The middle of June 2021 brought the full reopening of California -- and San Diego County -- and the lifting of most pandemic restrictions. COVID-19 cases continued to dip in our region and many people ditched those masks and the social distancing. California held lotto-like "Vax for the Win" drawings to ramp up vaccinations. Here's a day-by-day look back at what happened in San Diego County this month as things changed, a lot, getting us closer to what life was like before the coronavirus pandemic changed everything.
COVID-19 Patients in San Diego County
According to the county's June 28 data, San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials had reported 282,498 positive COVID-19 cases and 3,780 COVID-related deaths since Feb. 14, 2020.
Here's the San Diego County Public Health Order as of June 15, 2021:
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June 2021 in San Diego County
After Jun 15, 2021, San Diego County public health officials said they would no longer hold their weekly COVID-19 news briefings. Instead, the county continued to share local COVID stats on its COVID-19 dashboard.
San Diego County's COVID-19 vaccination stats were also updated daily on the county's website. Here is the Vaccination Dashboard with the latest figures.
Here are some updates from the county in June 2021, not daily, but they will still give you a gauge of where the COVID stats stood this month:
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County public health officials reported 82 new COVID-19 cases; no additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County public health officials reported 96 new COVID-19 cases; no additional COVID-related deaths were reported.
Cases: As of June 24, San Diego County public health officials said there had been 282,052 COVID-19 cases in San Diego County since health officials began tracking the virus locally in mid-February 2020.
Vaccines: As of June 24, 2021, the county said 2,164,705 San Diego County residents had been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This surpassed the county’s longtime goal of having 2,101,936 San Diegans vaccinated with at least one dose. Meanwhile, 1,833,325 San Diego County residents had been fully vaccinated with either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or the single-dose J&J vaccine.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County public health officials reported 68 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the region’s tally to 281,749. No COVID-19 deaths were reported in San Diego County.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County public health officials reported 48 new COVID-19 cases out of 8,721 tests, for a positive rate of 0.6%. No new COVID-related deaths were reported.
Reopening San Diego: With San Diego County now fully reopened, locals were trying to get used to the changes. Masking was still a topic of discussion, that’s for sure.
June 15, 2021: California’s Reopening Day
June 15 – a day long marked in the calendars of Californians – brought the reopening of the state, including San Diego County.
Well, for starters, it meant no more tiers – as in the end of California’s color-coded, tiered COVID-19 Blueprint for safely reopening counties during the pandemic. NBC 7 broke down everything you need to know about San Diego’s reopening and how restrictions changed.
NBC 7 also mapped out this TIMELINE spanning the 15 months leading up to San Diego County's full reopening, just so we could really see everything we had been through during the coronavirus pandemic.
June 15 marked the end of most pandemic-era restrictions and the beginning of life moving forward once again. San Diego County leaders and public health officials celebrated the day with a heartfelt thank you to county government, healthcare and essential workers, and San Diegans who sacrificed and looked after their family and neighbors.
"Thanks to everyone for everything that we’ve gone through over the past year," Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said. "We know COVID will remain a presence but because of the vaccine, we’re in a good position."
Fletcher said that as of June 15, it had been 501 days since San Diego County had activated its emergency operation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the 15 months of the pandemic restrictions, Fletcher said San Diego County had conducted over 5 million COVID-19 tests, investigated more than 300,000 coronavirus cases and vaccinated more than 75% of the county's eligible population.
“San Diego showed our resilience. We showed our willingness to endure tremendous hardship. We showed our compassion, we showed our empathy," Fletcher said.
Fletcher also thanked small business owners who fought through the switchbacks of changing restrictions that reversed course when deadly coronavirus waves set the county and nation back.
"Today’s the day we feel good – and it’s OK to feel good. We have made it through a truly historically challenging situation, and I think that we’re coming out stronger," he said.
By the way, part of the June 15 reopening means that capacity limits aren't a thing anymore, except for some "mega-events," and neither is physical distancing, though we've all learned that a little bit of space isn't such a bad thing sometimes.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County confirmed 61 new coronavirus cases, pushing the county's total to 281,374. Those 61 cases were just 0.8% of more than 7,600 coronavirus tests reported. No new deaths were reported for the fourth straight day. The county's death total stayed at 3,770 as of June 15.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County public health officials reported 46 new COVID-19 cases. Out of 5,591 tests reported to the county, the percentage of new positive cases was 0.8 %. No new deaths were reported.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County public health officials reported 59 new COVID-19 cases. Two new coronavirus-related deaths were reported, which brought the region’s toll to 3,770.
Vaccines: California Gov. Gavin Newsom visited San Diego on June 11 to announce the final 15 winners in the state’s “$50,000 Fridays” drawings. The lotto-like events were part of the state’s “Vax for the Win” campaign to incentivize vaccinations and ramp up those numbers ahead of the state’s June 15 reopening. Throughout the drawings, several San Diegans won big.
Herd Immunity: According to San Diego County officials, to date, a total of 2,098,135 or 99.8% of San Diegans age 12 and over had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at this point. San Diego County’s goal was to fully vaccinate 2,101,936 – 75% – of eligible residents making the county closer to reaching herd immunity.
