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By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine is among the local malls eligible to reopen for curbside pickups.

May 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego County officials yesterday announced several more types of businesses that can reopen, with modifications, ranging from shopping centers to landscapers. All must prepare and post a safe reopening plan to protect employees and customers.

Shopping malls, including outlet malls and strip malls, can offer pickup service with clearly marked curbside outdoor pickup locations, but customers are not allowed inside stores.  In East County, malls eligible to begin offering curbside sales include Grossmont Center in La Mesa, Parkway Plaza in El Cajon, and the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine as well as smaller retail centers.

Other businesses allowed to reopen are car washes, pet grooming services, landscaping and gardening businesses, outdoor museums and offices, though telework is still strongly encouraged.

All businesses that reopen must first submit a safe reopening plan to the county that includes meeting hygiene requirements, physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and health screenings.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, County public health officer, thanks San Diegans for cooperating with stay-home orders, which has enabled our region to move further into phase two of the state’s reopening plans. “The metrics are trending in the right direction,” Dr. Wooten adds.

On Monday, 96 new cases of COVID-19 were reported, bringing the county’s total to 5,161.  Fifteen new deaths were also reported, bringing the total fatalities to 190.

Testing is ramping up with 2,440 tests reported on May 11; 4% of those tested positive. Over the past `4 days, the average positive testing rate has been 5.1%. 

The public can access free tests by calling (888)634-1123. The state has three free testing sites Tuesday through Saturday in El Cajon, Escondido and Chula Vista.  The County is also dispatching mobile testing vehicles around the region, particularly where hot spots of the virus have been detected.

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