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San Diego County announces senior meal partnership, library reopenings, and 'aggressive' economic reopening plan in works

More than 5,000 people countywide have tested positive for COVID-19.

SAN DIEGO — On Thursday at 2:30 p.m., San Diego County gave a COVID-19 update in San Diego County, which you can watch here.

San Diego County's estimated unemployment rose to a record-high 28.7% this week according to a report released Thursday by the San Diego Association of Governments.

This follows the previous week's 26.8% unemployment rate, also a record-high for the region, surpassing both the recession of 2008 and the Great Depression.

“We understand the enormous impact and pain this has caused on workers and business owners, “ said Chairman Greg Cox on Thursday. 

Cox announced that the county is working “aggressively” with the state on an accelerated reopening plan, even though San Diego is more populous, urban county. The plan will is to “strike a balance” of “saving lives and jump-starting our economy” per Cox. Still, Cox asked the public to be patient and safe, as this will take time. 

“It won’t be like flipping a switch,” said Cox. 

Cox said that starting on May 26, six libraries will open for doorside service: Imperial Beach, Alpine, Ramona, Encinitas, Vista, and Borrego Springs . Library staff will call or email to arrange a pick-up time.  On June 1, more libraries will open with the same business model: Bonita, Poway, El Cajon, Julian, Solana Beach, and San Marcos libraries. 

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced that “Great Plates Delivered to Seniors” is launching in San Diego. Restaurants will utilize local produce and meats and local food industry workers launch program to help feed seniors that aren’t on other hunger programs, like CalFresh. This also aims to help restaurants and local food workers get back to work after economic hardship. For more information, call (800) 339-4661.

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The program is open to county residents who meet the following criteria:

  • People 65 and older who live alone or with one other older adult
  • County residents 60-64 who are high-risk as defined by the CDC, including:
    • People who tested positive for COVID-19
    • People with an underlying medical condition that puts them at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19
    • People who have been exposed to COVID-19 and do not require hospitalization, but are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine

92,095 people have been tested total for coronavirus in San Diego County, with 3,998 people receiving a test on Wednesday. 5,391 people have tested positive for COVID-19 countywide. Dr. Eric McDonald said those numbers are people who have consistent symptoms and have officially tested positive for COVID-19, either during illness or shortly after death.

Dr. Wilma Wooten announced six new deaths, bringing the countywide death total to 200 people. The six new deaths were patients that ranged in age from 73 to 98 years old. 

Wooten said San Diego County has documented 68 confirmed active outbreaks, with 46 of those in congregate facilities .

“Currently, our local metrics are trending in the right direction,” said Wooten. 

The county has released four guidelines/standards for letting employees come back to work: 

1). Hygiene and sanitation

2). Social distancing 

3). Face coverings 

4). Screening, such as taking an employee’s temperature

Wooten said that the county and tribal nations met on Thursday morning for a previously-scheduled meeting to discuss the controversial reopening of casinos. Wooten said San Diego recognizes the total sovereignty of the tribes, but that there is a level of teamwork involved between the county and tribes. 

“I am going to work with them to do [a phased approach]” said Wooten. 

The tribes have submitted health plans that she will review.

Fletcher reminded everyone that the Air Force Thunderbirds will fly at noon on Friday to pay tribute to healthcare workers.

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