County officials support statewide ‘stay at home’ order

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SAN DIEGO — During a news conference Friday, San Diego County health officials encouraged all San Diegans to abide by a statewide “stay at home” order issued Thursday evening by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in San Diego County rose to 131 Friday, with 27 people hospitalized.

The 26 newly recorded cases was the highest day-to-day increase yet, with seven of the cases involving people aged 80 or older. There have been no deaths due to the illness in the county.

“The cost of inaction is greater than the fact we’re willing to do whatever we need to do to address this problem,” County Chairman Greg Cox said Friday.

The statewide order that went into effect at midnight does provide some exceptions — including trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, gas station, bank, laundromats and to deliver food to or provide care for loved ones — but for the most part it requires California residents to stay home in an effort to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

“The governor’s executive order is an order — not a suggestion, not an encouragement, it is a legal order,” County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.

County officials said the rising number of local cases doesn’t mean the state’s and county’s recommendations for social distancing aren’t working, but rather that the county is able to test more people and identify more cases within the community.

“As we get increased testing, we will see the cases will rise at a greater rate,” Fletcher said. “That does not mean social distancing is not working. Absent of these steps, the rise and spread would have been much greater.”

Of the 131 positive cases confirmed in San Diego County as of Friday evening, 110 are county residents, 18 of whom have been hospitalized. Eleven are under federal quarantine, with six of those patients hospitalized. Ten are non-residents, three of whom are hospitalized. The vast majority — 99 cases — of those who have tested positive have been under the age of 60. One individual’s age is unknown.

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