Chancellor's Message: COVID-19 update 9/23/2020

Constance M. Carroll - Chancellor, San Diego Community College District

SDCCD Colleagues and Friends:

Some of you have asked me to share comprehensive information about the COVID-19 situation, which I am happy to do. This message will be informative, but will not introduce any new decisions regarding our District. The information below is provided by a hospital consortium that reports to the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, an organization which I serve as a member of the Board of Directors. This report puts the COVID-19 situation in full perspective.



- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today reversed guidance issued last month about who should be tested for COVID-19. The CDC updated its recommendation to test anyone — including people without symptoms — who has been in close contact with someone diagnosed with the disease.

- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced yesterday that it was awarding $12 million for outreach and engagement efforts in ethnic and racial minority communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will support teams in 11 states that will focus on awareness and education research, especially among African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos and American Indians, populations that account for more than half of all reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

- There were at least 849 new COVID-19 deaths and 45,434 new cases reported in the U.S. Thursday, Sept. 17, according to data reported by The New York Times. Over the past week, there has been an average of 40,111 cases per day, which is a decrease of 1% from the average two weeks earlier.

- Countries in the Southern Hemisphere are reporting far lower numbers of influenza cases than in previous years, which could mean good news for the U.S. as flu season approaches. Health officials attribute the lower number of cases to measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 


- The U.S.-Mexico border will not fully reopen Sept. 21 as planned, and will remain partially closed until mid-October, according to a report from the Mexican government. The temporary restrictions limit crossings to essential travel, emergency response and public health purposes related to the coronavirus pandemic.

- On Thursday, Sept. 17, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced the following COVID-19 statistics for the Golden State:

- California has 766,201 confirmed cases to date. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.

- There were 3,238 newly recorded confirmed cases Wednesday, Sept. 16. Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results include cases from additional days before Wednesday.

- The seven-day positivity rate is 3.4% and the 14-day positivity rate is 3.5%.

- There have been 13,080,037 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 79,515 over the prior 24-hour reporting period.

San Diego County/City of San Diego

- California public health officials said yesterday that if San Diego County falls to the lowest tier of the state’s reopening system, schools in our region that have not yet reopened will lose their chance to reopen. The county is currently in the red tier (tier 2), and with the increase in cases, primarily among students at San Diego State University, the county is in danger of being moved to the purple tier. Being moved into the purple tier could also trigger more state-imposed restrictions on businesses. 

- The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency provided a variety of updated COVID-19 statistics (through Sept. 15) on state metrics, community setting outbreaks, testing, cases and deaths. Of note, the agency’s triggers dashboard shows two categories in the red: case rate is at 7.9 cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days (the target is 6.9 or below); and there have been 20 community outbreaks over the past seven days (the target is below seven community outbreaks).      

- As of Wednesday, Sept. 16, the number of COVID-19 patients in San Diego County hospitals decreased to 224, down from 234 the week prior. The distribution of patients with confirmed COVID-19 is as follows:

- 66 at Sharp HealthCare

- 54 at Scripps Health

- 12 at UC San Diego Health

- 25 at Kaiser Permanente

- 22 at Palomar Health

- 26 at Prime Healthcare Services (Alvarado Hospital Medical Center and Paradise Valley Hospital)

- 0 at Rady Children’s Hospital

- 19 at Tri-City Healthcare District

We will be following information of this type on a daily basis, since it helps with our determinations regarding the future steps we need to take or plan for.

Stay well!

Dr. Constance M. Carroll
San Diego Community College District

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