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COVID-19 timeline: How the pandemic unfolded in San Diego County

COVID-19 timeline: how the pandemic unfolded in San Diego County
Posted at 6:40 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 21:46:59-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - It’s been 13 months since Governor Newsom first declared a state emergency to prepare for the spread of COVID-19.

February 2020. When evacuees from Wuhan, China, arrived in San Diego and were sent to MCAS Miramar to quarantine. Despite efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the US, a few weeks later, San Diego County health officials confirmed its first local case.

Hundreds from a cruise ship docked in the Bay Area, arrived to quarantine at MCAS Miramar as well.

In mid-March, after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, local schools and colleges began shutting down and moving online, as Governor Newsom issued a stay-at-home order.

Businesses like gyms and salons were shut down. Restaurants became takeout-only, as churches streamed sermons online.

Panic buying led to shortages in things like cleaning supplies and toilet paper.

In April, the mask requirement was implemented for essential businesses, which would later lead to altercations.

As beaches and parks closed, at the border, traffic was limited to essential travel.

The next month — amid optimism the curve of COVID-19 cases was being flattened — restrictions were loosened. Indoor dining resumed. Hair salons reopened with new safety measures in place.

But a surge in COVID-19 cases landed the county on the state's watch list in July, sparking reopening rollbacks.

In August, the county hit a second wave peak of more than 650 daily cases as the governor introduced a new four-color, tiered system determining pandemic restrictions. San Diego County was placed in the red, the second-highest tier.

With colleges and universities allowed to reopen, a large outbreak unfolded at SDSU.

In November, amid a record amount of daily cases, the county moved into the purple tier, the most stringent tier.

December arrived with a regional stay-at-home order, with restrictions similar to the beginning of the pandemic. More businesses decided to defy the orders.

In mid-December, the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in San Diego, with health workers being the first to be vaccinated.

In January the first vaccination super station opened outside Petco Park. Weeks later, the stay-at-home order was lifted.

In February, the county reached a sobering milestone, as the county surpassed 3,000 COVID deaths.

Over several months, more vaccination sites opened and eligibility gradually expanded, from seniors to police to those with pre-existing conditions, before it was opened to all adults in April.

That same month, the county moved into the orange tier, increasing indoor capacity at businesses and churches. School districts including San Diego Unified opened for in-person learning. Theme parks like Legoland and Disneyland welcomed back visitors.

The Padres opened up their season at Petco Park at limited capacity. Those and other restrictions — across the county — are now set to be lifted when the state reopens on June 15.

Ahead of that date, last week, San Diego County moved into the least restrictive yellow tier.