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San Diego County Coronavirus Pandemic March 2021 – NBC 7 San Diego

March 2021. A whole year into the coronavirus pandemic and the virus still impacted so many parts of our lives. In San Diego County, March 2021 brought the return of the red tier and more vaccination sites. Here’s a look back at what happened in San Diego County this month as the pandemic continued.

COVID-19 Patients in San Diego County

San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials have reported 268,627 positive COVID-19 cases and 3,520 deaths since Feb. 14, 2020.

Here’s the San Diego County Public Health Order as of Feb. 6, 2021:


Second Half of March 2021 in San Diego County

March 30
Cases: San Diego County health officials said there were 227 new cases of coronavirus reported in our region, increasing the total case number since February 2020 to 269,997.

Deaths: Eight new deaths due to the coronavirus were reported, making the death toll 3,555 since the pandemic began.

Spring Break Air Travel: Officials from the San Diego International Airport told NBC 7 that 22,328 passengers traveled through the TSA checkpoint on March 28, the most people through it since March 15 of last year, which was the last weekend before the shutdown.

Still, that’s still 60% less passengers than during the same day in 2019.

San Diego Pride: For the second year in a row due to the pandemic, San Diego Pride announced its festivities will be held virtually.

March 29
Cases: An additional 290 COVID-19 cases were reported on March 28, making the region’s total 269,770 at this point.

Deaths: In more optimistic news, no new deaths were reported on March 28. San Diego County’s COVID-19 death toll remains at 3,547.

Spring Break Case Surge?: With spring breakers heading to America’s Finest City for some fun in the sun under relaxed reopenings thanks to the county’s current red tier state, an infectious disease expert from UC San Diego said he expects a mini-surge of COVID-19 cases following spring break. Hear his warnings here.

San Diego Convention Center: At this point in time, the downtown-based event space welcomed at least 700 migrant children who sought asylum in the U.S.

At least 69 girls at the convention center tested positive for COVID-19, according to Bonnie Preston of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The majority of the girls tested positive before arriving in San Diego. Six tested positive upon arrival on Saturday and four more who were exposed to positive patients since Saturday have tested positive.

President Biden Calls for Reopening Pause: President Joe Biden urged governors and local leaders who dropped sweeping mask mandates to reinstate their orders, indicated some states should wait to reopen their economies while condemning “reckless behavior” likely to spur more infections.

March 28
Cases:
San Diego County said 205 COVID-19 cases were reported to officials on March 27, increasing the region’s total to 269,480. A total of 13,316 tests were reported to the county on March 27, and the percentage of new positive cases was 2%.

Deaths: Sadly, seven new COVID-19 deaths were reported, making the region’s total 3,574.

San Diego Convention Center: The first few hundreds of unaccompanied migrant children seeking asylum in the United States arrived this day and headed straight for the San Diego Convention Center. The iconic event space will serve as a shelter for young asylum seekers and follow COVID-19 health guidelines.

March 27
Cases: Two hundred twenty-six COVID-19 cases were reported to the county on March 26. The region’s total is now 269,275. A total of 11,937 tests were reported to the County on March 26, and the percentage of new positive cases was 2%.

Deaths: Fifteen new COVID-19 deaths were reported on Friday, March 26. The region’s total is 3,540.

March 26
Cases: Four hundred twenty-two COVID-19 cases were reported to the county. The region’s total is now 269,049. A total of 14,762 or 5.5% of all cases have required hospitalization. And 1,636 or 0.6% of all cases and 11.1% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

Deaths: Five new COVID-19 deaths were reported. The region’s total is 3,525. Three men and two women died between Jan. 19 and March 24. 

Of the people who died, two were 80 years of age or older, one was in their 60s and two were in their 50s. Three had underlying medical conditions, one did not and one had medical history pending.

Cases Deaths Community Outbreaks
Reported 422 5 3
Total (Since Feb. 2020) 269,049 3,525 20 reported in past 7 days
There were 13,376 tests reported, accounting for a 3% daily positivity rate

March 25
Vaccines: California public health officials announced the state would expand vaccine eligibility more than ever come April. On April 1, Californians age 50+ would become eligible for the vaccine and on April 15, anyone 16+ in California would be able to make an appointment to get their shot.

