Vaccination delays hit San Diego County hard in February as the region ushered in the anniversary we never wanted to see: one year since the coronavirus pandemic began impacting every part of our lives. Here’s a look back at what happened in February 2021 in San Diego County during the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 Patients in San Diego County
San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials confirmed there have been 260,094 positive COVID-19 cases and 3,284 deaths since Feb. 14, 2020.
Here’s the San Diego County Public Health Order as of Feb. 6, 2021:
Second Half of February 2021 in San Diego
NBC 7 will update Sunday’s post once the county publishes the updated numbers.
Cases, Deaths: 450 new COVID-19 cases were reported to the County on Feb. 26. The region’s total is now 260,094. 13,284 tests were reported to the County on Feb. 26, and the percentage of new positive cases was 3%.
Deaths: 13 new COVID-19 deaths were reported Feb. 26. The region’s total is 3,284.
Vaccine Site Closure: San Diego’s Petco Park vaccination super station will once again close starting Saturday due to a nationwide shortage of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, a county spokesperson confirmed to NBC 7.
The County spokesperson said the closure would last through Tuesday.
Second-dose appointments will be rescheduled automatically, the spokesperson said. Those impacted by the delays are advised to check their MyUCSDChart account or look for an email with details about their new appointment date.
Deaths: Eleven new COVID-19 deaths were reported Feb. 25. The region’s total is 3,271. Five women and six men died between Feb. 16 and Feb. 24. Of the 11 deaths reported Feb. 25, five people who died were 80 years or older, three were in their 70s, one was in their 60s and two were in their 50s. Ten had underlying medical conditions and one has medical history pending.
|Total (Since Feb. 2020)||259,644||3,271||29 in last 7 days|
Vaccines: CVS Pharmacies said it has 49,140 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to distribute across 40 additional sites in California starting Feb. 25.
Deaths: Thirty new COVID-19 deaths were reported Feb. 24. The region’s total is 3,260. Twelve women and 18 men died between Jan. 14 and Feb. 24. Of the 30 deaths reported Feb. 24, 10 people who died were 80 years or older, nine were in their 70s, eight were in their 60s, one was in their 50s and two were in their 40s.
Twenty-seven had underlying medical conditions, two did not and one has medical history pending.
ICU Admissions, Hospitalizations: 13,095 or 5.1% of all cases have required hospitalization. 1,580 or 0.6% of all cases and 12.1% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.
|Total (Since Feb. 2020)||258,982||3,260||30 in last 7 days|
Vaccines: Public health officials announced the county would begin vaccinating those in Phase 1B, Tier 1 starting on Feb. 27. That includes those in the education and childcare sectors, non-medical emergency first responders and the food and agriculture sectors, which opens the vaccination pool to another half-million San Diegans.
Because of the high number of people who will likely be seeking appointments, there will be considerable strain on the appointment and vaccination systems at first, County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.
“There will not be half a million appointments available on Saturday or Sunday or Monday or for many weeks coming forward. So, we need folks to be patient,” Fletcher said.
In two more days, teachers, law enforcement, and grocery workers will be eligible to get a coronavirus vaccine in San Diego County. NBC 7’s Audra Stafford explains.
The county said it planned to set aside 12% of all vaccine doses for school personnel in order to get that group quickly immunized as schools reopen.
K-12 educators should expect appointment information from their individual schools or districts. Higher education and childcare workers will be able to make appointments through the county-run website.
Law enforcement personnel will make appointments through their departments, who are partnering with Scripps Health for vaccinations. Other non-emergency responders and those in the food and agriculture sectors can go to the county website to schedule appointments.
As of Feb. 24, more than 783,000 vaccine doses had been administered in San Diego County, a rate that County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher called “impressive” despite shortages that canceled thousands of appointments throughout the month of February. One in five San Diegans had received their first dose and almost 68% of seniors had been vaccinated up to this point, he added.
Cases: There were 658 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 258,463 confirmed cases since Feb. 14, 2020. The number of new daily cases was the lowest it’s been since November 2020, the county said.
Deaths: There were 12 more COVID-related deaths reported, bringing the total to 3,230.
