The Coast News Group

COVID-19 Resources for North County


The Coast News Group is dedicating this page to keep our community updated with current information, resources and articles related to the COVID-19 pandemic in North County. Please bookmark this page and check for updates!


COVID-19 Information

Stay informed about COVID-19 (coronavirus) with updates and guidelines from federal, state and local health agencies:

Local Government

Local governments across North County have each responded to the COVID-19 health crisis. Check these links for the latest information on state, county and city closures, meetings and advisories:

State of California

California now has 757,778 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in 14,385 deaths. The number of COVID-related deaths increased by 0.4 percent from Saturday’s total of 14,329. The number of COVID-19 diagnostic test results in California reached a total of 12,806,189, an increase of 116,173 tests since Saturday. The rate of positive tests over the last 14 days is 3.7 percent. 

Updated September 14, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. with data from September 13.

For more information on COVID-19 and California’s response visit the California Department of Public Health website.

San Diego County 

San Diego County public health officials reported208 new COVID-19 infections and no new deaths on Monday, September 14, bringing the region’s total caseload to 42,887, while the number of deaths related to the illness remained at 734.

COVID-19 Interactive Data Map

Click on your ZIP code for more information; select the arrow for map key.

This map shows the rate of acceleration of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents (black circles), between July 20 and June 28, by ZIP code — that is, the rate of increase of the rate of cases. Bigger black circles indicate larger increases in the rate of cases. On average, case rates countywide have nearly doubled, but these increases aren’t even spread geographically. The map also shows the proportion of minority populations (all but non-Hispanic white) in each ZIP code. Darker brown shading indicates increasingly above-average shares of minority residents (relative to N. County); lighter grey shading indicates increasingly above-average shares of non-Hispanic white residents.


Sources: County of San Diego, SANDAG, Esri
Data graphic by Dan Brendel

Re-instituting measures

Reopening is based on a variety of COVID-19 trends and the capacity of the healthcare system to cope with the virus’s impact on the public. If necessary, restrictions could be brought back to protect people’s health.

The County is tracking 13 specific “triggers” that could prompt modification of the health order. See a dashboard with current status of the measures and an explanation of the triggers.

San Diego Safe Onsite Dining Plan – Review guidance for implementing key prevention measures for COVID-19.

San Diego Restaurant Operating Protocol – Fill this form out, print and post at a public entrance. Implement all mandatory measures.

Guidance for Food Facility Re-Openings  – Guidance checklist to help you with re-opening.

San Diego Safe Dining Posters – Print and display these posters at all entrances to the facility.

State Guidance for Dine-in Restaurants – Review guidance for additional optional measures that can be implemented to protect against COVID-19.

How can people protect themselves?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). This occurs through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Every person has a role to play. So much of protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense:

    • Washing hands with soap and water.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
    • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
    • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
    • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
    • If you smoke or vape, consider quitting. Smokers who already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity could be at increased risk of serious illness.
    • Following guidance from public health officials.

Want your Relief Check? Scammers Do Too

As the government is sending out relief checks that are part of the federal response to COVID-19, scammers are out to intercept the checks.

Do you have new, sealed personal protective equipment in original packaging or handmade masks you would like to donate? To donate, call 1-800-258-0007 or email [email protected].

Tri-City Medical Center’s COVID-19 Command Center

Tri-City Medical Center’s COVID-19 Command Center Community Update for May 18, 2020. Additional information and opportunities to support our mission are available through the Tri-City Medical Center COVID-19 webpage.


Check out each North County city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic by clicking on the links below:

Food & Restaurants

While countless cities in North County have closed their businesses due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many restaurants are offering takeout, delivery and drive-thru services for food and beverages. See below for restaurants open in your area:


Public transportation schedules have been modified throughout San Diego County and subject to change based on ridership and public health conditions. Check out these links to keep up with the latest:

  • Amtrak Pacific Surfliner — Pacific Surfliner trains are now following a temporarily reduced schedule. This is a dynamic situation, so other changes to the schedule can be made if, for example, there are not enough crew members available or if public health conditions change in the area. Click here to view the new timetable
  • MTS — MTS plans to continue regular service through March 31. With fewer riders on board, maintaining regular service at this time will enable passengers to better practice social distancing while riding and at stations.
  • North County Transit District — North County Transit District is experiencing significant declines in ridership and has determined that temporary service reductions will be implemented for COASTER commuter trains. The following temporary service reductions will be in effect beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 and will remain in place until further notice.
  • Innovate78 — The Innovate78 cities (Carlsbad, Escondido, San Marcos, Oceanside & Vista) have put together information to help you respond to transportation issues for business and employees. Any new or additional information will be posted on the Innovate78 website here, so check back frequently.

