April 2021 came with looser pandemic restrictions for San Diego County, including changes for events and venues, plus increased capacity at Petco Park for Padres games. The month also brought the halt and restart of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine our region and beyond. Here's a day-by-day look back at what happened in San Diego County this month as the pandemic continued.
COVID-19 Patients in San Diego County
San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials have reported 276,156 positive COVID-19 cases and 3,702 deaths since Feb. 14, 2020.
The county continues to test and vaccinate thousands of citizens every day as part of its effort to flatten the curve and advance through the state's tiered reopening blueprint.
Here's the San Diego County Public Health Order as of Feb. 6, 2021:
Second Half of April 2021
Vaccine Appointments: The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said it has hundreds of appointments available at its Balboa Municipal Gym COVID-19 vaccine administration site, with more vaccines coming next week.
To view extra vaccination appointments, click here.
Cases: Officials reported 196 COVID-19 cases on April 29. The region’s total is now 276,156.
Deaths: Two new COVID-19 deaths were reported April 29. The region’s total is 3,702. A woman in her 20s died April 20 and a man in his 60s died April 28. Both had underlying medical conditions.
|Total (Since Feb. 2020)||276,156||3,702||24 reported in past 7 days|
Vaccination Progress: Officials said more than 3.01 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to the region, and over 2.69 million have been logged as administered. This number includes both County residents and those who work in San Diego County.
Overall, more than to 1.46 million County residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, including a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the first dose of Moderna or Pfizer. That’s 54.4% of those eligible.
Cases, Deaths: Officials reported 140 COVID-19 cases. The region’s total is now 275,960. Two new COVID-19 deaths were reported April 28. The region’s total is 3,700.
One woman and one man died on April 27. The woman was in her 50s and the man was in his 60s. Both had underlying medical conditions.
Vaccinations: San Diego County has reached two milestones, county officials said Wednesday: 1) More than 1 million residents are fully vaccinated, and 2) the county is about halfway to its vaccination goal of getting shots into the arms of 75% of the population.
Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten thanked a coordinated effort between multiple agencies to making the vaccination effort work.
"The fact that we’ve reached over a million vaccinations is a Herculean feat and it's only due to the partnerships that we have with all of the healthcare systems, our outreach and education efforts, and all of the partners that are helping us," Wooten said. "And, our goal as we come to kind of a crossroads… things change, things are not going to stay constant. So as the temperament of the general public changes, our strategies must change."
Among those fully vaccinated are about 45,100 16- to 19 year-olds out of a total population of 190,000. Wooten emphasized that in a month or more, vaccines would also open up to children over 12.
Vaccine Supply and Appointments: San Diego's vaccine supply has also steadied. Last week saw an about 100,000 increase in the number of doses received when compared to the week prior. Supervisor Nathan Fletcher expects another jump next week.
To that end, there was an abundance of vaccine appointments for those who want one, Fletcher said. And vaccines were not available to walk-ins.
"Our message to San Diegans today is there are now vaccines available both via the appointment system and via the drop-in alternative at 23 different locations around San Diego County," Fletcher said. "So we encourage a lot of folks who may have gotten frustrated with the inability to get a spot to go to our website, look at the array, the times, the locations and take advantage of those.”
NBC 7 has more information on where to get a walk-up, no appointment vaccine here. Vaccination Superstations are still appointment only.
Cases, deaths: Health officials reported 136 COVID-19 cases. The region’s total is now 275,820. Six new COVID-19 deaths were reported. The region’s total is 3,698. Four men and two women died between April 22 and April 27.
Of the people who died, one was 80 years or older, one was in their 70s and four were in their 60s. Five had underlying medical conditions and one had medical history pending.
There have been 109 positive COVID-19 cases among students K-12 in the last 14 days, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said. The total for the entire pandemic among school children was 3,100. Fletcher said the jump should not be concerning because with schools opening up, a jump was to be expected.
Among the entire population, the county's percentage of positive cases among total tests taken was about 1.6% over the last 14 days. Fletcher said there were also not as many tests being reported to the county as there were several months ago.
