District Attorney Summer Stephan speaks at Saturday’s coronavirus briefing. Image from live stream

District Attorney Summer Stephan warned San Diegans Saturday to watch for price gouging and scams amid the coronavirus pandemic as cases grew by 97 to 1,209 and there was one more death.

Speaking at San Diego County’s daily briefing on the coronavirus situation, she said the pandemic is an “opportunity for greedy people and those who want to take advantage of vulnerabilities — vulnerabilities based on fear.”

“We see more charity scams. We see fake cures,” she said, adding that she expects criminals to soon target unemployment checks and the federal economic impact payments.

Stephan said the 1,000 attorneys and other personnel in her office are at work and focused on these issues, as well as the possibility of increased domestic violence amid the stay-at-home order.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s chief health officer, said the latest victim of coronavirus was a man in his early 70s.

She noted that San Diego County is conducting more tests on a per capita basis than any other county in California — with over nearly 17,000 to date — and will soon be able to conduct thousands daily.

“San Diego is performing more tests than any other public health jurisdiction within California,” she said. “San Diego has a significant capacity and will be increasing its capacity.”

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said the county has started a social media campaign to encourage residents to stay home and follow public health orders. It includes an pledge that residents can sign and then share online.

“We’re asking San Diegans to go to this website and take the pledge,” Fletcher said.

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Chris Jennewein

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