San Diego County public health officials on Monday reported 98 new coronavirus cases along with two more deaths and reminded residents that face coverings will be required in public starting May 1.
“As we look to loosen some rules, we’ll also have to tighten some. That’s why on Friday our new order will take effect requiring the use of facial coverings when you go outside,” said Supervisor Greg Cox at the county’s afternoon media briefing.
Cox said residents should keep a face covering with them at all times and be ready to wear it whenever coming within six feet of another person. Masks don’t need to be worn in a car, on a bicycle, or when no one is around.
He demonstrated wearing a scarf that he keeps around his neck, ready to be pulled up to cover his face.
The county reported a total of 45,758 tests, 3,141 cases and 113 deaths. The latest victims were a women in her early 60s and a man in his early 50s. Both had underlying medical conditions.
Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said three of the five federal criteria for reopening the region have been achieved so far:
- Achieved – 14-day downward trend in flu-like illnesses
- In Progress – 14-day downward trend in cases with COVID-like symptoms
- Achieved – 14-day downtown trend in positive tests as a percent of the total
- Achieved – All patients able to be treated in hospitals without crises conditions
- In Progress – Robust testing in place, especially for all healthcare personnel
She said the county expects to meet the guidelines for robust testing by the end of the week thanks to new equipment and the opening of drive-through testing facilities.
“We continue to be optimistic that the metrics we shared today will continue to trend downward,” she said.
Officials said planning is underway to begin loosening restrictions, but cautioned that it will be a gradual process to ensure that infections do not suddenly increase.
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