Vaccination Sites: Two more smaller vaccination clinics opened this week in San Diego County: a site in Otay Mesa on Feb. 22 and one in Lemon Grove, set to open on Feb. 28. Both will aim to vaccinate about 500 people a day. Appointments must be made in advance.
California Relief Package: California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a $7.6 billion coronavirus relief package that will give at least $600 one-time payments to 5.7 million Californians who qualify, while setting aside more than $2 billion in grants for struggling small businesses. Read more here.
Plan includes $600 stimulus payments for 5.7 million Californians, reports NBC 7’s Nicole Gomez.
Case Rate: San Diego County’s adjusted case rate — a state metric used to determine a county’s ability to reopen businesses — continues to trend downward. On Feb. 22, California officials measured San Diego County’s case at 15, down from 22.2 the week prior. For the region to move into the less restrictive Red Tier, San Diego County must have a case rate less than 7.
SDUSD Reopening Plan: San Diego Unified school board member Richard Barrera said staff members are slated to return to campuses the week of April 5, with students at all grade levels returning the following week, dependent upon whether the county had returned to the red tier and vaccines being fully available to staffers. SDUSD is the second-largest school district in the state and students have been in distance learning mode only since mid-March 2020.
San Diego Unified School District announced its school reopening plans. NBC 7’s Audra Stafford shares when SDUSD would reopen and when it would take to keep that target.
Other School District News: The La Mesa-Spring Valley School District announced students will be able to return to in-person learning on April 19, and said the date will not change unless forced by law.
The Encinitas Union Elementary School District announced it will reopen April 12. The K-6 district said students will return for in-person learning 5 days a week from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Vaccines: After a temporary closure due to the delays of coronavirus vaccine shipments to San Diego County, UC San Diego Health said the vaccination super station at Petco Park would reopen on Feb. 23. Second-dose appointments had been rescheduled automatically, a spokesperson said.
Cases: County officials said 321 new cases of coronavirus had been reported, bringing the county’s total COVID-19 case tally to 257,351 since the pandemic began in February 2020. The county’s adjusted case rate remains at 22.2 cases per 100,000 residents. That number needs to dip below 7.0 for San Diego to move to the red tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which loosens and tightens restrictions on businesses and activities in counties in California, depending on a county’s case rate.
NBC 7’s Dave Summers irons out the confusion surrounding the status of the downtown super station.
Youth Sports: The State of California announced it would loosen restrictions regarding youth sports. However, a judge ruled no one can stop San Diego County sports teams from practicing and playing as long as they follow similar COVID-19 safety protocols as college and professional teams. That includes weekly COVID-19 testing.
Cases: The county reported a total of 517 positive COVID-19 cases.
Deaths: Two new COVID-related deaths were reported, bringing the region’s total to 3,190.
After a long time-out due to the pandemic, thousands of San Diego area athletes can return to sports this week. NBC 7’s Joe Little gives us the details.
Vaccines: The temporary closure of Petco Park’s vaccination super station was extended into Feb. 22 as the East Coast continued to face harsh winter weather conditions impacting the shipment of vaccines across the U.S., including to San Diego County.
The winter freeze in the midwest and on the east coast is causing yet another delay in the distribution of the moderna vaccine at Petco park. NBC 7’s Dave Summers talked to people affected and tells us what impact the delay could have on people waiting for a second dose.
Cases: The county reported a total of 711 positive COVID-19 cases. A total of 18,194 tests were reported to the county on Feb. 19, and the percentage of new positive cases was 4%.
Deaths: 19 new COVID-19 deaths were reported, bringing the region’s total to 3,188.
Community Outbreaks: Three new community outbreaks were reported for a total of 26 in the past 7 days.
Vaccines: The federal government said it was ramping up efforts to get all delayed shipments of the coronavirus vaccine to their destinations by the end of next week.
“We have the mechanism in place to be able to administer all the doses we get in San Diego County,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “In the meantime, we’re asking San Diegans to be patient. As the delayed doses arrive, we will administer them to everyone who has an appointment and release new time slots.”
Public health officials said youth sports competitions could resume next week in parts of California and could be back for a vast majority of the state by the end of March under a plan that clears the way for abbreviated spring versions of high school football, field hockey, gymnastics and water polo.
