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San Diego County's stay-at-home order to be indefinite, as officials lean on state guidance

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Posted at 4:30 PM, Apr 29, 2020

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego leaders said Wednesday that the county's stay-at-home order will be extended indefinitely, as they lean on the state for guidance on reopening.

The county will extend to order on Thursday, according to San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten. Easing of restrictions on any local businesses will be done based on the state's guidance, Wooten added.

"In terms of opening up, as you heard from the governor yesterday, any jurisdiction opening up is contingent on the guidance and direction of the governor of California," said Wooten. "So we cannot open back up until the state gives the green light to do so."

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Wooten said the county needs to meet five metrics to qualify for a phased reopening:

  • A downward trend of influenza-like illness within a 14-day period;
  • A downward trend of COVID-like cases within a 14-day period;
  • A downward trend of cases within a 14-day period or downward trend of positive tests within a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of tests);
  • The ability to treat all patients without crisis care; and
  • Robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including antibody testing

Wooten says the county has met three metrics but is still working to see a downward trend of COVID-like cases within a 14-day period and have robust testing in place for at-risk healthcare workers.

"Both of these metrics are trending in the right, downward projection," Wooten said of the first two goals listed. "If we continue to trend in the right direction we can check these two metrics off."

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Wooten did say though that even when the county meets its requirements, it would still have to wait for the state to give the approval for counties to begin reopening.

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the state's stay-at-home order on March 19.

Newsom has only said that California is weeks away from easing some restrictions on businesses amid the pandemic, but has not offered a timeline as to when the stay-at-home order would be lifted.