Community Services

  • 2-1-1 San Diego — A 24-hour confidential phone service and searchable online database for public resources, including school meal distribution sites, home-delivered meal services, grocery stores open early for senior citizens, utilies, housing and shelter information, healthcare, and much more.
  • YMCA of San Diego County — Child Development Associations and the YMCA of San Diego County announced they will begin offering child care services to essential workers and at-risk populations for eligible participants. Emergency child care services under the program will be available through June 30. Families seeking child care can call the YMCA Childcare Resource Service Resource and Referral line, staffed seven days a week to help parents find a child care provider that meets their needs. Call 800-481-2151 to reach an advisor or visit the website.
  • O’side Kitchen Collaborative — The City of Oceanside has worked together with  O’side Kitchen Collaborative to provide financial relief for local restaurants buying surplus ingredients, employing laid off food staff and creating meals for our community effected by the recent COVID19 outbreak.
  • Helen Woodward Animal Center (food support for animals)AniMeals coordinates individual pet food packaging and delivery to those in need and in these times that includes pet owners who are struggling with the loss of employment due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please visit their website for more information.
  • Community Resource Center’s “Virtual English Tea”: Due to COVID-19, the community Resource Center’s 25th Annual English Tea on April 4 has moved online. The event raises critical funding for CRC, budgeted to raise $100,000 this year. So, get ready for the first Virtual English Tea! They will update this page on the morning of Saturday, April 3, with instructions for how to access videos, handouts and more.
  • One Fair Wage Emergency Fund — Relief fund for food service workers who have lost work. This fund applies to restaurant workers, delivery drivers, bartenders and anyone that receives tips. Please visit this website for more information.
  • Food Banks — If you need food for you or your family in San Diego County, there are dozens of charity operated pantries providing free food. Find a complete listing of free food banks, pantries, soup kitchens, and distribution centers, and information on food stamps/CalFresh, including where to apply.
  • Del Mar Community Connections — Del Mar Community Connections is a volunteer-driven organization providing programs and services that help our maturing residents. The group is currently accepting donations for toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies. Seniors can make requests for supplies they might need, and volunteers can help deliver the supplies or help with other services by filling out this form. Volunteers can register here.
  • North County Lifeline — North County Lifeline is a community-based human services organization that serves low-income and underserved populations in San Diego County. Every year Lifeline serves more than 5,000 members of our community through clinically-strong and evidence-based programs that focus on positive youth development, child abuse prevention and domestic violence intervention, housing and self-sufficiency, behavioral health, and human trafficking victim and survivor services. They are currently accepting donations to continue services.
  • Operation HOPE — The Vista-based nonprofit provides a safe and supportive environment for families with children and single women who are experiencing homelessness as they rebuild their lives. They are currently accepting donations to continue services.
  • Catholic Charities In partnership with the Diocese of San Diego, Catholic Charities has created the Emergency Food Distribution Network to distribute food to those in need. Please visit their website for more information.
  • Feeding San DiegoFeeding San Diego is working diligently to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to provide food resources to every San Diegan in need. Please visit their website for a real-time list of food donation sites. For more information, read The Coast News article here.
  • San Diego Food Bank– The San Diego Food Bank is helping to ensure that people have access to receive food assistance during this crisis. Please visit their website for more information.
  • The Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH)The Regional Task has compiled information on the COVID-19 virus that includes guidance, infographics, toolkits and checklists to help you prepare, respond and recover from the virus. Please visit their website for more information.
  • Lucky Duck Foundation — The growing homelessness epidemic in San Diego County led the Lucky Duck Foundation to focus solely on providing aid and relief for individuals and families living on the streets of San Diego County.

