Dr. Wilma Wooten at Wednesday’s media briefing, Image from live stream

San Diego County reported 159 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday and eight more deaths as some businesses prepared for a limited reopening on Friday.

Since the pandemic began, 65,737 tests have been conducted, resulting in 4,319 positive cases and 158 deaths. Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officers, said the latest victims were three women and five men aged from their 40s to 80s.

On Wednesday, 363 individuals testing positive for coronavirus were in the hospital, with 133 in intensive care. Since the crisis began, 20.4% of all positive-testing individuals have been hospitalized, with 6.5% spending time in intensive care and 3.7% dying.

Supervisor Greg Cox said the county expects to hear specific guidelines from Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday about which businesses can reopen on Friday.

“When more businesses start to reopen, it’s not going to happen all at once. In fact, no matter what the governor says, it will be up to the permitted businesses to have their staffing and supplies ready,” he said.

The county has created an online checklist for business owners to use to determine whether they are ready to reopen safely.

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Chris Jennewein

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