Five More Coronavirus COVID-19 Deaths Bring Toll in San Diego County to 138

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center Hospital in San Diego
The entrance to the newly constructed Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center hospital is shown in San Diego, California , U.S., April 17, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – County health officials have reported 131 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths, raising the county’s totals to 3,842 cases and 138 deaths.

The latest deaths include three men and two women between the ages of 54 and 100, with four having underlying medical conditions, county officials said Saturday. One death reported Friday was later determined to be a non-resident and that case was removed from the total number of deaths.

The total number of hospitalized patients is 811, or 21.1% and 259, or 6.7%, had to be placed in intensive care, according to Saturday’s county COVID-19 summary.

Among the confirmed cases, 49% were female and 51% were male, with nine reported as unknown gender.

State public health authorities are opening testing locations in San Diego starting Tuesday, the county announced Saturday. The initial locations will be at Grossmont College and the county’s North Inland Live Well Center in Escondido. Testing is by appointment only by calling 888-634-1123.

Lifeguards were kept busy at area beaches Saturday because of warmer weather and ocean hazards such as rip currents and sting rays, Lifeguard Services officials said.

This is the first weekend of opened beaches since San Diego lifted a beach closure order on Monday, after the San Diego County Health Department lifted its order.

However, some beaches in the county remained closed this weekend, including Coronado Sunset Park and dog beach, Solana Beach, state beaches, Del Mar and Carlsbad.

But Solana Beach, Del Mar and Carlsbad officials said they will open their beach at 9 a.m. Monday. The state beaches were also expected to open Monday.

Lifeguards performed a few water rescues Saturday because of rip currents, according to Lt. Rich Stropky of Lifeguard Services, but most beachgoers were complying the remaining limitations.

“For the most part, people are doing what we want,” Stropky said “Most people understand this is serious and if we don’t do this right, we could lose the privilege of using the beaches.”

Lifeguards issued a couple of warnings to people trying to use the boardwalk, which is still closed, Stropky said. One runner on the boardwalk ran past four signs warning the boardwalk was closed, he said.

The National Weather Service said temperatures throughout the county this weekend will be near normal with mostly clear skies.

Mandatory face-covering health orders are now in effect countywide, with several transportation agencies following suit by mandating face coverings on all vehicles and public transit locations.

Any employee or passenger at the San Diego International Airport or aboard Metropolitan Transit System or North County Transit District vehicles are required to wear face coverings at all times — regardless of social distancing. People are not required to wear coverings at home or in their yard, their car, while jogging or surfing or if they have a medical condition preventing them from wearing a facial covering.