San Diego County Board of Supervisors approves framework for phase 2 reopening
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has unanimously voted to adopt a framework to reopen businesses in a safe manner during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The framework offers guidelines on employee and customer safety, sanitation, physical distancing, and general business practices and communications.
County officials are also preparing to loosen business restrictions on some retail stores in conjunction with the state on Friday.
On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom acknowledged the cooperation of the majority of the state’s residents so far.
“Millions of Californians answered the call to stay home and thanks to them, we are in a position to begin moving into our next stage of modifying our stay at home order,” he said on Monday. “But make no mistake — this virus isn’t gone. It’s still dangerous and poses a significant public health risk.”
Even with a future course charted for reopening the state, San Diego County officials reminded residents to be diligent about social distancing and facial coverings.
“Keep in mind we haven’t crossed a finish line,” County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Monday. “This is not the beginning of the end, rather the end of the beginning. We will not truly be out of the weeds until we have a vaccine or therapeutic treatments.”
County Supervisor Greg Cox agreed. The public’s compliance has “pulled us away from the edge,” but the county is still in the “danger zone,” he said Monday.
County health officials reported 93 new COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths on Monday, raising totals to 4,020 confirmed cases and 144 deaths.
The county and its health partners reported the results of 1,293 tests Monday, around 7% of which were positive. A total of 61,171 tests have been completed in the region since the pandemic began. Case tracking staff have completed a cumulative 4,903 contact investigations, and 552 people have been housed in public health hotel rooms after being exposed to the virus.
The latest deaths involved three women in their 70s and 80s and two men in their 60s and 80s, according to Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer.
State public health authorities are opening testing locations in partnership with the county’s health agency starting Tuesday. The initial locations will be at Grossmont College, the former Sears building in Chula Vista and the county’s North Inland Live Well Center in Escondido. Testing will be by appointment only. To secure a spot, visit Lhi.care/covidtesting or call 888-634-1123 weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The facilities could boost the county’s testing numbers by 800 daily. The county is working toward a goal of 5,200 tests per day, according to Fletcher.
The county estimates 2,181 people have recovered from COVID-19, 842 have been hospitalized and 271 have spent at least some time in intensive care.
Of all 4,020 positive-testing individuals, 20.9% have been hospitalized, 6.7% have been admitted to the ICU and 3.6% have died.
Regional hospitals reported 3,372 beds in use Monday, and Fletcher said that number is expected to rise as people who have been putting off medical care begin returning to emergency rooms and hospitals begin scheduling elective procedures again.
Mandatory face-covering health orders are now in effect countywide, with several transportation agencies following suit by mandating face coverings in all vehicles and public transit locations.
Employees and passengers at San Diego International Airport or aboard Metropolitan Transit System or North County Transit District vehicles are required to wear face coverings at all times — regardless of social distancing. People are not required to wear coverings at home or in their yard, car, while jogging or surfing or if they have a medical condition preventing them from wearing a facial covering.