San Diego County

Latest Coronavirus Impacts: November Surge Showing No Signs of Slowing Down

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 Nov. 28

  • The county reported a new record number of coronavirus cases with 1,859 confirmed cases on Nov. 27
  • One more death was reported on Friday. Bringing the county's total to 997
  • Sixteen community outbreaks were reported on Friday.

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 80,018 positive COVID-19 cases and 997 deaths since Feb. 14, 2020.

As testing capacity increases in San Diego County, the number of positive cases reported will likely rise, but any increase in the percentage of positive cases among 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. In the month of November alone, the 14-day rolling average has jumped more than two percentage points to above 5%.

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: 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.

To catch up on what happened in October, day-by-day, in San Diego County during the pandemic, click here.

Willhelm suit

Coronavirus Pandemic: November Updates

Purple tier restrictions officially started in San Diego County.

Restaurants are now only allowed to seat customers outdoors and with temperatures dipping, business owners are scrambling to adapt. Especially now, with an apparent shortage of outdoor equipment like patio heaters.

Nov. 28
Case Data: 1,859 new COVID-19 cases were reported out of 12,932 tests, or 14%. The daily positivity rate is proof of increased community spread, which has been rising steadily since the beginning of November.

Deaths: One new death was reported, bringing the county total at 997.

Community Outbreaks: Sixteen new community outbreaks were reported. There have been 86 identified in the last seven days. The county's target is to have less than seven in a week.

Nov. 27
Case Data: 1,802 new COVID-19 cases were reported out of 21,671 tests, or 8%. The daily positivity rate is proof of increased community spread, which has been rising steadily since the beginning of November.

The county's two-week average positivity rate is pushing toward 6%. It was around 3% at the beginning of November.

Deaths: No new deaths were reported, keeping the county total at 996.

Community Outbreaks: Ten new community outbreaks were reported. There have been 82 identified in the last seven days. The county's target is to have less than seven in a week.

Hospitalizations: There were 580 coronavirus-related hospitalizations reported, the same number reported Thursday (Thursday's data was released Friday because of the Thanksgiving holiday), and Thursday marked the 12th consecutive day hospitalizations had increased. Included in that total are coronavirus-related ICU patients, which had increased for the eighth consecutive day Friday.

County hospitals still remain under 80% capacity.

Nov. 26
Case Data, Deaths: San Diego County reported 1,052 new coronavirus cases on Thanksgiving, bring the case total to 76,357. Eight additional deaths were reported, bring the county's total to 996.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the county only published updated case and death totals.

Nov. 25
County Relief Grants: The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan to give out $20 million worth of grants to businesses reeling from purple tier restrictions.

Case Data, Deaths: San Diego County reported 944 new COVID-19 cases out of 20,738 tests, a positivity rate of 5%.

Hospitalizations: There were 545 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, including 152 patients in the ICU. One month ago, there were less than 250 total COVID-19-related hospitalizations and fewer than 90 of them were in the ICU.

Wednesday was the 11th consecutive day the county's reported hospitalized patient total had risen.

Community Outbreaks: Ten new community outbreaks were reported, pushing the seven-day total to 76. The county's target is no more than seven in a week's time.

Nov. 24
State Metrics: San Diego County's case rate, one of two metrics used to determine the county's status in the state's tiered reopening plan, was measured at 13.1, well above the purple tier limit of 7. That metric is updated every Tuesday. County data showing case rates by individual cities and ZIP codes is updated every Thursday.

Case Data, Deaths: The county reported 1,546 new cases out of 17.329 reported tests (9%), which is the highest ratio of positive tests to total tests since testing has been widely available to county residents.

Sixteen new COVID-19 deaths were reported, pushing the county's total to 984.

Community Outbreaks: Fifteen new community outbreaks were reported, making five days in a row the county reported additional outbreaks in the double digits. The total number of outbreaks in the last seven days is 73.

Nov. 23
Risk Analysis Tool: The so-called COVID-19 Risk Assessment Planning Tool is helping people easily understand the risks associated with gatherings of different sizes in different locations. It tells you the likelihood of coming into contact with a COVID-19-positive person at a gathering based on the size and location of that gathering. Some are using the tool to weigh the risks of celebrating the upcoming holidays.

Indoor Service Restrictions: A judge denied a request from four San Diego County businesses seeking to resume indoor operations following the county's recent slide into the purple tier of the state's coronavirus reopening plan.

Cases Data: 1,167 coronavirus cases were reported out of 21,117 tests (5%), bringing the county's case total to 72,815.

COVID-19-related hospitalizations and COVID-19-related ICU admissions continue to trend upward, and the county is just shy of 80% hospital capacity.

Thirteen new community outbreaks were reported, bringing the county's seven-day total to 61.

