By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Gy Kirk, new co-owner of Sheldon's Station in La Mesa, says his restaurant is offering curbside take-out immediately and willl soon offer a home delivery service.
March 16, 2020 (San Diego) – Alarmed by news of 55 COVID-19 cases countywide—a nearly seven-fold increase in the past four days – San Diego County officials today announced tough new restrictions that will impact daily lives of virtually all residents and businesses. A new fund aims to help those adversely impacted.
Effective midnight Tuesday through March 31, the following rules are imposed countywide:
- All gatherings of 50 or more are prohibited, including public and private events.
- All non-essential gatherings, regardless of size, are discouraged.
- All bars and other businesses serving alcohol without food must shut down.
- Restaurants may offer only delivery, pick-up or drive-through service. On-site pickups must include social distancing of at least six feet.
- Schools of all levels, public and private, must cancel any on-campus classes.
- Businesses must not require doctor’s notes for sick time or other leave.
- Businesses must allow telecommuting if possible and adopt social distancing for on-site workers, along with increased cleaning.
- Hospitals and health care facilities should preserve resources including cancelling elective and non-emergency procedures when feasible.
- Only essential personnel may enter hospitals and long-term care facilities—and any essential personnel with symptoms of COVID-19 are prohibited from entering.
- Hospitals, commercial testing labs and all healthcare providers must report COVID-19 test results to the county’s public health officer immediately after receiving results.
- Travelers arriving in San Diego County should self-quarantine at home for 14 day if they traveled from or through nations on the Centers for Disease Control Level 3 list. The list currently includes China, Iran, South Korea, and most European nations.
- Self-quarantine at home is strongly recommended for people over age 65, as well as those with chronic underlying conditions or compromised immune systems.
- Everyone with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate at home before seeking medical treatment.
To help those impacted by the pandemic and economic consequences, the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund has been set up. It will award grants to nonprofits with experience supporting these communities, especially those disproportionately impacted. The fund includes donations from Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, SDG&E, San Diego Foundation, the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, and United Way.