What to Know
- The county for a second consecutive day remained below the state's case rate threshold. For Aug. 13, the county reported 96.5 which is below the state's metric of 100 cases per 100,000 people.
- Two new outbreaks confirmed, one in a business and another in a food processing setting. In the past seven days, 22 community outbreaks were confirmed.
- On Aug. 13, San Diego County public health officials reported 266 new COVID-19 cases and seven deaths.
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 confirmed there have been 33,659 total positive COVID-19 cases and 615 deaths since Feb. 14, 2020.
As testing capacity increases in San Diego County, the ratio of positive cases to the total amount of people being tested will change but any increase in the number of positive cases as a percentage of total tests would indicate an increase in spread. Before mid-June, the county had a 14-day rolling average between 2 to 3% of positive cases, according to the county.
The county is consistently beating its goal of providing more than 6,700 tests a day to anyone who wants one. This allows health officials to better track the disease, particularly among residents who may not show symptoms of COVID-19 but can just as easily spread the disease.
Other Data: 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.
July featured more adjustments to life amid the pandemic, as businesses expanded to sidewalks, parking lots, and even streets. We saw the Padres take the field, and also got answers to questions regarding the upcoming school year. To catch up on what happened in July in San Diego County during the coronavirus pandemic, read this.
Coronavirus Pandemic: August Updates
County health officials reported 266 new COVID-19 cases and seven additional deaths. The county's total COVID-19 cases is now at 33,659 and 615 total deaths.
The region's state-calculated case rate is 98.3. This continues to be below the metric of 100 cases per 100,000 people set by the state. If the region continues to be below the metric for a third consecutive day, San Diego County can be removed from the state's monitoring list.
“It is important that we be absolutely clear that just because we’ve come off the state’s monitoring list, per state guidance and orders, does not change the current restrictions put in place in a handful of indoor settings," Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.
The indoor restrictions were put in place by the state and are not automatically lifted if San Diego were to come off the list. Fletcher said he asked the state for future guidance.
After the three consecutive days below the 100 case rate, an additional 14 consecutive days will need to pass with the case count below 100 for schools “K-12 at their own discretion, consistent with the state guidance and posting the safe reopening plan, will be able to open," Fletcher explained.
On Thursday, the county only reported one abnormal trigger, community outbreaks. The number of community outbreaks continues to be above the trigger of seven or more in seven days. The county reported 22 outbreaks in that past seven days. Two new outbreaks were reported on Aug. 12, one in a business and another in a food processing setting.
San Diego County public health officials reported 236 new COVID-19 cases out of 7,339 tests reported, a 3% positive rate. The county's total COVID-19 cases is now at 33,393.
The region's state-calculated case rate is 94.1. This is below the metric of 100 cases per 100,000 people set by the state. For the first time, the case rate has been below 100 since the county was placed on the state's monitoring list on July 3.
The county would need to report a case rate of 100 or below for three days to get off the state monitoring list. It will also need to stay at a rate of 100 or below for an additional 14 days before schools, grades 7th through 12th, can reopen. No other businesses can reopen after the 17 days unless the state provides further guidance.
An additional six people died, the region's total of COVID-19 deaths is now at 608. Five women and one man died, their ages ranged from 66 to 96 years old. All had underlying medical conditions.
Two new outbreaks were confirmed on Aug. 11, one each in a grocery store setting and a manufacturing setting. In the past seven days, 26 community outbreaks were confirmed. The number of community outbreaks continues to be above the trigger of seven or more in seven days.
The county continues to struggle to get businesses and residents to comply with public health orders meant to contain the spread of the COVID-19 disease among the community but said Tuesday they are working with local law enforcement agencies on enforcement.
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said local officials have four tools to get compliance: 1) using site visits to get businesses to voluntarily comply, 1) the county can draft and serve a cease and desist order, 3) the county in coordination with local law enforcement can draft and serve a closure order, or 4) local law enforcement agencies can cite the business, which comes with a $1,000 fine per day. After that, it is up to the District or City attorney to file charges.