Mask Guidance: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance on Tuesday, particularly for those who are fully vaccinated. The state of California and San Diego County agreed with the guidance and said their requirements would follow suit.
Under the new guidelines, fully vaccinated people do not need to use a mask when outdoors with members of their own household, when they are outdoors with a small group of both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, or when their dining indoors with multiple households. Masks are still required for people at larger gatherings or when in crowded areas.
Guidance also loosened for those who are unvaccinated; the CDC said that it's safe to be unmasked when walking, running or biking outdoors with members of your household or you attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated family and friends.
Vaccines: Distribution of the J&J vaccine resumed in San Diego County after the CDC said the benefits of using the one-dose coronavirus vaccine outweighed the risk.
County public health officials said San Diego County has about 12,000 doses of the J&J vaccine, and planned to offer it at mobile vaccination sites and walk-up vaccine pods. The idea was to use the one-dose vaccine for homebound people and agricultural workers, too, who are often more difficult to reach for a second dose.
Vaccines continued to be available – at no cost – to anyone age 16 and older who lives or works in San Diego County.
The county’s vaccine breakdown, at this point, was:
- 1,396,758 San Diego County residents had received at least one shot of Pfizer or Moderna, or 69.2% of those eligible to get the vaccine in our region.
- 950,045 San Diegans – or 47.1% of locals age 16 and up – had been fully vaccinated, with two doses or Pfizer or Moderna, one dose of J&J.
- The county’s goal was to fully vaccinate 75% of San Diego County residents age 16+, or 2,017,011 people.
The county also began offering walk-up, no appointment-required vaccinations at all county-hosted vaccination sites on April 27.
Cases & Deaths: County public health officials reported 144 new COVID-19 cases; no COVID-related deaths were reported on this date.
Vaccines: With the CDC giving the OK to resume administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination following a 13-day pause, California also gave approval over the weekend. San Diego County would resume the use of the J&J vaccine this week.
“The county’s J&J vaccines will be used for foot pods, home-bound vaccinations, mobile events, agricultural workers and closed events like those for disabled individuals who face challenges when leaving their homes,” a county representative said.
Cases & Deaths: Officials reported 129 new cases of coronavirus in San Diego County, confirmed via testing. No new deaths were reported.
Cases & Deaths: Officials reported 160 new COVID-19 cases. The region’s total was now 275,411. Four COVID-19 deaths were reported, ticking up that tally to 3,692.
Vaccines: California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office announced on April 24 that the state would resume administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
One day prior, the CDC had lifted its pause on the J&J vaccine after researching the rare blood clotting issue that had led to the pause on the vaccine. The CDC said scientific advisers had decided the benefits of the single-dose shot outweigh the rare risk of blood clot.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County public health officials reported 155 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the region’s total to 275,251. Four new COVID-19 deaths were reported.
Vaccines: The vaccination super station at the Del Mar Fairgrounds expanded on April 23, meaning more San Diego County residents would be able to get their coronavirus vaccines there. If supply allows, this site – which the county operates in partnership with Scripps Health – could ramp up its vaccinations big time, health officials said.
“We are now set up to do as many as 10,000 vaccines a day and if we get the vaccine to do that, we can put a lot of vaccine in a lot of arms very quickly,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health.
The April 23 expansion included opening O’Brien Hall; this site had been running since February out of the Wyland Center. By midday on April 23, the site had been able to administer nearly 5,000 doses of the vaccine.
Cases & Deaths: Officials reported 329 new COVID-19 cases in San Diego County. No new COVID-related deaths were reported.
Vaccines: The California State University and University of California systems jointly announced on April 22 they would require all students and staff returning for on-campus classes and activities to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The requirement, however, will not take effect until one or more of the COVID vaccines receives full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. At this point, vaccines were being administered under emergency-use authorizations from the FDA.
The universities' vaccination requirement would take effect upon that "full approval'' or the beginning of the fall semester, whichever is later. At this point, vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna were both in what is known as Phase 3 Efficacy Trials and could apply to the FDA for full approval of the vaccines at any time.