Deaths: Thirty-four new COVID-19 deaths were reported, bringing the region’s total is 3,169.
|Total (Since Feb. 2020)||255,802||3,169||30 in last 7 days|
Vaccines: A San Diego County spokesperson told NBC 7 that the Petco Park Vaccination Super Station would be closing on Feb. 19 and Feb. 20. The closure also had the potential to extend into Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 (which we would later learn it did), depending on the arrival of those vaccines that were delayed. All scheduled appointments would be rescheduled via MyChart.
Meanwhile, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said on Feb. 17 that it was canceling all Feb. 18 coronavirus vaccination appointments at the Balboa Municipal Gym due to insufficient supply. The department said those who had their appointments canceled would receive a confirmation email, plus as a follow-up email with rescheduling instructions.
Cases: 810 new COVID-19 cases were reported, bringing the total number of cases in San Diego County to 254,990.
Deaths: Thirty-six new COVID-19 deaths were reported, bringing the region’s total to 3,135.
While the site itself is run very efficiently, getting there can be a challenge, reports NBC 7’s Artie Ojeda
Vaccine Delays, Again: Severe winter storms across the U.S. impacted shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine to San Diego, meaning the county would likely have to temporarily close some vaccination sites, again.
“A second set of delays is going to have a very significant impact on our system,” Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said. Read more here.
Meanwhile, the county’s vaccination super station at Petco Park reopened after a three-day closure due to another delayed shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The reason for that delay was not known, but all appointments were rescheduled for next week. It is unclear how Wednesday’s update will affect these appointments.
Vaccines: Fletcher said San Diego County hopes to begin vaccinating those in Phase 1B, Tier 1, by March, which includes essential workers like teachers, law enforcement officers and food workers. The county has administered 633,000 vaccines. About 17% of the local population has received their first shot and about 5% of the population has had both.
COVID-19 in California: Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers agreed to a $9.6 billion spending deal that will provide a new round of small business grants, $600 stimulus checks for low-income individuals and more housing assistance for farmworkers infected by the coronavirus. Read more here.
Cases: There were 539 new COVID-19 cases reported, bringing that tally to 254,180.
Deaths: There were 57 more COVID-related deaths reported in San Diego County, for a total of 3,099.
Vaccines: San Diego County received a shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine that had been delayed a week prior, which had led to shortages and at least one county-run vaccination site to shut down for days.
Cases: 698 cases were reported, bringing the region’s total to 253,641. San Diego County’s updated adjusted case rate was 22.2 cases per 100,000, for a 6.4 positivity rate over 7 days.
Deaths: Five new COVID-19 deaths were reported; the region’s total went up to 3,042.
Vaccinations: San Diego’s vaccination super station at Petco Park was closed again on Feb. 15 due to a shortage of coronavirus vaccines. Public health officials said an expected shipment was delayed, forcing them to close the vaccination site until Feb. 16. Other super stations had enough supply to last through at least this date. Read more here.
San Diego Fire-Rescue, on the other hand, said it still had enough doses to keep its vaccination site running this week, urging people 65 and older to make appointments through the fire department’s portal.
Cases: There were 693 new COVID-19 cases reported in San Diego County for a total of 252,943 cases. No other data was updated on Monday due to the Presidents’ Day holiday.
First Half of February 2021 in San Diego
Bleak Anniversary: Feb. 14, 2021, marked one year since San Diego County public health officials began tracking COVID-19 cases in our region.
NBC 7 takes a look back on one year since local leaders declared a health emergency due to the coronavirus.
Cases: There were 568 new COVID-19 cases reported by the county, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in a year in San Diego County to 252,250.
Deaths: There were 28 deaths recorded; in one year, there had been 3,037 COVID-related deaths in San Diego County
Community Outbreaks: Eight new community outbreaks were reported, bringing that tally to 62 in the past seven days.
Cases: San Diego County public health officials reported 891 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the tally to 251,682 since Feb. 14, 2020.
Deaths: There were 30 new COVID-related deaths recorded; the total number of COVID-related deaths in San Diego County was 3,009.
Community outbreaks: Seven new community outbreaks were reported; 64 in the past seven days.
