Live Blog: San Diego County Reports 321 New COVID-19 Cases – KPBS

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Petco Park Vaccine Site To Re-Open Tuesday

– 6:12 p.m., Monday Feb. 22, 2021

The Petco Park COVID-19 vaccine super station will reopen Tuesday following a five-day closure owing to delayed vaccine shipments.

The Petco Park site — San Diego County’s largest COVID-19 vaccination site — has been closed since Thursday as inclement weather has made shipment from the Midwest and East Coast difficult. It only uses the Moderna vaccine, while other sites use Pfizer or both.

Appointments for second doses Friday through Monday were canceled and will be automatically rescheduled, UC San Diego Health officials said. People who had appointments should check the MyUCSDChart website for updates.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised that people can wait up to 42 days between doses and still achieve maximum immunity.

If a person received a first dose of Pfizer or Moderna, they cannot switch and get the second dose of the other company’s vaccine and still achieve effective immunity.

San Diego County public health officials reported 321 new infections Monday, increasing the county’s total to 257,351 since the pandemic began. The death toll decreased by one to 3,189 due to a reporting error.

It was the 11th consecutive day with fewer than 1,000 new cases. The 321 infections are the fewest reported since early November. – City News Service

Limited COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments Available At Del Mar Fairgrounds

– 11:00 a.m., Monday Feb. 22, 2021

While the San Diego County COVID-19 Petco Park vaccine super station remains closed due to delayed vaccine shipments, limited appointments are available at the Del Mar Fairgrounds vaccination site.

Scripps Health announced Monday there are about 2,100 available appointments available over the next three days.

– Approximately 600 appointments are available for Monday, Feb. 22.

– Approximately 1,200 appointments are available for Tuesday, Feb. 23.

– Approximately 350 appointments are available for Wednesday, Feb. 24.

These drive-through vaccinations using the Pfizer vaccine are available by appointment only.

Visit myturn.ca.gov to schedule an appointment.

Currently, all county COVID-19 vaccination points of dispensing and the North County Super Station in San Marcos are only offering appointments for second doses.

Appointments for first doses at these sites are being rescheduled into next week.

The Sharp HealthCare vaccination super station sites at Chula Vista Center and Grossmont Center are still offering first and second dose appointments with Pfizer vaccine.

The massive winter storm gripping much of the nation has slowed supply lines for the vaccines. Moderna produces the bulk of its vaccines in Massachusetts, while Pfizer makes its in Michigan. Sub-freezing temperatures across much of the United States have delayed shipments of the vials around the country. – – KPBS Staff

517 New COVID-19 Cases And Two Additional Deaths Reported

– 4:43 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021

San Diego County reported 517 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths as UC San Diego Health officials said the Petco Park COVID-19 vaccine super station will be closed Monday because of delayed vaccine shipments.

Appointments for second doses on Feb. 19-22 were canceled and will be automatically rescheduled, the hospital said. People who had appointments should check the MyUCSDChart website for updates.

Sunday’s data increased the number of COVID-19 infections to 257,030 since the pandemic began, while the death toll increased to 3,190.

It was also the 10th consecutive day with cases below 1,000.

Of 18,194 tests reported Saturday, 4% returned positive.

Three community outbreaks were reported Saturday, with 26 reported in the past week and 102 cases associated with those outbreaks.

As of Friday, of the 779,000 vaccine doses the county has received, 705,985 have been administered, more than 5,000 are awaiting processing and 67,000 are yet to be administered. A total of 18.5% of San Diego County’s population over the age of 16 have received at least one dose and 6.4% are fully inoculated.

San Diego County Reports 711 new cases of COVID-19, 19 Deaths

– 5:36 p.m., Saturday Feb. 20, 2021

San Diego County Saturday reported 711 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 additional deaths as UC San Diego Health officials announced that the Petco Park COVID-19 vaccine super station will be closed Sunday and Monday because of delayed vaccine shipments.

Saturday’s data increased the number of COVID-19 infections to 256,513 since the pandemic began, while the death toll increased to 3,188.

It was also the ninth consecutive day with cases below 1,000 and the 12th straight day to fall beneath that metric.

Of 18,194 tests reported Saturday, 4% returned positive.

Three community outbreaks were reported Saturday, with 26 reported in the past week and 102 cases associated with those outbreaks. –KPBS Staff

Petco Park COVID-19 Vaccine Super Station Closed Through Monday

– 1:53 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021

The Petco Park COVID-19 vaccine super station, which was scheduled to open Sunday, will instead be closed Sunday and Monday because of delayed vaccine shipments, UC San Diego Health officials said today.

Appointments for second doses on Feb. 19-22 were temporarily canceled and will be automatically be rescheduled, the hospital said. People who had appointments should check the MyUCSDChart website for updates.

The federal government announced it would attempt to get all delayed COVID-19 vaccines to their designated locations by the end of next week, and San Diego County public health officials said they were ready to administer those doses as soon as they arrive.

“We have the mechanism in place to be able to administer all the doses we get in San Diego County,” Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said Friday. “In the meantime, we’re asking San Diegans to be patient. As the delayed doses arrive, we will administer them to everyone who has an appointment and release new time slots.”

The county’s Health and Human Services Agency said residents who were scheduled for their second dose of the vaccine will also be rescheduled. – City News Service

San Diego Judge Allows Youth Sports To Resume In San Diego County

– 6:00 p.m., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021

A judge today cleared the way for youth sporting activities including football and basketball to resume in San Diego County, hours after the state revised its guidelines to allow the activities in counties with relatively low rates of new COVID-19 cases.

The state’s new standard allows for a resumption of “outdoor high- contact sports” in counties that reach an adjusted daily average of 14 new cases per 100,000 residents. San Diego County currently has a rate of 22.2 cases per 100,000 residents.

However, through a lawsuit recently filed by two San Diego-area high school athletes, a judge on Friday granted a temporary restraining order allowing high school and youth sports to resume in San Diego County “as long as the(y) follow the same or similar COVID-19 protocols imposed for competition in professional and/or collegiate sports within the county.”

San Diego Superior Court Judge Earl H. Maas III, who heard arguments Friday afternoon from attorneys representing the state, county and the two student athletes, agreed with the plaintiffs in his written ruling that young athletes were not at greater risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19 than their professional or collegiate counterparts. – City News Service

Appointments Available At Chula Vista, Grossmont Vaccination Sites

– 12:48 p.m., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021

While Petco Park and Balboa Park vaccination sites have temporarily closed due to shipment delays of COVID-19vaccines, Chula Vista and Grossmont’s sites have walk-in appointments available.

According to Sharp HealthCare officials, 200 walk-in appointments are available at Chula Vista’s Vaccination Super Station Friday. Six thousand appointment slots are open at Chula Vista and Grossmont Center’s vaccination site Saturday and Sunday combined.

Those wishing to make an appointment can visit San Diego County’s website for more information. – KPBS Staff

County Reschedules Vaccine Appointments As 810 Cases, 36 Deaths Reported

– 7:17 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021

San Diego County rescheduled hundreds of COVID-19 vaccine appointments due to weather-related shortages Thursday as public health officials reported 810 new viral infections and 36 deaths.

The massive winter storm gripping much of the nation has frozen supply lines for the vaccines, prompting county officials to reschedule approximately 1,000 first-dose appointments at its sites on Thursday and Friday. Those affected are being notified they will be rescheduled for next week, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency.

Moderna produces the bulk of its vaccines in Massachusetts, while Pfizer makes its in Michigan. Sub-freezing temperatures across much of the United States have delayed shipments of the vials around the country.

As of Thursday, of the 765,500 vaccine doses the county has received, 684,278 have been administered, more than 4,000 are awaiting processing and 77,000 are yet to be administered. Nearly 18% of San Diego County’s population over the age of 16 have received at least one dose and 5.5% are fully inoculated.

The county has five vaccine super stations and 15 smaller neighborhood distribution sites. Despite the supply chain problems, Fletcher said the county has allocated its vaccines efficiently enough that he believes teachers, food and agriculture workers and law enforcement officers will be able to begin receiving vaccines by as soon as the first week of March. – City News Service

Petco Park Super Station Closing Temporarily Due To Supply Issues

– 3:14 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021

San Diego County will shut down the Petco Park vaccination site Friday through at least Saturday due to supply chain issues with delivering COVID-19 vaccines, county spokesperson Mike Workman confirmed.

The delays could also be extended through Sunday and Monday, depending on vaccine arrival.

In North County, all PODs and supersites at San Marcos are offering second doses only.

RELATED: Tracking Vaccines In San Diego County

Palomar Health’s COVID-19 vaccination site will be closed Friday, but open on Saturday. Appointments can be rescheduled through MyTurn. It’ll be closed Sunday and Monday as per usual.

“Sharp Chula Vista and Grossmont are not doing any Moderna vaccine and still doing first and second dose Pfizer,” said Sarah Sweeney, San Diego Health & Human Services Agency spokesperson, in a written statement.

Weather-related delays of vaccine shipments has also forced the closure of vaccination sites in Orange County and postponed vaccination appointments in Los Angeles County. – KPBS Staff, City News Service

COVID-19 Vaccine Shipments Delayed Again Due To Bad Weather

– 3:26 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021

Bad weather around the U.S. has caused delays for some COVID-19 shipments that were expected to arrive this week in San Diego County.

“We have received word that several shipments that were scheduled to arrive this week will not be arriving due to weather,” Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said during a Wednesday press conference.

WATCH LIVE: San Diego County Health Officials Provide An Update On COVID-19

Nevertheless, the vaccination super station at Petco Park reopened Wednesday morning after being closed due to a delayed Moderna vaccine shipment. But, Fletcher said starting Thursday, the county will pause ongoing vaccination at some locations.

The supply chain issues should resolve themselves over the next week to 10 days, Fletcher said. – KPBS Staff

San Diego Reports 568 New COVID-19 Cases

– 7:50 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021

Public health officials had reported 568 new COVID-19 infections and 28 deaths on Sunday.

Of the 13,700 tests Sunday, 4% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 5.8%.

The total number of cases was reported to be 252,250 on Sunday, and the total virus-related death toll rose to 3,037.

Eight community outbreaks were reported Sunday, bringing the total over the past week to 62. There were 255 cases associated with the recent outbreaks.

Hospitalizations were up 27 and patients moved to an ICU unit were up four. – City News Service

Sailors Aboard USS Roosevelt Test Positive For COVID-19 While Deployed

– 6:22 p.m., Monday, Feb. 15, 2021

Three sailors aboard the San Diego-based USS Roosevelt tested positive for COVID-19 a month into the ship’s deployment in the South China Sea, according to a statement released Monday by the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet.

The trio of sailors, who tested positive on Sunday, have not experienced any symptoms, Navy officials said. Those sailors and others closest to them have been isolated in accordance with Navy and CDC guidance.

The Theodore Roosevelt and Nimitz Carrier Strike Groups are conducting dual carrier operations in a multi-month deployment, according to the Navy’s website.

A Navy spokesman in San Diego did not have information on whether servicemembers on the Theodore Roosevelt have been vaccinated. – City News Service

Petco Park Vaccination Super Station Will Reopen Wednesday

– 6:08 p.m., Monday, Feb. 15, 2021

UC San Diego officials said the super station at Petco Park will be operational again on Wednesday after a missed Moderna vaccine shipment temporarily shut down the site. The location is operated by UC San Diego Health with support from the county and is usually very busy — delivering 5,000 vaccinations daily.

On Friday, county officials announced the site would be closed for a few days due to lack of supplies, but that shipment is still expected to arrive on Tuesday.

Even though the downtown site is closed, the county’s other super stations and smaller sites are still taking vaccination appointments. That includes the CSU San Marcos location and the new drive-thru site that just opened last week at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Monday afternoon the fairgrounds site had first-dose appointments open for majority of this week. – Matt Hoffman, KPBS General Assignment Reporter

San Diego County Reports 568 COVID-19 Cases, 28 Deaths As Vaccine Shortage Hits

– 5:49 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021

Public health officials have reported 568 new COVID- 19 infections and 28 deaths as San Diego County faces a vaccine shortage because of a delayed Moderna shipment.