“In just a few weeks, there’ll be no rules, no limitations, as it relates to the ability to get a vaccine administered,” Calfornia Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference in Orange County. “This state is going to come roaring back.”

Soon, California is expanding its coronavirus vaccine eligibility more than ever. Two key dates to remember: April 1 and April 15. NBC 7’s Audra Stafford shares what you should know.

School Reopenings: Carlsbad middle and high school students would soon be able to return to class five days a week after the Carlsbad Unified School District Board of Trustees voted in favor of the measure. The school district’s Board of Trustees voted 3-2 in favor of the motion.

Cases: 210 new COVID-19 cases were reported to the county, bringing the tally to 268,627. A total of 4,023, or 5.2% of all cases, had required hospitalization.

Deaths: Eleven new COVID-19 deaths were reported; the region’s total was now 3,520.

March 24
COVID-19 Variant: San Diego County public health officials announced they had detected the first cases of a COVID-19 variant first detected in Brazil among a San Diego County resident and a non-resident.

“San Diegans should not be alarmed. The COVID-19 vaccines currently available do offer some protection against most of the variants,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten County public health officer said in Wednesday’s county briefing. “People should continue taking the preventive measures that work against all variants of the novel coronavirus.”

Two people in San Diego are now confirmed to be infected with the Brazilian strain of the Coronavirus. It’s a variant that could be more resistant to a vaccine. We’ve reported about so-called “’vaccine hunters’ standing in line trying to get leftover doses of coronavirus vaccines. Tonight, we’ll tell you how “appointment hunters” are helping others. NBC 7’s Mark Mullen has the Nightly Check-In for Wednesday, March 24th.

Vaccines: San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said approximately 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered in the county as of March 24, 2021. Meanwhile, Supervisor Nora Vargas said that 98.5% of South Bay residents 65 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as also as of March 24.

Cases: The county reported another 257 new cases of COVID-19. That tally now stood at 268,417 since county public health officials began tracking coronavirus cases locally on Feb. 14, 2020. There were 11,282 COVID-19 tests reported to the county, accounting for a 2% daily positivity rate

Deaths: Eleven new COVID-19 deaths were reported, bringing the region’s total to 3,509.

March 23
Vaccines at Mexican Consulate: County public health officials announced that a new coronavirus vaccination site would open March 24 at the Mexican Consulate in San Diego at 1549 India St. in Little Italy. The site has the capacity to administer as many as 100 coronavirus vaccines per day, depending on supply.

Post-Vaccination Risk: Although the risk is tiny, infection from the virus causing COVID-19 after receiving vaccines is possible, a report published by a team of researchers from UC San Diego and UCLA revealed. Click here for more.

Cases Deaths Community Outbreaks
Reported 243 4 0
Total (Since Feb. 2020) 268,160 3,498 16 reported in past 7 days

There were 11,456 tests reported, accounting for a 2% daily positivity rate.

San Diego’s Mexican Consulate is opening a COVID-19 vaccine to help communities who were hit the hardest by the pandemic.

March 22:
Vaccines: Two new walk-up vaccination sites were announced: one inside Viejas Arena at San Diego State University and the other at the Mexican Consulate in Little Italy.

At the Viejas Arena site, up to 700 vaccines daily were expected to be administered in this first week of operation. Officials said the site has the capacity to administer up to 1,500 vaccines a day after its first week, depending on supply.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher said 10% of appointments at Viejas Arena would be reserved for individuals in the county’s hardest-hit communities.

Cases: San Diego County Public Health officials reported 189 new COVID-19 cases in the region.

Deaths: No new deaths were reported this day.

SDSU’s basketball season is over, but shots are still being put up inside Viejas Arena, reports NBC 7’s Joe Little.

March 21
Cases: The county reported a total of 192 new COVID cases, bringing the total to 267,728. Out of 9,785 tests were reported to the county, the percentage of new positive cases was 2%.

Deaths: Two new COVID-19 deaths were reported, bringing the region’s total to 3,494.

