San Diego County Gets Approval For In-Person Dining and Shopping, Jamul Casino To Reopen

Amtrak San Diego Route
Amtrak San Diego Route

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego County has received word that California
approved its request to allow dining at restaurants and in-store shopping, both
with social distancing restrictions.

The county’s request to move further into Stage 2 of the state’s
reopening plan was approved Wednesday night.

However, actual reopening of restaurants and shops cannot begin until
businesses fill out the county’s Safe Reopening Plan form and post it publicly,
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said in a tweet Wednesday night.

The county also sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday night
asking him to approve a pilot program for Phase 3. If approved, it could allow
for the reopening of certain facilities, including youth and sports clubs,
salons, fitness clubs and outdoor religious services.

County health officials reported 114 new COVID-19 cases and eight
deaths from the illness on Wednesday, bringing the total number of positive
cases to 6,140 and the total number of deaths to 230.

The ages of those whose deaths were reported Wednesday ranged from 61
to 99, all of whom had underlying health issues, said the county public health
officer, Dr. Wilma Wooten.

An estimated 4,089 people have recovered from COVID-19, while a
cumulative 1,155 have been hospitalized and 355 have spent some time in
intensive care.

The county recorded 4,802 COVID-19 tests Wednesday, a single-day high,
for 115,837 cumulative tests. The 114 positive cases represent just 2% of
all tests reported Wednesday, well below the region’s 14-day average of 3.6%
positive.

Jamul Casino will reopen its doors today with restrictions and two
more tribal casinos will do the same on Friday.
Valley View Casino & Hotel and Harrah’s Resort Southern California
will both reopen Friday.

Viejas Casino and Resort reopened on Monday and Sycuan Casino reopened
on Wednesday.

Bingo and poker will remain closed as part of the phased reopening.
Restaurants will operate for limited hours and gaming areas will require
appropriate spacing between players and staff.

Tables games will be limited to a maximum of three players per table
and every other slot machine will be turned off to further encourage space
between players.

Patrons and staff will also be required to undergo temperature checks,
wear masks at all times and practice physical distancing.

All five casinos are on tribal land, meaning they are not subject to
the same state regulations that have limited most business operations in
California.

Casino Pauma announced Wednesday that it will remain closed for the
time being in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The casino has been closed since March 15 and will remain shuttered
until further notice, according to a statement released on the casino’s
website.

Fletcher announced Wednesday that in-person funerals, both indoors and
outdoors, will be allowed again, provided every person in attendance wears
a face covering and different household units maintain six feet of distancing
from each other.

Additionally, he said that while houses of worship can open for
funerals, they are a one-time situation. Any regularly scheduled religious
services are still prohibited in person by the California’s reopening
guidelines.

Helen Robbins-Meyer, the county’s chief executive officer, said
Tuesday that the county meets Stage 2 acceleration criteria. According to the
county, that criteria includes:
— Less than 5% of daily COVID-19 hospitalizations over a seven-day
period or no more than 20 COVID hospitalizations on any single day in the past
14 days;
— Fewer than 25 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days
or less than 8% testing positive in the past seven days;
— A capacity to be able to test 1.5 per every 1,000 residents and at
least 15 staff per 100,000 county population trained and available for contact
tracing, and;
— Hospital capacity for a possible surge of 35% of hospitalizations
due to COVID-19 cases in addition to providing usual care for other patients.