Fletcher said a meeting was held Tuesday with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and SDPD Chief David Nisleit to determine how compliance can be enforced in the city of San Diego.
Meanwhile, public health officials reported 182 new positive cases of COVID-19, the first time new cases were below 200 since June 22. Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten said it was a promising trend that, if maintained, could help get San Diego County off the state's monitoring list.
But Wooten clarified on Tuesday that getting off the state's watchlist doesn't mean the county can fully reopen. The only segment that would be allowed to reopen was schools that don't qualify for waivers, which only apply to elementary schools.
Of the county's metrics that are being monitored to track our progress, or lack thereof, only two are still activated. The first was the trigger for case rate -- which is dropping but still above the goal of less than 100 cases per 100,000 residents over a 14 day period. The second was the trigger for community outbreaks, which must be lower than 7 in 7 days to be deactivated. San Diego County currently has 29 in the last 7 days with 6 new outbreaks reported since yesterday.
County health officials reported a 3% positivity rate Monday (228 new cases out of 7,570 reported tests. The county's 14-day average positivity rate fell to 5% and its 7-day daily testing average is just above 8,000 tests.
No new COVID-19 death were reported. The region’s total remains at 594.
The county remains on the state watch list for its inability curtail community outbreaks and and community transmission.
Community Outbreaks: Five new COVID-19 outbreaks were reported by the county Monday; one each in a restaurant, a restaurant/bar, a business, a grocery store and a government setting. In the past seven days, 24 community outbreaks have been identified which more than three times the state's threshold of seven in seven days.
Case Rate: The county reported a 14-day average case rate (the number of cases per 100,000 county residents) 105.4 Monday, barely above the state's limit of 100. The county's rate has been trending downward since late July, and Dr. Wooten said last week that the region's case rate could fall under the state's mark as early as this week.
The county reported 417 new positive COVID-19 cases out of 6,236 tests, for a 7% positive rate. The new total number of cases in San Diego County was at 32,747 as of Aug. 9.
Four new outbreaks were identified in the county -- all at business settings. The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days, with the county having 24 outbreaks in the past week.
Out of the number of cases, 2,745 or 8.4% required hospitalization and 687 or 2.1% were admitted into an intensive care unit.
One new death was reported in connection to the virus: a man in his 60s who had underlying conditions.
County health officials reported a total of 551 new cases out of 9,472 tests, for a 6% positive rate. The total amount of cases tallied 32,330.
Out of the total amount of cases, 2,730 or 8.4% of cases have required hospitalizations, 682 or 2.1% of all cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.
Seven new deaths were reported bringing the total to 593. Four men and three women died, ranging in age from 49 to 90. All had underlying medical conditions.
Two new outbreaks were identified on Aug. 7. One was reported in a business and another in a government facility. In the past seven days, 20 community outbreaks were identified. The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days.
Health officials reported 652 new COVID-19 cases out of 11,501 tests reported to the county on Aug. 6. The total amount of cases is now at 31,779.
Three people died of COVID-19 bringing the region's total to 586. One woman and two men died, their ages ranged from 60 to 77 years of age. All had underlying health conditions.
Two new outbreaks were reported on Aug. 6. One in a business and one in a restaurant. In the past seven days, 20 community outbreaks were identified. The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days.
Health officials reported a staggeringly low daily positivity rate Thursday among an unusually large batch of tests. Of 11,10 tests reported, just 263 or 2.4% returned positive results.
The low rate helped drop the county's 14-day positivity rate average to 4.9%, and bumped it's 7-day testing average up to 7,525.
So far, 2,681 or 8.6% of the county's 31,127 total positive cases since the pandemic reached San Diego have required hospitalization, and 674 or 2.2% of all cases (25.1% of hospitalized cases) were admitted to an intensive care unit.
