COVID: Here We Go Again

More cases and deaths across the state, the numbers continue to rise...


Last updated 12/11/2020 at 1:34pm

Instead of forward progress into normality and with the recovery process barely on the right track, it seems that we are back to the drawing board. We have reversed course in a dramatic fashion, falling back into a lockdown. Amid the rise in cases all over the state, and the availability of intensive care unit beds falling low, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a Regional Stay-at-Home order. The state was placed into five regions.

Shortly after this was announced, the 10-county Southern California Region fell below 15% of ICU bed availability, prompting the three week lockdown, effective Dec. 6, 11:59 p.m.

San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond, who has been a vocal opponent of certain elements of coronavirus health measures and their impact on local businesses – released a statement taking issue with the state’s broad, regional categories under which the order is being applied.

“This ‘regional’ approach from the State of California is absurd. We are being lumped into the ‘Southern California’ region with jurisdictions as far as San Luis Obispo and Mono County. And, San Diego County is at 23% capacity, well above the 15% requirement. If you count our available overflow ICU beds then we are at 36% capacity,” Desmond said.

“The Governor and State did not consult with San Diego County and unilaterally implemented a ‘regional’ approach that unfairly puts people out of work. Again, San Diego did not have an opportunity to review and provide input and did not agree to this system.”

The Southern California Region includes San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, Orange, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura.

“The State does not and cannot demonstrate how playgrounds, or barbershops, or fitness centers have caused significant spread. But they are shutting them down anyway, putting people out of work,” Desmond said.

San Diego County has 92,171 cases and 1,062 deaths, as of Dec. 6.

“The positivity rate for residents in San Diego County testing positive is, .03%. This does not warrant taking away people’s lives, proper education, and livelihoods,” he added.

In October, San Diego County avoided being placed in the purple tier, twice, but sadly fell back after the case rate exceeded the state’s limits. However, after the new modifications by Governor Newsom, and being placed in the Southern California region, the county suffered the set backs/closure, despite having over 15% ICU bed availability. We sink or swim with all.

“San Diego has roughly the same population as entire states such as Utah, Iowa and Connecticut. To group us in with a “Southern California Region” with San Luis Obispo, Mono County and Los Angeles is unfair and unwarranted. The Governor is out of touch and punishing San Diegans,” Desmond said.

California currently has 1.38 million cases and has 19,966 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

“As the regional stay-at-home order goes into effect many restrictions and modifications are in place, the question is now how will residents and businesses survive during this trying time,” Desmond said.

“Let’s be responsible – continue to follow all the safety protocols, like the wearing masks and social distancing. San Diegans are doing that, and our numbers reflect a region that should not be shut down.”

“I’ll continue to fight for reasonable and fair response to COVID. Some action is warranted because cases, hospitalizations, and ICU bed use is increasing, however this is not the right response. We need to push for the best practices- social distancing, mask wearing, working from home as much as possible and we need to identify specific causes of spread and address them.”

December 6:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 92,171. Deaths: 1,062.

December 5:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 90,468. Deaths: 1,055.

- ICU bed capacity drops even more to 12.5%, prompting a stay-at-home order that will last three weeks for the region, according to the California Department of Public Health.

- The order goes into effect on Sunday Dec. 6, 11:59 p.m.

- If the order is lifted after three weeks, individual counties will fall back into their assigned tiers based on case and positivity rates.

- Other Region ICU bed availability:

Bay Area: 21.7%

Greater Sacramento Region: 21.4%

Northern California: 24.1%

San Joaquin Valley: 8.6%

December 4:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 88,181. Deaths: 1,047.

- Southern California’s ICU bed capacity fell below 15% to 13.1%

December 3:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 86,142. Deaths: 1,040.

- Governor Gavin Newsom announces that most of California is on the verge of strict closures amid the rise in COVID-19 cases and the amount of beds available in intensive care units for regional hospital networks.

- Regions will go into lockdown when their ICU availability falls below 15%. Regions will have to abide by the new Regional Stay-at-Home Order rules for at least three weeks.

- Four of the state’s five regions – excluding the San Francisco Bay Area – will meet the threshold within the next couple of days. Regions would have 48 hours to implement the restrictions.

- Counties are clustered into these five regions:

Northern California

Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity

Bay Area

Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma

Greater Sacramento

Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba

San Joaquin

Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne

Southern California

San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, Orange, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura

- Sectors that will be temporarily closed when a region is placed into the Stay-at-Home include:

Hair salons and barbershops;

Personal care services;

Museums, zoos, and aquariums; amusement parks

Movie theaters; Family entertainment centers

Cardrooms and satellite wagering; casinos

Live audience sports;

Wineries; Bars, breweries and distilleries;

Indoor and outdoor playgrounds.

- Sectors that will remain open when a region is placed into the Regional Stay-at-Home include:

Outdoor recreational facilities, but without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Overnight stays at campgrounds NOT permitted.

Schools that are already open;

Child care and pre-K programs;

Non-urgent medical and dental care;

Retail (20% capacity to reduce exposure). Stores encouraged to set up special hours for seniors and those with chronic conditions/compromised immune systems;

Hotels and lodging;


Places of worship (outdoor only);

Professional sports without any audiences. Testing protocols and “bubbles” highly encouraged;

Restaurants (take-out, pick-up and delivery ONLY).

December 2:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 84,638. Deaths: 1,035.

- CDC shortens COVID-19 quarantine:

Ten days without a COVID test and no symptoms

Seven days with a negative COVID test and no symptoms

- County public health officials release details of a phased approach to local vaccine distribution. First doses, possibly 28,000 vaccines could come as soon as mid-December with a second round about three weeks after that.

Phase 1A: Healthcare personnel, nursing home residents and employees.

Phase 1B: People with underlying medical conditions.

Phase 2: Teachers, school staff, child care workers, food supply chain workers. Critical workers in industries essential to the function of society; residents in congregate living; people in and staff working at correctional facilities; all older adults not in Phase 1.

Phase 3: Children and young adults 30 and younger; critical workers not in Phase 1 or 2.

Phase 4: Everyone else living in the U.S.

December 1:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 83,421. Deaths: 1,019.

- A Centers for Disease Control panel voted 13 – 1 to give health workers and long-term care facility residents the first - COVID-19 vaccine doses once it’s cleared for public use.

- County’s rate was measured at 15.3, down from 15.6.

November 30:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 82,043. Deaths: 997.

- Governor Gavin Newsom said health officials are considering tighter restrictions for counties in the purple tier.

- California is weeks away from receiving their initial doses of a vaccine from Pfizer, with other companies not far behind.

November 29:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 81,084. Deaths: 997.

November 28:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 80,018. Deaths: 997.

- The county logs an unadjusted 26.5 new case rate per 100,000 people. Even with an adjusted rate of 15.6 due to significant testing increases by local health authorities, the number exceeds the purple tier number of seven.

* Number of COVID-19 Cases in San Diego County, Information/statistics stated in this article are as of print time, Dec. 6, 8 a.m.

The madness continues, but a vaccine is within our reach, just weeks away, however, it might not be that simple as of yet. All of this is long from over. We’re in this together, and just need to continue to fight for one another.