First COVID-19 death Of San Diego resident reported


Last updated 3/22/2020 at 5:38pm

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The first COVID-19 death of a San Diego resident was

reported today by San Diego County Health Department officials, who also

confirmed 46 new cases of the disease.

The unidentified San Diego resident, who was in his early 70s, was

being cared for in Santa Clara County, said county Public Health Officer Dr.

Wilma Wooten at an afternoon briefing. She said he recently returned from a

trip to Hawaii.

No further information about the death was immediately released.

The health department said Sunday that cases in the County now totaled

205, a jump from 159 cases the day before.

Also Sunday, U.S. Pacific Fleet officials announced that seven sailors

who were onboard San Diego-based ships have tested positive for COVID-19.

Two sailors tested positive Friday and five more tested positive

Saturday, according to a statement from U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs.

``These sailors are currently isolated off ship and restricted in

movement in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

guidelines,'' the statement said. ``Personnel who were immediately identified

as having close contact with these sailors have been notified, placed in a

restriction of movement status at their residences off the ship and are being


The Navy didn't say which ships the sailors who tested positive were

on, but the ships involved are screening all personnel coming aboard and

undergoing deep cleaning with bleach twice a day, officials said.

A sailor from Naval Base Coronado reported symptoms of COVID-19 to his

supervisor on March 17, according to officials from the base. He tested

positive on Friday and is now restricted to his residence, receiving medical


``Personnel that the individual immediately identified having close

contact with have been notified and are in self-quarantine at their resident,''

the base's public affairs office said. ``Military health professionals are

conducting a thorough contact investigation to determine whether any other

personnel may have been in close contact and possibly exposed.''

Of the 205 people in the county with positive diagnoses, health

officials said 178 are county residents, 11 are in federal quarantine and 16

are not county residents. Of the 41 patients who have been hospitalized, 32 are

county residents. Fifteen of those hospitalized were in intensive care, as was

one non-county resident.

Meanwhile, San Diego County officials have said the availability of

respirators and the capacity of Intensive Care Unit beds in the county's fight

against the coronavirus has improved.

Dr. Nicholas Yphantides, the county's chief medical officer, said at a

Saturday briefing that when he looked at some of the data, he saw

``something pretty remarkable.''

``The availability of ICU beds and the number of respirators that are

available has actually grown,'' Yphantides said.

The health department will hold another coronavirus briefing Sunday,

which will include San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who is expected to talk

about homeless outreach.

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide ``stay-at-home'' order Thursday

night, advising residents not to leave their homes except for essential needs.

Essential services remain open, including gas stations, pharmacies, banks,

laundromats, and places to obtain food, including grocery stores, farmers

markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants.

Any other public event or gathering is considered non-essential and is

banned under the order until further notice.

``The message is very clear,'' San Diego County Public Health Officer

Dr. Wilma Wooten said. ``All Californians are being asked to stay at home if

you do not need to go out for essential reasons.''

Under the stay-at-home mandate, all gyms and fitness centers are

closed. The mandate also restricts childcare to ``stable'' groups of 10

children with one childcare provider.

The ``stable'' vocabulary refers to the same group of 10 children each

day and the same provider each day. If a daycare or related business has

more than 10 children, each group needs to be in separate rooms and cannot

intermingle. Social distancing is encouraged even among the subgroups.

The health orders banning gatherings do not apply to public transit,

airports or any other mass transportation. The Metropolitan Transit System said

it would continue running buses and trolleys at least until March 31 with

ramped-up sanitization procedures on vehicles and at stations.

All five tribal casinos in the county will remain closed through the

end of the month.

On Saturday, the Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in Rancho Santa Fe

said it was closing for a month.

Other San Diego resorts said they have shut down or are expected to

close this weekend. The Manchester Grand Hyatt, the Pendry, the L'Auberge Del

Mar and Paradise Point on Mission Bay have announced closures.

On Thursday, San Diego County's family resource centers, as well as

the housing and community development services office, three of the five

locations of the county clerk's office and all treasurer-tax collector offices

temporarily suspended in-person services.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said the county had increased the number of

available hotel rooms for unsheltered individuals or for those who cannot

shelter in place to more than 1,300. Fletcher said Thursday that he and

Supervisor Kristin Gaspar were writing a board letter seeking to place a

moratorium on evictions in the county, including in unincorporated areas.

Simon Property Group temporarily closed all its malls and outlets and

the closure will last until at least March 29. The group owns several

properties in San Diego County, including the Fashion Valley mall and Carlsbad

and Las Americas Premium outlets.

Students at San Diego State University and University of San Diego

were instructed to move out of their dorms amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Exceptions included students who can't go home, those without a home

to return to and those with known health and safety risks.

San Diego Community College District colleges, including City, Mesa

and Miramar colleges, have officially closed their campuses. Remote operations

for the schools will begin Monday.

San Diego County libraries have shifted to curbside pickup and drop-

off to encourage residents to practice social distancing while still getting

books, music and movies from the library. Residents can use the library's

online catalog or call their branch libraries and pick them up between 9 a.m.

and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

County Supervisor Greg Cox said more than 200 hand-washing stations

had been placed around the county.

Three Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar have also tested

positive for the virus, leading to new health protections on the base.

The chair of San Diego's Democratic Party, Will Rodriguez-Kennedy has

announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19, the latest in a string of

infections involving party associates.

Kelvin Barrios, a candidate for the San Diego City Council's 9th

District, announced on his Facebook page Saturday that he had tested positive

for COVID-19.

``Having ups and downs, with fever, headache and shortness of

breath,'' Barrios said on Facebook. ``But still doing OK.''

And Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Padilla, who tested positive for

coronavirus, remained hospitalized Sunday after experiencing difficulty

breathing. Padilla was admitted to UC San Diego Thornton Hospital on Thursday

night and placed on a respirator in its intensive care unit after experiencing

worsening symptoms, his daughter, Ashleigh, said in a statement.


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