Business & Employment Services

  • U.S. Small Business Association — The SBA works directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
  • Department of Labor FAQ – Paid leave provisions are effective April 1, 2020 (not April 2 as anticipated). Includes some clarification and confirmation, including for example the applicability of the “fewer than 500” rule (pulling from the FMLA integrated enterprise test, and FLSA joint employer analysis).
  • San Diego Workforce Partnership — For those currently impacted by the pandemic and looking for help, the latest information for workers and employers is available on the website now. Employers can also call (619) 228-2982 for assistance within one business day. Also view the latest employment statistics here.
  • Chairmen’s Roundtable & CSUSM — California State University-San Marcos, in collaboration with the Chairmen’s Roundtable organization of San Diego, is providing timely services to the business community on a pro bono basis as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is truly a remarkable opportunity in these tough and uncertain times for the right organization. Take a look at their website: then take a look at this PDF presentation for future details and contact information.
  • California Alcohol Beverage Control — The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has suspended enforcement of specific legal prohibitions to assist California’s alcoholic beverage industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The department issues a Notice of Regulatory Relief on March 19 to help licensees with economic challenges brought on by the spread of the virus.
  • Fisher Phillips – There have been a number of new ‘shut-down’ or ‘shelter-in-place’ orders that have recently gone into effect around the country. Fisher Phillips is constantly monitoring and updating information to help businesses or organizations deal with the implications of the coronavirus so they can prepare and respond quickly. Federal and state legal information regarding business operations, non-essential businesses and more can be found here and here.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — The EEOC just weighed in on the impact that the COVID-19 coronavirus is having on American workforces and issued a press release today titled “What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19.” The publication takes a Q&A format and tackles some common areas of concern for employers.
  • Internal Revenue Service — The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus here. Check the website for information on the recently passed federal stimulus package. Check on the status of your stimulus check here.
  • San Diego Tourism Authority – The SDTA is offering resources and opportunities to collaborate, including an email list for weekly updates to members; Research page which as the SDTA’s latest visitor industry stats, including hotel occupancy numbers, and the paywall has been removed during the crisis. Business listings of organizations posting lists of open businesses still offering services, please send your link here.
  • PettitKohn – They have released a number of resources for employment and employers. Read their latest COVID-19 Newsletter.  Read about President Trump’s extended paid sick leave legislation.
  • Procopio – Hosting several free webinars regarding employers, business insurance, and important questions. Register for upcoming webinars and watch previous webinars here! They also have a resource page with regularly updated information here.
  • Encinitas Small Business Support Fund —In partnership with the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Foundation and the Harbaugh Foundation, the Leucadia 101, Encinitas 101 and Cardiff 101 MainStreet Associations are accepting donations to raise $100,000 to create the Encinitas Small Business Support Fund. Business owners would apply to the fund for grants ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.
  • Save Small Business Coalition — The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce along with over 80 chambers of commerce and business associations across the nation created the Save Small Business Coalition (SSBC) to address exactly that concern. Businesses need cash now, period. The coalition, spanning 15 states, wants to empower a solution for both small businesses and the insurance industry, backed by the federal government.
  • Annuity — is a free web finance resource, accredited by the Better Business Bureau. In light of the recent pandemic, we understand many freelancers, self-employed individuals, families and small businesses have been impacted financially. Our annuities guide has information on how to generate long-term income, which can greatly benefit those out of work or on a reduced income at the moment. Please also take a look at our COVID-19 Financial Guide.

Chambers of Commerce

  • Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce — The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce has setup a comprehensive webpage with a growing list of services and support for small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. They also include a list of free or discounted business services and digital networking opportunities here.
  • Encinitas Chamber of Commerce — During these critical times, the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce wants members to know its here to help. The Chamber if offering business resources and novel coronavirus recovery updates.
  • Escondido Chamber of Commerce — The Escondido Chamber of Commerce is working remotely to continue helping area businesses. “Hats off to Escondido” virtual mixer will be held at 5 p.m. on April 9 via Zoom.
  • Oceanside Chamber of Commerce — The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce has served its community for nearly 125 years. The Chamber continues to monitor the Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation in order to provide businesses, employees and Oceanside residents with the latest information and resources.
  • San Marcos Chamber of Commerce: San Marcos approved the COVID-19 Business Sustainability Program on March 24.  The program will set aside up to $3,000,000 of General Fund reserves for a short term business loan program. Learn more about the San Marcos Business Sustainability Program here. Also, join San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones for “Better Together San Marcos” Virtual Community Lunch.
  • Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce — The Solana Beach Chamber is dedicated to its member’s growth and the community’s prosperity. The Chamber provides the tools for strong economic development by offering our members outstanding services.
  • Vista Chamber of Commerce — The Vista Chamber of Commerce is a diverse organization that is focused on interacting with the business community, local government, public safety, education, and the non-profits who are making a difference.
  • San Diego Coastal Chamber of Commerce — The San Diego Coastal Chamber of Commerce represent, promote, and protect a strong business community in Del Mar, La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, Carmel Valley, Torrey Highlands, Sorrento Valley and San Diego.

