3 new sites for coronavirus testing to open around county


SAN DIEGO — County officials announced that three new coronavirus testing sites will open Tuesday with the ability to test about 800 patients a day.

The new, state-run testing sites will not require a doctor’s referral, but people will need to make an appointment to receive a test, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.

The new locations are at Grossmont College in El Cajon, the North Inland Live Well Center in Escondido and at the former Sears building in Chula Vista, Fletcher said. The three sites could boost the number of test performed in the county by 800 a day. The county is working toward a goal of 5,200 tests per day, according to Fletcher.

People wishing to get tested can make an appointment by calling 888-634-1123 or do so online at the Logistics Health Incorporateed website.

Officials said that they confirmed 93 new coronavirus cases Monday, pushing the total number of positive cased in the county to 4,020. Five more patients died, pushing the virus death toll to 144, Chief Medical Officer Wilma Wooten said.

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.

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.

County Supervisors Greg Cox and Nathan Fletcher announced they are planning to introduce a framework to reopen nonessential businesses at Tuesday’s board morning, and the county is preparing to loosen business restrictions on some retail stores in conjunction with the state on Friday.

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 at a midday televised briefing. “But make no mistake — this virus isn’t gone. It’s still dangerous and poses a significant public health risk.”

San Diego Republicans claimed a victory with Newsom’s loosening of restrictions.

“After several weeks of inaction, the governor, seemingly rattled at today’s press conference, finally acknowledged that Californians can be trusted to be responsible,” said Tony Krvaric, chairman of the Republican Party of San Diego County.

Democrats also claimed the move as a win.

“Moving to stage two signals another step in the gradual reopening of California,” said Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego. “Under state guidance and with ratification by county leaders, retail stores will be able to open with modifications, as well as the associated manufacturing and supply chains. This means more small businesses will get to open and more Californians will be able to get back to work.”

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