San Diego County

Rising COVID-19 Cases Could Push San Diego Into Purple Tier, Officials Warn

Here's what you need to know about the spread of the coronavirus in San Diego County, including how many cases have been reported and the latest updates from local health officials

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What to Know for Nov. 30

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom said health officials were considering a new stay-at-home order, similar to one seen at the start of the pandemic
  • California is weeks away from distributing of a COVID-19 vaccine to select groups, state health officials said
  • COVID-19-related hospitalizations increased Monday for the 15th time in 16 days, and ICU patients with COVID-19 increased for the 11th straight day

The coronavirus pandemic reached San Diego County in mid-March 2020. Each day, local health officials give us updates on the spread of the novel coronavirus in our region. We will bring you the latest news here, every day. You can count on us.

COVID-19 Patients in San Diego County

San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials confirmed there have been 82,043 positive COVID-19 cases and 997 deaths since Feb. 14, 2020.

As testing capacity increases in San Diego County, the number of positive cases reported will likely rise, but any increase in the percentage of positive cases among total tests would indicate an increase in spread. Before mid-June, the county had a 14-day rolling average between 2% to 3% of positive cases, according to the county. In the month of November alone, the 14-day rolling average has jumped more than two percentage points to above 5%.

The county is consistently beating its goal of providing more than 6,700 tests a day to anyone who wants one. This allows health officials to better track the disease, particularly among residents who may not show symptoms of COVID-19 but can just as easily spread the disease.

Other Data: Map of case rates by city and ZIP; COVID-19 case totals by age and gender; Map of case totals by city of residence; Case totals by race/ethnicity; Tests reported by day; Statistics regarding hospitalized patients; Statistics regarding deceased patients.

To catch up on what happened day by day in November 2020 in San Diego County during the pandemic, click here.

Coronavirus Pandemic: December Updates

Dec. 1
San Diego County public health officials will share the latest COVID-19 case numbers Tuesday afternoon. NBC 7 will update this story as soon as we confirm those details.


Nov. 30
Another Shutdown Possible:
Gov. Newsom said health officials are considering tighter restrictions for counties in the purple tier that could look similar to a stay-at-home order imposed at the start of the pandemic. Details weren't released but Secretary of Health Dr. Mark Ghaly noted lessons learned from the first shutdown would be applied -- including setting an exact time frame for how long a stay-at-home order would last.

Newsom also said California is just weeks away from receiving their initial doses of a coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer, with other companies not far behind.

Case Data: Health officials reported a 6% daily positivity rate, with 959 new cases out of 15,348 tests. Over the last two weeks, the county's average positivity rate is above 6% which is around double what it was at the beginning of November.

Hospitalizations: COVID-19-related hospitalizations increased Monday for the 15th time in 16 days, and ICU patients with COVID-19 increased for the 11th straight day. County hospitals are still below their surge capacity limit of 80%.

COVID‐19 Hospital Daily Census in San Diego County Includes Cases and Suspect COVID‐19 Patients
San Diego County
COVID‐19 Hospital Daily Census in San Diego County. Includes Cases and Suspect COVID‐19 Patients

Community Outbreaks: Seven new community outbreaks were reported, bringing the seven-day total to 79. The county's trigger threshold is seven in a week.

Contact Tracing: The county slipped one of its contact tracing goals, setting off another trigger. Health officials reported they are now initiating contact tracing investigations within 24 hours for only 67% of patients (seven-day average), which is 3% below its goal of 70%.


The Coronavirus Pandemic in San Diego County, Month by Month

For a look back at what happened in San Diego County in November 2020, click here.

For a look back at what happened in San Diego County in October 2020, click here.

For a look back at what happened in San Diego County in September 2020, click here.

For day-by-day look back at everything that happened in August 2020 in San Diego County during the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

For a look back at July 2020 in San Diego County during the pandemic, click here.

To read about what happened in June 2020 in San Diego County during the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

To read what happened in May 2020, a month that county leaders called a month of "adaptation" for San Diego County in the fight against the novel coronavirus, click here.

To read what happened in April 2020, a month that county leaders called "critical" for flattening the curve, click here.

To look back at what happened in March 2020 in San Diego County during the coronavirus pandemic, click here.


Mid-March 2020: The Coronavirus Pandemic Reaches San Diego County

A lot happened in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic reached San Diego County and COVID-19 cases surged.

This included quarantine operations at a 151-room Ramada hotel in Kearny Mesa that was chosen to house quarantined patients held at MCAS Miramar (March 18).

More than 480 passengers from a coronavirus-ridden cruise ship that docked at the Port of Oakland were flown to MCAS Miramar March 10 to March 12 to complete a mandatory 14-day federal quarantine. On March 27, Dr. Eric McDonald, Medical Director with the County Epidemiology Immunization Branch said all but three of the passengers had returned home after 14-days of quarantine, including those who had been at the Ramada Hotel.

Training Support Command at Naval Base San Diego was temporarily closed on March 14 due to three Sailors testing positive for COVID-19.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the stay-at-home order and, soon, the springtime shutdown across San Diego County began.

Schools Shut Down
On March 13, San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten shut down the second-largest school district in California. All other school districts in San Diego County followed suit. San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy closed all schools within the San Diego Catholic Diocese, too.

We later learned schools across the state would be closed for the remainder of the academic year.

Local colleges and universities also canceled classes and events and moved their operations online. This included: UC San Diego; San Diego State University; California State University San Marcos; Point Loma Nazarene University; University of San Diego; San Diego Community College District; Southwestern College; Palomar College; Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

Landmarks Shutter, Events Canceled
San Diego’s biggest tourist attractions, landmarks and events closed or were canceled. Local casinos followed, as well as gyms and fitness centers.

Church Services Canceled
As gatherings were banned, all daily and Sunday masses in the San Diego Catholic Diocese were canceled. Rock Church San Diego services were also canceled and moved to streaming online.

Beaches & Parks Closed
On March 23, San Diego’s beaches, parks, boardwalks, and other open spaces across the county were ordered to close to restrict gatherings over 10 people prohibited by state and local laws.

Restaurant Dinings Rooms & Bars Close
Bars and restaurant dining rooms were ordered to close in March, too. Shopping malls closed. Some retailers – like clothing stores Urban Outfitters and Brandy Melville USA – temporarily closed their stores, and more would follow.

Sports, On Hold
Sports agencies – both college-level and professional – suspended their games and seasons. MLB’s Opening Day – including the San Diego Padres big Home Opener at Petco Park – were scrapped, but in June, the MLB made plans to return to the field, without fans. The 2020 MLB season will return in late July.


Text "COSD COVID19" to 468311 to receive updates and alerts from the county. Click here to find different ways to help your community during the pandemic.

San Diego County would like to remind everyone if you or someone you care about is experiencing a suicidal or mental health crisis, please call the Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240.

Pitching in During the Pandemic: Stories of San Diegans Doing Good: Read more stories about San Diegans finding creative ways to lend support. Have you heard about a story we should share? Let us know

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