Meanwhile, vaccination requirements by California employers and sporting and concert venues were growing, intensifying calls for a universal system to track an individual’s inoculation.
Staff at UC San Diego were part of the Vaccination Credential Initiative -- a group that describes its task as developing a system that aims to produce trustworthy and verifiable copies of COVID-19 vaccination records in digital or paper form. But some elected officials believe any system designed to verify vaccination records would be unconstitutional, and an invasion of a person’s medical privacy.
Cases & Deaths: County public health officials said 281 new cases of the coronavirus had been confirmed by testing. Three additional COVID-related deaths were reported, too.
Vaccines: More than 200 San Diegans who had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 have contracted the disease since, but their lack of severe symptoms, hospitalizations or deaths is a positive indication the vaccine is working, county health professionals said.
As of April 21, county epidemiologist Dr. Eric McDonald said 203 people among the more than 757,000 people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in San Diego County had tested positive for the disease -- an infection rate of about .027%.
"We expected to see those numbers. They're very, very low and emphasizes how good, frankly, the vaccines work," McDonald said.
State Metrics: San Diego County’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate stood at 6.1 cases per 100,000 residents as of April 21. The testing positivity percentage was 2.4%, keeping the region in the orange tier in the state’s plan for safely reopening counties.
Cases & Deaths: Officials reported 263 new COVID-19 cases in San Diego County. Of the region’s 275,631 total cases, 15,186 or 5.5% had required hospitalization. Seven new COVID-19 deaths were reported.
Travel: The State Department urged Americans to reconsider any international travel and is set to issue specific warnings not to visit roughly 80% of countries. Health and safety standards from the CDC will be used to determine which countries will be classified as "do not travel."
Work From Home: A new study released by USC and the California Emerging Technology Fund found that 53% of workers would prefer to work from home part or full time in the future. Only 18% of the about 1,600 polled said they want to return to the office.
Vaccinations: Almost half of the San Diego County population 16 years old and older had received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, or 1,300,826 people.
Variants: San Diego County data showed there had been three deaths among people positively diagnosed with one of the four COVID-19 variants.
New Antibody Treatment Center: As COVID-19 trends continued down an optimistic path in Southern California, San Diego County opened its second antibody treatment center on April 19.
Located 391 Oxford St., the site of the former Chula Vista Fire Station No. 5 would now serve as the new Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Center (MARC) at San Ysidro Health. At the site, adult and pediatric COVID-19 patients will be treated with FDA-authorized monoclonal antibody therapies free of charge, county public health officials said.
These antibodies are laboratory-created proteins that work by mimicking the immune system’s ability to fight viruses. According to the county, the antibody therapy has “proven to significantly reduce hospital visits and death in COVID-19 positive patients, if administered within 10 days of the onset of symptoms.”
Cases & Deaths: 152 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in San Diego County; no new deaths were reported.
Cases & Deaths: The county reported 149 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 274,960. No new COVID-related deaths were reported, keeping that tally at 3,674.
Tourism: One of the managers at the Ocean Beach Hotel in San Diego said OB felt like a ghost town at the height of the coronavirus pandemic but now, life is coming back, with an uptick in tourists wanting to stay there.
Orange Tier Businesses: As more San Diegans headed out to eat, many restaurants were confronted with staffing struggles.
“We can’t hire people to take care of these customers,” shrugged Torres. “I’m confused because I’ve never seen this in my 17 years as an owner.” Read more, here.
Cases & Deaths: The county reported 245 new COVID-19 cases in the county bringing the total to 274,811 cases since Feb. 2020. The county reported 12 additional deaths bringing the total to 3,674.
Vaccinations: As of April 16, more than 2.39 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been delivered to the county and close to 2.23 million had been logged as administered. This number included both San Diego County residents and those who work in San Diego County.
Cases & Deaths: A total of 317 new COVID-19 cases were reported in San Diego County, plus nine additional COVID-related deaths (four women and five men who died between Dec. 29, 2020, and April 14, 2021).
