San Diego County

Latest Coronavirus Impacts: County Hits 1 Million Mark for Coronavirus Vaccinations

Here's what you need to know about the spread of the coronavirus in San Diego County, including how many cases have been reported and the latest updates from local health officials

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What to Know for March 5

  • San Diego County marked a pandemic milestone when the one-millionth dose of the coronavirus vaccine was administered
  • 13,752 tests were reported to the County on March 4, and the percentage of new positive cases was 4%.
  • California stadiums, theme parks and outdoor concerts can reopen as early as April 1 with restrictions

The coronavirus pandemic reached San Diego County in mid-March 2020. Each day, local health officials give us updates on the spread of the novel coronavirus in our region. We will bring you the latest news here, every day. You can count on us.

COVID-19 Patients in San Diego County

San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials have reported 262,360 positive COVID-19 cases and 3,371 deaths since Feb. 14, 2020.

After a holiday season case surge clamped nationwide hospital capacity and forced California under a second stay-at-home order, coronavirus case data in San Diego County is following a welcome downtrend.

But the pandemic is far from over -- COVID-19 hasn't taken its last victim and many San Diegans are still suffering from its physical and emotional impacts, not to mention the effects of months of economic downturn.

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.

Helpful Data: County vaccination demographics; Map of case rates by city and ZIP; COVID-19 case totals by age and gender; Map of case totals by city of residence; Case totals by race/ethnicity; Tests reported by day; Statistics regarding hospitalized patients; Statistics regarding deceased patients.

NBC 7 will track daily COVID-19 developments in San Diego County throughout March 2021 here. The first set of stats will be released the afternoon of March 1.

For now, to catch up on what happened in February 2021 in San Diego County during the pandemic, read this.

March 2021 Updates

Reopening: California stadiums, theme parks and outdoor concerts can reopen as early as April 1 with restrictions. The capacity limits are based on where the venues fall within the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

Vaccination Progress: San Diego County marked a pandemic milestone Friday when the one-millionth dose of the coronavirus vaccine was administered, according to San Diego County Chair Nathan Fletcher.

San Diego Convention Center: After nearly a year of housing thousands of homeless residents, the city will begin to unwind operations at the shelter made at the San Diego Convention Center during the start of the pandemic.

Homeless individuals who are currently staying at the convention center shelter will be relocated to reconfigured shelters and continue to receive the same services, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said.

Case Data: Four hundred ninety-nine cases were reported to the County on March 4. The region’s total is now 262,360, 13,752 tests were reported to the County on March 4, and the percentage of new positive cases was 4%.

Deaths: Twelve new COVID-19 deaths were reported March 4. The region’s total is 3,371. Five women and seven men died between Jan. 29 and March 4.

Of the 12 deaths reported on March 4, five people who died were 80 years or older, one was in their 70s, four were in their 60s, one was in their 50s and one was in their 40s. Ten had underlying medical conditions, one did not have any medical conditions and one had medical history pending.

CasesDeathsCommunity Outbreaks
Reported499124
Total (Since Feb. 2020)262,3603,37129 reported in past 7 days
There were 13,752 tests reported, accounting for a 4% daily positivity rate

Vaccination Progress: Of the 1.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses delivered to the region, more than 997,000 have been logged as administered. Of those vaccinated to date, more than 303,000, or just over 11 percent of San Diegans 16 and older, are fully immunized.

Overall, more than 608,000 County residents have received at least one shot of two-dose vaccine. That’s 22.6 percent of those eligible.

Cases: 508 cases were reported to the County on March 3. The region’s total is now 261,861. 13,215 or 5% of all cases have required hospitalization. 1,603 or 0.6% of all cases and 12.1% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

Deaths: Seventeen new COVID-19 deaths were reported on March 3. The region’s total is 3,359. Eleven men and six women died between Feb. 25 and March 3.

Of the 17 deaths reported on March 3, four people who died were 80 years or older, six were in their 70s, six were in their 60s and one was in their 50s. Sixteen had underlying medical conditions and one had medical history pending.

CasesDeathsCommunity Outbreaks
Reported508176
Total (Since Feb. 2020)261,8613,35929 reported in past 7 days
There were 17,763 tests reported, accounting for a 3% daily positivity rate

March 3
Vaccines for At-Risk neighborhoods: California will begin setting aside 40% of all vaccine doses for the state’s most vulnerable neighborhoods based on based on metrics such as household income, education level, housing status and access to transportation.

Once 2 million vaccine doses are given out in those neighborhoods, the state will make it easier for counties to move through reopening tiers that dictate business and school reopenings.

Vaccine Sites: Downtown San Diego's vaccination super station reopened Wednesday after a four-day closure due to a nationwide shortage of Moderna vaccines.

Priority will be given to those with appointments for second doses who are farthest away from the date they received their first dose.

Vaccination Efforts: A number of residents and staff at Operation Shelter to Home at the Convention Center received their second dose of the Moderna Vaccine.

San Diego County is nearing the one million vaccine milestone but many sites are still struggling to get the vaccine, said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

When asked why Moderna has been delayed compared to Pfizer, Fletcher responded the following:

"It is consistently erratic and consistently unpredictable. When it arrives we get it in circulation right away and we utilize it as fast as we possibly can. But we still don't have great clarity on what will be coming more than a day or two in advance and as we've seen over the last few weeks, even when you're told something is on its way doesn't mean that it's going to arrive," he said.

Fletcher is asking San Diegans to be patient throughout the process.

As of Wednesday, 945,859 doses have been administered. More than 22% have received one dose and more than 10% has received both doses

State Metrics: San Diego County’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate is currently 10.8 cases per 100,000 residents (as of March 2) and the region is in Purple Tier or Tier 1.