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported 13,700 tests Sunday. The 14-day rolling average of positive tests was 4%.

The total number of cases was reported to be 252,250 on Sunday and the death toll rose to 3,037.

Eight community outbreaks were reported Sunday, bringing the total over the past week to 62. There were 255 cases associated with the recent outbreaks.

Hospitalizations were up 27 and patients moved to an ICU unit were up four.

The delayed vaccine shipment, now expected on Tuesday, forced some vaccination sites to dramatically slow the pace of inoculations or reschedule appointments altogether.

San Diego County coronavirus inoculation sites have received 703,200 doses of vaccine and administered 597,945 doses, according to the HHSA.

A total of 16.44% of San Diego County residents age 16 and over have received at least one of the two shots required to develop antibody protection against the virus. Around 4.02% of the population over the age of 16 is fully vaccinated.

San Diego County Reports 891 COVID-19 Cases, 30 Deaths As Vaccine Shortage Hits

– 6:13 p.m., Sat. Feb. 13, 2021

San Diego County is facing a vaccine shortage because of a delayed Moderna shipment, as public health officials reported 891 new COVID-19 infections and 30 deaths.

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported 18,223 tests Saturday. The 14-day rolling average of positive tests declined from 6.4% Thursday to 6.3% Friday and rose to 6.7% Saturday.

The total number of cases was reported to be 251,682 on Saturday and the death toll rose to 3,009.

Seven community outbreaks were reported Saturday, bringing the total over the past week to 64. There were 267 cases associated with the recent outbreaks.

Hospitalizations were up 72 and patients moved to an ICU unit declined by one.

The delayed vaccine shipment, expected Tuesday, forced some vaccination sites to dramatically slow the pace of inoculations or reschedule appointments altogether.

The interruption will affect the region’s largest vaccination site, the UC San Diego Health Petco Park Super Station, with no vaccinations taking place on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Petco appointments will be automatically rescheduled through UCSD MyChart.

The Chula Vista and La Mesa super stations have supplies sufficient to get through Monday. The county’s distribution sites and super station in San Marcos have sufficient supplies to meet second-dose appointments, along with a limited supply of first doses, county officials said. – City News Service

San Diego County Reports 817 COVID-19 Cases, 24 Deaths As Vaccine Shortage Hits

– 6:11 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12, 2021

San Diego County is facing a vaccine shortage owning to a delayed Moderna shipment, as public health officials reported 817 new COVID-19 infections and 24 deaths Friday.

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported 20,533 tests Friday, 4% of which returned positive. The 14-day rolling average of positive tests declined from 6.4% Thursday to 6.3% Friday.

A milestone in case numbers was crossed Friday, as the county’s cumulative cases crossed the quarter-million mark to 250,791. The death toll rose to 2,979.

The delayed vaccine shipment, expected Tuesday, forced some vaccination sites to dramatically slow the pace of inoculations or reschedule appointments altogether.

The interruption will affect the region’s largest vaccination site, the UC San Diego Health Petco Park Super Station, with no vaccinations taking place on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Petco appointments will be automatically rescheduled through UCSD MyChart. – City News Service

California Releases Interactive Map Of School Reopenings

– 2:19 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12, 2021

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday the release of an interactive map showing the status of school reopenings across California. The map can provide data to school officials to help them make reopening decisions, said a release from the governor’s office.

The “Safe Schools Reopening Map” shows which districts have in-person instruction, which are remote learning only and those that employ a hybrid model. It will show data from not only school districts, but charter and private schools.

“As COVID-19 conditions continue to improve and vaccinations ramp up throughout the state, this map will provide local communities with accessible, up-to-date information on how districts in their communities and beyond are adapting to the pandemic, including safety planning and implementation,” said Governor Newsom.

The California Department of Public Health will be adding other data points to the map such as outbreaks reported. Schools are supposed to input data every two weeks, to provide up-to-date information. Additional data — like student enrollment — is to be collected and displayed, subject to legislative approval. – Lara McCaffrey, KPBS web producer

California Adds 4-6 Million People To COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility List

– 2:43 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12, 2021

California is expanding the list of people eligible for coronavirus vaccine by another 4 to 6 million people.

State Health Director Dr. Mark Ghaly said Friday that starting March 15 severely disabled people and those with health conditions that put them at high risk can get in line for shots.

Among those included are people with certain cancer, heart, lung and kidney conditions, as well as pregnant women, those with Down syndrome, organ transplant recipients and the severely obese.

California has been plagued by vaccine shortages and Ghaly acknowledged he’s not sure how long it will take for the federal supply of shots to meet demand. – Associated Press

Delayed Shipment Causes COVID-19 Vaccine Shortage In San Diego County

– 12:58 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12, 2021

The County of San Diego announced a shortage of COVID-19 vaccine Friday caused by the delayed arrival of an expected Moderna shipment. The shipment is expected now on Tuesday.

Due to the delayed arrival, vaccination sites in the county will slow operations and even reschedule appointments. However, second doses will remain priority.

The following sites will be affected: UC San Diego Health Petco Park Super Station, with no vaccinations taking place on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Petco appointments will be automatically rescheduled through UCSD MyChart.

The South County Super Station has supplies sufficient to get it through Monday as does the East County Super Station.

The County PODs and North County Super Station in San Marcos have sufficient supplies to meet second dose appointments along with a limited supply of first doses.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has advised that people can wait up to 42 days between doses and still achieve maximum immunity. – KPBS Staff

USD Implements ’Stay-On-Campus’ Order Due To COVID-19 Surge

– 11:42 a.m., Friday, Feb. 12, 2021

University of San Diego (USD) officials issued a “stay-on-campus” order Friday due to the surging COVID-19 cases at the school.

USD President James T. Harris III released a video on Twitter announcing temporary directives for students living on-campus. These include:

-All on-campus resident students must stay on campus and are not permitted off-campus for non-essential reasons.

-All co-curricular student organizations and activities may function only in a virtual or remote setting

Harris asked students living off-campus to shelter-in-place to “the greatest extent possible.”

“It’s clear from our tracing efforts that parties and other social gatherings off-campus are occurring. These events, coupled with the disregard by some for our health and safety measures both on and off-campus, are the primary reason for the recent surge in cases” Harris said.

Students are encouraged to enjoy the outdoors while taking “appropriate precautions” — wearing face coverings, staying six-feet apart from others and hand washing. – Lara McCaffrey, KPBS web producer

San Diego County Reports 1,113 COVID-19 Cases, 51 Deaths

– 10:15 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 1,113 new COVID-19 infections and 51 fatalities Thursday, breaking a three-day streak of fewer than 1,000 new cases and bringing the number of cases since the start of the pandemic to just shy of 250,000 and the death toll to 2,955.

Of 21,356 tests reported Thursday by the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, 5% returned positive, continuing a slow decrease in the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to below 6.5%, the lowest yet this year.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher noted the increase in new case numbers and deaths but said numbers overall were still trending favorably.

In the last two days, 102 people have died of the virus in the county, 83 of whom were senior citizens, according to the HHSA. Fletcher asked people to be cautious and be aware the virus still remains deadly.

Hospitalizations continued to decline, dropping to 945 from 992 on Wednesday. The number of intensive care patients decreased by 12 to 306, and the HHSA said there were 46 available staffed ICU beds in the county as of Thursday. – City News Service

UCSD, County Begins COVID-19 Testing Program For Schools And Childcare Centers

– 10:15 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021

In an effort to help schools reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks as they resume in-person instruction, UC San Diego and San Diego County are testing a program to detect the virus which causes COVID-19 at schools and child care centers, it was announced Thursday.

Modeled after UCSD’s Return to Learn — an approach to safely resume teaching, learning and research at a university — Safer at School Early Alert system is scaled for individual schools and child care centers without the resources available at a research university.

Through daily wastewater and surface monitoring, the alert system tests for the presence of particles of SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19-causing coronavirus. Combined with a responsive testing strategy, the aim is to quickly identify children or staff members who are infected with COVID-19 before an outbreak occurs.

Ten San Diego County-area TK-8 schools and two child care centers are participating in this SARS-CoV-2 early detection program, funded by the county and designed by UCSD.

When Vista Grande Elementary School began offering a hybrid-teaching model with 50% in-person classroom capacity, it instituted daily symptom screening, social distancing and requiring masks be worn by all students and staff. – City News Service

2 Cases Of South African Virus Variant Found In California

– 6:25 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021

The first cases of the South African strain of the coronavirus were reported Wednesday in California, a worrisome development that comes as the state’s COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations plummet but its vaccination rollout continues to draw criticism.

The cases were found in Alameda and Santa Clara counties, both in the San Francisco Bay Area. In total, the state has less than 1,500 identified cases of different variants, Newsom said. Alameda County officials offered few details on their individual, saying they had just started their investigation, while Santa Clara County’s health officer said the individual had an extensive international traveling history and quarantined as mandated after returning home.

Scientists and health officials fear the variants could be more contagious, less responsive to treatments and more likely to re-infect people who already had the virus. The South African variant was first identified in the United States late last month in South Carolina. – Associated Press

San Diego County Reports 810 COVID-19 Cases, 51 Deaths

– 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 810 new COVID-19 cases and 51 deaths Wednesday as the county announced plans for a new vaccination super station at the Del Mar Fairgrounds to open Friday.

The percentage of positive tests and hospitalizations continued to decline Wednesday, good indicators the pandemic may finally be on the wane, despite the heavy death toll.

Of 19,461 tests reported by the county’s Health and Human Services Agency on Wednesday, 4% returned positive, dropping the 14-day rolling average of positive tests from 6.8% last week to 6.5%, the lowest yet in 2021.

Hospitalizations from the virus dropped below 1,000 for the first time this year, declining by 29 patients from Tuesday to 992. Intensive care patients rose by one overnight to 318 but remain generally on the decline. There were 43 available, staffed ICU beds in the county as of Wednesday. – City News Service

Companies To Test COVID-19 Safety Concepts At San Diego International Airport

– 8:02 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021

San Diego International Airport has invited six companies to test health and safety concepts aimed at improving traveler protection amid the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said Wednesday.

The companies in the accelerator program at the airport’s Innovation Lab will take part through the summer. The effort will include online workshops, sessions with Airport Authority experts and potentially live testing in the airport as health and safety restrictions permit.

The program will focus on airport health and safety, particularly mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

“COVID forced airports around the world to re-evaluate health and safety protocols to mitigate spreading the virus,” said Rick Belliotti, airport director of Customer Experience & Innovation. “We recruited companies that offer viable solutions to reducing passenger contact with high-touch points and effectively managing social distancing. This is an exceptional batch of innovators and we are already extremely impressed with their ideas that have the potential to shape the future airport customer experience.” – City News Service

Supervisors Vote Down Proposal To Prioritize Law Enforcement For COVID-19 Vaccine

– 6:41 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021

A divided Board of Supervisors Tuesday rejected a proposal to immediately administer COVID-19 vaccinations to all law enforcement personnel, with dissenters citing the limited availability of vaccine doses and the need to finish inoculating health care workers and seniors.

Supervisor Joel Anderson made the proposal, saying it was important to prioritize those in uniform, who are risk every day while out in the field. A law enforcement officer who contracts COVID-19 may not die, but if they’re not on duty, it hurts overall public safety and could put residents’ lives at risk, Anderson argued.

“I’m not saying what’s best for every district, (but) we’d like to move law enforcement up,” he said, adding that counties such as Monterey, Riverside and Sacramento have made law enforcement vaccinations a priority.

Paramedics, emergency medical technicians and others providing emergency medical services are currently eligible for vaccines, according to the county. However, law enforcement officers are not included in that group. – City News Service

San Diego County Reports 789 COVID-19 Cases, 32 Deaths

– 5:31 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021

an Diego County public health officials reported 789 new COVID-19 cases and 32 deaths Tuesday as hospitalizations and intensive care patient numbers continue to decline.