March 20
Vaccines: San Diego County’s first vaccination super station near Petco Park permanently closed on this day.

San Diego’s Petco Park vaccination super station will once again close starting Saturday due to a nationwide shortage of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, a county spokesperson confirmed to NBC 7.

Cases: The county reported a total of 359 COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 267,536. Out of the 13,247 tests reported to the county on this date, the percentage of new positive cases was 3%.

Deaths: One new COVID-related death was reported.

March 19
School Guidelines: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its social distancing guidelines for schools, saying students could now sit 3 feet apart in classrooms instead of 6 feet apart.

Cases: San Diego County reported a total of 421 cases bringing the total to 267,177. Out of 11,792 tests were reported to the county, the percentage of new positive cases was 4%.

Deaths: Thirteen new COVID-19 deaths were reported; the region’s total was now 3,491.

A major change to social distancing guidelines at schools from the CDC. The agency now recommends most school kids can be 3 feet apart, instead of 6 feet. It’s a curveball for California schools, but a giant step toward getting kids back. Plus, a father has been arrested after police say he took his toddler into an elephant enclosure at the San Diego Zoo. And Universal Studios Japan is leveling up with Super Nintendo World. NBC 7’s Mark Mullen has the Nightly Check-In for Friday, March 19th.

March 18
Vaccines: Supervisor Nora Vargas said that as of March 18, a total of 95.3% of South Bay residents 65 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. San Diego’s South Bay has been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus and the county is continuing its efforts to ramp up vaccine equity in the communities that have been hardest hit.

Progress: At the weekly coronavirus county presser, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher showed a slide on how the county’s case rate has progressed from the beginning of the year.

“We’re hopeful that these trends continue as we move forward,” Fletcher said.

March 19
School Guidelines: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its social distancing guidelines for schools, saying students could now sit 3 feet apart in classrooms instead of 6 feet apart.

Cases: San Diego County reported a total of 421 cases bringing the total to 267,177. Out of 11,792 tests were reported to the county, the percentage of new positive cases was 4%.

Deaths: Thirteen new COVID-19 deaths were reported; the region’s total was now 3,491.

March 18
Vaccines: Supervisor Nora Vargas said that as of March 18, a total of 95.3% of South Bay residents 65 and older had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. San Diego’s South Bay has been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus and the county is continuing its efforts to ramp up vaccine equity in the communities that have been hardest hit.

Progress: At the weekly coronavirus county presser, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher showed a slide on how the county’s case rate has progressed from the beginning of the year.

“We’re hopeful that these trends continue as we move forward,” Fletcher said.


Cases: The county reported a total of 439 new positive COVID-19 cases out of 15,929 tests for a 3% positive rate. At this point, the county’s COVID-19 case tally stood at 266,756. Of those, 13,379 – or 5% — had required hospitalization, public health officials said.

Deaths: Eight new deaths were reported bringing the total to 3,478.

Community Outbreaks: One new community outbreak was confirmed in a food/beverage processing setting. In the past seven days, 19 community outbreaks had been confirmed. The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days.

March 17
Red Tier: San Diego County officially entered the red tier meaning indoor operations resumed for several businesses, like gyms, movie theaters, museums and restaurants – with capacity limits.

California public health officials on Tuesday announced San Diego County has lowered its case rate enough to shift to the state’s less restrictive red tier, allowing for some indoor activities to reopen

Vaccines: By this point,more than 1.41 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been delivered to the region, and nearly 1.3 million had been logged as administered. This number included both county residents and those who work in San Diego County. Of those vaccinated to date, over 461,000 county residents, or 17.1% of San Diegans age 16 and older, were fully immunized.

Cases: A total of 411 COVID-19 cases were reported to the county. The region’s total now stood at 266,317. A total of 13,236 tests were reported and the percentage of new positive cases was 3%.

Deaths: Eight new COVID-19 deaths were reported; the regions total ticked up to 3,470.

San Diego County is expected to be eligible for the red tier Tuesday, which means restaurants could be back inside by Wednesday. NBC 7’s Joe Little reports.