New Vaccination Super Station: A fifth vaccination super station opened in San Diego County on Feb. 12, this time at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Jimmy Durante Boulevard. The county-run site is operated through a partnership with Scripps Health in order to provide up to 5,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine a day, based on supply.
Vaccines: The county confirmed an expected delivery of Moderna vaccines did not arrive in San Diego on Feb. 12 as planned, which would lead to delays in vaccinations and halt some appointments around the county. The county said priority would be given to second-dose appointments with whatever doses of the vaccine that the county still had available. Those who were scheduled to receive their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine may have to be rescheduled, depending on availability at each vaccination site, the county said.
Cases: 817 additional COVID-19 cases were reported by county public health officials; the tally was now at 250,791.
Deaths: 24 new COVID-19 deaths were reported, bringing the region’s total to 2,979.
Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder spoke at the opening of San Diego County’s fifth Vaccination Super Station on Feb. 12, 2021.
Vaccines: With a limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine in San Diego County, officials said they would prioritize appointments for people in need of their second dose. The county said it would also open more vaccination sites around the county; this week, locations would open in Vista and Del Mar.
As of Feb. 11, San Diego County had administered 550,707 of the total available 651,450 doses of the coronavirus vaccine; 3.3% of the population is vaccinated with both doses.
While the county is currently unable to offer vaccines to people in Phase 1B, Tier 1 — educators, first responders and food and agriculture workers – county public health officials said they are currently working on partnerships for vaccine sites for these specific groups.
Vaccines at CVS: Starting Feb. 12, several CVS Pharmacies in San Diego County will have Moderna COVID-19 vaccines available by appointment only.
Help for Seniors: For seniors who do not have transportation to vaccine sites, the county is providing pick-up and drop-off directly to their homes. Additionally, the county has launched a program to provide in-home vaccinations to homebound seniors.
Cases of COVID-19 Strains: There are now 163 confirmed and 47 probable cases of the B.1.1.7 strain in San Diego County, though the strain hasn’t been seen as frequently as experts had thought, Dr. Eric McDonald said, adding, “but it IS increasing.”
Hospitalizations: Hospitalizations continue to trend downward but not as quickly as case statistics. “We will have to see where this goes, but we are hopeful that people continue to understand the actions that brought our case count down are the actions we need to continue our case counts going down,” Fletcher said.
Cases: 1,113 cases of COVID-19 were reported, bringing the total to 249,974.
Deaths: Over the past two days more than 100 people had died from COVID-19 in San Diego County; more than 80% were seniors. The total number of COVID-19 related deaths in San Diego County stood at 2,955 at this point.
“The vaccine getting in the arm of a senior can save their life. And that is why our focus is presently on senior citizens,” Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.
Vaccines: Two San Diego County vaccine super stations operating in conjunction with Sharp Health Care said the arrival of a new shipment of vaccines had opened hundreds of potential appointments this week.
Case Data: San Diego County reported its lowest daily positivity rate since well before the “second wave,” or the extended case surge that began in November 2020 and peaked in the middle of the holiday season: 810 new cases out of 19,461 tests for a rate of 4%.
The 14-day daily positivity average, at 6.5% on Feb. 10, continued to fall from it’s high of 14% in mid-January. It hovered around 2 to 3% in late summer 2020 after the first major surge.
Deaths: 51 new deaths were reported. Death reports usually lag over the weekend and at the beginning of the week, so higher mid and late-week, single-day death reports aren’t unusual.
Hospitalizations: COVID-related hospitalizations were down 45% over the last 30 days, while COVID-related ICU admissions were down 24%.
Community Outbreaks: The county was not showing any progress in curbing community outbreaks. Nine new outbreaks were reported for a total of 70 over the last seven days, which was the most over the last nine weeks.
The county said it would begin to consider changes to its public health order when there are less than seven outbreaks reported in a week’s time, which hasn’t happened since June 2020.
San Diego announced a business loan program aimed at helping owners adapt to changing restrictions and protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 3% interest loans ranging from $25,000 to $95,000 are for qualified businesses as part of the CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund. The money can be used to cover expenses such as furniture, safety equipment, website development and digital marketing.
The city’s Economic Development Department is issuing the loans with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.
