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The San Diego County Administration Building. Public domain photo
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Supervisors consider suing state over COVID restrictions

REGION — The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will meet in closed session today to consider taking legal action against the state to prevent potentially sliding back into the most restrictive tier on Tuesday.

The Board met Thursday night to discuss their options after Gov. Gavin Newsom rejected a county effort Wednesday to discount the more than 700 positive tests recorded by San Diego State University since the semester began.

The supervisors did not make a decision on taking legal action against the state in their meeting Thursday, but Supervisor Greg Cox said the board will meet in closed-session today after receiving more information, “to consider any further actions.”

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher was vague about the closed meeting Thursday, but urged caution.

“In general, I believe we should be fighting COVID-19 and not the state of California,” he said. “We do not yet know what our case rate will be next Tuesday and will have to evaluate that number in order to understand any possible impact.”

The county will find out Tuesday if it will slip back to the purple tier of the state’s coronavirus reopening roadmap. If so, it would likely shutter indoor operations for restaurants, movie theaters, houses of worship and gyms, limit retail businesses to just 25% capacity and have major impacts on indoor business for most other industries until the county can improve its numbers.

Should the county be placed in that tier, it would have to wait a minimum of three weeks before moving back to less restrictive tiers.

If state data announced Tuesday shows the county has a case rate higher than 7, it could be moved into the purple tier — the most restrictive.

However, if the numbers from the university were removed from the equation, San Diego County would suddenly drop below the mark to remain in the red tier.

As of 6 p.m. Saturday, SDSU had reported 819 confirmed cases and 32 probable cases, bringing the total number of cases to 851. The university has not received any reports of faculty or staff who have tested positive, SDSU health officials said, nor have any cases been traced to classroom or research settings.

San Diego County health officials reported 284 new COVID-19 infections and no new deaths on Sunday, raising the region’s totals to 44,577 cases with the death toll remaining at 760.

Of the 9,097 tests reported on Saturday, 3% returned positive, bringing the 14-day rolling average of positive tests to 3.6%.

The seven-day daily average of tests is 8,375. Of the total positive cases reported as of Sunday, 3,404 — or 7.6% — required hospitalization and 800 — or 1.8% — had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

One new community outbreak in a grocery business was confirmed this weekend. From Sept. 13-19, 21 community outbreaks were confirmed.

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.