March 16
Return to the Red Tier: San Diego County officially entered the red tier in the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan. California public health officials said the region’s case rate was less than 10.0 for the second consecutive week, so San Diego County became eligible to shift from the purple into the red tier. That means indoor operations could resume the following day for businesses like gyms, movie theaters, museums and restaurants – under COVID-19 guidelines.

Slowly more businesses are able to expand their reopenings now that San Diego County shifted to the less restrictive red tier. NBC 7’s Nicole Gomez has details on how the relaxed restrictions are affecting the Air & Space Museum.

March 15
Vaccines: Starting on March 15, many more San Diegans would become eligible for coronavirus vaccines. The county said locals ages 16 to 64 who have certain health conditions, disabilities, or work environments that put them at higher risk for serious COVID-19 illness – also known as Phase 1C of the county’s vaccination rollout – were now eligible for the vaccine. A complete list of those eligible can be found on the county’s website, here.

People carrying a few extra pounds are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in San Diego County. NBC 7’s Mari Payton has the story.

The county also announced it’s first vaccination super station near Petco Park – which had opened in mid-January – was set to permanently close on March 20.

Cases: Officials said that 178 new cases of coronavirus had been confirmed; out of 8,659 COVID-19 tests reported on this date, the positivity rate was 2%.

Starting tomorrow, thousands of San Diegans will become eligible to receive their COVID-19 shots. And as NBC 7’s Amber Frias found, one group could potentially have trouble getting access.

First Half of March 2021 in San Diego

March 14
Monday an estimated 4.4 million Californians will be added to the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility list. The new list includes those with disabilities and health conditions that put them at risk of severe coronavirus infection. Like cancer, heart conditions, severe obesity, type 2 diabetes, and chronic kidney and pulmonary disease. 

San Diego County is inching closer to the state’s less restrictive, Red Tier. County leaders are expected to make the official announcement Tuesday after receiving a routine assessment from the state.

Cases: A total of 198 COVID-19 cases were reported to the county. The region’s total is now 265,471, 10,349 or 2% of all cases have required hospitalization.

Deaths: Eight new COVID-19 deaths were reported on March 13. The region’s total is 3,452.

March 13
New reopening guidelines take effect Saturday for California breweries, wineries and distilleries. Those businesses will be allowed to operate outdoors even if they don’t serve food, but it’s not quite business as usual yet.

Under the new rules, breweries, wineries and distilleries in the purple and red tiers can now serve alcohol without food, outdoor reservations are required, customers can stay for 90 minutes and drinking must stop by 8 p.m.

Cases: A total of 384 COVID-19 cases were reported to the county. The region’s total is now 265,273, 11,433 or 3% of all cases have required hospitalization.

Deaths: Ten new COVID-19 deaths were reported on March 12. The region’s total is 3,444.

March 12
Reopening: The state of California announced it has administered more than 2 million vaccine doses to people in vulnerable, low-income ZIP codes. The key milestone alters reopening benchmarks for the state’s color-coded tier system, which means that some counties, like San Diego, are expected to move into the less restrictive Red Tier in the coming days.

NBC 7’s Melissa Adan heard reaction to the news from a business owner.

The California Department of Public Health said in a statement Friday that, “These tier adjustments will be assigned on Tuesday and take effect on Wednesday.” The changes include the partial reopening of some indoor operations.

NBC 7 reached out to San Diego County for a response. Spokesperson Michael Workman said, “We are pleased with the direction we are heading and hope to make a move as early as next week.”

Cases: A total of 362 COVID-19 cases were reported to the county. The region’s total is now 264,889, 13,327 or 5% of all cases have required hospitalization.

Deaths: Twelve new COVID-19 deaths were reported on March 11. The region’s total is 3,434. Seven men and five women died between Dec. 23 and March 10.

Of the 12 deaths reported March 11, three people who died were 80 years or older, five were in their 70s, two were in their 60s and two were in their 50s. Ten had underlying medical conditions, one did not and one had medical history pending.

March 11
On a somber day when many reflected upon the anniversary of the pandemic’s beginning, there were some signs of hope around San Diego County, and around the country.

