The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive COVID-19 cases continued to rise, at 12.9% on this date. There were 1,814 new cases reported for a total of 172,847. Of those, 3.5% have required hospitalization and .7% of all cases landed in the ICU.
Deaths: There were 56 COVID-related deaths reported for the third-highest number since the pandemic began. On Dec. 30, officials had reported 62 deaths and, on Jan. 1, 58 deaths – the death figures topping local stats up until this date. The increase in deaths was attributed by public health officials to gatherings over the holidays and the presence of the new COVID-19 variant, though at this time, the county had not yet reported any deaths linked to the new strain.
Community Outbreaks: There were two new community outbreaks reported for a total of 44 in the last seven days.
Dentists Cleared to Administer Vaccines: California's Department of Consumer Affairs approved a public health emergency waiver that will allow dentists across the state to administer COVID-19 vaccines to patients 16 and older. Vaccine administration likely won't take place in dental offices until there's an approved vaccine that doesn't require cold storage.
Vaccines: At this point, only about 1% of California's 40 million residents had been vaccinated against the coronavirus, setting a pace of immunization that's “not good enough," Gov. Gavin Newsom said.
In San Diego County, officials' best guess is that 24% of the first batch of coronavirus vaccines had been given out. A spokesperson said there were 200,000+ doses in the county, not including doses in military or private pharmacies.
Case Data: San Diego County reported 3,013 new COVID-19 cases out of 17,712 tests, for a daily positivity rate of 17%. Over the last week, the county had reported an average of 22,304 tests per day.
Hospitalizations: Up to this point, 3.5% of all cases had required hospitalization and 0.7% of all cases required ICU admission. On Jan. 4, Newsom said in just two months, there had been a 7-fold increase in hospitalizations and a 6-fold increase in ICU admissions across the state.
"It shows what can happen in a very short period of time… and that goes to the urgency of not only this moment but the urgency that we have placed in anticipation of this surge, and in anticipation of this 'surge on top of a surge' coming in the next coming days and weeks following the holiday season," Newsom said.
COVID-19 Variant: According to Newsom, the new strain of COVID-19 first identified in the U.K. had been discovered in four individuals in San Diego. One of those patients had been hospitalized. Newsom said we should anticipate many more cases of the new strain to be identified in coming days. The new strain is more contagious but does not cause a more severe sickness than the already identified strain does.
Deaths: Six new COVID-19-related deaths were reported, bringing the total to 1,598.
Community Outbreaks: One new community outbreak was reported and 45 have been confirmed over the last 7 days. The latest outbreak was traced to a daycare/preschool/childcare setting, according to the county.
Case Data: The county reported a record 3,520 positive COVID-19 tests bringing the total to 168,020. A total of 14,419 tests were reported to the county on Jan.2, and the percent positive rate was 24%.
Deaths: The county reported no new COVID-related deaths, keeping the total at 1,592.
Community Outbreaks: Five new community outbreaks were confirmed on Jan. 2. In the past seven days, 44 community outbreaks were confirmed.
Federal Field Hospital Opens: Patients began arriving at the state-run federal field hospital at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido on this day. To start, at least 10 non-COVID patients were being treated at this site to take the strain off local hospitals overrun with COVID-19 patients.
Case Data: The county reported a record 4,427 positive COVID-19 tests bringing the total to 164,500. This was the second time the daily total surpassed 4,000 cases in a single day. A total of 23,309 tests were reported to the county on Jan.1, and the percent positive rate was 19%.
Deaths: The county reported no new deaths keeping the total at 1,592. Between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1, a total of 190 COVID-related deaths were reported in San Diego County, making it the deadliest reporting week of the pandemic, locally. The previous record was 129 deaths, set the week of Dec. 12. (The county tracks weekly deaths Saturday to Friday.)
Community Outbreaks: Five new community outbreaks were confirmed on Jan. 1. In the past seven days, 49 community outbreaks were confirmed.
Case Data: For the first day of 2021, the county reported a record 4,478 positive COVID-19 tests bringing the total to 160,073. This was the first time the daily total surpassed 4,000 cases in a single day. This also surpassed the previous record set on Dec. 17, 2020, when 3,611 cases were reported in a single day. A total of 31,602 tests were reported to the county on Dec. 31, and the positivity rate was 14%.