First Half of April 2021
Vaccine Eligibility: All Californians over the age of 16 are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Anyone who is 16 or 17 years old must select from a local vaccination site offering the Pfizer vaccine only and have their parent or legal guardian schedule their appointment to provide consent to receive the vaccine. Any San Diegans who go to a no-appointment site for their vaccine must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to provide consent for their to get the vaccine.
To inspire fellow San Diegans to get their vaccine, Mayor Todd Gloria received his first dose Thursday at the San Diego Municipal Gymnasium in Balboa Park.
Cases, Deaths: Officials said that 281 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed by testing. Five deaths due to complications from the coronavirus were reported on Wednesday, according to authorities.
Vaccine Eligibility: Tomorrow, millions of Californians over the age of 16 become eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. In the county, Supervisor Natan Fletcher said residents can now start making appointments.
Those who are ages 16 and 17 are only allowed to receive the Pfizer vaccine and that should only be available when making an appointment.
Pause on J&J Vaccines: The pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is going to have a minimum to low impact on the county's vaccination progress moving forward, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said in the weekly press briefing.
“To date, the J&J vaccine only represents 2.9% of total vaccines administered in San Diego County and did not disrupt any of the appointments at our county administered network of sites, they were able to sub in Moderna or Pfizer. No one had an appointment canceled," Fletcher said.
Outreach programs like Cal Fire have already made their move to Pfizer for their agriculture workers program. Pfizer will also now be given to homebound seniors.
Case Rate: A total of 260 new COVID-19 cases have been reported. The total is now at 273,968.
|Total (Since Feb. 2020)||273,968||3,648||17 reported in past 7 days|
Pause on J&J Vaccines: San Diego County will follow the federal government's recommendation to pause usage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as the department investigates rare but potentially dangerous blood clots in six women.
The women experienced a type of clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) that occurs typically in younger patients and predominantly in women. The CDC and the FDA are investigating and hope to have an update in a few days.
The county said anyone who received the shot a month ago or longer has a very low risk of side effects. And those who have gotten the vaccine in the last several weeks should monitor for symptoms, which include severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath. Those experiencing symptoms should contact their health care provider immediately.
Gov. Newsom said that the J&J pause would not impact the state's ability to reopen by June 15.
Cases, Deaths: San Diego County reported 278 new cases and two new deaths.
In-person learning resumed for more schools across San Diego, including for the county's largest school district. For updates on the reopening, click here.
Elsewhere, San Diego has been buzzing over the past few weeks. Between moving into the less restrictive Orange Tier and San Diego Restaurant Week, business is picking up.
“It’s Monday! We thought it wouldn’t be crowded, but we don’t care. We’re listening to the music,” said Rhonda Buford, visiting from Memphis with her daughter.
Cases, deaths: Officials reported 144 new cases of COVID-19. Authorities said that No new deaths were reported in San Diego County. according to health officials.
Cases: A total of 229 positive cases were reported in the county making the total 273,286 for the region since Feb. 14, 2020.
Deaths: Eight additional deaths were reported. The total for the region is 3,621.
Vaccinations: 25.3% of San Diegans over the age of 16 have been fully vaccinated, the county confirmed. And 43.3% have been given at least one dose.
Vaccination Clinic: National City residents and workers eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine were able to receive their shot at a no-appointment vaccination event.
The vaccine site at Las Palmas Elementary School will be open on April 10 and April 24, pending vaccine availability. Ran by UC San Diego Health, the location will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The National City Library is also offering COVID-19 vaccines on a first-come, first-serve basis with no appointment necessary every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cases: A total of 361 positive cases were reported in the county making the total 273,057 for the region since Feb. 14, 2020.
Deaths: Thirteen additional deaths were reported. The total for the region is 3,613.
Vaccine Shortfalls: The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was still available Friday in Carlsbad, where about 360 people with appointments rolled up their sleeves and got their shots.
Many expressed relief that they were getting their doses before the supply thins out considerably. Next week, when millions of Californians over the age of 16 become eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the supply statewide from Johnson & Johnson will be cut by 88%.
