Drive-in coronavirus testing center
San Diego County’s drive-in coronavirus testing center at SDCCU Stadium. Courtesy OnScene.TV

Health officials reported Tuesday a second death from coronavirus disease involving a San Diego resident, and said two new cases involve infants.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s Public Health Officer, said the latest victim was a man in his late 70s with underlying health problems. The death of a man in his early 70s was reported Sunday.

Wooten said the two infants are both under the age of one year.

The announcement came shortly before the county released test data, which showed 12 new cases Tuesday for a total of 242. Of those, 16 are in the military and not county residents.

Wooten said she expects the number of cases in the county to continue to grow for some time before business shutdowns and social distancing have an impact.

“We do not believe the local wave of COVID-19 cases has yet crested,” said Wooten during the county’s daily press briefing amid the pandemic.

She said that if you were exhibiting symptoms, it was safest to self-quarantine if possible, and avoid leaving the home until three days after the last signs of a fever or cough, and at least a week after the initial onset of symptoms.

During the briefing, Sheriff Bill Gore said his department is seeking clarification from the state about whether retail gun stores are considered essential businesses. Earlier this week, county officials said they aren’t, and Gore pointed out that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order does not specifically list them as essential.

“In the meantime, the sheriff’s department is encouraging firearms retailers to socially distance and to close their shops to only online or appointment-only customers,” he said.

Gun owners had reacted angrily to the suggestion that gun stores are not essential, saying county residents need access to firearms and ammunition during what is an uncertain time.

In Los Angeles County, Sheriff Alex Villanueva has said his deputies will ensure that retail gun stores are closed.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.