State officials said Thursday that they were loosening restrictions on breweries, wineries and distilleries. Starting Saturday, Californians will be able to grab a glass of whatever at their local beverage purveyor without having to buy food for the first time in more than eight months. However, that change did not apply to bars in counties in red or purple tiers — San Diego’s gonna have to wait for that.

An interesting sidebar to the announcement: California also announced Thursday that beginning June 1, “overnight sleepaway camps will be allowed to resume with modifications in the red, orange and yellow tiers.”

Cases: There were 430 new cases of the coronavirus confirmed by testing on March 10, adding to the year’s total of 264,527 cases in San Diego.

Deaths: Officials said nine San Diegans had lost their battle with the virus on Wednesday. One year into the pandemic, COVID-19 has killed 3,422 county residents.

March 10
Palomar Hospital: Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said that the federal hospital at Palomar is shutting down after having zero COVID-19 patients.

“We are now in a position to have a shut down of that facility. The equipment and beds will remain in storage in San Diego County. The staff will be dispersed to other sites in the event they are needed,” he said in the weekly update.

Vaccine Eligibility: On Monday, March 15, vaccine eligibility will be expanding to those individuals ages 16-64 years old with underlying health conditions. More details will be released Wednesday night on the county website where individuals can see if they qualify and know what documents to bring.

Although, appointments will be given out based on county supply of the vaccine.

“Appointments will be subject to the availability of the vaccine. There can be very limited appointments available until we see an increase in supply,” Fletcher said.

Cases: 349 COVID-19 cases were reported to the County on March 9. The region’s total is now 264,097. 1,614 or 0.6% of all cases and 12.2% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

Deaths: Eight new COVID-19 deaths were reported on March 9. The region’s total is 3,413. Five women and three men died between Feb. 25 and March 9.

Of the eight deaths reported March 9, four people who died were 80 years or older, one was in their 70s, two were in their 60 and one was in their 50s.

All had underlying medical conditions.

Cases Deaths Community Outbreaks
Reported 349 8 3
Total (Since Feb. 2020) 264,097 3,413 16 reported in past 7 days
There were 13,386 tests reported, accounting for a 3% daily positivity rate

March 9
When Will We Move Tiers? San Diego County still has to wait for at least another week before it will be moved into the red tier and see some indoor business restrictions lifted. How that all happens can be very confusing, and San Diego County has multiple pathways for advancing from purple to red. We explained them here.

Del Mar Vaccination Site Closed This Weekend: Scripps Health announced Tuesday its vaccination site at he Del Mar Fairgrounds will close Friday and reopen Monday due to a shortage in vaccine supply. More details here.

County Hospitalizations: Coronavirus ICU admissions increased by four patients, marking the first time the total had increased in 22 days. The total is still following a downtrend, decreasing 40% over the last 14 days and 23% over the last week.

From March 1 to March 7, the county reported 136 total COVID-19-related hospitalizations, its lowest weekly total since early November.

Cases Deaths Community Outbreaks
Reported 473 15 0
Total (Since Feb. 2020) 263,748 3,405 24 reported in past 7 days
There were 11,766 tests reported, accounting for a 4% daily positivity rate

March 8
Guidance for Vaccinated People: The CDC issued guidance on activities and guidance for full and partially-vaccinated people. Officials say a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.

“There are some activities that fully vaccinated people can begin to resume now in the privacy of their own homes,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky. More information here.

SDFD Administering Johnson & Johnson Vaccine: SDFD is offering doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to those who are eligible starting Tuesday. Vaccine doses will be administered Tuesday through Friday at the Balboa Municipal Gym, 2111 Pan American Plaza. Operating hours are 9 a.m. until about 3 p.m.

Click here for details.

Eligible San Diego residents were given the single-dose COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson at Balboa Park. NBC 7’s Audra Stafford speaks to residents who got the vaccination.

Case Data: The county reported 307 new coronavirus cases out of 9,770 tests, a daily positivity rate of 3.2%. The county’s two-week daily positivity rate average has fallen to 3.2% It’s been about 2-and-a-half weeks since San Diego reported a daily positivity rate above 5%.