Of 12,370 tests reported by the county Tuesday, 6% returned positive, dropping the 14-day rolling average of positive tests from 7% Monday to 6.8% Tuesday, the lowest in 2021.

The new infections followed Monday’s numbers — the fewest reported in a single day since Nov. 13, when 611 were reported by the county’s Health and Human Services Agency.

Tuesday’s numbers raise the total number of coronavirus infections in the county throughout the pandemic to 248,051, while the death toll increased to 2,853. – City News Service

San Diego County Gets $52M In State Funds For Rental Assistance

– 4:56 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021

The county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to provide $52 million in state funds for rental assistance to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds will be available to county residents outside the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista, both of which have separate funding assistance.

Emergency rental assistance funds “will bring needed financial relief to families who are still having a hard time making ends meet as we work our way back from the devastating effects of this pandemic,” said board Chairman Nathan Fletcher, who is also a member of the county’s COVID-19 subcommittee.

Fletcher also praised the Biden administration and Gov. Gavin Newsom “in recognizing there are still struggling families that continue to need our support.” The funding comes from the recently adopted Senate Bill 91.

Supervisors had three options on how to handle fund distribution, and chose one that gives the county more say on allocating the money. – City News Service

Supervisors OK More Small Business Aid, Pending State, Federal Dollars

– 3:14 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously voted to provide $30 million in grants to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as soon as federal or state stimulus dollars are available.

County staff will develop the grant program, and each supervisor’s office will choose the recipients.

Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, who made the proposal along with colleague Joel Anderson, said it was important to support small businesses, who were “asked to sacrifice their livelihoods for the greater good” once the pandemic began.

The county’s many mom-and-pop stores “are (the) backbone of our local communities,” she added. “This is the right thing to do.”

To be eligible, small businesses must employee fewer than 20 people, and comply with state and local public health guidelines. – City News Service

San Diego Announces Loans To Help Businesses Adapt To COVID-19 Restrictions

– 2:07 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021

San Diego announced a business loan program Tuesday aimed at helping owners adapt to changing restrictions and protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 3% interest loans ranging from $25,000 to $95,000 are for qualified businesses as part of the CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund. The money can be used to cover expenses such as furniture, safety equipment, website development and digital marketing.

“With the pandemic, it’s our goal as a city to do everything we can to help small businesses survive,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “We hope by lending financial assistance, we can help these businesses with a much-needed lifeline during this time of uncertainty.”

The city’s Economic Development Department is issuing the loans with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.

The non-forgivable, term loans are intended to help entrepreneurs adapt their business models to operating under pandemic restrictions while retaining or creating jobs. The city may only make RLF loans that are reasonably expected to be repaid in full. – City News Service

San Diego County Reports 698 COVID-19 Cases, Fewest Since Nov. 13

– 7:07 p.m., Monday, Feb. 8, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 698 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths as UC San Diego Health opened a vaccination super station on its campus Monday.

The new infections are the fewest reported in a single day since Nov. 13, when 611 were reported. Monday’s data raises the aggregate coronavirus infections in the county to 247,262, while the death toll remains at 2,821.

Monday’s low numbers do come with some caveats, however. Mondays have tended to be the lowest-reporting day of the week, and just 10,523 tests were reported Monday, 7% of which were positive for the virus. The 14-day rolling average of positive tests declined over the weekend from 7.7% to 7% on Monday. The county averages 18,475 daily tests, according to data provided by the county’s Health and Human Services Agency. – City News Service

Report Concludes Leadership Failures Led to USS Theodore Roosevelt Outbreak

– 7:05 p.m., Monday, Feb. 8, 2021

Ineffective social distancing and the premature release of sailors from quarantine were the primary causes of increased COVID- 19 infection aboard the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, according to a report released Monday by the Department of Defense.

The findings were featured in a report evaluating the Navy’s response to COVID-19 infections on board warships and submarines, and included pointed criticisms of the Roosevelt’s leadership team’s decisions.

The first Roosevelt sailors tested positive last March 24. The ship’s outbreak ultimately resulted in more than 1,200 sailors testing positive for the virus, one of whom died.

According to the report from the DOD’s Office of Inspector General, “the USS Theodore Roosevelt leadership did not effectively implement mitigation measures for the majority of the crew,” including by allowing social gathering areas to remain open and releasing sailors from shipboard quarantine due to the belief that infection was increasing amid crowded conditions onboard.

The report says the ship’s leaders believed “social distancing would be impossible onboard an aircraft carrier” and thus allowed social gathering areas like gyms to remain open. The report also states that urinalysis screenings for illegal substances continued, though “the leadership team should have considered (the screenings) non-essential during the COVID-19 outbreak.” – City News Service

Gov. Newsom Visits San Diego’s Vaccination Super Station At Petco Park

– 3:16 p.m., Monday, Feb. 8, 2021

Gov. Gavin Newsom toured the Vaccination Super Station at Petco Park Monday and congratulated San Diego on its work administering doses at the state’s first-of-its-kind mass vaccination site, nearly one month after it opened.

The governor held his daily COVID-19 update on the infield of Petco Park, during which he said San Diego “inspired others all throughout the state of California” with its vaccination super station, where about one-third of all county residents who have been vaccinated received their doses, according to officials.

Saying he had “deep respect and deep admiration” for county leadership, Newsom said San Diego County is “leading this state, per capita, in the administration and distribution of this vaccine.”

But Newsom acknowledged a nationwide vaccine scarcity and said distribution needs to be ramped up locally to vaccinate a state of nearly 40 million people. – City News Service

Breeders’ Cup, Planned For Del Mar, Delays Ticket Sales Due To COVID-19

– 1:50 p.m., Monday, Feb. 8, 2021

Organizers of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships are delaying ticket sales for the November horse racing event until there is more clarity from COVID-19 vaccine progress and event restrictions, it was announced Monday.

Drew Fleming, president and CEO of Breeders’ Cup Limited, said it was still his intention to have fans in person at the two-day event, planned for Nov. 5-6 at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

“As always, the health and safety of our fans, participants, employees, athletes and the public remain our top priority,” he said. “We are working closely with Del Mar, local officials and public health experts to safely plan the 2021 World Championships.

“To ensure we have the most up-to-date safety protocols in place in compliance with CDC guidelines, including the permitted levels of attendance, we are delaying ticket sales for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships until we have greater clarity on the ever-changing landscape. Rest assured, it is our strong intent to safely host fans at the 2021 World Championships,” Fleming said.

– City News Service

UC San Diego Health Opens Vaccine Super Site On Campus For Patients, Faculty

– 10:33 a.m., Monday, Feb. 8, 2021

UC San Diego Health opened a COVID-19 Vaccination Super Station on campus Monday, intended to serve vaccination-eligible UCSD Health patients as well as the university’s faculty and staff.

The vaccination site is operating inside UCSD’s Recreation, Intramural and Athletic Complex and is the fifth such Vaccination Super Station in the county.

“The opening of a new vaccination site at RIMAC represents another opportunity to partner with the County of San Diego to end the pandemic,” said UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. “UC San Diego Health is a statewide leader in vaccine distribution. Our continuing partnership with the county and the opening of this new superstation are parts of our overall commitment to establish the San Diego region as an exemplar for vaccine distribution.”

The RIMAC site at 9730 Hopkins Drive is operated by UCSD Health, which also collaborates with the county, San Diego Padres and San Diego to run a vaccination superstation adjacent to Petco Park in downtown San Diego.

The Petco site, which opened Jan. 11, operates seven days a week and inoculates roughly 5,000 persons each day. As of Sunday, more than 100,000 people had received their first doses of vaccine at the Petco site. Gov. Gavin Newsom is scheduled to visit the site late this morning with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.

– City News Service

San Diego County Reports 1,230 New COVID-19 Cases, Nine Deaths

– 4:37 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 1,230 new COVID-19 infections Sunday and nine additional deaths from the virus.

After Tuesday’s case totals came in at 926, ending a 63-day streak with more than 1,000 cases, it appeared the pandemic in San Diego County was ebbing. On Wednesday, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported 968 new cases, but 1,598 new cases were reported on Thursday.

Sunday’s’ report pushed the aggregate coronavirus numbers in the county to 246,564 cases and 2,821 deaths from the disease since the pandemic started.

ICU patients with COVID-19 decreased by 95 in that two-week window. There are 42 available, staffed ICU beds in the county.

The county health agency reported 10 new community outbreaks Saturday, bringing the total in the past week to 73, tied to 285 cases. – City News Service

San Diego County Health Officials Report 1,265 New COVID Cases, 35 Deaths

– 9:00 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021

San Diego County public health officials have reported 1,265 new COVID-19 infections Saturday and 35 deaths from the virus.

After Tuesday’s case totals came in at 926, ending a 63-day streak with more than 1,000 cases, it appeared the pandemic was ebbing. On Wednesday, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported 968 new cases but 1,598 cases Thursday.

Saturday’s report pushed the aggregate coronavirus numbers in the county to 245,334 cases and 2,812 deaths from the disease since the pandemic started.

The HHSA reported 1,183 patients with COVID-19 in county hospitals, 353 of whom were in intensive care units, a decrease of nearly 400 hospitalized people from two weeks ago and 621 fewer than the record 1,804 patients set Jan. 12.

ICU patients with COVID-19 decreased by 95 in that two-week window. There are 42 available, staffed ICU beds in the county.

The county health agency reported 10 new community outbreaks Friday, bringing the total in the past week to 73, tied to 394 cases. – City News Service

Chula Vista Church Wins Right To Worship Indoors Amid Pandemic

– 9:11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021

A Chula Vista church was celebrating a legal victory Saturday after the U.S. Supreme Court granted a partial injunction against California’s prohibition against indoor worship services to help limit the spread of coronavirus.

On a 6-3 vote late Friday, the court cited the Constitution’s protection of the free exercise of religion and ruled that “regulations like these violate the First Amendment unless the State can show they are the least restrictive means of achieving a compelling government interest.”

The ruling allowed restrictions on crowd size, singing and chanting to remain in place.

It came in response to filings on behalf of 600-seat South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista and Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, which has more than 160 churches across the state.

The decision reflected the court’s current ideological divide with six conservative justices in favor of the partial injunction and the three liberals dissenting.

“Justices of this court are not scientists,” Associate Justice Elena Kagan wrote in dissent to the majority ruling. “Nor do we know much about public health policy. Yet today the court displaces the judgments of experts about how to respond to a raging pandemic.”

The ruling did leave in place a 25 percent capacity restriction and a prohibition on singing and chanting.

California’s regional stay-at-home orders have prohibited indoor activities across a broad range of industries, but does allow for outdoor religious services.

Representatives for South Bay and Harvest Rock have argued that outdoor worship or those held by video-conferencing are “inadequate substitutes” for in-person gatherings and that the public health orders prohibit the church “from holding the services mandated by scripture.”

They have also argued that California has arbitrarily allowed certain sectors considered essential to stay open and conduct indoor operations while discriminating against religious institutions. – City News Service

San Diego County Health Officials Report 1,453 New COVID-19 Cases, 39 Deaths

– 7:05 p.m., Friday, Feb. 5, 2021

San Diego County public-health officials Friday reported 1,453 new COVID-19 infections and 39 deaths from the virus, including the county’s first pediatric fatality.

The 10-year-old boy who died from the disease had underlying medical conditions, according to Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer.

“This boy’s death is a somber reminder that this pandemic impacts everyone in our community, regardless of their age, and we must do everything we can to protect each other and slow the spread of the virus,” Wooten said.

After Tuesday’s case totals came in at 926, ending a 63-day streak with more than 1,000 cases, it appeared the pandemic was ebbing. On Wednesday, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported 968 new cases but 1,598 cases Thursday.

Friday’s report pushed the aggregate coronavirus numbers in the county to 244,069 cases and 2,777 deaths from the disease since the pandemic started.