The non-forgivable, term loans are intended to help entrepreneurs adapt their business models to operating under pandemic restrictions while retaining or creating jobs. The city may only make RLF loans that are reasonably expected to be repaid in full.
With the number of cases of COVID-19 going down, some local families were hopeful that would bode well for the reopening of in-person classes at schools. Some parents in Encinitas, however, feared it could be too little too late if they waited any longer and, so, they started a petition to return students full-time to classrooms.
As of Feb. 9, students in the Encinitas Union School District were home two days a week doing virtual learning and going to school for in-person instruction two days a week. The petition asked the district to open five days a week for in-person instruction and not wait until the county is out of the purple tier to do it.
Cases: Officials said that 789 new cases were added to the county’s tally.
Deaths: The county said 32 new deaths were reported; the total number of COVID-related deaths in San Diego County stood at 2,853.
Case Rate: San Diego’s unadjusted case rate — a metric the state uses to determine the county’s ability to reopen further — was lower than the week prior but still much higher than the 7.0 needed to move to a less restrictive tier.
Newsom in San Diego: While at Petco Park, not far from downtown San Diego’s vaccination super station, California Gov. Gavin Newsom called San Diego a leader in maximizing vaccination efforts after touring the site.
“A third of the vaccines in this county [last week] have been administered just here at this site,” Newsom said. “It gives you an example of the potency and power of scale in terms of efficient distribution and administration of the vaccine.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday called San Diego a leader in maximizing vaccination efforts after touring one of four local vaccination super sites distributing doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to thousands of people a day. NBC 7’s Jackie Crea reports.
At this point in the vaccination rollout, San Diego County, partnering with private health care organizations, had established a network of vaccination sites, including eight county-facilitated sites, two hospital sites, a mobile operation utilizing local first responders and four super sites able to administer about 5,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine a day.
But local leaders say supply shortages are hindering them from utilizing those sites to their full capacity, despite having enough staffing and the infrastructure to do so. The shortage is a problem statewide.
Cases: San Diego County reported 698 cases, bringing the total to 247,262.
Deaths: No new COVID-19 deaths were reported on this day.
Hospitalizations: Officials said there were 126 new COVID-related hospitalizations. There were 320 patients with COVID-19 in local ICUs.
Community outbreaks: Eight new community outbreaks were reported, for a total of 70 in the last seven days.
At-home vaccines for seniors: Starting Feb. 8, the nonprofit Serving Seniors and other community organizations would work together with the county’s 211 information service to sign up homebound seniors for at-home vaccinations.
Cases: Officials reported 1,230 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 246,564 since the pandemic first appeared in San Diego County.
Deaths: There were 9 deaths recorded; the total stood at 2,821.
Community outbreaks: Ten new community outbreaks were reported; there had been 73 in the past seven days.
Cases: Officials reported 1,265 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 245,334.
Deaths: There were 35 COVID-19 deaths recorded, bringing that grim tally to 2,812.
Community Outbreaks: Ten new community outbreaks were reported.
First Pediatric Death: San Diego County announced its first pediatric COVID-19 death. The patient was a 10-year-old boy with underlying medical conditions. More details here.
Indoor Worship Service: The Supreme Court ruled California can’t bar indoor church services. The justices said the state can cap indoor services at 25% of a building’s capacity. The justices also declined to stop California from enforcing a ban put in place last summer on indoor singing and chanting. More details here.
Pilot Program: Starting Feb. 5, the county would begin training community health workers to help vulnerable locals trying to secure those COVID-19 vaccine appointments. County Supervisor Nora Vargas’ office told NBC 7 about 100 people were being trained on health and safety protocols, the online appointment system and other things that will help them help others in the community. More info here.
Cases, Death, and Community Outbreaks:
|Coronavirus Pandemic||Cases||Deaths||Community Outbreaks|
|Total (Since Feb. 2020)||244,069||2,777||68 in last 7 days|
There were 23,259 tests reported, accounting for a 6% daily positivity rate.
Vaccinations: The COVID-19 vaccination super station at Petco Park announced it had vaccinated more than 100,000 people since the site opened on Jan. 11.