Cases Deaths Community Outbreaks
Reported 307 0 0
Total (Since Feb. 2020) 263,275 3,390 24 reported in past 7 days

There were 12,946 tests reported, accounting for a 3% daily positivity rate

Last reporting week (Feb. 27 – March 5), the county reported 2,687 total COVID-19 cases, it’s lowest weekly total since late October just before the onset of global case surge helped along by holiday gatherings.

County Hospitalizations: Over the last 30 days, COVID-19-related hospitalizations have fallen 70%, and COVID-related ICU admissions have decreased 67%.

March 7
Case Data: One hundred eighty-seven cases were reported bringing the total to 262,968.

Deaths: Five new deaths were reported bringing the region’s total to 3,390.

March 6
Vaccination Site Closures: Due to a shortage of vaccines the Copley-Price YMCA and North Coastal Superstation in Del Mar were closed.

Case Data: Four hundred twenty-one positive COVID-19 cases were reported out of 12,946 tests a 3% positive rate.

Cases Deaths Community Outbreaks
Reported 421 14 0
Total (Since Feb. 2020) 262,781 3,385 28 reported in past 7 days
There were 12,946 tests reported, accounting for a 3% daily positivity rate

March 5
Reopening: California stadiums, theme parks and outdoor concerts can reopen as early as April 1 with restrictions. The capacity limits are based on where the venues fall within the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

Vaccination Progress: San Diego County marked a pandemic milestone Friday when the one-millionth dose of the coronavirus vaccine was administered, according to San Diego County Chair Nathan Fletcher.

Sup. Nathan Fletcher spoke about the milestone for San Diego as one million vaccine doses had been administered in the county.

San Diego Convention Center: After nearly a year of housing thousands of homeless residents, the city will begin to unwind operations at the shelter made at the San Diego Convention Center during the start of the pandemic.

Homeless individuals who are currently staying at the convention center shelter will be relocated to reconfigured shelters and continue to receive the same services, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said.

Case Data: Four hundred ninety-nine cases were reported to the County on March 4. The region’s total is now 262,360, 13,752 tests were reported to the County on March 4, and the percentage of new positive cases was 4%.

Deaths: Twelve new COVID-19 deaths were reported March 4. The region’s total is 3,371. Five women and seven men died between Jan. 29 and March 4.

Of the 12 deaths reported on March 4, five people who died were 80 years or older, one was in their 70s, four were in their 60s, one was in their 50s and one was in their 40s. Ten had underlying medical conditions, one did not have any medical conditions and one had medical history pending.

Cases Deaths Community Outbreaks
Reported 499 12 4
Total (Since Feb. 2020) 262,360 3,371 29 reported in past 7 days
There were 13,752 tests reported, accounting for a 4% daily positivity rate

March 4
Vaccination Progress: Of the 1.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses delivered to the region, more than 997,000 have been logged as administered. Of those vaccinated to date, more than 303,000, or just over 11% of San Diegans 16 and older, are fully immunized.

Overall, more than 608,000 County residents have received at least one shot of the two-dose vaccine. That’s 22.6 percent of those eligible.

Cases: 508 cases were reported to the County on March 3. The region’s total is now 261,861. 13,215 or 5% of all cases have required hospitalization. 1,603 or 0.6% of all cases and 12.1% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

Deaths: Seventeen new COVID-19 deaths were reported on March 3. The region’s total is 3,359. Eleven men and six women died between Feb. 25 and March 3.

Of the 17 deaths reported on March 3, four people who died were 80 years or older, six were in their 70s, six were in their 60s and one was in their 50s. Sixteen had underlying medical conditions and one had medical history pending.

Cases Deaths Community Outbreaks
Reported 508 17 6
Total (Since Feb. 2020) 261,861 3,359 29 reported in past 7 days
There were 17,763 tests reported, accounting for a 3% daily positivity rate

March 3
Vaccines for At-Risk neighborhoods: California will begin setting aside 40% of all vaccine doses for the state’s most vulnerable neighborhoods based on based on metrics such as household income, education level, housing status and access to transportation.

Once 2 million vaccine doses are given out in those neighborhoods, the state will make it easier for counties to move through reopening tiers that dictate business and school reopenings.