Of the 23,259 tests reported Friday, 6% returned positive, nudging the 14-day rolling average up slightly to 7.7% from Thursday’s 7.5%. As recently as Jan. 22, the percentage was more than 10%. – City News Service

First COVID-19 Pediatric Death Reported In San Diego County

– 6:25 p.m., Friday, Feb. 5, 2021

San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency on Friday reported the first COVID-19 pediatric death: a 10-year-old boy with underlying medical conditions.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of this child,” said Wilma J. Wooten, the County’s public health officer. “This boy’s death is a somber reminder that this pandemic impacts everyone in our community, regardless of their age, and we must do everything we can to protect each other and slow the spread of the virus.”

As of Friday morning, 2,738 people have died from COVID-19 complications. – KPBS Staff

San Diego City Receives $45.5 Million In COVID-19 Rent Relief From State

– 10:45 a.m., Friday, Feb. 5, 2021

On the heels of announcing federal rental assistance in late January, Mayor Todd Gloria announced Friday the state will provide $45.5 million in assistance for San Diego residents unable to pay rent due to the impacts of COVID-19.

The state and direct federal funding amounts to nearly $87.9 million in relief for families and individuals who have been devastated financially by the pandemic. This is on top of $13.75 million in emergency rental assistance that helped 3,717 San Diego households in 2020.

“Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and the California Legislature really came through for tenants and landlords in our city and across California who have had an incredibly hard time throughout this crisis,” Mayor Gloria said. “I will work to get these rent relief dollars out for the benefit of our renters as soon as possible.”

The funding comes as part of Senate Bill 91, which distributes to local agencies funds the state received from the federal government. SB 91 also extended a statewide moratorium on evictions of residential tenants unable to pay rent due to the effects of COVID-19. The moratorium is effective through June 30. — City News Service

WH: US Will Boost Vaccines, At-Home Tests

– 10:30 a.m., Friday, Feb. 5, 2021

The White House says President Joe Biden is using the Defense Production Act to help bolster vaccine production, at-home coronavirus testing kits and surgical gloves.

Tim Manning, the White House’s COVID-19 supply coordinator, says the administration will help Pfizer clear a bottleneck around capabilities with vaccine production by giving the drugmaker first priority to needed supplies.

Manning says the U.S. is also investing in six manufacturers to develop at-home and point-of-care tests for the coronavirus, with the goal of producing 60 million tests by the end of the summer.

Manning says, “The country is well behind where we need to be in testing,” and the new contracts will help boost supply.

Manning expects the nation will produce more than 1 billion gloves a month by the end of the year. — Associated Press

Pentagon Deploys 1,100 Troops For COVID-19 Vaccine Drive

– 9:30 a.m., Friday, Feb. 5, 2021

The Pentagon will deploy more than 1,100 troops to five vaccination centers in what will be the first wave of increased military support for the White House campaign to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19.

President Joe Biden has called for setting up 100 mass vaccination centers around the country within a month. Two of the five new military teams will go to vaccination centers opening in California.

Coronavirus senior adviser Andy Slavitt says military personnel will arrive at those centers in a little over a week.

Three additional centers are expected to be announced soon. — Associated Press

Health Officials Report 1,598 New Local COVID-19 Cases

– 7:58 a.m., Friday, Feb. 5, 2021

Public-health officials in San Diego County reported 1,598 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and 55 additional deaths from the disease.

There have been 242,616 coronavirus cases and 2,738 deaths from the disease in San Diego County since the pandemic started, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

There were 968 new cases reported Wednesday by and 926 Tuesday following 63 consecutive days with more than 1,000 new cases.

The “vaccination superstation” at Petco Park administered its 100,000th dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday, San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher announced.

“Every dose of the COVID-19 vaccine put in someone’s arm is a reason to celebrate,” Fletcher said. — City News Service

Johnson & Johnson Asks For Emergency Authorization For Its COVD-19 Vaccine

– 3:55 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021

Johnson & Johnson has asked U.S. regulators to clear the world’s first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, an easier-to-use option that could boost scarce supplies.

Preliminary results from a massive study showed J&J’s vaccine was safe and offered strong protection against moderate to severe COVID-19. It didn’t appear quite as strong as two-dose competitors made by Pfizer and Moderna.

Johnson & Johnson filed an application with the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday. An FDA panel will meet and pore over the results.

The company also is studying a two-dose version of its vaccine, but results won’t be available for several more months. — Associated Press

US Coronavirus Deaths Surpasses 450K

– 3:03 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021

Coronavirus deaths in the United States have surpassed 450,000.

The number of daily deaths remains stubbornly high at more than 3,000 a day, despite falling infections and the arrival of multiple vaccines.

Infectious disease specialists expect deaths to start dropping soon, after new cases hit a peak right around the beginning of the year.

The new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says new COVID-19 deaths could ebb as early as next week.

But there’s also the risk that improving trends in infections and hospitalizations could be offset by people relaxing and coming together — including this Sunday to watch the Super Bowl. — Associated Press

County Opens More Vaccine Appointment Times For Thursday At Petco Park

– 11:32 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021

San Diego County Reports Fewer Than 1,000 COVID-19 Cases For Second Straight Day

–3:48 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 968 new COVID-19 infections and 54 deaths Wednesday as hospitalizations continue to decline, while the number of vaccines continues to be insufficient for demand.

County Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher praised the work county staff have done in getting vaccine infrastructure running, but admitted the number of actual vaccines available is behind what he would like.

“Efforts have far outpaced the supply of vaccines,” he said.

The county has the capacity to administer more than 20,000 vaccines daily and expects to raise that to 30,000 next week, Fletcher said, but only has the supplies to administer around 10,000 vaccines a day. He asked for patience as the county was working to get more doses.

“Because of this, we only make appointments available for vaccines we have or are confident are coming,” he said. “We don’t want to cancel an appointment.” — City News Service

UCSD Opens COVID-19 Vaccine Super Station

–12:05 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021

UC San Diego Health will open a COVID-19 Vaccination Super Station on the UCSD campus next Monday, serving vaccination-eligible UCSD Health patients as well as the university’s faculty and staff, it was announced Tuesday.

The vaccination site will operate inside the UCSD’s Recreation, Intramural and Athletic Complex and will be the fifth such Vaccination Super Station in the county.

The RIMAC site will be operated by UCSD Health, which also collaborates with the county, San Diego Padres and San Diego to run a vaccination superstation adjacent to Petco Park in downtown San Diego.

Once fully operational, the RIMAC site is projected to provide up to 5,000 vaccinations daily, operating seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Vaccinations will be administered by invitation only through the MyUCSDChart application and an online appointment scheduling process. — City News Service

California Joins Feds In Bid To Speed Coronavirus Vaccines

– 11:41 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021

California is joining with the federal government to open two new vaccination centers as test areas for new President Joseph Biden’s effort to create 100 mass vaccination sites nationwide in 100 days, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

The sites at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum and California State University, Los Angeles, will be jointly run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

The move comes as California’s most deadly pandemic surge eases but as the state struggles with vaccine shortages and bureaucratic headaches in a race to vaccinate a sometimes bewildering array of the most vulnerable.

The new sites are scheduled to open Feb. 16 for eligible members of the public, who will be able to sign up for vaccine appointments using the state’s MyTurn scheduling system. — Associated Press

COVID-19 Cases In San Diego County Hit 2-Month Low; 10 New Deaths

– 5:07 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021

San Diego County public health officials logged 10 COVID-19 deaths and 926 newly confirmed infections Tuesday, marking the first time since Nov. 30 that fewer than 1,000 new cases were reported.

The county’s cumulative caseload rose to 240,050 and the death toll to 2,629 amid signs that the post-holiday case surge is waning.

Of the 9,955 tests reported Tuesday, 9% returned positive, decreasing the 14-day average percentage of positive cases from 8.5% Monday to 8%. As recently as Jan. 13, that average was above 13%.

Although the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported 38 new hospital admissions on Tuesday, hospitalizations overall continue to decline.

County health officials said 1,297 people were being treated for the virus in area hospitals as of Tuesday — with 384 of those in intensive care units, down eight from Monday.

The record for COVID-19 hospitalizations — 1,804 — was set Jan. 12 and has declined since. — City News Service

Biden Moves To Provide COVID-19 Vaccine To Pharmacies

– 2:45 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021

The Biden administration will begin providing COVID-19 vaccines to U.S. pharmacies, part of its plan to ramp up vaccinations as new and potentially more serious virus strains are starting to appear. White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients says the government will initially ship about 1 million doses to some 6,500 pharmacies around the country, starting next week.

That’s expected to accelerate as drugmakers increase production. Drug stores have become a mainstay for flu shots and shingles vaccines. The pharmacy vaccine program will be administered by the CDC and include outlets such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid and Costco, and supermarket pharmacies.

The government has distributed nearly 50 million doses, of which about 32 million have been administered, or more than 60%. That’s a marked improvement from just a few weeks ago. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots, taken 21 to 28 days after the first shot. — Associated Press

White House: Don’t Expect ‘Dramatic Shift’ With Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

– 2:33 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021

The White House is tamping down expectations for a potential boost in vaccine distribution if Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 shot is approved by federal regulators.

Andy Slavitt, the White House’s deputy COVID-19 coordinator, told reporters that the single-dose shot would undoubtedly help the Biden administration meet its goal of 300 million vaccinated Americans by the end of summer. But he says: “The expectation should not be that there’s an immediate, dramatic shift.”

The pharmaceutical company reported strong results for the efficacy of its vaccine on Friday and is expected to file for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in the coming days.

Johnson & Johnson is contracted to provide 100 million doses by the end of the second quarter.

Slavitt says he did not anticipate an even distribution, but that most doses “would come towards the end of that contract.” — Associated Press

County’s Fourth Vaccine ‘Super Station’ Opens In La Mesa

– 8:15 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021

San Diego County’s fourth vaccination super station is scheduled to open Tuesday at the Grossmont Center shopping mall in La Mesa. The walk-up clinic will be vaccinating people from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

Up to 1,000 doses will be administered daily, but the daily capacity of the site operated by Sharp HealthCare is 5,000.

The Grossmont Center location, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, Ste 212, will replace the site Sharp HealthCare had been operating on Wakarusa Street. Appointments made for that site transfer to the super station at the mall.

Vaccination appointments can be made at vaccinationsuperstationsd.com. The site also includes a map of where vaccines are being distributed. — City News Service

San Diego County Reports 1,082 COVID-19 Infections, Fewest In More Than A Month

– 6:20 p.m., Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

San Diego County public health officials Monday logged 1,082 COVID-19 infections — the fewest new cases in more than a month — and no additional fatalities.

The county’s cumulative COVID-19 case total is now 239,124, and the death toll remains at 2,619.

Of the 11,027 tests reported, 10% were positive for COVID-19, bringing the 14-day rolling average to 8.5%. As recently as Jan. 13, that average was north of 13%.

Although the county reported 342 new hospital admissions on Monday, hospitalizations overall continue to decline.

County health officials said 1,303 people in area hospitals were being treated for the virus as of Monday— with 392 of those in intensive care units, up 12 from Sunday.

A record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations — 1,804 — was set Jan. 12 and has declined since. In the past two weeks, the number of hospitalizations has decreased 23%. — City News Service

Restaurant, Retail COVID-19 Outbreaks Decreased During Stay-at-Home Order

– 5:19 p.m., Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

New data from San Diego County shows that COVID-19 regulations during lockdown led to a decrease in outbreaks and slowed the spread of the virus.

In particular, outbreaks at restaurants, retail spaces and grocery stores in the county fell drastically.

UC San Diego Professor of Epidemiology Andrea LaCroix said the steep decrease in outbreaks suggests that people listened to the stay-at-home order and limited trips to local businesses.

“According to the state data they determined that the mobility of people, the movement of people that they track using anonymized data from our cell phones, showed 40 percent less movement in the community in all places,” LaCroix said.

Lt. Shawn Takeuchi of the San Diego Police Department said law enforcement officers followed up on complaints regarding COVID-19 protocols that they received through the office of the mayor, the county or directly to their department.