Homeless Vaccine Distribution: San Diegans experiencing homelessness and living at the San Diego Convention Center emergency shelter received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the city of San Diego said. Residents who are 65 or older or in the county’s phase 1B, tier 1 category received the Moderna vaccine on-site at the convention center.
SDSU Vaccine Site: San Diego State University opened a small-scale site on campus to immunize faculty, staff and students who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Cases: The county reported 1,598 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 242,616.
Deaths: 55 new COVID-19 deaths were reported; the region’s total was 2,738.
Vaccinations: As of Feb. 3, San Diego County was running 19 vaccination sites and had the capability to immunize about 200,000 people daily. But supply was still a problem, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said. “Our efforts have now outpaced the supply of vaccines.”
For now, the county planned to distribute about 10,000 doses a day until efforts could be ramped up. Of the vaccination sites, four were vaccination “super stations,” eight were county-run “pods,” four were partner “pods,” and five were in rural areas being managed by San Diego County Fire. SDSU and UC San Diego were even hopping aboard vaccination efforts.
More than 357,000 doses had been administered. Only 58,549 people had received their first and second doses, accounting for 2% of the population in San Diego County.
Case Rate: San Diego County remained in the purple tier based on the state’s monitoring metrics that determine how quickly counties can reopen. But San Diego County’s unadjusted case rate was trending downward from 89.8 on Jan 12 to 50.5 on Feb. 2. The case rate must fall below 7.0 before the county can be considered for movement into the red tier – which means more activities/businesses would be able to reopen. The red tier also requires the county’s testing positivity percentage to fall below 8%. At this point, San Diego was at 10.5%
Statewide: The number of new virus cases reported across the state was just over 12,000, the lowest daily figure since November 2020. Hospital capacity was rising after plunging so low in December 2020 that overwhelmed facilities talked about rationing care.
Still, Dr. Mark Ghaly warned, “The chance for another surge in California is real.” More here.
Cases, Deaths, and Community Outbreaks:
|Total (Since Feb. 2020)||241,018||2,683||60 in last 7 days|
There were 19,794 tests reported, accounting for a 5% daily positivity rate
New Vaccination Super Station: San Diego County opened its fourth vaccination super station, this time at Grossmont Center mall in La Mesa (where the Charlotte Russe store used to be). More information here.
Cases: Public health officials reported 926 new COVID-19 cases, for a total of 240,050.
Deaths: Ten new COVID-19-related deaths were reported, pushing the county’s total to 2,719. Sixty percent of the total COVID-19 deaths in San Diego County — 1,632 — were reported between Nov. 28, 2020, and Jan. 31.
The new super station in La Mesa aims to administer 1,000 vaccines every day. NBC 7’s Melissa Adan has the details.
Poway Unified School District: After being in distance learning mode for many weeks, some Poway Unified School District students returned to in-person learning on Feb. 1. Elementary school students and special needs students are now able to learn in person at PUSD campuses through a hybrid model. The change is creating mixed feelings among parents. You can read about that here.to Class
Case Data: The county’s 14-day average daily positivity rate was down to 8.5% after peaking above 14% in mid-January.
Hospitalizations: As of Feb. 1,the county had seen a 15% decrease in COVID-19-related hospitalizations over the last 30 days and an 11% decrease over the last week. COVID-19-related ICU admissions were following a similar trend, down 4% over 30 days and down 5% over the last week.
The Coronavirus Pandemic in San Diego County, Month by Month
For a look back at what happened during the pandemic in San Diego County in January 2021, click here.
For a look back at what happened during the pandemic in San Diego County in December 2020, click here.
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.
To read what happened in April 2020, a month that county leaders called “critical” for flattening the curve, click here.
Mid-March 2020: The Coronavirus Pandemic Reaches San Diego County – Here’s How Things Unfolded, At First
A lot happened in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic reached San Diego County and COVID-19 cases surged. Here’s a quick look back the month that changed everything in our county — and took us into what would soon become our “new normal” of the pandemic era.
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, 2020).
More than 480 passengers from a coronavirus-ridden cruise ship that docked at the Port of Oakland were flown to MCAS Miramar March 10, 2020, to March 12, 2020, to complete a mandatory 14-day federal quarantine. On March 27, 2020, 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, 2020, 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, 2020, 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.
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, 2020, 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