Saturday, September 19, 2020

Some Indoor Restrictions Lifted, But Businesses Must Follow Guidelines

The County is asking businesses and organizations allowed to reopen indoor operations under new state guidance to review and redo their safe reopening plans to ensure they stay in compliance.

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The state introduced a new tiered system Friday that allows certain indoor activities to resume in San Diego County as early as today. However, businesses must adhere to industry-specific guidelines and follow hygiene, social distancing and face covering requirements.

While many sectors can reopen, not all can operate at full capacity. Gyms and fitness centers can operate indoors but must limit attendance to 10% capacity or less.

Restaurants can open indoor dining but must limit indoor operations to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower. Places of worship and movie theaters can operate indoors under those same capacity limits. Museums can open at 25% capacity.

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Hair salons, barber shops and nail salons can operate indoors at full capacity but must follow safety precautions outlined by the state and county.

“Under the latest health order, businesses will be required to implement a sign-in procedure, collecting contact information for patrons served indoors,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “This process will assist disease investigators in case an outbreak is traced to a particular business.”

Businesses can find the guidelines that apply to their industry on the state’s COVID-19 website. Business owners can also email the county with specific questions about reopening guidance for their sector.

New State Metrics

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Under the new state monitoring metrics, San Diego County is currently in the second tier, referred to as the Red Tier, with a Substantial Risk Level of transmission of the coronavirus.

Tiers are based on two metrics, case rate and the percentage of positive tests. To remain in the Red Tier, the county will have to report between four to seven COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents per day and a positivity rate between 5%-8%.

As of August 30, 2020

San Diego’s state-calculated case rate is currently 5.8 and the testing positivity percentage is 3.8%.

To move to the next lower-risk tier, the County will have to report between 1 and 3.9 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents per day and a positivity rate downt to between 2-4.9% for at least two consecutive weeks.

The state will assess counties on a weekly basis, with the next report scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8. Counties can only move one tier at a time and must wait at least 21 days between moves.

“To maintain our current status or to move to a less restrictive tier, we need continued support from the community,” Wooten said. “We must build on our success and continue to focus on protecting one another.”

Community Setting Outbreaks:

  • Two new outbreaks were identified on Aug. 30, one in a restaurant/bar and one in a business setting.
  • In the past seven days, 16 community outbreaks were identified.
  • The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days.
  • A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.


  • 5,731 tests were reported to the County on Aug. 30 and the number of laboratory-confirmed cases was 5%.
  • The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 3.7%. Target is less than 8.0%.
  • The 7-day, daily average of tests is 6,543.


  • 304 new cases were reported in San Diego County on Aug. 30 for a total of 38,604.
  • 3,111 or 8.1% of cases have required hospitalization.
  • 750 or 1.9% of all cases and 24.1% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.


  • No new COVID-19 deaths were reported in San Diego County on Aug. 30. The region’s total remains at 682.
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Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.”Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to:


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