He stressed that the majority of businesses are in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions.

“Every time there’s a change in what the public has to comply with, what we do as a department is that we go out and make sure that people are understanding or they’re educated about the change in the law and what the requirements are,” Takeuchi said. “If after education compliance wasn’t sought, we did have enforcement as a tool in the form of citations.”

While many restaurant owners voiced their complaints about the most recent lockdown order, LaCroix said the virus will continue to spread without strict stay-at-home orders. — KPBS Staff

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Continue Decline In San Diego County

– 10:58 a.m., Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

San Diego County public health officials are reporting 1,274 new COVID-19 infections and 16 deaths, as hospitalizations related to the virus continued to decline.

The county’s cumulative COVID-19 case total is now 238,042, and the death toll is 2,619.

Of the 18,990 tests reported, 7% were positive COVID-19 cases, dropping the 14-day rolling average to 8.8%. As recently as Jan. 13, that average was north of 13%.

Saturday was the 61st consecutive day with more than 1,000 new cases.

Ten new community outbreaks were reported Saturday, part of 56 reported in the past week tied to 263 infections.

The county has received more than 485,900 vaccines and more than 269,000 have been administered. Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said there is a normal lag in reporting these numbers, but 1.6% of the county’s population over the age of 16 have been fully vaccinated and demand remains high. — City News Service

CDC Says US Cases Down, But 3 Variants Detected

– 9:18 a.m., Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are down in recent weeks, but three mutations that are causing concern have been detected in the U.S.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Monday at the White House coronavirus briefing that most of the dozens of U.S. cases of coronavirus mutations, or variants, involve the strain first detected in the United Kingdom.

But three cases involving a worrisome mutation first detected in South Africa have also been confirmed, as well as one case involving a strain first detected in Brazil.

The UK strain spreads more easily and is believed to be deadlier, but the South Africa strain is prompting even more concern because of early indications that vaccines may not be as protective against it.

Walensky urged Americans to get vaccinated as soon as shots become available to them, and stressed it’s no time to relax basic precautions such as wearing masks. — Associated Press

Fauci Pushes Need For Global Vaccination Effort

– 8:13 a.m., Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

The virus that causes COVID-19 could gain a permanent place in the population without global vaccination, warns the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“We’ve got to get the whole world vaccinated,” Fauci told reporters Monday during the International AIDS Society’s COVID-19 conference. “If we don’t get a global effort, without a doubt, this is not going to go away.”

Vaccine supply greatly lags demand, and access has been uneven around the world. Recent results on two candidate vaccines suggest they may work less well against some virus variants, especially one first detected in South Africa, but they are still extremely good at preventing serious illness or death, Fauci said.

The impact of vaccines on the pandemic depends not just on how well they work but how quickly and completely they’re distributed, he added. Vaccines and public health measures such as wearing masks, keeping social distance, avoiding crowds and washing hands are the best way to prevent more cases and further mutations of the virus, he and other experts at the conference said. — Associated Press

North County Super Vaccination Station Opens In San Marcos

– 10:16 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021

North County residents are now able to get COVID-19 vaccines closer to home, as San Diego County opened its third Vaccination Super Station Saturday at Cal State San Marcos Sports Center.

“The vaccine offers our pathway out of this, the road to recovery, to restoring, to renewing,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher said before the first patients with appointments started getting a dose of the vaccine at 9:30 a.m.

Fletcher said the initial goal set in early January was to give 200,000 vaccinations by the end of the month.

“We’re now well over 300,000,” he said.

The site will be open to the public weekly from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. Initially, the site is expected to vaccinate 250 to 1,000 people per day, depending on the number of vaccines available, eventually building up to 5,000 or more vaccines daily.

The site is being hosted at CSUSM, with partnership from Palomar Health, UC San Diego Health and Tri-City Medical Center.

Fletcher said an East County Super Station is in the works for this week, but he hasn’t named a date or location.

Appointments for this site can be made online at www.VaccinationSuperStationSD.com. Those who arrive for appointments can park at 103 Campus View Drive. There will be free parking on floors two and three of the parking structure. — City News Service

Hospitalizations Continue Descent As County Reports 2,128 New COVID-19 Cases

– 5:12 pm.m, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021

San Diego County public health officials have reported 2,128 new COVID-19 infections and 32 deaths as hospitalizations related to the virus continue to decline.

The county’s cumulative COVID-19 case total is now 236,768 and the death toll is 2,603.

The number of people in local hospitals with the virus declined to 1,375 Friday. A record number of patients in intensive care units was set on Jan. 20 with 438, but has declined slowly since. There were 389 COVID-19 patients reported in ICU beds on Friday, with 40 staffed beds available.

Just 6% of the 28,595 tests reported Friday returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average to 9% from Thursday’s 9.2%. As recently as Jan. 13, that average was north of 13%.

Five new community outbreaks were reported Friday, part of 57 reported in the past week tied to 246 infections.

The county has received more than 485,900 vaccines and more than 269,000 have been administered. Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said there is a normal lag in reporting these numbers, but 1.6% of the county’s population over the age of 16 have been fully vaccinated and demand remains high. — City News Service

Hospitalizations Continue Descent As County Reports 1,670 New COVID-19 Cases

– 7:01 p.m., Friday, Jan. 29, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 1,670 new COVID-19 infections and 37 deaths Friday as hospitalizations related to the virus continue to decline.

Friday was the 60th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new cases, bringing the county’s cumulative COVID-19 case total to 234,640 and the death toll to 2,571.

The number of people in local hospitals with the virus declined to 1,391 Friday, down more than 400 patients from Jan. 12’s record 1,804. A record number of patients in intensive care units was set on Jan. 20 with 438, but has declined slowly since that date. There were 396 COVID-19 patients reported in ICU beds on Friday, with 40 staffed bed available.

Just 6% of the 28,595 tests reported Friday returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average to 9% from Thursday’s 9.2%. As recently as Jan. 13, that average was north of 13%.

Eleven community outbreaks were reported Friday, part of 59 reported in the past week tied to 256 infections. — City News Service

San Diego COVID-19 Vaccination Super Station To Open In North County Sunday

– 6:59 p.m., Friday, Jan. 29, 2021

Starting Saturday afternoon, San Diegans in Phase 1A or those 65 and older can book appointments to get vaccinated for COVID-19 at the new California State University San Marcos super vaccination station.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said the county is working with multiple health care companies at the location.

“We are sponsoring this site in partnership with the university, along with some staffing support from Tri-City (Medical Center), UC San Diego and Palomar Health,” Fletcher said during a Thursday press conference.

The CSU San Marcos site will start administering shots Sunday morning and plans to eventually give up to 5,000 vaccinations a day. Hours for the location are 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

The new clinic will be at the Sports Center and Clarke Field House on the CSU San Marcos campus. The location is a walk-up site, like the super station in Chula Vista. — Jacob Aere, KPBS freelance reporter

‘Simple Is Beautiful’: One-Shot Vaccine Proves Effective

– 2:53 p.m., Friday, Jan. 29, 2021

The first one-shot COVID-19 vaccine provides good protection against the illness, Johnson & Johnson reported in a key study released Friday, offering the world a potentially important new tool as it races to stay ahead of the rapidly mutating virus.

The pharmaceutical giant’s preliminary findings suggest the single-dose option may not be as strong as Pfizer’s or Moderna’s two-dose formula, and was markedly weaker against a worrisome mutated version of the virus in South Africa.

But amid a rocky start to vaccinations worldwide, that may be an acceptable trade-off to get more people inoculated faster with an easier-to-handle shot that, unlike rival vaccines that must be kept frozen, can last months in the refrigerator.

“Frankly, simple is beautiful,” said Dr. Matt Hepburn, the U.S. government’s COVID-19 vaccine response leader.

J&J plans to seek emergency use authorization in the U.S. within a week. It expects to supply 100 million doses to the U.S. by June — and a billion doses globally by year’s end — but declined to say how much could be ready if the Food and Drug Administration gives the green light. — Associated Press

San Diego County Reports 1,489 COVID-19 Infections, 69 Deaths

– 4:34 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021

Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 continue to decline in the county, even as 1,489 new infections and 69 deaths from the illness were reported by county public health officials Thursday.

A downward trend in COVID-19-positive case rates hit a plateau Thursday. While just 7% of the day’s 22,162 tests returned positive, the 14-day rolling average rose to 9.2% from Wednesday’s 9%. As recently as Jan. 13, that average was north of 13%.

Thursday was the 59th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new cases, bringing the county’s cumulative COVID-19 case total to 232,970 and the death toll to 2,534.

As county leaders have said many times since the beginning of the pandemic, one day does not make a trend, but Thursday’s data does put a halt on dropping case rates.

Hospitalizations due to the virus continue to decline, to 1,408 from Wednesday’s 1,465, but patients in intensive care beds remain unchanged at 408. There are 44 staffed ICU beds available in the county. — City News Service

San Diego To Begin Enforcing Parking Regulations Friday

– 3:28 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021

Following the California Department of Public Health lifting the regional stay-at-home order on Monday, San Diego will begin enforcing parking regulations again starting Friday, it was announced Thursday.

From Jan. 29 through Feb. 7, the city will issue warning notices. Starting Feb. 8, citations with corresponding fines will be issued to vehicles violating street sweeping parking restrictions, metered parking, time limits and yellow commercial zones.

The city suspended its parking enforcement to coincide with the regional stay-at-home order and curfew initiated by California in December.

“In accordance with the state’s decision this week, it’s necessary to resume enforcement of parking regulations,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “I continue to strongly urge San Diegans to stay vigilant — wear a mask when you leave your home, avoid gathering with those outside your home and practice physical distancing. Doing so will help us stop the spread of COVID-19.”

During the stay-at-home order, citations continued to be issued for vehicles parked illegally at red, white and blue painted curbs. — City News Service

Deaths Remain High, But Rate Of New Virus Infections Falling

– 3:26 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021

California reported its second-highest number of COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, while the rates of new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations continue to drop.

The total of 737 new deaths is second to the record 764 reported Jan. 22, according to the state Department of Public Health.

California’s death toll since the start of the pandemic rose to nearly 39,000, while total cases topped 3.1 million.

Hospitalizations and newly confirmed cases have been falling, however, and health officials are growing more optimistic that the worst of the latest surge is over.

The number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 has slipped below 16,250 statewide, a drop of more than 20% in two weeks. — Associated Press

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Continue Steady Decline As 1,415 New Cases Reported

– 5:41 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 1,415 new COVID-19 infections and 44 additional deaths from the virus Wednesday, as many businesses tentatively opened two days after the lifting of a state- imposed stay-at-home order.

A downward trend of positive case rates continued Wednesday as well, with just 9% of the county’s reported 16,250 COVID-19 tests returning positive for a 14-day average of 9%. As recently as Jan. 13, that average was north of 13%.

Both hospitalizations and intensive care admissions continued to drop, with 1,465 people hospitalized with the virus in the region — 7% fewer than one month ago and 14% fewer than two weeks ago.

Of those hospitalized with the virus, 408 are in ICU beds. Two weeks ago, there were 1,781 hospitalizations, and a record 438 ICU patients with the virus. Both numbers have been steadily declining since. There are 50 staffed ICU beds available in the county and the proportion of those in the hospital without the virus is increasing. — City News Service

Blue Shield Of California Tapped To Run State Vaccine System

– 5:05 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021

Health insurance giant Blue Shield of California will be the outside administrator tasked with ramping up the state’s coronavirus vaccine delivery system, which to date has been slow, stilted and plagued by confusion, the state health agency said in a statement Wednesday.

Another major health care provider, Kaiser Permanente, will also help in the effort to deliver vaccines speedily and equitably across the state of nearly 40 million residents, the agency said. Both are nonprofit companies based in Oakland.

