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One COVID-19 death brings toll in San Diego County to 139


Last updated 5/3/2020 at 9:23pm

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - County health officials today reported 85 new COVID-19 cases and one death, raising the county's totals to 3,927 cases and 139 deaths.

The latest fatality is an 81-year-old woman who had underlying medical conditions, the county reported.

Of the 2,277 tests reported to the county yesterday, 4% were positive new cases.

The county is working to increase its testing with a goal of 5,200 tests a day, according to Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

``While state and federal guidelines call for `robust testing,' there is no hard and fast rule for the exact number,'' Fletcher said Sunday. ``We've chosen to use a Harvard study to identify our goal 5,200 tests per day in San Diego County. We're working with our new testing task force to meet that goal.''

The total number of hospitalized patients is 828, and 266 had to be placed in intensive care, the county said.

Among the confirmed cases, 49% were female and 51% male, with seven reported as unknown gender.

The estimated number of recovered patients was reported at 2,129.

State public health authorities are opening testing locations in San Diego starting Tuesday, the county said. The initial locations will be at Grossmont College, the former Sears building in Chula Vista and the county's North Inland Live Well Center in Escondido. Testing is by appointment only by calling 888-634-1123, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, beachgoers were continuing to keep their distance from each other Sunday and follow other guidelines such as only engaging in physical activities like jogging, walking, swimming and surfing, lifeguard officials said.

This weekend was the first time some beaches were open, with restrictions, since the area went on coronavirus lockdown in March.

``So far, so good,'' Lt. Andy Lerum of Lifeguard Services said Sunday morning. ``We're getting really good compliance and today is starting off just like yesterday.''

Lifeguards performed a few medical tasks, such as swimmers being treated for stingray injuries, Lerum said. Beachgoers seem to realize that moving from the current Phase 1 to a more relaxed Phase 2 would happen only if people follow the rules, he said. Phase 2 would include opening the boardwalk, parking lots and allowing fishing.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer Sunday made an announcement by loudspeaker at the Pacific Beach lifeguard station.

``Attention on the beach,'' Faulconer told beachgoers. ``Please do not sit or congregate on the beach.

``Please practice social distancing while in public spaces,'' he continued. ``Thank you for your cooperation. You are doing a great job. Stay classy, San Diego.''

On Monday, city officials in Solana Beach, Del Mar and Carlsbad will begin to open their beaches. The state beaches at Torrey Pines and Carlsbad are also slated to open Monday.

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department reported Sunday morning the rescue of a Navy sailor from Sunset Cliffs.

The man, who recently got out of quarantine, got too close to the water about 12:30 a.m. while watching the bioluminescence and was pulled into the ocean by a large wave. Lifeguards rescued him from the water and he suffered some cuts and scrapes, SFRD officials said.

San Diego Police Department officials have asked Sunset Cliffs visitors to stay away because the crowds are getting too big in the evening.

``We are still seeing quite a few people come down right at sunset and after to watch the red tide,'' SDPD Chief David Nisleit said last week. ``I understand it is a great thing to see, but we are inundating the area of Sunset Cliffs and we're not being able to do that physical distancing.''

Nisleit said there would be extra police officers patrolling Sunset Cliffs through the weekend.

The Lake Poway Recreation Area opened to the public Sunday and will resume regular hours of 6 a.m. to sunset on Monday, city officials said.

Parking lots at Lake Poway will open to half capacity and boating is not allowed, officials said. The playground will remain closed and active sports are limited to people within the same household, they said.

Mandatory face-covering health orders are now in effect countywide, with several transportation agencies following suit by mandating face coverings in all vehicles and public transit locations.

Any employee or passenger at the San Diego International Airport or aboard Metropolitan Transit System or North County Transit District vehicles are required to wear face coverings at all times -- regardless of social distancing. People are not required to wear coverings at home or in their yard, car, while jogging or surfing or if they have a medical condition preventing them from wearing a facial covering.


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