San Diego is still fighting regain control of two abnormal case metrics keeping it on the state's watch list and preventing it from rolling back public restrictions.
Community Outbreaks: Six new community outbreaks were reported Thursday; one in a preschool, two in business settings, two in health care settings, and one in a restaurant.
Outbreaks reported in the last seven days rose from 30 to 31, far above the state's threshold of seven in seven days, and the county has yet to report a seven-day outbreak total below 30 this month.
A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households, according to the county.
Case Rate: The county's 14-day average case rate (the number of cases per 100,000 county residents) jumped from 105.7 to 112.4 Thursday after more than seven consecutive days in decline. However, the county's rate has been trending downward since late July, and Dr. Wooten said Wednesday that it could fall under the state's mark of 100 as early as next week.
County public health officials announced continued progress toward normalizing coronavirus case metrics that have landed the county on the state's watch list and forced state and county leaders to reintroduce public and commercial restrictions.
Tracing: The county is now performing case investigations at a rate the state considers safe -- the state wants to see county's notify close contacts of COVID-19 patients within 24 hours 70% of the time or more, as an average over the last seven days. The county's close contact investigation rate was reported at 73% Wednesday and the county has a goal of achieving a 90% rate, which Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten expects will be reached by next week.
That leaves just two abnormal triggers; case rate and community outbreaks.
Community Outbreaks: Thirty community outbreaks have been identified over the last seven days, more than four times the threshold of seven in a week's time set by the state. Five new outbreaks were reported August 5 and were traced back to two businesses, a preschool, a restaurant or bar, and a faith-based organization. The 30 outbreaks represent 122 cases.
Case Rate: The county reported a 14-day average case rate (positives per 100,000 people) of 105.7, falling closer to the 100 rate established by the state. The county's case rate has been on its way down since late July, and Dr. Wooten said it could fall under the state's mark as early as next week.
County supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of a plan to allow gyms, places of worship, and other entities to use county parks to offer services outdoors. The plan also waives fees associated with obtaining permits to reserve park space and streamlines the application process.
Supervisors also voted to enhance testing near the U.S.-Mexico border. Over the next couple weeks, the county will be piloting a walk-in testing site at the Ped West pedestrian crossing at the San Ysidro Port of Entry with a capacity for around 200 tests per day. Appointments won't be necessary, and tests will be reserved for essential workers and U.S. citizens returning to the US from Mexico.
County health officials reported 290 new coronavirus cases out of 4,168 reported tests for a 6.9% positivity rate. Tests reported Monday were the lowest in more than a month, and more than 2,500 fewer than the county's goal of 6,740 per day. Monday's reported total also includes a batch of prior tests, according to the county.
The county's case total now stands at 30,516.
Three new deaths reported Tuesday pushed the death toll to 568. The most recent reported deaths include three men between 63 and 97 years old, all of whom had underlying medical conditions.
Outbreaks: The county has identified 32 community outbreaks in the last seven days, far exceeding its seven outbreaks in seven days trigger. Outbreaks is one of three abnormal case metrics that have landed the county on the state's watch list.
Case Rate: The county's case rate continues to trend downward, but is still above the state's threshold. The county reported a case rate, the amount of cases per 100,000 residents, at 114.9 (state threshhold is 100), marking at least the seventh-straight day the number has declined.
Tracing: Contact tracing is the third abnormal metric keeping the county on the state's watch list. San Diego's goal is to maintain a 7-day average of close contacts tracing within 24 hours to 90%. The county's rate as of Tuesday was 87%.
San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher called July 2020 “a bit of a roller-coaster” in terms of the pandemic in San Diego County, with increased community outbreaks and cases prompting officials to pull back on parts of county’s reopening. Toward the end of July, however, Fletcher said San Diego County’s COVID-19 figures began to “stabilize and flatten.”
