SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego County public health officials have reported 445 new COVID-19 infections and four deaths from the illness Saturday, raising the county’s total to 42,414 cases and 734 deaths.
Two women and two men died between Sept. 7 and Sept. 10 and their ages ranged from the mid-50s to late 80s. All had underlying medical conditions.
Of the 8,531 tests reported Friday, 5% returned positive, moving the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 4.5%, well below the state’s 8% guideline. The seven-day average number of tests performed in the county is 6,627.
Of the total positive cases in the county, 3,278 — or 7.7% — have required hospitalization since the pandemic began, and 777 — or 1.8% — were admitted to an intensive care unit.
County health officials reported no new community outbreaks on Friday, lowering the number of outbreaks in the past week to 13.
The number of community outbreaks remains above the county’s goal of fewer than seven in a seven-day span. A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households in the past 14 days.
San Diego State University sees 32 more cases
Of Friday’s cases, another 32 were tied to San Diego State University, raising the total number of confirmed infected students on- and off- campus to 598 since the fall semester began Aug. 24
About 75% of students testing positive live in off-campus housing not managed by the university, with 73% of the cases among the freshman and sophomore classes.
The university extended its stay-at-home order for students, directing them to stay in their current residences, except for essential needs, through 9 a.m. Monday. Violations of the order may result in disciplinary action, the college said.
Luke Wood, SDSU’s vice president for student affairs and campus diversity, said the university was working with a security company to enforce public health code regulations.
The City of Chula Vista announced Friday it was distributing 25,000 reuseable cotton masks printed with the city logo and website. Residents can pick up the free masks at the Civic Center and Otay Ranch libraries from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Chula Vista police, fire, park rangers and open-space personnel will also be distributing the masks when they come into contact with people without masks.
A comprehensive outreach strategy to expand testing access for Latino residents and other communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic was announced Friday by local leaders.
The new program will kick off on Monday, with a new testing site at the Mexican Consulate in downtown San Diego at 1549 India St. Starting at 8 a.m., walk-up appointments will be available until 3:30 p.m., according to the announcement from San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego and other local leaders.
Just nine days after reopening its campus for in-person classes, Academy of Our Lady of Peace in North Park moved all students to online-only courses Thursday after two students tested positive for COVID-19.
Schools throughout San Diego County were allowed to reopen for in- person learning on Sept. 1. Academy of Our Lady of Peace sent a letter to parents Wednesday evening placing the blame on the children at the all-girls Catholic school.
“We recognize that despite our best efforts the girls are struggling with maintaining the rules of physical distancing both on and off campus,” it said. “Effective immediately, we are implementing a pause in our face-to-face learning model and moving to virtual distance learning (while maintaining the same class schedule). This will allow time for the community to separate, practice physical distancing and reflect on the importance and privilege of our time together on the OLP campus.”
The two confirmed student cases are unrelated, the school said. Students at the school will switch from online education to a hybrid model on Sept. 17, with students attending class two days a week in two separate cohorts separated by last name alphabetically.
State guidance declares that if 5% of students or staff in a classroom test positive for COVID-19, it should be closed. Additionally, a school should close if there are multiple cases in multiple classrooms, or if 5% of the student body or staff test positive for the illness.
San Diego Unified School District and other school districts in regions disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 have stated they will not return until the pandemic lessens. Before schools were able to reopen, nearly 50 schools — mostly private and/or religious — petitioned the county to open early for in-person instruction.
State data released Tuesday showed San Diego County losing some ground in its fight against COVID-19, with the number of new cases per 100,000 people reaching 6.9 and the percentage of positive tests at 4.2%, close to slipping into the “widespread” tier like much of the rest of the state.
The county is in Tier 2 or the “substantial” tier, the state’s second-most strict. With a slight bump in new cases per 100,000, San Diego could find itself closing recently opened businesses.
The numbers for the widespread tier — which every other Southern California county besides Orange County finds itself in — are 7 or more new cases per 100,000 and more than 8% positive testing. Just one of those above guidelines could be enough to push a county up a tier.