“The more people who get vaccinated and achieve immunity, the more protected we’re all going to be,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Go get vaccinated now so that we can go back to doing the things we love.”
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County Public Health officials reported 92 new COVID-19 cases. Two new COVID-related death were also reported: one from May 29 and the other from June 3.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County public health officials added 111 COVID-19 cases to the tally, bringing our region’s total to 281,051. A total of 10,743 tests were reported and the percentage of new positive cases was 1.0%. Of all cases up to this point, public health officials said 15,456 – or 5.5% -- had required hospitalization. One new COVID-related death was reported: a man on his 40s with underlying medical conditions who died on May 23.
Vaccines: Over 2.09 million -- or 74.6% -- of San Diegans age 12 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 1.71 million -- or 61.2% -- of San Diegans had, at this point, been fully vaccinated.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County reported 62 more COVID-19 cases. A total of 11,385 tests were reported and the percentage of new positive cases was 0.5%. One new coronavirus-related death was reported by the county: a man in his 60s with underlying medical conditions who had died on June 7.
Hello, Yellow Tier: With just a week to go until California’s full reopening on June 15, San Diego County public health officials said the county would move into the state’s least restrictive tier – the yellow tier – in the color-coded blueprint for safely reopening counties during the pandemic.
And did anyone care?
County’s First Death of Fully Vaccinated San Diegan: On the same day that local health officials announced that San Diego County would be moving into the yellow tier, some grim news came: a San Diegan who was fully vaccinated had died from COVID-19-associated illness in a "breakthrough" case. Michael Workman, the county's director of communications, said the person who died was an "older" woman who had "many pre-existing medical issues" and "had been sick and then hospitalized before succumbing."
Workman said that of the 1,677,291 San Diegans who were, at this point, fully vaccinated, there had been 458 breakthrough cases, representing 0.4% of all county COVID-19 cases this year. Of those 458 infections, four people had been hospitalized with the illness, and there was one fatality.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County public health officials reported 71 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the cumulative case total to 280,878. The COVID-related local death toll remained unchanged at 3,764.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County reported 65 new COVID-19 infections; no new COVID-related deaths were reported. A total of 5,898 tests were reported to the county, with 1.1% returning positive.
Vaccines: As of June 7, nearly 1.68 million San Diego County residents -- almost 60% of residents 12 and older – had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and more than 2.07 million residents have received one dose of the vaccine. More than 4.21 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been received by the county, with more than 3.78 million administered, public health officials said.
Cases & Deaths: Officials reported 67 new COVID-19 cases; no new coronavirus-related deaths were reported.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County public health officials reported 120 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the region’s total to 280,675. A total of 10,625 tests were reported to the county and the percentage of new positive cases was 1.1%. One new COVID-related death was reported; the region's toll ticked up to 3,764.
Cases & Deaths: Local public health officials reported 126 additional COVID-19 cases and two new COVID-related deaths. One was a man in his 60s with underlying medical conditions and the other was a man in his 80s with underlying medical conditions. Both died on June 2.
Community Setting Outbreaks: One new community outbreak was confirmed by the county, in a business setting. In the past seven days (May 28 through June 3), nine community outbreaks had been confirmed. The community outbreaks trigger is more than seven in a 7-day period.
Mask Regulations & Workplace Confusion: Conflicted California workplace regulators approved controversial rules that allowed workers to go mask-free, only if every employee in a room was fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
But the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board made clear that the regulations were only a stopgap while they considered the further easing of pandemic rules in coming weeks or months. The new rules were expected to take effect June 15, the same day as California’s full reopening. The board initially voted 4-to-3 to reject any changes to current rules. To read more about this, click here.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County reported 83 new COVID-19 cases and one new coronavirus-related death: a man in his 70s with underlying medical conditions, who had died on May 29.
State Metrics: On June 2, San Diego County’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate stood at 1.7 cases per 100,000 residents, placing the county in the yellow tier one week before California’s full reopening, slated for June 15. San Diego County would need to log two weeks with a case rate of fewer than two cases per 100,000 residents to fully move into the state’s least restrictive tier. San Diego County Nathan Fletcher said it was possible to get there by June 9.
Vaccine Incentives: The incentives for getting the coronavirus vaccine kept on coming. San Diegans who got their COVID-19 vaccine were offered a shot to win a pair of tickets to attend a San Diego Padres game. The county said it was teaming up with the Padres to give away 100 pairs of tickets to vaccinated San Diegans. The incentive would last through the end of June.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County public health officials reported 42 new COVID-19 cases. Out of 6,305 tests reported to the county, the percentage of new positive cases was 0.7%. Four new coronavirus-related deaths were reported bringing the county’s toll to 3,760. The county aid three of the fourth deaths were men in their 60s with underlying medical conditions; the fourth was a man in his 30s with no existing medical conditions.
Cases & Deaths: San Diego County public health officials reported 51 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the region’s total to 280,304 cases since the county began tracking them in mid-February 2020. A total of 5,233 tests were reported to the county and the percentage of new positive cases was 1.0%. No additional COVID-related deaths were reported – for the fifth straight day – keeping that toll at 3,756.
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 May 2021, click here.
For a look back at what happened during the pandemic in San Diego County in April 2021, click here.
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