No new deaths were reported, keeping the county's total at 968.

Nov. 22
Cases, Deaths: San Diego County officials said 939 cases of coronavirus had been detected on Nov. 21 after administering 20,251 tests, a 5% positive rate.

Ten new outbreaks were reported in community settings on Saturday. There have been 55 in the last seven days. Two new deaths were reported on Nov. 21.

Nov. 21

Curfew: California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for purple tier counties, which includes San Diego County. The curfew will go into effect Saturday, Nov. 21 and end Dec. 21, or sooner if the county moves out of purple tier.

Cases, Deaths: San Diego County officials said 1,478 cases of coronavirus had been detected on Nov. 20 after administering 21,947 tests, a 7% positive rate.

Twelve new outbreaks were reported in community settings on Friday. There have been 53 in the last seven days. Six new deaths were reported on Nov. 20.

Nov. 20
El Cajon: The mayor of El Cajon, who previously told the city’s police department not to make health order violations a priority, now says San Diego County’s stepped-up enforcement efforts are a “huge overreach.”

Chula Vista: Eight months into the pandemic, Chula Vista is shifting from an education first strategy to something with a little more teeth. The city is issuing violation notices and even cease-and-desist letters without issuing warnings first.

Cases, Deaths: There were 1,091 new positive cases reported Friday, continuing the upward trajectory of daily cases and bringing the county's total to 68,140. There were also eight more deaths, bringing the total to 960.

Hospitalizations: There has been a 15% increase in cases over the last three days compared to the three days prior, a concerning number that has caused another trigger on the county's coronavirus dashboard to turn red. Meanwhile, hospital capacity is in the green but is only 5% away from being in the red. Current hospital capacity is at 75%. ICU capacity is at 27%.

Community Outbreaks: There have been 43 outbreaks in the last 7 days -- three in business settings, three in faith-based agency settings, two in daycare/preschool/childcare settings, one in a TK-12 school setting, one in a restaurant/bar setting and one in a fitness/gym setting.

Nov. 19
Curfew: California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for purple tier counties, which includes San Diego County. The curfew will go into effect Saturday, Nov. 21 and end Dec. 21, or sooner if the county moves out of purple tier.

Sheriff Bill Gore said deputies will be working with county compliance teams and 18 local law enforcement agencies to respond to complaints and enforce the order.

The District Attorney and City Attorney have each dedicated staff to help with enforcement. Complaints can be made by calling 211 or law enforcement agency non-emergency lines. You can also contact the county's compliance team directly at (858) 694-2900 or by email safereopeningcomplianceteam@sdcounty.ca.gov.

The county has issued more than 5 cease-and-desist orders since Monday, according to Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

San Diego County
COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 tests reported per day, with 14-day rolling average of positivity percentage (purple line).

Case Rates: Data published by San Diego County every Thursday shows coronavirus case rates in individual cities and ZIP codes. Click here to see the most updated numbers.

Cases, Deaths: San Diego County reported 899 new COVID-19 cases out of 12,8111 tests (7%). Seven new deaths were also reported, bringing the total to 952.

The county's coronavirus cases, positivity rate, health equity rate, and hospitalizations are all showing signs of increase, according to Supervisor Fletcher.

Community Outbreaks: Five new community outbreaks were confirmed, and there have been 36 confirmed over the last seven days.

Coronavirus is surging again and it’s something we need to immediately deal with. Right now, this pandemic is a runaway train that is barreling across our nation and across our state, and across our county and we need to slow it down

Supervisor Greg Cox

Nov. 18

At least four more businesses were served with cease-and-desist orders by the County of San Diego Wednesday for allegedly violating public health orders that prohibit many indoor operations, bringing the total served since Monday to at least 34.

As San Diegans gear up for the holiday season, the San Diego International Airport (SAN) is stepping up their health safety procedures but also wants to provide travelers some tips before they fly amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Cases, Deaths: San Diego County officials said 922 new cases were confirmed among San Diego County residents on Nov. 17. The region’s total is now 67,241. Twelve new deaths were reported in the County on Nov. 17. The region’s total is now 945.

Community Outbreaks: Seven new community outbreaks were confirmed on Nov. 17: one in an emergency services setting, one in a restaurant/bar setting, two in daycare settings, two in business settings and one in a grocery setting.

State Metrics: San Diego County’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate is currently 10.7 cases per 100,000 residents and the region is in Purple Tier or Tier 1.

Nov. 17
Cases, Deaths: San Diego County officials said 718 new cases were confirmed among San Diego County residents on Nov. 16. The region’s total is now 66,319. Seven new deaths were reported in the county on Nov. 16. The region’s total is now 933.

Community Outbreaks: Three new community outbreaks were confirmed on Nov. 16: one in a business setting, one in a restaurant setting and one in a TK-12 school setting.

