San Diego County waits to hear back about Phase 3 Pilot Program

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego County reported 119 new COVID-19 cases and one death Friday, raising the region’s totals to 6,434 cases and 242 deaths. The fatality reported Friday was a 35-year-old who had underlying health issues, said San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten.

She said the county’s numbers continued to trend downward, but it would not take many incidents like what happened at El Prez to create more outbreaks, prolonging the pandemic and related health orders. San Diego County has more than 16,000 restaurants and food-preparation facilities, County Supervisor Greg Cox said Thursday.

Wooten encouraged people who witnessed businesses violating health orders to contact the non-emergency line of their local jurisdiction.

California approved the county’s request Wednesday night to allow dining at restaurants and in-store shopping, both with social-distancing restrictions.

The county also sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday night asking him to approve a pilot program for Phase 3. If approved, it could allow for the reopening of certain facilities, including youth and sports clubs, salons, fitness clubs and outdoor religious services.

County Supervisor  Kristin Gaspar joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss the pilot program as the County waits to hear back from the State.

Elected officials and business leaders alike showed optimism Thursday afternoon, but also cautioned San Diegans to be patient as the new normal fits into place.

Restaurants and shops must fill out the county’s Safe Reopening Plan form and post it publicly to reopen, Fletcher said in a tweet Wednesday night.

Some restaurants and shops completed this form ahead of time and are able to open Saturday.

Some of the guidelines restaurants must adhere to include having tables six feet apart, having temperature screening of employees, requiring facial coverings on employees at all times and on customers unless they are seated, and encouraging reservations.

Retail stores have similar restrictions, including limiting the number of shoppers in stores to maintain social distancing and requiring facial coverings for employees and customers at all times.

Fletcher said that while the county tried to answer many of the broad questions from business owners and customers, it was impossible to foresee every scenario. He encouraged those with questions to call the county’s 211 number.

Jeff Rossman, president of the San Diego branch of the California Restaurant Association, urged diners to be patient with businesses, who were doing everything they can with limited supplies, information and staff.

“We encourage people to take their time,” he said, noting he would open his own two restaurants the first week of June. “Please don’t come in if you’re sick. Please be courteous, comply with signage and give yourselves extra time to comply. We’ve seen the long lines at casinos reopening, we don’t want people queuing. Wait in your car if possible until your table is ready.”

The county recorded 4,056 COVID-19 tests Wednesday, for 124,615 cumulative tests.

Wooten reported 73 active outbreaks in the county Friday, 52 of which occurred in congregate living facilities which could be traced to 1,454 cases and 120 deaths.

Categories: California News, Coronavirus, Good Morning San Diego, Health, In Studio Guests, Local San Diego News