Deaths: The county reported 58 more deaths, bringing the total to 1,592. This was the second-highest daily total reported after a record 62 deaths were reported on Dec. 30.
Community Outbreaks: Eight new community outbreaks were confirmed: four in business settings, two in grocery settings, one in a healthcare setting and one in a faith-based setting. In the past seven days (Dec. 25 through Dec. 31), 53 community outbreaks were confirmed.
COVID-19 Variant: Two close contacts of the four B.1.1.7. cases were confirmed to have COVID-19, said José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office. The genome sequencing on the two new COVID-19 cases wouldn’t be done until the following week. All close contacts were quarantined.
ICU Capacity: The intensive care unit bed availability for the Southern California region as of Jan. 1, 2021, was still at 0%. The regional stay at home order remained in effect, and would be that way until the region’s ICU availability met or exceeded 15%.
The Coronavirus Pandemic in San Diego County, Month by Month
For a look back at what happened during the pandemic in San Diego County in December 2020, click here.
For a look back at what happened in San Diego County in November 2020, click here.
For a look back at what happened in San Diego County in October 2020, click here.
For a look back at what happened in San Diego County in September 2020, click here.
To read what happened in April 2020, a month that county leaders called "critical" for flattening the curve, click here.
Mid-March 2020: The Coronavirus Pandemic Reaches San Diego County - Here's How Things Unfolded, At First
A lot happened in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic reached San Diego County and COVID-19 cases surged. Here's a quick look back the month that changed everything in our county -- and took us into what would soon become our "new normal" of the pandemic era.
This included quarantine operations at a 151-room Ramada hotel in Kearny Mesa that was chosen to house quarantined patients held at MCAS Miramar (March 18).
More than 480 passengers from a coronavirus-ridden cruise ship that docked at the Port of Oakland were flown to MCAS Miramar March 10 to March 12 to complete a mandatory 14-day federal quarantine. On March 27, Dr. Eric McDonald, Medical Director with the County Epidemiology Immunization Branch said all but three of the passengers had returned home after 14-days of quarantine, including those who had been at the Ramada Hotel.
Training Support Command at Naval Base San Diego was temporarily closed on March 14 due to three Sailors testing positive for COVID-19.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the stay-at-home order and, soon, the springtime shutdown across San Diego County began.
Schools Shut Down
On March 13, San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten shut down the second-largest school district in California. All other school districts in San Diego County followed suit. San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy closed all schools within the San Diego Catholic Diocese, too.
We later learned schools across the state would be closed for the remainder of the academic year.
Local colleges and universities also canceled classes and events and moved their operations online. This included: UC San Diego; San Diego State University; California State University San Marcos; Point Loma Nazarene University; University of San Diego; San Diego Community College District; Southwestern College; Palomar College; Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.
Church Services Canceled
As gatherings were banned, all daily and Sunday masses in the San Diego Catholic Diocese were canceled. Rock Church San Diego services were also canceled and moved to streaming online.
Beaches & Parks Closed
On March 23, San Diego’s beaches, parks, boardwalks, and other open spaces across the county were ordered to close to restrict gatherings over 10 people prohibited by state and local laws.
Restaurant Dinings Rooms & Bars Close
Bars and restaurant dining rooms were ordered to close in March, too. Shopping malls closed. Some retailers – like clothing stores Urban Outfitters and Brandy Melville USA – temporarily closed their stores, and more would follow.
Sports, On Hold
Sports agencies – both college-level and professional – suspended their games and seasons. MLB’s Opening Day – including the San Diego Padres big Home Opener at Petco Park – were scrapped, but in June, the MLB made plans to return to the field, without fans. The 2020 MLB season will return in late July.
Text "COSD COVID19" to 468311 to receive updates and alerts from the county. Click here to find different ways to help your community during the pandemic.
San Diego County would like to remind everyone if you or someone you care about is experiencing a suicidal or mental health crisis, please call the Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240.
Pitching in During the Pandemic: Stories of San Diegans Doing Good: Read more stories about San Diegans finding creative ways to lend support. Have you heard about a story we should share? Let us know