Deaths: Twenty-five new COVID-19 deaths were reported on Mar. 2. The region’s total is 3,342. Sixteen men and nine women died between Dec. 20 and March 2.

Of the 25 deaths reported on March 2, two people who died were 80 years or older, three were in their 70s, 11 were in their 60s, seven were in their 50s and two in their 40s. Twenty-one had underlying medical conditions, two did not and two had medical history pending.

CasesDeathsCommunity Outbreaks
Reported3422511
Total (Since Feb. 2020)261,3533,34230 reported in past 7 days
There were 13,293 tests reported, accounting for a 3% daily positivity rate

March 2
Tier Assignment: San Diego County will remain in the purple tier, the strictest of the four, for at least two more weeks after its case rate was measured at 10.8. Case rate, or new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, is assessed per county every Tuesday.

San Diego's case rate will have to fall below 7 for two consecutive weeks before it can advance. Once in the red tier, the county can ease some restrictions on businesses.

The county's other metrics used to determine tier placement -- seven-day positivity rate and health equity rate -- qualify for the orange tier and red tier respectively, so an improving case rate is the last leg of the descent into the next less-restrictive category.

Rent Relief: San Diego County is accepting applications for its rental relief program, which will distribute $100 million to struggling renters in the region. More information here.

Case Data: Four percent of COVID-19 tests reported by the county Tuesday were positive (376 out of 9,303), which is slightly higher than the 14-day moving average of daily positivity rates (3.7%). Over the last week, the county has reported an average of 13,333 tests per day.

The county is coming off its lowest weekly coronavirus case total since late October. Last week's 3,581 total cases were 85% less than the county's record-setting week during the holiday surge in which it reported more than 24,000 cases.

Deaths: Fourteen deaths were reported Tuesday, bringing the county's total to 3,317. Higher totals reported mid-week aren't uncommon because reporting lags are typically seen over the weekend. Weekly deaths reported have decreased for five consecutive weeks.

Community Outbreaks: There were 29 community outbreaks reported in the last seven days as of March 2.

March 1
Vaccines: The Petco Park superstation remained closed due to a shortage of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine but it was unclear how many already-scheduled appointments were postponed as a result.

A county spokesperson said they're expecting more than 46,000 doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to arrive by Tuesday. Another 47,000 should arrive by the end of the week. Of those, 20% will be held for teachers and 10% will be held for law enforcement officers.

San Diego County will also be receiving its first shipment of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, but the amount of doses and its arrival date was not yet known.

There have been 572,546 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered, accounting for 21.3% of the population. Ten percent of the total population has been fully vaccinated -- 272,377 people.

Schools Reopenings: Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers reached a deal to incentivize schools to reopen in-person instruction up to second grade by March 31. $6.6 billion was set aside for schools that reach the target date. It does not require students and staff to be vaccinated before returning to the classroom.

Cases, Deaths: There were 269 new cases of COVID-19 reported out of 7,180 tests, a 4% positive rate. The 14-day positive rate is 3.8%.

There were no new deaths reported on Feb 28. There is typically a lag in reported deaths over the weekend.

Hospitalizations, ICU Capacity: There has been a 64% decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the last 30 days and a 20% decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the last 7 days. Patients with COVID-19 in the ICU have decreased 61% over the last 30 days and 21% in the last 7 days.

Community Outbreaks: There have been 30 community outbreaks in the last 7 days.

Late February 2021 Updates

Feb. 28
Cases: 262 new COVID-19 cases were reported, bringing the county's total to 260,356. Out of 13,819 tests, the percentage of new positive cases was 2%.

Deaths: 19 new COVID-19 deaths were reported, bringing the region’s total to 3,303.

Feb. 27
Cases: 450 new COVID-19 cases were reported, bringing the region’s total to 260,094. Out of 13,284 tests reported to the county on Feb. 26, the percentage of new positive cases was 3%.

Deaths: 13 new COVID-19 deaths were reported, bringing the region’s total to 3,284.

Feb. 26
Vaccine Site Closure: San Diego's Petco Park vaccination super station will once again close starting Saturday due to a nationwide shortage of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, a county spokesperson confirmed to NBC 7.

The County spokesperson said the closure would last through March 2.

Second-dose appointments will be rescheduled automatically, the spokesperson said. Those impacted by the delays are advised to check their MyUCSDChart account or look for an email with details about their new appointment date.

Vaccine Site Opening: A new appointment-only vaccination site opens on Feb. 28 at the Copley-Price YMCA located at 4300 El Cajon Boulevard in City Heights. The walk-up clinic is open Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


The Coronavirus Pandemic in San Diego County, Month by Month

For a look back at what happened day by day in February 2021 in San Diego County during the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

For a full look back at what happened day by day in January 2021 in San Diego County during the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

For a look back at what happened 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.

For day-by-day look back at everything that happened in August 2020 in San Diego County during the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

For a look back at July 2020 in San Diego County during the pandemic, click here.

To read about what happened in June 2020 in San Diego County during the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

To read what happened in May 2020, a month that county leaders called a month of "adaptation" for San Diego County in the fight against the novel coronavirus, click here.

To read what happened in April 2020, a month that county leaders called "critical" for flattening the curve, click here.

To look back at what happened in March 2020 in San Diego County during the coronavirus pandemic, click here.


Mid-March 2020: The Coronavirus Pandemic Reaches San Diego County

A lot happened in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic reached San Diego County and COVID-19 cases surged.

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.

Landmarks Shutter, Events Canceled
San Diego’s biggest tourist attractions, landmarks and events closed or were canceled. Local casinos followed, as well as gyms and fitness centers.

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

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