The contract with Blue Shield is still being finalized but its task is to “create, contract with and manage a statewide vaccine administration network” and to allocate doses directly to providers, which will include pharmacies, public and private health networks and hospitals, pop-up sites and community health centers, according to the statement. — Associated Press

San Diego Health Officials Report 1,000-Plus COVID Cases For 57th Consecutive Day

– 7:27 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

Public-health officials in San Diego County reported 1,434 new COVID-19 cases and 46 deaths from the disease Tuesday, as the county and the rest of Southern California spent their first full day in more than six weeks free of a state-imposed stay-at-home order.

California health officials rescinded the order Monday, citing improving conditions in hospitals, but San Diego County and the other 10 counties in the Southern California region remain subject to the tight regulations of the restrictive “purple” tier of economic reopening guidelines.

Based on the state’s action on Monday, San Diego County officials reopened, in an outdoor capacity, restaurant dining, gyms, places of worship, museums, zoos and aquariums, camping and outdoor recreation, bars, breweries and distilleries if they serve food, low-contact youth sports such as cross- country, swimming and diving, golf and track and field, family entertainment centers and movie theaters.

Personal-care services such as barbershops, hair and nail salons and tattoo shops once again can operate indoors, grocery stores can operate at 50% capacity and retail at 25%, and live sports can continue as long as fans aren’t in attendance. Amusement parks will remain closed. — City News Service

City Extends Convention Center Shelter Through March

– 4:40 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve Mayor Todd Gloria’s proposed extension of the Operation Shelter to Home program at the San Diego Convention Center through March.

Operation Shelter to Home launched on April 1 by moving individuals already in shelters into the convention center to allow for proper physical distancing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Because the effects of the pandemic were creating staffing challenges at the city’s various shelters, the program centralized staff in one place to ensure personnel could be efficient even with limited numbers.

Since the program began, it has served more than 3,800 people and connected 1,186 individuals and 43 families to long-term housing. Another 217 San Diegans are “in progress” to find housing through the program. According to city documents, Operation Shelter to Home costs around $5 million each month. The three-month extension is expected to cost the city $15.1 million.

Gloria’s plan includes using funds previously allocated to shelter operations that remained unspent, as well as other funds the City Council had previously approved for homelessness programs, totaling roughly $8.3 million. — City News Service

US Surging Vaccine To States Amid Complaints Of Shortages

– 3:11 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

President Joe Biden says the U.S. is surging vaccine deliveries to hard-pressed states over the next three weeks and expects to provide enough doses to vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer or early fall.

Biden is calling the push a “wartime effort.” He said Tuesday that his administration is working to buy an additional 100 million doses of each of the two approved coronavirus vaccines.

And he acknowledged that states in recent weeks have been left guessing how many vaccines they will have from one week to the next. He called that “unacceptable” and said “lives are at stake.” — Associated Press

Council Extends Eviction Moratorium For Tenants, Small Businesses

– 2:11 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

The San Diego City Council extended an eviction moratorium for renters and small businesses today to assist residents during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The pair of ordinances to extend the existing moratorium — one for renters and one for commercial tenants — were proposed by Mayor Todd Gloria last week with the intent to protect public health and speed the city’s economic recovery.

Under the local ordinances, qualifying tenants cannot be evicted for unpaid rent due to financial hardship related to the pandemic accrued during the period starting Monday and ending 60 days after the city’s COVID-19 emergency declaration ends. For residential tenants, any unpaid rent that accumulates during this period and is not repaid will be converted to consumer debt.

“Getting through this pandemic, financially and emotionally, is hard enough for residents and small businesses. The last thing they need to worry about is being evicted,” Gloria said after the vote. “I thank the City Council for partnering with me to ensure that San Diegans won’t lose their home or their storefront because they couldn’t make the rent due to COVID-19. We will get through this together, and we will build back better.”

The eviction ban for residential tenants will remain in effect until 60 days after the emergency declaration is lifted. The protections for commercial tenants will remain in effect through the same time period or through June 30, whichever comes first. The city’s emergency declaration will be lifted after California’s emergency declaration ends.– City News Service

California Gives State More Control Over Vaccine Delivery

– 12:33 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

Facing widespread criticism for its slow vaccine rollout, California is revamping its delivery system mid-stride by centralizing its hodgepodge of county systems and streamlining appointment sign-up, notification, and eligibility for its 40 million residents.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday named Yolanda Richardson as secretary of the government operations agency that will spearhead operations and delivery, the state announced in advance of a noon news briefing. Richardson will work with private third party administrators, as yet unnamed, to decide where the state’s supply of vaccine should go as the federal supply ramps up to meet demand.

The change means counties and hospital networks — which have been scheduling appointments and determining eligibility under broad state guidance — will move at a more uniform pace. Residents have been baffled by the varying systems as some counties will vaccinate people 65 and older while others are limited to the more restrictive 75 and up.

“Our state and county public health leaders have done the important groundwork to get California’s vaccination plan up and running and we are grateful to them and will continue to partner with them,” said Newsom. “We have learned that to accelerate pace we need to dial up the scale of our efforts to ensure vaccine supply goes into arms as quickly as it arrives in the state.”

California has been dinged for vaccinating so few people even amid a national vaccine shortage that appears to be the main limiting factor. It has administered more than 2.4 million of 4.5 million doses shipped. – Associated Press

San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park To Reopen Saturday

– 5:41 p.m., Monday, Jan. 25, 2021

The San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park will reopen to the public on Saturday, Jan. 30, following the state’s lifting of regional stay-at-home orders. This ends an almost two-month-long closure at the amusement parks.

Despite lifting of stay-at-home orders, counties — including San Diego — will still be subject to the tight regulations of the restrictive “purple” tier of economic reopening guidelines.

Both San Diego Zoo and Safari Park will operate with COVID-19 precautions in place, officials said in a statement. Some of these include: outdoor dining only, retail shop capacity capped at 25%, reduced visitors on-site, one-way path modifications, and required face coverings for all guests.

A reservation system will be in place — all visitors aged 3 and up are required to have a ticket or membership and a reservation to enter the park. Guest tickets serve as a reservation.

Some features will be unavailable: the Zoo’s Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Bus and Skyfari Aerial Tram and the Safari Park’s Africa Tram along with some shows, tours and safari experiences. – Lara McCaffrey, KPBS web producer

State Establishes COVID Vaccine Notification Website In Los Angeles, San Diego Counties

– 2:20 p.m., Monday, Jan. 25, 2021

Hoping to answer the most pressing question residents have regarding the COVID-19 vaccine — when can they get it —the state Monday rolled out a pilot website on which people can sign up to receive alerts on when they’re eligible and then schedule an appointment.

The MyTurn system is operating on a trial basis for residents in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, with Gov. Gavin Newsom saying the system will hopefully be available statewide by early February.

The website, at MyTurn.ca.gov, allows people to input their basic information and learn if they are currently available to receive a vaccination and, if so, allow them to scheduled a shot. People who aren’t yet eligible can provide information on age and occupation and register to receive an email or text alert about when they will be able to schedule a shot. – City News Service

Rainstorm Closes Petco Park ‘Vaccination Super Station’ On Monday

– 12:26 p.m., Monday, Jan. 25, 2021

A winter storm prompted the closure of the San Diego County-run “Vaccination Super Station” at Petco Park on Monday and through Tuesday, officials announced.

Officials will determine Tuesday morning if the closure needs to be extended.

Those with vaccination appointments Monday will be rescheduled for Thursday at a newly scheduled time. Officials recommend those with scheduled time slots to check their MyChart account for details on new appointment times.

While the county’s vaccination sites in National City and Chula Vista remain open, appointments at the Petco Park station won’t transfer to other vaccination sites. – Lara McCaffrey, KPBS web producer

California Lifts Virus Stay-At-Home Orders, Curfew Statewide

– 11:54 a.m., Monday, Jan. 25, 2021

California lifted regional stay-at-home orders across the state Monday in response to improving coronavirus conditions, returning the state to a system of county-by-county restrictions.

The order had been in place in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California, covering the majority of the state’s counties.

The change allows restaurants and churches to resume outdoor operations and hair and nail salons to reopen in many areas, though local officials could choose to impose stricter rules. The state is also lifting a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.

“Together, we changed our activities knowing our short-term sacrifices would lead to longer-term gains. COVID-19 is still here and still deadly, so our work is not over, but it’s important to recognize our collective actions saved lives and we are turning a critical corner,” Dr. Tomas Aragon, the state’s public health director, said in a statement. — Associated Press

San Diego County Reports 31 COVID-19 Deaths, 1,637 New Cases Of Virus

– 5:06 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 1,637 new COVID-19 cases and 31 additional deaths Sunday — the 55th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new cases.

The county’s cumulative case total increased to 227,195 and the death toll is now at 2,375.

There were 57 more COVID-19 patients reported hospitalized in the county Sunday, with four more San Diegans moved into intensive care.

Over the past 30 days, a 10% increase in the number of hospitalizations has been recorded, with a 21% increase in patients in ICUs, according to the county’s Health and Human Services Agency.

The data showing a decline in cases and overall hospitalizations, but an increase in ICU patients and deaths, might indicate a tapering down of a major wave of the pandemic. — City News Service

County Reports 43 COVID-19 Deaths, 2,980 New Cases Of Virus

– 9:03 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021

San Diego County public health officials have reported 2,980 new COVID-19 cases and 43 additional deaths while expanding eligibility to receive the coronavirus vaccine to those ages 65 and older.

Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, county public health officer, said Saturday that appointments are still required and vaccinations are available based on supply. These new requirements apply to all sites providing the county vaccine.

Saturday marked the 54th consecutive day with more than 1,000 cases. It is the 26th time in the past 30 days with more than 2,000 new cases of the virus.

The county’s cumulative case total increased to 225,558 and the death toll is now at 2,344.

Over the past 30 days, just a 10% increase in the number of hospitalizations has been recorded, with a 21% increase in patients in ICUs, according to the county’s Health and Human Services Agency.

The data showing a decline in cases and overall hospitalizations, but an increase in ICU patients and deaths might indicate a tapering down of a major wave of the pandemic. — City News Service

County Expands Coronavirus Vaccinations To Those 65-Plus

– 4:36 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021

The county of San Diego expanded the category of those eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccination to include those ages 65 and older Saturday.

Appointments are still required and vaccinations are available based on supply, she said. These new requirements apply to all sites providing the county vaccine.

More information is at coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine and reservations can be made at vaccinationsuperstationsd.com

Only health care workers and those 65 and older can visit vaccination sites, Wooten said. They are encouraged to first contact their doctor or health care provider to request the vaccine, but if none is available, they should make an appointment for a county site.

Appointments are required; walk-ups and drive-ups without appointments will be turned away. — City News Service

County Reports Record 79 COVID-19 Deaths, 2,847 New Cases of Virus

– 5:16 p.m., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021

A record 79 COVID-19 deaths were reported by San Diego County public health officials Friday, along with 2,847 new COVID-19 cases and 437 positive intensive care patients.

The previous record of 65 deaths was set on Wednesday, with 62 on New Years Eve the third-highest death toll.

Friday marked the 53rd consecutive day with more than 1,000 cases. It is the 25th time in the past 30 days with more than 2,000 new cases of the virus and snaps a two-day streak of fewer than 2,000 cases. Despite more cases than Thursday, Friday’s data continues a slight downward trend in the percentage of tests returning positive. A total 0f 49,562 tests were reported Monday and just 6% returned positive, bringing the county’s 14-day rolling average from 12% on Thursday down to 10.7% Friday.

The county’s cumulative case total increased to 222,578 and the death toll is now at 2,301.

Additionally, overall hospitalizations from the pandemic decreased to 1,618 while the number of patients in ICU beds is just one shy of a record 438 set Thursday.

A record 1,804 hospitalized patients was set Jan. 12. A total of 36 staffed ICU beds remain in the county. — City News Service

County Reports 1,176 New COVID-19 Cases, 48 Deaths; ICU Patients Hit Record

– 4:36 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021

Deaths from COVID-19 remain high in San Diego County, even as health officials reported the fewest new cases in more than a month, with just 1,176 positive cases reported Thursday.

