After slow Weekend and Monday, COVID-19 cases and deaths rise again

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – After a weekend in which fewer new cases and deaths from COVID-19 were reported, San Diego County health officials confirmed 83 more cases Tuesday and six more deaths locally from the illness.

The county now has 1,930 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 53 deaths.

The latest individuals who died were men aged 63, 79 and 86 and women aged 81, 98 and 100. To date, more than half of the county’s deaths related to COVID-19 have occurred in people over the age of 80.

Hospitalizations increased to 450 since the pandemic first hit San Diego County, 164 of which were sent to the intensive care unit. Those numbers represent growths of 30 and eight, respectively, from Monday.

County health officials estimate 681 positive-testing individuals have recovered since their initial tests. The county and the region’s 23 hospitals have completed 27,048 tests, around 93% of which are returning negative.

Of positive-testing individuals, 23.3% have been hospitalized and 8.5% have been sent to the ICU. The county’s death rate for those testing positive for the illness is 2.7%.

Of the deaths in which race/ethnicity was tracked, 53% were white, 39% Latino and the remaining cases were Asian or multiple races.

It appears early action from local governments and cooperation from the public may have begun “flattening the curve” of cases, officials said.

The trends over the weekend appeared favorable, with slow growth and few additional deaths, but health officials warned against reading too much into the figures. Dr. Eric McDonald, the county’s director of the epidemiology branch, said the public should be looking at long-term trends, and those trends are still increasing.

Even so, the number of recovered patients is growing at a faster clip than those being admitted to the hospital, and County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said the sacrifices of the public have not gone unnoticed.

“We’ve taken actions guided by data and science,” he said. “Not by politics.”

Fletcher acknowledged Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent efforts to set up a framework for reopening the state and said the county would be following state metrics.

The six metrics Newsom and Fletcher mentioned include: making sure public health officers were tracing contacts of the disease, protecting those most at risk, continuing to increase regional hospital capacity, monitoring latest scientific developments and treatments, adjust businesses and schools to a new normal and making sure the government maintains the ability to authorize protective orders.

Even with the beginnings of a framework for life after COVID-19, Fletcher admitted too much was unknown.

“The reality is, we still don’t know,” he said in regards to when public health orders would be lifted. “We will move at the guidance and direction of our public health experts.”

Qualifying small businesses in the city of San Diego must apply by Tuesday night for money from the city’s Small Business Relief Fund, which recently received more than $300,000 in donations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

GoFundMe, Qualcomm and Cal Coast Credit Union have contributed $100,000 each in a bid to encourage others to donate to the relief fund, aimed at helping local small businesses retain employees and stay afloat, Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Monday.

The Small Business Relief Fund was started with $6.1 million and has drawn more than 9,000 applicants for grants and micro-loans, a demand that has far exceeded the available funds.

Qualifying businesses can apply at To be eligible, businesses must be located within San Diego, have a valid San Diego business tax certificate, less than 100 employees, documentation showing the business has been operational for at least six months and an ability to demonstrate economic hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Fletcher reported Monday that 13 homeless individuals in the county were among those who have tested positive for COVID-19 — to date, no temporary residents of the San Diego Convention Center have tested positive.

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department said Monday that a county jail inmate who tested positive for COVID-19 was released on bail, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

A total of 69 inmates have been tested for the virus, and two inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the newspaper.

Sheriff’s officials have been releasing lower-risk inmates in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. So far, about 1,000 people have been released from jail in recent weeks.

A total of five Sheriff’s Department employees have tested positive for the virus since the beginning of March.

Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, announced Monday that nearly two dozen San Diego County colleges and universities will split $137 million in federal funding to help them subsist during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At least $71 million of the funding will go to students in the form of emergency cash grants to help them pay for housing, food and other essentials, Davis said.

A sailor died Monday of COVID-19-related complications after contracting the virus while aboard the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, the Navy announced.

The sailor, whose name was withheld pending family notification, tested positive for COVID-19 on March 30 and was placed in an isolation house on Naval Base Guam along with four other USS Theodore Roosevelt sailors, according to the Navy.

Categories: Coronavirus, Health, Local San Diego News