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COVID-19: Changes Coming, Restrictions Begin to Loosen


Last updated 3/18/2021 at 10:43am

The road to normalcy is back on track...

It has been a year since the coronavirus was declared as a global pandemic, and the world has since changed. California has been dealt with much back-and-forth of what can be open, the many restrictions, that it has caused a huge headache for all, residents and business owners alike.

With more vaccines being distributed across the state, counties are moving forward and restrictions are beginning to loosen.

California announced that it has administered more than two million vaccine doses to those who are vulnerable, low income ZIP codes, which could allow counties like San Diego to reopen more businesses.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, California has over 3.62 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 56,500 deaths.

San Diego County has 265,471 confirmed cases and 3,452 deaths, as of March 15 8 a.m.

The county is likely to move from the purple tier to the red tier by March 17, as it seems the equity metric for a county to move within tiers of the state’s color-coded reopening plan is expected to be met. The state announces its routine assessment every Tuesday.

It will not be exactly smooth sailing, but one can only hope that it can get better from here. One day at a time.

March 15, 2021:

A new group is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in San Diego County. Those with certain health conditions, disabilities, illness, living spaces or work environments that put them at higher risk for serious COVID-19.

State expected to make an official announcement for San Diego County to move to the red tier.

March 14, 2021:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 265,471. Deaths: 3,452.

March 13, 2021:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 265,273. Deaths: 3,444.

- Wineries, breweries and distilleries are able to open outdoor with modifications.

March 12, 2021:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 264,889. Deaths: 3,434.

- California announces it has administered more than two million vaccine doses to those in vulnerable, low-income ZIP codes.

- San Diego County is likely to move into the red tier (Tier 2) by March 17.

March 11, 2021:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 264,527. Deaths: 3,422.

- One year since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus as a global pandemic.

- New guidelines announced for breweries and distilleries. They can now open outdoors in the purple tier and do not need to serve food.

- President Joe Biden signs the $1.9 trillion relief package, which includes stimulus checks of up to $1,400 for individuals, billions to help schools and colleges to reopen and vaccine distribution funding.

- The first round of stimulus checks could hit bank accounts as early as the weekend, according to the White House.

Benefits include:

Giving most Americans earning up to $75,000 a $1,400 check.

Extending $300 weekly federal boost to unemployment benefits through August.

$350 billion to state and local governments whose revenue has declined because of COVID-19’s impact on the economy.

Allocating $130 billion to help fully reopen schools and colleges.

Allotting $30 billion to help renters and landlords weather economic losses.

Devoting $50 billion for small-business assistance.

Dedicating $160 billion for vaccine development, distribution and related needs.

Expanding the child tax credit up to $3,600 per child.

Expanding premium subsidies for people who buy health insurance on their own instead of getting it from an employer or a government program like Medicare or Medicaid.

March 10, 2021:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 264,097. Deaths: 3,413.

- County’s case rate was measured at 8.8. The case rate for San Diego County must fall below seven for two consecutive weeks before we can go from purple to red.

- House approves final COVID-19 relief package, and now needs to be signed by the President.

March 9, 2021:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 263,748. Deaths: 3,405.

- San Diego County will have to wait at least another week before it can be moved into the red tier.

March 8, 2021:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 263,275. Deaths: 3,390.

- CDC issued guidance on activities and guidance for full and partially-vaccinated people. Officials say a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.

March 7, 2021:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 262,781. Deaths: 3,385.

March 6, 2021:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: --. Deaths: --.

March 5, 2021:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 262,360. Deaths: 3,371.

- California stadiums, theme parks and outdoor converts can reopen as early as April 1 with restrictions. Capacity limits based on where venue falls in the state’s blueprint.

- One millionth dose of the vaccine administered in San Diego County.

March 4, 2021:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 261,861. Deaths: 3,359.

- Over one million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to the region.

March 3, 2021:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 261,353. Deaths: 3,342.

- Forty percent of all vaccine doses for the state’s most vulnerable neighborhoods based on metrics such as household income, education level, housing status and access to transportation.

March 2, 2021:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 261,001. Deaths: 3,317.

- San Diego County will remain in the purple tier for at least two more weeks. Case rate: 10.8. The case rate will have to fall under seven for two consecutive weeks before it can advance to the red tier.

March 1, 2021:

- Confirmed County COVID-19 numbers: 260,625. Deaths: 3,303.

- County expects more than 46,000 doses of the vaccine (Moderna and Pfizer).

- County is also expected to receive first shipment of Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine. Amount and arrival are TBD.

- Governor Gavin Newsom hopes to reopen schools (up to second grade) in-person learning by March 31. $6.6 billion was set aside for schools that reach the target date. It does not require students and staff to be vaccinated before returning to the classroom.

* Number of COVID-19 Cases in San Diego County, Information/statistics stated in this article are as of print time, March 15, 8 a.m.