The 48 deaths reported Thursday follow a record 65 deaths from the pandemic on Wednesday. The county’s cumulative case total increased to 219,731 and the number of deaths to 2,222.

Thursday marked the 52nd consecutive day with more than 1,000 cases. It is just the fifth time in the last past 30 days with fewer than 2,000 new cases of the virus.

Additionally, overall hospitalizations from the pandemic decreased to 1,656 while the number of patients in intensive care units set another record with 438. A record 1,804 hospitalized patients was set Jan. 12. A total of 46 staffed ICU beds remain in the county.

What declining cases and overall hospitalizations might mean while ICU patients and deaths continue to increase is a likely tapering down of a major wave of the pandemic.

A median two-week period between infection and first symptoms along with additional time between symptoms and hospitalization, serious symptoms and death could mean these record numbers are from people who were initially infected around the Christmas and New Years Day holidays. — City News Service

California Found ‘No Scientific Basis’ To Continue Pause On Moderna Vaccine

– 9 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021

California says it’s safe to resume using a batch of coronavirus vaccine after some people fell ill and a halt to injections was recommended.

Wednesday’s decision frees up more than 300,000 doses to counties, cities and hospitals struggling to obtain supplies.

The state Department of Public Health on Sunday urged a pause in using a specific lot of the Moderna vaccine. That came after fewer than 10 people had possible allergic reactions after receiving shots at a San Diego vaccination site.

But the state’s epidemiologist says a safety review found “no scientific basis to continue the pause” and shots can resume immediately. — Associated Press

San Diego Reports Record COVID-19 Deaths Since New Year’s Eve

– 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021

The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units in San Diego County set a record Wednesday, according to public health officials, who also reported 1,720 new COVID-19 cases and a record 65 additional deaths.

The reported deaths surpassed the previous record of 62 deaths reported on Dec. 31, 2020.

The number of hospitalizations overall related to COVID-19 decreased to 1,706, the lowest number in two weeks, after setting a record of 1,804 hospitalized patients on Jan. 12.

Conversely, the number of coronavirus patients in ICUs reached a record 430 on Wednesday, while another 242 patients are in ICUs for other reasons. — City News Service

San Diego County Reports 2,498 New COVID-19 Cases As Hospitalizations Decrease

– 5:59 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 2,498 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths Tuesday as hospitalizations continue a slow decline.

Tuesday marked the 50th consecutive day with more than 1,000 cases and the 27th time in the past 30 days with more than 2,000 new cases of the virus. Of the 12,675 tests reported Tuesday, 20% returned positive, raising the 14-day rolling average from 11.8% on Monday to 12.1%.

The number of hospitalizations related to COVID-19 has decreased from a high of 1,804 reported one week ago to 1,721 on Tuesday. Of those patients, 419 are in intensive care units. A total of 38 staffed ICU beds are available throughout the county.

The county’s cumulative case total increased to 216,835 and the number of deaths to 2,109, including three women and three men who died between Dec. 28 and Jan. 9.

Of the six new deaths reported, five were of people 80 years or older and the other was in their 70s. All had underlying medical conditions. — City News Service

San Diego City And County Join National COVID-19 Memorial Event Tuesday Evening

– 2:47 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021

The city and county of San Diego will join communities around the country Tuesday evening by illuminating several historic buildings in an amber light to honor the nearly 400,000 Americans who have died of COVID-19.

President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration committee is leading a nationwide memorial to remember and honor lives lost to the virus. On Tuesday evening, there will be a special light show at the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool in Washington, D.C. Cities and towns throughout the country have been invited to join by illuminating buildings and ringing church bells in a national moment of unity and remembrance.

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Mayor Todd Gloria will join the memorial by lighting multiple buildings in Balboa Park in amber light, including the California Tower, San Diego Museum of Art Museum, and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in amber light. Additionally, the San Diego Convention Center will be illuminated in amber.

“More than 2,000 San Diego County residents have lost their lives to the coronavirus,” Gloria said. “It’s important the city of San Diego stands with President-elect Biden and communities throughout the United States in this somber occasion and memorialize their deaths. This will serve as a declaration that we must continue to take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 and not allow more preventable deaths.”

The Museum of Us, House of Hospitality, Mingei International Museum, Casa de Balboa and other locations in Balboa Park will be illuminated in red, white and blue.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced Tuesday the County Administration Center will be bathed in amber light Tuesday evening.

Fletcher held a COVID-19 Altar De Muertos last year to honor those who have died from the pandemic. — City News Service

Scripps Health To Start Vaccinating Patients 65 And Older At Appointment-Only Clinics

– 5:38 p.m., Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

Scripps Health announced Monday it will start giving patients 65 and older COVID-19 vaccines at appointment-only clinics starting Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Scripps said they will start by using any vaccines left over from its inoculation of health care workers. Scripps has not yet received any COVID-19 vaccine doses from the government to use for the 65-and-older population.

“Scripps is committed to doing everything we can to protect our community during these unprecedented times, and these clinics for our older patients will be an important first step,” said Ghazala Sharieff, M.D., MBA, Scripps Health chief medical officer for acute care, clinical excellence and experience. “We know this will be just a drop in the bucket compared to the demand, but every drop will make a difference. We’re asking for everyone’s understanding. Please rest assured we will let you know as soon as more vaccines are available.”

Eligible patients will receive their vaccine appointment invitation through their MyScripps account, Scripps’ online portal for patients to manage their health care. If you are a Scripps patient and don’t yet have an account, you can create one by visiting www.scripps.org/myscripps.

Scripps said that appointments are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Walk-ins are not being accepted.

– KPBS Staff

San Diego County Reports 2,550 New COVID-19 Cases, No New Deaths

– 4:29 p.m., Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

Public health officials Monday reported 2,550 new COVID-19 cases in San Diego County and expanded the category of those eligible to receive a vaccine to those aged 75 and older.

“We took this action today to add individuals 75 years of age and older because they are at the greatest risk,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, who cited a slowing of appointments at COVID-19 vaccination sites as one of the reasons for the move.

“It remains our intention to expand vaccines to those 65 and older the week of January 25, contingent of vaccine availability,” she said.

The new requirements apply to the Petco Park Vaccination Super Station and other county distribution sites. Previously, due to a shortage of vaccines, the county had authorized only healthcare workers to receive the vaccines, despite federal guidance allowing for those 65 and older to receive them.

There are more than 620,000 people in San Diego County that belong in the Tier 1A vaccine distribution group. With the 65-and-older group, health officials are looking at another 500,000, for well over 1 million people eligible for vaccines.

Both available vaccines are not effective without two doses. – City News Service

San Diego County Expands COVID-19 Vaccination Availability For People 75 And Up

– 12:00 p.m., Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

San Diego County has expanded its COVID-19 vaccination availability to seniors ages 75 and up.

The county says it’s due to a slowing of appointments at vaccination sites, so they expanded the category of those eligible to include those aged 75 and up.

Vaccines were previously only available to health care providers as well as both long-term care employees and residents in Phase 1A (Tiers 1,2 & 3).

Next in line are people 65 and older.

“We took this action today to add individuals 75 years of age and older because they are at the greatest risk,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “It remains our intention to expand vaccines to those 65 and older the week of January 25, contingent of vaccine availability.”

The county adds the new requirements apply to the Petco Park Vaccination Super Station and other San Diego County COVID-19 vaccine sites.

More information can be found here and reservations can be made here.

– KPBS Staff

Allergic Reactions To COVID Shot At Petco Park Prompts State Action

–10:00 a.m., Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

With the supply of COVID-19 vaccines already a concern as inoculation efforts intensify, the state is warning providers Monday to stop administering a particular batch of the Moderna vaccine due to an unusually high number of people who experienced allergic reactions to the shot at a San Diego clinic.

“A higher-than-usual number of possible allergic reactions were reported with a specific lot of Moderna vaccine administered at one community vaccination clinic,” state Epidemiologist Dr. Erica S. Pan said in a statement late Sunday. “Fewer than 10 individuals required medical attention over the span of 24 hours. Out of an extreme abundance of caution and also recognizing the extremely limited supply of vaccine, we are recommending that providers use other available vaccine inventory and pause the administration of vaccines from Moderna Lot 041L20A until the investigation by the CDC, FDA, Moderna and the state is complete. We will provide an update as we learn more.”

San Diego County health officials confirmed last week that a half- dozen health care workers who were inoculated at the vaccination center at Petco Park had suffered allergic reactions. — City News Service

San Diego County Reports 1,890 COVID-19 Cases, 38 Deaths, 12 New Outbreaks

–10:00 a.m., Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

San Diego County public health officials have reported 1,890 new COVID-19 infections and 38 virus-related fatalities.

Sunday’s cases marked the 48th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. More than 3,000 daily infections have been reported 18 times, while the 4,000-case mark has been crossed three times.

The county’s cumulative case total rose to 211,787, and the number of deaths to 2,103.

The county has reported a 56% increase in the number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the past 30 days and a 42% increase in ICU admittance during that same time frame.

The number of hospitalizations rose 104 on Sunday and the number of intensive care admissions increased by three.

Twelve new community outbreaks were confirmed on Saturday.

In the past seven days, 49 community outbreaks were confirmed, tied to 199 cases. The total number of community outbreaks reached 1,050. — City News Service

San Diego County Reports 3,027 COVID-19 Cases, 28 Deaths

–4:28 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021

San Diego County public health officials have reported 3,027 new COVID-19 infections and 28 virus-related fatalities.

Saturday’s cases marked the 47th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. More than 3,000 daily infections have been reported 18 times, while the 4,000-case mark has been crossed three times.

The county’s cumulative case total rose to 209,897, and the number of deaths to 2,065.

The county has reported a 56% increase in the number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the past 30 days and a 42% increase in ICU admittance during that same time frame.

The number of hospitalizations rose 149 on Saturday and the number of intensive care admissions increased by six.

Seven new community outbreaks were confirmed on Friday — two in business settings, two in health care settings, one in a hotel/resort/spa setting, one in a faith-based setting and one in a retail setting.

In the past seven days, 44 community outbreaks were confirmed, tied to 184 cases. The total number of community outbreaks reached 1,038. — City News Service

San Diego County Reports 2,695 COVID-19 Cases, 32 Deaths

– 6:11 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 2,695 new COVID-19 infections and 32 virus-related fatalities Friday, with cases beginning a downward trend.

Friday’s cases marked the 46th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. More than 3,000 daily infections have been reported 17 times, while the 4,000 case mark has been crossed three times.

For the second consecutive day, fewer than 2,000 cases were reported in the county, the first time that has happened since Dec. 28-29.

The county’s cumulative case total rose to 206,870, and the numbers of deaths to 2,037. Of the 32 new deaths reported, 30 had underlying medical conditions and one did not. The medical history is pending for one person.

The deaths occurred between Jan. 5 and Thursday. Sixteen of the deaths were among people 80 years or older, seven were in their 70s, four in their 60s, one in their 50s, three in their 40s and one in their 30s. There were 16 men who died and 16 women.

Of the 30,851 tests reported Friday, 9% returned positive, dropping the 14-day rolling average from 13.6% on Thursday to 13.2%. The San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency and its partners have administered more than 3.1 million tests since the pandemic began. — City News Service

245 UCSD Students Have Tested Positive For COVID-19 Since Winter Quarter Began

– 12:04 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15, 2021

UC San Diego reported that 245 of its students have tested positive for COVID-19 since the winter quarter began on Jan. 4.

Of the 245 positive cases, 109 live at UCSD and the other 136 students live off campus in the San Diego area, according to university data. Sixty- one employees have also tested positive for the virus.

The university has recorded 92 cases among students returning after winter break, 14 cases among students who remained in on-campus housing and 4 cases among students who live off-campus.

Since the start of the year, positive COVID-19 cases have been associated with more than 20 residence halls, the main student union, the Telemedicine Building, Biological Research Facility II, dining halls, the school’s new Target store, the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine and the Nimitz Marine Facility in San Diego Bay, according to the university.