Vaccine Sites: Downtown San Diego’s vaccination super station reopened Wednesday after a four-day closure due to a nationwide shortage of Moderna vaccines.

Priority will be given to those with appointments for second doses who are farthest away from the date they received their first dose.

Vaccination EffortsA number of residents and staff at Operation Shelter to Home at the Convention Center received their second dose of the Moderna Vaccine.

San Diego County is nearing the one million vaccine milestone but many sites are still struggling to get the vaccine, said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

When asked why Moderna has been delayed compared to Pfizer, Fletcher responded the following:

“It is consistently erratic and consistently unpredictable. When it arrives we get it in circulation right away and we utilize it as fast as we possibly can. But we still don’t have great clarity on what will be coming more than a day or two in advance and as we’ve seen over the last few weeks, even when you’re told something is on its way doesn’t mean that it’s going to arrive,” he said.

Fletcher is asking San Diegans to be patient throughout the process.

As of Wednesday, 945,859 doses have been administered. More than 22% have received one dose and more than 10% has received both doses


State Metrics: San Diego County’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate is currently 10.8 cases per 100,000 residents (as of March 2) and the region is in Purple Tier or Tier 1.

Deaths: Twenty-five new COVID-19 deaths were reported on Mar. 2. The region’s total is 3,342. Sixteen men and nine women died between Dec. 20 and March 2.

Of the 25 deaths reported on March 2, two people who died were 80 years or older, three were in their 70s, 11 were in their 60s, seven were in their 50s and two in their 40s. Twenty-one had underlying medical conditions, two did not and two had medical history pending.

Cases Deaths Community Outbreaks
Reported 342 25 11
Total (Since Feb. 2020) 261,353 3,342 30 reported in past 7 days
There were 13,293 tests reported, accounting for a 3% daily positivity rate

March 2
Tier Assignment: San Diego County will remain in the purple tier, the strictest of the four, for at least two more weeks after its case rate was measured at 10.8. Case rate, or new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, is assessed per county every Tuesday.

Rent Relief: San Diego County is accepting applications for its rental relief program, which will distribute $100 million to struggling renters in the region. More information here.

Case Data: Four percent of COVID-19 tests reported by the county Tuesday were positive (376 out of 9,303), which is slightly higher than the 14-day moving average of daily positivity rates (3.7%). Over the last week, the county has reported an average of 13,333 tests per day.

The county is coming off its lowest weekly coronavirus case total since late October. Last week’s 3,581 total cases were 85% less than the county’s record-setting week during the holiday surge in which it reported more than 24,000 cases.

Deaths: Fourteen deaths were reported Tuesday, bringing the county’s total to 3,317. Higher totals reported mid-week aren’t uncommon because reporting lags are typically seen over the weekend. Weekly deaths reported have decreased for five consecutive weeks.

March 1
Vaccines: The Petco Park superstation remained closed due to a shortage of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine but it was unclear how many already-scheduled appointments were postponed as a result.

A county spokesperson said they’re expecting more than 46,000 doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to arrive by Tuesday. Another 47,000 should arrive by the end of the week. Of those, 20% will be held for teachers and 10% will be held for law enforcement officers.

San Diego County will also be receiving its first shipment of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, but the number of doses and its arrival date were not yet known.

It’s the second time supply disruptions have forced a pause at one of San Diego’s biggest vaccination sites. NBC 7’s Dave Summers has more.

There have been 572,546 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered, accounting for 21.3% of the population. Ten percent of the total population has been fully vaccinated — 272,377 people.

Schools Reopenings: Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers reached a deal to incentivize schools to reopen in-person instruction up to second grade by March 31. $6.6 billion was set aside for schools that reach the target date. It does not require students and staff to be vaccinated before returning to the classroom.

Cases, Deaths: There were 269 new cases of COVID-19 reported out of 7,180 tests, a 4% positive rate. The 14-day positive rate is 3.8%.

There were no new deaths reported on Feb 28. There is typically a lag in reported deaths over the weekend.

Hospitalizations, ICU Capacity: There has been a 64% decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the last 30 days and a 20% decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the last 7 days. Patients with COVID-19 in the ICU have decreased 61% over the last 30 days and 21% in the last 7 days.