People who are already scheduled for the Johnson & Johnson shots will get them, however. Those doses have been reserved for people who have appointments on the books.
Vaccinations: Officials said 1,119,988 vaccines have been administered, and 652,257 San Diegans have been fully vaccinated.
Cases and Deaths: The county reported 202 new coronavirus cases out of 17,194 tests, for a daily positivity rate of 1%. Eight new deaths were reported, bringing the county's total to 3,600.
Don't Look Back: The California Department of Public Health released new guidelines for counties that may have to be demoted in the state's tiered reopening schedule.
Under the new guidelines, "unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as low rate of vaccine take up, a county will only move to a more restrictive tier if hospitalizations are increasing significantly among vulnerable individuals, especially among vaccinated individuals, and both test positivity and adjusted case rates show a concerning increase in transmission."
Cases and Deaths: San Diego County reported a 2% daily positivity rate, with 300 of 16,596 reported COVID-19 tests coming back positive. Four new deaths were reported, bringing the county's total to 3,592.
Local Hospitalizations: COVID-19-related hospitalizations are down 51% over the last 30 days, while COVID-19-related ICU admissions are down 4% over the same span.
Cases & Deaths: Officials said 329 new cases of coronavirus were reported in San Diego County out of 14,322 for a daily positivity rate of 2%. Three new COVID-related deaths were reported.
Universities Looking Ahead: Both SDSU and UC San Diego announced plans for near-full campuses by Fall 2021. Both schools said most instruction will be held in-person, and both are expanding on-campus housing to thousands of more students. weekly COVID-19 testing programs are also planned for no-vaccinated students. Details here.
The Orange Tier: California public health officials and San Diego County health officials said San Diego County had hit the right metrics to be able to move into the orange tier – a less-restrictive tier than the red in the state’s blueprint for safely reopening counties during the pandemic.
San Diego County officially moves into the orange tier on April 7. Here’s everything you need to know about how restrictions/rules will change for local businesses and activities.
No More Curfews for Restaurants: San Diego County Chair Nathan Fletcher said the county’s Public Health Order would be updated to lift the 10 p.m. curfew on restaurants – a pandemic restriction that had been in effect since July 2020. State COVID-19 safety guidance must still be followed at restaurants.
Gov. Newsom: A Full Reopening by June 15: California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on April 6 that California was aiming to fully reopen its economy by June 15 – meaning most businesses and activities would be able to return to their pre-pandemic operations IF two criteria are met:
- If there’s enough coronavirus vaccine supply for Californians age 16 and older who want to be vaccinated
- If hospitalization rates remain low and stable
Newsom said California had surpassed a milestone of 20 million vaccines distributed across the state – including the 4 million in communities hardest hit by COVD-19.
“If we keep the pace, we are moving now beyond the blueprint,” Newsom said. “We are announcing today that on June 15, we will be moving beyond the blueprint and will be getting rid of the colored tiers.”
Dr. Wilma Wooten said COVID-19 safety strategies should continue, including frequent hand washing and the use of face masks. She said the county doesn’t see a need – at this point – to add any new or further coronavirus-related restrictions.
Catch up on Newsom’s announcement here.
Cases & Deaths: Officials said 212 new cases of coronavirus were reported in San Diego County, plus two new COVID-related deaths.
Vaccines: As of April 6, county public health officials reported 1,047,478 San Diegans had gotten at least one coronavirus vaccine. The full vaccination breakdown from the county can be seen here.
Fletcher said the coronavirus vaccine supply would continue to increase in San Diego County as vaccinations continue. He warned that although the county is moving in the right direction, the virus is still out there and urged people to get the vaccine.
Nora Vargas said the county is continuing its focus on vaccine equity by making the coronavirus vaccine available in communities hardest hit by COVID-19. The state has identified 12 zip codes in San Diego County as “health equity districts,” and Vargas said the county had identified 27 others.
Vargas said 1.8 million people – or 32.3% of San Diego’s population live in those zip codes. She said 40% of the Latino population in those zip codes have been vaccinated and said the county’s efforts to keep that going are working.
