SAN DIEGO (CNS) – 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California health officials rescinded the order Monday, citing improving conditions in hospitals, but San Diego County and the other 10 counties in the Southern California region remain subject to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.
Tuesday was the 57th consecutive day with more than 1,000 new cases, bringing the county’s cumulative COVID-19 case total to 230,066 and the death toll to 2,421.
The UC San Diego Health Vaccination Super Station at Petco Park was closed for a second consecutive day Tuesday.
“We had signed up on the internet and we got down here and things looked obviously empty,” said Melinda Butcher, who showed up for her appointment with her husband Tuesday. “I guess we just didn’t get the email.”
Others, like Cindy Hood, had better luck.
“Last night probably around 8 p.m., we got emails stating that we are being rescheduled for Saturday and that we didn’t need to do anything except show up at the same time,” Hood said.
People who had appointments Tuesday were rescheduled for Saturday. Patients should check the county’s MyChart to confirm.
The site was closed Tuesday for repairs. It was closed Monday due to inclement weather. People who were scheduled to receive a vaccination at the site on Monday had their appointments rescheduled for Thursday.
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said the county has a long way to go before arriving in the less severe red tier of the state’s four-level reopening plan.
The county’s adjusted case rate is 49.6 new cases per 100,000 population. To be dropped into the more permissive red tier, cases have to be fewer than seven per 100,000. Only four of California’s counties are at the red tier or lower.
The regional stay-at-home order was imposed in Southern California on Dec. 7, after intensive-care-unit capacity dropped below 15%. The regional capacity subsequently dropped to an adjusted 0%.
State officials said Monday that with hospitalization numbers trending downward, four-week projections now indicate ICU capacity will rise above the 15% threshold.
Although the state order has been lifted, individual counties are still able to impose stricter restrictions than the state.