The Coronavirus Pandemic in San Diego County, Month by Month

For a look back at what happened during the pandemic in San Diego County in February 2021, click here.

For a look back at what happened during the pandemic in San Diego County in January 2021, click here.

For a look back at what happened during the pandemic in San Diego County in December 2020, click here.

For a look back at what happened in San Diego County in November 2020, click here.

For a look back at what happened in San Diego County in October 2020, click here.

For a look back at what happened in San Diego County in September 2020, click here.

For day-by-day look back at everything that happened in August 2020 in San Diego County during the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

For a look back at July 2020 in San Diego County during the pandemic, click here.

To read about what happened in June 2020 in San Diego County during the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

To read what happened in May 2020, a month that county leaders called a month of “adaptation” for San Diego County in the fight against the novel coronavirus, click here.

To read what happened in April 2020, a month that county leaders called “critical” for flattening the curve, click here.

To look back at what happened in March 2020 in San Diego County during the coronavirus pandemic, click here.


Mid-March 2020: The Coronavirus Pandemic Reaches San Diego County – Here’s How Things Unfolded, At First

A lot happened in March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic reached San Diego County and COVID-19 cases surged. Here’s a quick look back the month that changed everything in our county — and took us into what would soon become our “new normal” of the pandemic era.

This included quarantine operations at a 151-room Ramada hotel in Kearny Mesa that was chosen to house quarantined patients held at MCAS Miramar (March 18, 2020).

More than 480 passengers from a coronavirus-ridden cruise ship that docked at the Port of Oakland were flown to MCAS Miramar March 10, 2020, to March 12, 2020, to complete a mandatory 14-day federal quarantine. On March 27, 2020, Dr. Eric McDonald, Medical Director with the County Epidemiology Immunization Branch said all but three of the passengers had returned home after 14-days of quarantine, including those who had been at the Ramada Hotel.

Training Support Command at Naval Base San Diego was temporarily closed on March 14, 2020, due to three Sailors testing positive for COVID-19.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the stay-at-home order and, soon, the springtime shutdown across San Diego County began.

Schools Shut Down
On March 13, 2020, San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten shut down the second-largest school district in California. All other school districts in San Diego County followed suit. San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy closed all schools within the San Diego Catholic Diocese, too.

We later learned schools across the
state would be closed for the remainder of the academic year.

Local colleges and universities also canceled classes and events and moved their operations online. This included: UC San Diego; San Diego State University; California State University San Marcos; Point Loma Nazarene University; University of San Diego; San Diego Community College District; Southwestern College; Palomar College; Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

Landmarks Shutter, Events Canceled
San Diego’s biggest tourist attractions, landmarks and events closed or were canceled. Local casinos followed, as well as gyms and fitness centers.

Church Services Canceled
As gatherings were banned, all daily and Sunday masses in the San Diego Catholic Diocese were canceled. Rock Church San Diego services were also canceled and moved to streaming online.

Beaches & Parks Closed
On March 23, 2020, San Diego’s beaches, parks, boardwalks, and other open spaces across the county were ordered to close to restrict gatherings over 10 people prohibited by state and local laws.

Restaurant Dinings Rooms & Bars Close
Bars and restaurant dining rooms were ordered to close in March, too. Shopping malls closed. Some retailers – like clothing stores Urban Outfitters and Brandy Melville USA – temporarily closed their stores, and more would follow.

Sports, On Hold
Sports agencies – both college-level and professional – suspended their games and seasons. MLB’s Opening Day – including the San Diego Padres big Home Opener at Petco Park – were scrapped, but in June, the MLB made plans to return to the field, without fans. The 2020 MLB season will return in late July.


Text “COSD COVID19” to 468311 to receive updates and alerts from the county. Click here to find different ways to help your community during the pandemic.

San Diego County would like to remind everyone if you or someone you care about is experiencing a suicidal or mental health crisis, please call the Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240.

Pitching in During the Pandemic: Stories of San Diegans Doing Good: Read more stories about San Diegans finding creative ways to lend support. Have you heard about a story we should share? Let us know