Entertainment & Education

While families are staying home and practicing social distancing, they can enjoy entertaining and educational programs at home from a host of different sources:

  • Lab Rats “STEAM At-Home” — Lab Rats is project-based learning that encourages critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and self-management through STEAM. They are currently offering a weekly STEAM and science labs video series. Watch the entire collection of videos on Lab Rats’ YouTube channel. Above is a preview of Lab Rats’ “STEAM At-Home” series.
  • Encinitas’ Virtual Community and Senior Center— This page will serve as a place for you to obtain a listing of Senior Assistance resources and links to online activities for various ages including fitness, fun and educational activities. Visit this page for activities offered by third-party organizations (not connected to the City of Encinitas) to help you stay in shape physically, emotionally and socially.
  • Leading Note Studios — Leading Note Studios in Encinitas launched two online music programs offering free classes and lessons for its students called “Pop-Up Music with Camille” and “Cabin Fever Busters.” Any student at the school taking weekly online lessons, will also get access to music classes with owner Camille Hastings and a private Facebook group called Cabin Fever Buster.
  • Picerne Family FoundationThe Picerne Family Foundation has created an opportunity for welcome relief through its “Shelter-in-Place: Face-to-Face” program.  The foundation has arranged live one-on-one music, art and writing lessons free to anyone in the community.  These 15- to 30-minute lessons are conducted through interactive video programs such as ZoomSkype or FaceTime.  The instructors are all professional artists who are donating their time for this project.  There is no fee for these lessons. 
  • —In this article, shares 26 of the most fantastic and productive graphic design resources that will keep the kids engaged when you can’t go out due the coronavirus pandemic (or otherwise). These will help them learn something new, and may enable them to develop a new hobby or think of a future career choice.
  • Tumbles — Tumbles, an indoor gym and playground in Encinitas, has posted some fun videos an free lessons online for the kids!  Check them out on Facebook and Instagram: #tumblesgym.
  • San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum — The Escondido-based museum providing interactive educational exhibits for children is offering daily storytime for kids at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  Storytime is free with Museum admission. Enjoy the Musuem and then listen for the bell that signifies that storytime is about to start.
  • Blossom Music Tree —The Music Blossom Tree in Encinitas has uploaded free videos on social media for viewers to enjoy. They have also implemented a paid online program for any parents who want music classes for their little ones.
  • National University – Free Online classes for California students affected by COVID-19. More info.
  • CitySpark’s Virtual Events: The local online calendar event site, CitySpark has added a “Virtual Event” listing.
  • Virtual Museum Tours:  Visit the Louvre, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, The Vatican Museum, NASA’s Langley Research Center and Ohio’s Glenn Research Center.
  • San Diego Humane Society’s “Humane at Home”: The Facebook Live series, which airs live on San Diego Humane Society’s Facebook page at 2 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, provides children with fun, interactive content to help them learn about animals. All previously aired episodes are available.
  • Helen Woodward Animal Center’s “Critter Cam”: Helen Woodward’s education department is offering scheduled on-line programming, including its Critter Cam, which features a live-stream rotation of adoptable pets, including rabits, parrots and baby goats.
  • San Diego Zoo’s Wildlife Live Cams: While the zoo itself is closed, live cameras of animals are available 24 hours a day. Watch polar bears, penguins, tigers, pandas, baboons and so much more.
  • Museum of Making Music – Presenting several fun and educational live streaming events from band conducting, to MIDI production! Find the schedule of events here!
  • TeachingBooks: A literature site that offers 160,000+ digital resources for teachers and students alike, including read-along audiobook performances and ready-to-use activities.
  • Mo Willems’ “Lunch Doodles”: Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio. New episodes will be posted each weekday at 1:00 p.m. ET and then remain online to be streamed afterwards.
  • Kennedy Center’s Digital Stage: Watch extraordinary performances by your favorite artists from the Kennedy Center’s stages and beyond, including original works, new clips, and a vast archive which you can also explore.
  • Join Read Across America: The titles and resources featured by NEA’s Read Across America include books that students can see themselves reflected in, as well as books that allow readers to see a world or a character that might be different than them.
  • The Crisis Crooner  — Carlsbad resident Chris Maddox is helping ease the overwhelming nature of the COVID-19 situation by singing funny parody songs in his closet & posting them online.

News Coverage

Newsrooms around North County are following the coronavirus pandemic closely, providing informational articles, local features, and public resources:

School Meals

While county schools are closed because of COVID-19, students can still receive meals. The San Diego County Office of Education released a list of school sites that will be providing meals to students starting Monday and lasting until schools open again. Students age 2 to 18 can get a meal for breakfast and lunch at any of the sites during this period:

Oceanside Unified School District 

Vista Unified School District

Carlsbad Unified School District

Encinitas Union School District

Escondido Union High School District