State Metrics: San Diego County’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate is currently 10.7 cases per 100,000 residents and the region is in Purple Tier or Tier 1.

Nov. 16
County officials met on Monday to discuss the county's rising case numbers.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer, said that there were 833 new cases reported on Sunday, a decrease from the day before's all-time high, but still the second-largest single-day case count.

"We are in an emergency situation," Wooten said. COVID-19 is not going away, and we must act. We must act for our own health. We must act for the health of our family, our colleagues and our friends, act for the economy and just act and act now. This is urgent.

County Board of Supervisors' chairman Greg Cox announced that the county's compliance team had identified 17 locations over the weekend that were not acting within the county's purple tier designation. These locations were all issued cease-and-desist orders on Monday, Cox said, adding late that more information about the targeted organizations would be published that night on the county's webstie.

Nov. 15
San Diego County officials said 1,087 cases of coronavirus had been detected on Nov. 14 after administering 12,349 tests, a 9% positive rate.

Eight new outbreaks were reported in community settings on Saturday. There have been 45 in the last seven days. No new deaths were reported on Nov. 14.

Nov. 14
The mayor of Coronado is calling on the state of California to re-evaluate its reopening plan. Mayor Richard Bailey said restrictions associated with the purple tier aren’t targeting the root of the problem and are only hurting business owners and their employees.

San Diego County officials said 736 cases of coronavirus had been detected Friday after administering 19,799 tests, a 4% positive rate.

Two new outbreaks were reported in community settings on Friday. There have been 44 in the last seven days. Five new deaths were reported on Nov. 13.

Nov. 13
County officials had no good news to report on Friday after a week of increasingly concerning numbers.

On Saturday morning at 12 a.m., San Diego's steadily worsening metrics will force it to drop back into the red tier, a humbling development and a possible harbinger of even worse to come.

San Diego County officials said 611 cases of coronavirus had been detected Thursday after administering 14,663 tests, a 4% positive rate.

Four new outbreaks were reported in community settings on Thursday. There have been 48 in the last seven days, and 13 county residents have lost their lives during the last week -- three on Thursday -- a grim reminder of the possible second wave headed the county's way this winter.

Nov. 12
Case Rate by City, ZIP: San Diego County published a new dashboard showing coronavirus case rates in individual cities and ZIP codes. Case rates in some communities were as high as four times the limit for Purple Tier. The dashboard will be updated every Thursday.

What's Risky: NBC 7 looked at the county data to find out which settings are most linked to recent coronavirus cases.

San Diego Air & Space Museum Closes: The museum will close beginning Saturday in response to restrictions imposed by California now that the county is in Purple Tier.

Cases, Deaths: San Diego County reported 620 new cases out of 17,908 tests, a positivity rate of 3%. No new deaths were reported. The county's death total remains at 918.

Community Outbreaks: Seven new outbreaks were reported, bringing the county's total over the last seven days to 49.

Nov. 11
New Testing Site:
The county of San Diego has partnered with the district and the city of Vista to open a new free COVID-19 testing site in Vista

Aquarium Adjusts to Purple Tier: With San Diego County now being in the most restrictive tier, Birch Aquarium will cease its indoor operations and expand outdoor services with discounted ticket prices beginning Saturday

Cases, Deaths: 661 new cases were reported out of 13,754 tests, a positivity rate of 5%. Three new deaths were also reported, bring that total to 918. Over the last seven days, the county has averaged 12,600 tests per day.

Community Outbreaks: Sixteen new outbreaks were reported, bringing the county's total over the last seven days to 48.

Nov. 10 - County Shifts to Purple Tier
Case Rate
: San Diego County is facing new restrictions starting Saturday due to a rising number of COVID-19 cases that pushed the adjusted case rate to 8.9 -- well above the 7.0 threshold outlined by the state for the second week in a row.

Here's what's allowed and what isn't in San Diego County under the purple tier.

Under the purple tier, most indoor businesses will need to close or reduce capacity. Restaurants and wineries will not be able to operate indoors; retail will be limited to 25% capacity; bars. breweries and distilleries that do not serve food cannot open, live audience sports and amusement parks must be closed, places of worship, movie theaters, museums and gyms must operate outdoors only; and schools that were not already open for in-person instruction can no longer do so.

San Diego's positivity percentage was 2.6%. When adjusted for health equity, the rate was 6.5%

Cases, Deaths: 483 new cases reported Tuesday, pushing San Diego County's total case number past 61,000 for the first time (61,053). Seven more people died from COVID-19, a total of 915 since the outbreak began.

Testing: San Diego County has been conducting a seven-day average of tests above12,540. There were more than 9,000 tests reported Tuesday.

Community Outbreaks: There were 39 community outbreaks reported in the last seven days.