“In the beginning of August, the numbers have been very encouraging,” he said at the county’s Aug. 3 news briefing. “Our number of cases continue to come down; our percentage of positive continues to come down. Our hospital system capacity remains very stable and healthy and so, this is an encouraging sign that tells us that not only the actions we took – but just broader awareness of the continued dangers of COVID – have put us in a better situation.”
New Cases: San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten reported 343 new COVID-19 cases on Aug. 3, bringing the county’s total number of cases to 30,226.
Deaths: No new deaths were reported, so that number stands at 565. Of those deaths, 539 had underlying health conditions.
Wooten said the age range of COVID-19 patients in San Diego County remains from 3 months to 102 years old.
Hospitalizations: Wooten said there have been 2,599 people hospitalized with COVID-19 since the pandemic reached the county, or 9% of all cases. Of those who were hospitalized, 656 were admitted to the ICU, or 2% of total cases (and 25% of total hospitalizations).
Hispanics and/or Latinos represent 1,480 of the 2,599 people who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in San Diego County, or 61% of hospitalizations, according to Wooten. Patients age 50+ represent 71% of those who have been hospitalized.
Outbreaks: 293 total outbreaks have been reported in San Diego County since the beginning of the pandemic. Of these, 163 are now closed or inactive. This leaves 130 outbreaks that are active, 36 of which are in local skilled nursing facilities. Wooten said the outbreaks at skilled nursing facilities have impacted 721 residents and 461 staff members, and 143 deaths have been reported in those outbreaks.
Meanwhile, 37 of the active outbreaks are in non-skilled facilities, impacting 680 residents and 477 staff. There have been 91 deaths in these outbreaks. And, in community settings, there have been 1,152 COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths, Wooten said.
Community settings accounted for 67 active outbreaks, including 39 that have been reported in the last 7 days. Half of those outbreaks occurred at restaurant/bars or restaurants alone while 7 occurred at businesses. Two each occurred at healthcare facilities, hotel/resort/spas and gyms.
Community outbreaks were among three "triggers" -- insights that show when San Diego County statistics are trending in the wrong direction -- activated in San Diego County. The other two were the county's high number of cases (which also has kept the region on California's monitoring list) and the county's inability to trace 90% of cases within 24 hours of a positive result.
While community outbreaks remain worrisome, Wooten said the other two triggers were trending in a positive direction and could see even more progress by the end of the week.
Wooten credited the positive results to recent changes to indoor business operations, though stated that it was not up to the county to be able to reward businesses that were doing the right thing with more reopenings. That is up to the state.
Also on Monday, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office announced charges against a local business owner for the first time for violating the county's health order. The Ramona gym owner defiantly operated at least five times and was warned that he could face charges, the DA's office said.
County health officials reported 306 new COVID-19 cases out of 5,655 tests, for a 5% positive rate. The total number of cases is now at 29,883. The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 5.3%. The target set by the state is led than 8%. The 7-day daily average of tests is 7,443.
No COVID-19 deaths were reported. The region's total remains at 565.
No new outbreaks were identified on Aug. 1. In the past seven days, 37 community outbreaks were confirmed. The number of community outbreaks continues to be more than the trigger of seven in seven days.
County health officials reported 529 new COVID-19 cases out of 9,161 reported tests, with a 6% positive rate. Total COVID-19 cases have now risen to 29,577.
The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 5.4%. The target set by the state is less than 8.0%. Out of the total COVID-19 cases, 2,551 or 8.6% have required hospitalization, and 25.5% of those hospitalized had to be admitted to the intensive care unit.
Four new deaths were reported bringing the total to 565. Four men died, their ages ranged from 55 to 82 years old. All had underlying medical conditions.
Three new outbreaks were identified on July 31, one was reported at a restaurant/bar, one in a gym and one in a government setting. In the past seven days, 40 community outbreaks were identified. The number of community outbreaks continues to be more than five times above the trigger of seven or more in seven days.
The county's Public Health Order was also updated and released, dated for July 1.
The Coronavirus Pandemic in San Diego County, Month by Month
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.
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.
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