About 7,300 students currently live on campus, with just 2% of class sections held in person during the winter quarter. — City News Service

19-Year-Old Latest COVID-19 Death As County Reports 2,000-Plus Lives Lost

– 6:48 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 2,595 new COVID-19 infections and 53 virus-related fatalities Thursday, as the county’s death toll officially crossed the 2,000 mark.

The deaths reported include a 19-year-old male, the youngest San Diegan to die from complications of COVID-19.

Thursday’s cases marked the 45th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. More than 3,000 daily infections have reported 17 times, while the 4,000 case mark has been crossed three times.

The county’s cumulative case total rose to 204,175, and the numbers of deaths to 2,005.

Of the 42,878 tests reported Thursday, 6% returned positive, dropping the 14-day rolling average from 14.2% on Wednesday to 13.6%. The county and its health partners have administered more than 3 million tests since the pandemic began. — City News Service

UC San Diego Starting To Vaccinate Seniors, Other Health Systems Are Waiting

– 6:46 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021

UC San Diego Health on Thursday was moving forward with vaccinations for some patients 65 and older after getting the proper clearance.

In an emailed statement, UCSD said up to 500 seniors could be vaccinated per day.

“Per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, UC San Diego Health has expanded into Phase 1B-Tier 1 for vaccinating its patients who are age 65 and older,” the statement read.

“Eligible patients will receive a direct invitation to be vaccinated through their electronic medical record or a direct call from their health care provider. Due to limited supplies of vaccines, first priority will go to patients who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 infection and who have comorbid health conditions.”

For local health care systems, the number of doses they can offer to seniors depends on how many they have.

“The only vaccine we’ve been given is for the health care provider, and we just started about a week ago the second dose of the vaccine for health care providers,” Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder said.

Scripps is ready to scale up in a big way, he said.

“If the government really wanted to speed up the process just get us the vaccine,” Van Gorder said. — Matt Hoffman, KPBS General Assignment Reporter

San Diego Crosses 200,000 COVID-19 Case Mark

– 5:45 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 3,261 new COVID-19 infections and 54 deaths from the virus Wednesday as the county officially crossed the 200,000 total case mark and neared 2,000 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began.

Wednesday’s cases marked the 44th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. It was also the 17th time that 3,000-plus daily infections have been announced. More than 4,000 cases have been reported three times.

The county’s cumulative totals are now 201,580 cases and 1,952 deaths.

The state of California Wednesday authorized immediate access to COVID-19 vaccines for all residents aged 65 and older, following new guidance from the federal government.

“There is no higher priority than efficiently and equitably distributing these vaccines as quickly as possible to those who face the gravest consequences,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement announcing the change. “Individuals 65 and older are now the next group eligible to start receiving vaccines. To those not yet eligible for vaccines, your turn is coming. We are doing everything we can to bring more vaccine into the state.”

However, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher asked San Diegans to temper their expectations for the time being. There are more than 620,000 people in the county counted in the Tier 1A vaccine distribution cohort. With the 65+ group, health officials are looking at another 500,000 for well over a million people eligible for vaccines. Both vaccines on the market are not effective without two doses. — City News Service

California Opens Scarce Vaccines To Those 65 And Older

— 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021

California is immediately allowing residents 65 and older to get scarce coronavirus vaccines.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement Wednesday puts seniors in line before emergency workers, teachers, childcare providers and food and agriculture workers even as counties complain they already don’t have enough doses to go around.

While health care workers and those in nursing homes and other congregate living facilities can still be vaccinated, state officials are expanding to those 65 and up because they are at the greatest risk of being hospitalized and dying.

California has seen virus cases and hospitalizations explode since Thanksgiving, though in recent days the numbers have flattened. — Associated Press

San Diego County Reports 3,524 New COVID-19 Infections, 41 Deaths

– 6:14 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

San Diego County public health officials reported 3,524 new COVID-19 infections and 41 deaths from the virus Tuesday, as the county nears 200,000 total cases since the pandemic began.

Tuesday’s cases mark the 43rd consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses. It is also the 16th time 3,000-plus daily infections have been announced. More than 4,000 cases have been reported three times.

Of the 18,119 tests reported Tuesday, 19% returned positive, raising the 14-day rolling average to 13.8% from Monday’s 13.6%. The county and its health partners have administered more than 3 million tests since the pandemic began.

The county’s cumulative case count rose to 198,319, while the death toll increased to 1,898.

RELATED: Community Health Workers Get Vaccinated To Be Allies During Public Rollout

Hospitalizations resulting from the virus rose by 29 to a record 1,772, while the intensive care unit saw no new admissions and the occupied bed count dropped from a record 426 Monday to the second-highest total of 418 on Tuesday. A total of 33 staffed ICU beds remain in the county. Only 219 ICU beds are occupied by patients without COVID-19. — City News Service

Traveling Overseas? You’ll Need A Negative COVID Test To Return To US

– 4:27 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

San Diego residents planning to ignore health warnings and travel overseas will soon have to obtain a negative COVID-19 test before being allowed to return to U.S. soil, as will any foreign visitors to the country, under a new federal rule released Tuesday.

The regulation announced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires anyone traveling to the United States to have a negative COVID-19 test within three days of the flight. Passengers must provide the airline with written documentation of the test before they will be allowed to board the flight.

If a passenger fails to provide such documentation, “the airline must deny boarding to the passenger,” according to the CDC.

The requirement will take effect Jan. 26. — City News Service

Supervisors OK More Resources For COVID-19 Compliance, Enforcement

– 1:16 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

The county Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved several COVID-19 measures, including stepped-up enforcement of businesses not complying with restrictions, and a fair and consistent application of policies based on scientific data.

Supervisors voted 4-1, with Jim Desmond opposed. The compliance measures cover inspections responsive to complaints, proactive inspections, and citations for those violating the Safe Reopening Plan.

Based on a proposal from Supervisor Nora Vargas, where legally possible, businesses not in compliance with public health orders will not be eligible to receive county relief funding.

The board also voted in favor of continuing the county’s Great Plates program, which provides thousands of meals to senior citizens on a weekly basis.

Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher said the county is “increasing resources and reaffirming our commitment to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in San Diego County, by expanding the scope and commitment of enforcement by our compliance team. Taking these actions will protect lives and help in the regional effort to beat COVID-19.”

Desmond said he supported other staff recommendations and Great Plates — but not increased enforcement on businesses, some of which have claimed being discriminated against.

“I believe all businesses should be able to operate safely,” Desmond said. “If you treat people like adults, they’ll act like it.” – City News Service

Japan Airlines To Resume Nonstop Flights Between SAN And Tokyo In March

– 1:14 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

Japan Airlines announced Tuesday it will resume nonstop flights between Tokyo, via Narita International Airport, and San Diego International Airport beginning in early March.

Japan Airlines — which suspended service last April due to the COVID- 19 pandemic — will operate three flights a week, with the first arrival into San Diego on March 2 and the first departure from San Diego on March 3.

“Japan Airlines provides the greater San Diego area with an important nonstop link to Asia,” said Kimberly Becker, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s president and CEO.

“By providing Japan with direct access to our region, San Diego is more competitive and attractive to those individuals looking to vacation or conduct business in Southern California, which is critical to rebuilding our economy post-COVID-19,” she said. “We look forward to welcoming travelers from Asia once again and thank Japan Airlines for resuming this important service.”

The announcement comes as San Diego County is reporting record case numbers, deaths and hospitalizations from the virus — far more than were present regionally last April. San Diego County remains under a state stay-at- home order. – City News Service

San Diego County Reports 2,907 New COVID-19 Infections

– 8:22 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

Public health officials in San Diego County reported 2,907 new COVID-19 infections Monday, making the 42nd consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses.

The county’s cumulative case count now stands at 194,795. No new fatalities from the disease were reported, leaving the death toll at 1,857.

In the county’s daily updates of coronavirus statistics, the 3,000- infection mark has been crossed 15 times since the start of the pandemic, and the 4,000 mark three times.

Hospitalizations resulting from the virus rose another 46 to 6,284 on Monday. There were two new intensive-care admissions, bringing the total to 1,273.

The county has surpassed 80% of its hospital bed occupancy, a significant number due to the county reserving the last 20% of its licensed beds exclusively for COVID-19 patients. New patients, according to a plan developed by the county Health & Human Services Agency last year, could be turned away in some cases. – City News Service

San Diego Zoo Gorillas Test Positive For COVID-19

– 12:23 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021

A gorilla troop at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park tested positive for COVID-19, the zoo announced Monday.

Caretakers noticed two gorillas began coughing on Jan. 6 and tested fecal samples of the gorillas for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. On Jan. 11, positive COVID-19 results were confirmed. These results confirm the presence of the virus in some of the gorillas in the troop but don’t rule out the presence of the virus in other members, the zoo said in a statement.

It is suspected the gorillas contracted the virus from an asymptomatic staff member. Studies have indicated some non-human primates are susceptible to COVID-19, but this is the first known instance of natural transmission to great apes, San Diego Zoo said. It is unknown if they will have any serious reaction.

“Aside from some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are doing well,” said Lisa Peterson, executive director, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “The troop remains quarantined together and are eating and drinking. We are hopeful for a full recovery.”

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has been closed to the public since December 6. – Lara McCaffrey, KPBS web producer

UCSD To Help County Deliver 5,000 COVID-19 Vaccinations Per Day

– 7:40 a.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021

UC San Diego Health, San Diego County and the Padres are teaming up to vaccinate at least 5,000 healthcare workers per day against the novel coronavirus, starting Monday.

Those partners, along with the City of San Diego, will run the “Vaccination Super Station” near Petco Park in an effort to safely vaccinate the 500,000 healthcare workers in the region eligible for Phase 1A-Tier categories on California’s vaccine priority list.

“The Vaccination Super Station increases our ability as a county to administer the vaccine to healthcare workers,” said San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher.

“Opening this supersized vaccination site will be an important milestone in the state of California’s COVID recovery when it opens on Monday. With UC San Diego Health assisting this new regional partnership, we will get vaccines into the arms of healthcare workers much faster,” he said.

The decision to begin a large-scale vaccination site was made Thursday and comes as hospitals throughout the county are bracing for a post-New Year’s Eve surge in infections that will challenge the region’s ability to care for COVID patients. – City News Service

Second Round Of Oceanside Business Grants Opens To Business Owners

– 7:40 a.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021

The second round of Oceanside Small Business Grants will open to business owners at 8 a.m. Monday as part of an effort by the Oceanside City Council to keep small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, the council approved a grant program to provide financial assistance to local businesses impacted by COVID-19. The program is funded with $750,000 in unused funds from the COVID-19 business loan program that began in April 2020.

This second round of grants builds on the initial grant program where 130 local businesses were awarded $257,000, along with a no-to-low interest business loan program, a shop local campaign, relaxed business regulations and a utility relief program.

Grants ranging from $1,000 to $7,500 will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. A tiered system that considers the business type and financial impact of COVID-19 will be used to determine grant amounts. – City News Service

San Diego County Reports 3,288 COVID-19 Infections, 33 New Deaths

– 7:40 a.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021

San Diego County public health officials have reported 3,288 new COVID-19 infections and 33 additional deaths from the virus.

The county’s cumulative cases now number 191,888 and the death toll stands at 1,857.

Sunday’s reported cases mark the 41st consecutive day with more than 1,000 new diagnoses.

Cases have crossed the 2,000 mark in 31 of the past 30 days after Tuesday’s 1,814 broke a 26-day streak. The 3,000-mark has been crossed 15 times since the start of the pandemic while the 4,000-mark has been crossed three times.

Hospitalizations resulting from the virus rose another 32 to a total of 6,238 on Sunday. There were four new intensive care admissions, bringing the total to 1,271.

The county has surpassed 80% of its hospital beds occupied, a significant number due to the county reserving the last 20% of its licensed beds exclusively for COVID-19 patients. New patients, according to a plan developed by the county HHSA last year, could be turned away in some cases.

The HHSA reported a 89% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the last 30 days and a 67% increase in ICU admittance in the same period. – City News Service

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