San Diego County Extends Public Health Orders Indefinitely Until Further Notice

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San Diego County leaders Saturday revised the public health orders, which already established strict stay-at-home rules for residents to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, extending them indefinitely until further notice.

All the orders presently in place have been extended including no gatherings of more than 10 people, no dine-in restaurant services, no in-person classes for all public and private educational institutions, as well as limited daycare and childcare services.

Also still in place was the strong recommendation that all persons 65 years or older and/or have underlying health conditions quarantine themselves at home.

Nonessential businesses should be closed and essential businesses should be adhering to social distancing and proper hygiene, Fletcher said.

When announced on March 16, the orders were initially set to expire on March 31.

Officials noted the extensions were in line with an increased severity of infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

The announcement came after the county's single largest jump in reported coronavirus cases with 76 new cases Friday for a total of 417.

"The situation in San Diego is only going to get worse in the coming days and the actions that we take now will impact the severity of that increase," County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Saturday. "We are going to be in this posture for a while."

County officials continue reminding residents to help "flatten the curve" of the coronavirus outbreak, a term used among health experts to show how extreme measures can alter the outcome of the pandemic.

Further restrictions such as curfews or limiting the number of times people can leave their homes during the week were not being planned "per se today," Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nick Yphantides answered Saturday.

"But they are on the radar as options that are still available based on the data and the evidence as to whether or not such additional measures will need to be taken," Yphantides said.

When asked whether he thought restrictions would be tightened or loosened in the immediate future, Yphantides said he believed they would likely be maintained with hopes of "optimal compliance by our local community."

Read the full text of the public health orders here.

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