Other Updates: A student at El Camino Creek Elementary school in the Encinitas Union School District tested positive for coronavirus, forcing a cohort of students and staff into quarantine.

Nov. 9
Cases, Deaths: 401 new cases were confirmed among San Diego County residents on Nov. 8. The region’s total is now 60,570. No new deaths were reported in the County on Nov. 8. The region’s total is now 908.

Community Outbreaks: Three new community outbreaks were confirmed on Nov. 8: two in restaurant/bar settings and one in a business setting. In the past seven days (Nov. 2 through Nov. 8), 39 community outbreaks were confirmed.

Nov. 8
Cases, Deaths: County officials reported 513 new positive COVID-19 cases out of 10,017 tests, for a 5% positive rate. The region’s total is now 59,656. No new deaths were reported in the County on Nov. 7. The region’s total is still 908.

Community Outbreaks: Seven new community outbreaks were confirmed on Nov. 7. In the past seven days, 36 community outbreaks were confirmed.

Nov. 7
Cases, Deaths: County officials reported 540 new positive COVID-19 cases out of 13,508 tests, for a 4% positive rate. The region’s total is now 59,656. One new death was reported in the County on Nov. 6. The region’s total is now 908.

Community Outbreaks: Six new community outbreaks were confirmed on Nov. 6: two in restaurant settings, one in a restaurant/bar setting, one in a hair/barbershop/nail salon setting, and one in a business setting. In the past seven days, 33 community outbreaks were confirmed.

Nov. 6
Cases, Deaths: County officials reported 430 new positive COVID-19 cases out of 13,079 tests, for a 4% positive rate. The region’s total is now 59,116. Three new deaths were reported in the County on Nov. 5. The region’s total is now 907. Two men and one woman died. Their ages ranged from the early 70s to the early 90s. All had underlying medical conditions.

Community Outbreaks: Five new community outbreaks were confirmed on Nov. 5: two in restaurant settings, one in a restaurant/bar setting, one in a hair/barbershop/nail salon setting, and one in a business setting. In the past seven days, 27 community outbreaks were confirmed. The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days.

Nov. 5
Cases, Deaths: County officials reported 530 new positive COVID-19 cases out of 15,905 tests, a 3% positive rate. The region’s total is now 58,636. No new deaths were reported, keeping the region's total at 904.

Community Outbreaks: Six new community outbreaks were confirmed on Nov. 4: three in business settings, two in retail settings, and one in a faith-based setting. In the past seven days, 23 community outbreaks were confirmed. The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days.

Nov. 4
The California Department of Public Health reported Wednesday that San Diego County's COVID-19 case rate rose to 7.4 per 100,000 residents pushing the county closer to the most restrictive purple tier.

The county's updated case reported rate last week is outside the 4.0 to 7.0 range of the red tier and qualified it for the purple tier, or tier 1. While it could mean a rollback of business reopening's for the region, we won't know for certain for another week.

Two new testing sites will open next week, one at the Lemon Grove Community Center and another at the Imperial Beach Sports Park Recreation Center.

Cases, Deaths: County officials reported 404 new positive COVID-19 cases out of 15,345 tests, a 3% positive rate. The region’s total is now 58,106. Three new deaths were reported, raising the region total to 904.

Community Outbreaks: Seven community outbreaks were confirmed on Nov. 3: two in a business setting, three in a restaurant/bar setting, one in a grocery setting, and one in a healthcare setting.  In the past seven days, 25 community outbreaks have been reported.

Nov. 3
Cases, Deaths: County officials reported 293 new positive COVID-19 cases. The region’s total is now 57,702. Ten new deaths were reported, raising the region total to 901.

Community Outbreaks: Five new community outbreaks were confirmed on Nov. 2: two in business settings, two in restaurant/bar settings and one in a healthcare setting. In the past seven days (Oct. 27 through Nov. 2), 31 community outbreaks were confirmed.

Testing: 8,200 tests were reported to the county on Nov. 2, and the percentage of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 4%.

Nov. 2
Cases, Deaths: County health officials reported 307 new positive COVID-19 cases out of a batch of 10,248 tests for a 3% positive rate. The region’s total is now 57,409. No new deaths were reported keeping the total at 891.

Community Outbreaks: No new outbreaks were reported. In the past seven days, 28 community outbreaks were confirmed.

Nov. 1
Cases, Deaths: County health officials reported 352 new positive COVID-19 cases out of a batch of 9,490 tests for a 4% positive rate. The region’s total is now 57,102. No new deaths were reported keeping the total at 891.

Community Outbreaks: Four new outbreaks were confirmed on Oct. 31. In the past seven days, 29 community outbreaks were confirmed.


The Coronavirus Pandemic in San Diego County, Month by Month

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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