The Coast News Group

San Diego County surpasses 300 deaths from coronavirus

REGION — Another grim milestone was crossed today, as San Diego County health officials reported five new deaths from the coronavirus, raising the number of people who have died from the illness above 300.

Since the pandemic began, 301 county residents have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Health officials reported 110 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, raising the total to 8,729 cases.

The five deceased were four men and one woman ranging in age from their late 60s to mid-80s. All five had underlying health conditions.

The county also recorded 3,963 tests, with 3% testing positive. The region’s 14-day rolling average of positive tests is 3.1%.

Over the weekend, the number of Hispanic or Latino residents who have died from the illness surpassed the number of white residents, representing 43.1% of all deaths. White residents represent 42.7% of the deaths. According to a 2017 demographics profile from the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, the region’s percentage of Hispanic or Latino residents was 33.4%, while white residents made up 46.2% of the county’s population.

Meanwhile, piers and boardwalks throughout San Diego reopened Tuesday amid a flurry of re-openings set for this week.

Cities throughout the county were permitted to open beach parking lots Tuesday at their discretion, county officials said Saturday. Members of the same household are allowed to participate in active sports together, such as football, soccer or volleyball.

East and West Mission Bay Parks reopened Monday for park and water uses, plus its parking lots are now open at 100% capacity. Fiesta Island reopened Monday for pedestrians, dogs and cyclists, but will remain closed to vehicles until July 6.

Day camps, campgrounds and RV parks also reopened Monday and outdoor recreation such as sport and charter fishing expeditions are now allowed.

On Friday, Balboa Park Central Mesa will reopen and all Balboa Park parking lots will reopen to 100% capacity.

For the boat-based businesses able to reopen Monday, all customers must have ready access to hand sanitizing stations or supplies, San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox said.

The majority of businesses still closed will be able to reopen Friday, as long as they meet the county’s reopening guidelines. Statewide protocols for those businesses were released late last week.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said gyms, most swimming pools, bars, wineries, cardrooms and hotels for tourism and business travel will be able to reopen Friday.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said that an expected spike from restaurants reopening for dine-in service two weeks ago has not yet occurred, to the credit of business owners who followed sanitation and social distancing protocols.

“I like to think our restaurant industry has done a phenomenal job,” she said.