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Coronavirus in San Diego and California: Sept. 20 – 22 (afternoon), 2020

This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Sept. 20 – 22 (afternoon), 2020

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif — Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in San Diego and California from Sept. 20 – 22 (afternoon), 2020.  Click here for real-time updates for Sept. 22, 2020 and on.   

Key COVID-19 facts in San Diego and California:

Sept. 22

San Diego County to remain in state’s red tier, narrowly dodges restrictive purple tier

San Diego County was awaiting the state’s data Tuesday on whether San Diego County would slip into the purple tier of the state’s coronavirus reopening roadmap. However, based on state data, which is updated each Tuesday, San Diego County will remain in the red tier until at least Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Click here for the full story.

Local group to announce petition to help safely reopen California

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond and Orange County Supervisor Donald Wagner along with a group of local business owners held a briefing on Tuesday. During the briefing, the group, OpenCalNow, presented a petition that will call for the reopening of California. OpenCalNow consists of elected officials, leaders, and businesses working on behalf of the public to safely reopen California.

Desmond said, “I am going to fight to continue to keep businesses open safely in San Diego County. We can fight the virus and be open for business!”

To read the full story, click here.

Sept. 21

San Diego County supervisors to provide update on coronavirus tiers Tuesday, no decision made on legal action against state

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors said it will meet again Tuesday to provide an update to the public. The announcement came after their second special closed session in less than a week ended Monday with no decision being made on taking legal action against the state. 

Supervisors met last Thursday and again on Monday to discuss legal options regarding the states reopening criteria and its effect on businesses and schools. The meetings came as the county faced the possibility of sliding into the most restrictive purple tier which may happen Tuesday.

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County reports 348 new COVID-19 cases, waits for state guidance

San Diego County public health officials reported 348 new COVID-19 infections and no new deaths Monday, raising the region’s total cases to 44,925 with the death toll remaining at 760.

The county awaits data from the state Tuesday which could potentially place San Diego in the “purple tier,” the state’s most restrictive. 

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors met in closed session Monday to discuss potential action should the state data indicate the county will be placed in the purple tier, including legal action.

Read the full story here. 

Some San Diego small business owners say they’ll remain open regardless of what state says

Small business owners in different industries say they are determined to remain open no matter what. 

Governor Gavin Newsom could announce on Tuesday that San Diego County must move into the state’s most restrictive tier, the purple tier, which would mean many businesses would need to close down indoor operations. The tiers are part of California’s COVID-19 “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” which rates counties based on coronavirus risk level. 

Click here for the full story.

Gov. Newsom gives an update on California wildfires and pandemic

California’s case positivity is the lowest it has been in months. On the other hand, more than 15,000 Californians have died of COVID-19 so far. The state is hoping to improve the elementary school waiver process so more young cohorts of students can return to in-person instruction. Additionally, the EDD is undergoing a two-week pause in an effort to work with the state’s technology department and improve the unemployment claim process for Californians, which has faced criticism for its backlog over the last several months.  In terms of wildfires, the news continues to be grim. So far, more than 3.6 million acres have burned in California so far in 2020, which is 23 times the amount of acreage that burned for all of 2019. Lastly, Gov. Newsom debuted a new PSA with Oscar from Sesame Street, which stressed the importance of wearing face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

You can watch the governor’s entire address here.

Education task force releases report highlighting COVID-19 inequities in school

An education task force released a report Monday highlighting the urgency for every San Diego County student to have equitable access to learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For distance learning to be equitable, teachers must have training, parents and caregivers must have resources and students have supportive learning environments, according to the Equitable Distance Learning Taskforce — a countywide group of school districts, education experts, nonprofit organizations and community leaders.

Click here for the full story.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, medical experts encourage San Diegans to battle COVID-19

Medical professionals, scientists, community leaders and County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher held a media conference Monday to address the battle against COVID-19. Fletcher said now is the time to battle COVID-19, not each other. 

“The reopening of businesses should not be pitted against keeping our residents safe. The most immediate threat to the viability of our businesses, our kid’s education, our people and our way of life as San Diegans is this deadly virus. If we allow the virus to become stronger, more powerful, then we all lose. COVID is the enemy. San Diegans need to be safe, be strong and beat COVID,” Fletcher said.

Click here for the full story.

Sept. 20 

Businesses concerned over restrictions if San Diego County moves into Purple Tier

The county could move into the most restrictive tier this week that’s why San Diego County Board of Supervisors are holding a closed-door session Monday to discuss possible legal action against the state and other alternatives.

Gyms are among the businesses that may have to close again. That’s why Fit business owner Scott Lutwak, along with others, plan to rally in front of the county administration building Monday urging county lawmakers to take action. 

Click here for the full story.

San Diego County reports 284 new COVID-19 as it considers lawsuit against state

San Diego County health officials reported 284 new COVID-19 infections and no new deaths Sunday, raising the region’s totals to 44,577 cases with the death toll remaining at 760.

Click here for the full story.

California coronavirus death toll passes 15,000 mark

California’s death count from the coronavirus surpassed 15,000 on Sunday even as the state saw widespread improvement in infection levels.

A tally by Johns Hopkins University put California’s death toll at 15,026, the fourth highest in the country. New York has suffered by far the most deaths — 33,081 — followed New Jersey, which has about half as many. Texas is third.

Click here for the full story.

View all News 8 coverage of coronavirus / COVID-19

News 8 has joined forces with The San Diego Foundation to raise immediate, emergency funds for our most vulnerable neighbors in need. 
Here is how you can help. 


On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, “CO” stands for “corona,” “VI” for “virus,” and “D” for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.

Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, as with any other respiratory illness: 

Know how it spreads: 

  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
    • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
    • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Protect yourself and others

Wash your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • It’s especially important to wash:
    • Before eating or preparing food
    • Before touching your face
    • After using the restroom
    • After leaving a public place
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After handling your cloth face covering
    • After changing a diaper
    • After caring for someone sick
    • After touching animals or pets
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact 

  • Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
  • Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.

Monitor your health daily

  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
    • Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

The California Department of Public Health has issued guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. 

As of April 4, 2020, all employees in San Diego County who may have contact with the public in any grocery store, pharmacy/drug store, restaurant or food establishments, convenience store or gas station are required to wear a cloth face covering while at work as an additional measure to help “flatten the curve” in the San Diego region.

Violations can be reported online.

As of May 1, San Diego County requires everyone in the county to wear face coverings in many public settings. The coverings help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are part of our path to reopening San Diego. See full health order here.

While officials say these face coverings are not a substitute for practices like social distancing and handwashing, there is evidence to suggest that the use of cloth face coverings by the public during a pandemic could help reduce disease transmission. Officials do not recommend the public use N-95 or surgical masks which are needed by health care workers and first responders.