Herd Immunity: Wooten said 50% of San Diegans have gotten at least one coronavirus vaccine while 30% have gotten two doses. She believes the region is on its way to reaching 75% herd immunity by July 1.
More than a million people living in San Diego County have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 600,000 are fully vaccinated, according to the county health department.
That means more than one out of every five San Diegans is vaccinated, with the supply of doses continuing to grow. In fact, San Diego County was expected to receive 33% more doses this week than it did just two weeks ago.
Cases: A total of 127 COVID-19 positive cases were reported. The total is now 271,654.
Deaths: No new deaths were recorded.
Cases: A total of 193 COVID-19 positive cases were reported on April 2. The total is now 271,527.
Deaths: Twelve more deaths were reported bringing the region's total to 3,583.
Vaccine Sites: One thousand people were vaccinated at a drive-thru site in Lincoln Park on Saturday. The partners were able to obtain doses from the State of California. A separate appointment line was set up in hopes of breaking down language and technology barriers.
Two thousand people were vaccinated at another vaccination site in Barrio Logan on Saturday. It was an effort to help San Diegans who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic in their community.
Cases: A total of 299 COVID-19 positive cases were reported on April 2. The total is now 271,334.
Deaths: Three more deaths were reported bringing the region's total to 3,571.
Vaccine Sites: In an effort to help San Diegans who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic in their community, a vaccination site will open Saturday near Barrio Logan.
Governor Visit: Gov. Gavin Newsom visited a San Diego vaccine site on Friday and urged Californians to get inoculated, especially now that the state has expanded its eligibility.
“If you are 50 or over, please take the time, prepare to get a vaccine," Newsom said from a new pop-up vaccine site in City Heights. "We’re not going to get to herd immunity, we’re not going to get back to that semblance of normalcy unless we get more people vaccinated.”
Cases: Four hundred ninety-six COVID-19 cases were reported to the County on March 31. The region’s total is now 271,035. A total of 14,855 or 5.5% of all cases have required hospitalization. And 1,651 or 0.6% of all cases and 11.1% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.
Deaths: Thirteen new COVID-19 deaths were reported on April 1. The region’s total is now 3,568. Four women and nine men died between Jan. 11 and April 1.
Of the people who died, three were 80 years of age or older, seven were in their 70s, two were in their 60s and one was in their 50s. All had underlying medical conditions.
|Total (Since Feb. 2020)||271,035||3,568||10 reported in past 7 days|
Vaccines: Eligibility expanded on April 1 to all Californians 50 or older but county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said that there is still just not enough supply to meet the demand for that many people. He urged San Diegans to remain patient and was hopeful for promised supply increases.
Just this week, he added, supply was 25% higher than the week prior -- the biggest increase since the vaccine first arrived in San Diego. Even still, we're averaging about 12,500 doses a day when the county's health care system is capable of about 35,000 a day.
Business Reopenings: San Diego County's case rate this week was at 4.9, which does not yet qualify us for the less-restrictive Orange Tier but Fletcher said it could happen as early as next week. That would be if California can get a shot in the arm of 4 million Californians in vulnerable zip codes. By doing so, the requirements for moving tiers would change, thus making any case rate below 6.0 eligible for more reopenings in our region. Learn more about San Diego County's pathways to the Orange Tier here.
Cases: Two hundred fifty-two COVID-19 cases were reported to the county. The region’s total is now 270,539. A total of 14,855 or 5.5% of all cases have required hospitalization.
Deaths: No new COVID-19 cases were reported on March 30 or March 31.
|Total (Since Feb. 2020)||270,539||3,555||11 reported in past 7 days|
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 March 2021, click here.
For a look back at what happened during the pandemic in San Diego County in February 2021, click here.
For a look back at what happened during the pandemic in San Diego County in January 2021, click here.
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, 2020).
More than 480 passengers from a coronavirus-ridden cruise ship that docked at the Port of Oakland were flown to MCAS Miramar March 10, 2020, to March 12, 2020, to complete a mandatory 14-day federal quarantine. On March 27, 2020, 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, 2020, 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, 2020, 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, 2020, 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