San Diego

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Protecting the health of all San Diegans is our top priority. The City of San Diego is taking measures in consultation with and at the direction of, County public health officials to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

Questions? Dial 2-1-1. For emergencies dial 9-1-1.About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is emphasizing that while the current COVID-19 poses a potentially serious public health threat, the risk to individuals is dependent on exposure. For the general population in San Diego, the risk of infection of COVID-19 is currently low.

Most common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough or shortness of breath
  • Headache

COVID-19 is most likely spread from droplets from coughing and sneezing, and symptoms may appear in as few as two days, or as long as 14 days, after exposure.

There is currently no specific treatment for COVID-19, however, most people with this infection will recover on their own. For patients who are more severely ill, hospitals can provide supportive care.

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your health care provider immediately.

San Diego at Home

The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health on March 19, 2020, ordered all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction.

Read the full PDF icon Executive Order.

The state order reinforces and expands upon guidance Mayor Faulconer previously put into law this week to combat the virus, such as limiting public gatherings, prohibiting the operation of bars, and requiring restaurants to only serve patrons with to-go or delivery orders. The City of San Diego is also developing eviction and economic relief packages.

The order requires Californians to stay at home with certain exceptions, including caregiving, getting necessary health care, purchasing groceries and working to support an essential industry. San Diegans are still able to participate in outdoor activities such as walking, jogging and biking, as well as volunteering, as long as they follow the social distancing requirement of at least six feet.

Critical industries that can continue operating, as outlined by the state, include:

  • Essential state and local government functions
  • Health care providers
  • Food and grocery services including food banks, convenience stores, and take-out and delivery restaurants
  • Pharmacies
  • Financial institutions including banks
  • Entities that provide food, shelter, social services and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged
  • Laundromats and laundry services
  • Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services

More information on the state order, including what’s closed, what’s open and which industries are exempted by the state can be found on the California COVID-19 response website.

Steps the City Is Taking

  • On March 12, 2020, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer issued a PDF icon State of Emergency for the City of San Diego. The order follows updates from the County of San Diego and Governor Gavin Newsom regarding the threat of the COVID-19 virus. This procedural action ensures the City can act swiftly without unnecessary restriction and authorizes the City’s Executive Leadership to issue emergency contracts if necessary to carry out City business and help combat the spread of the virus.
  • On March 16, 2020, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer issued an PDF icon executive order further limiting gatherings, closing bars and restaurant dining, and implementing other emergency rules within the City of San Diego. The order will be in effect from 11:59 p.m. March 16, 2020, and continue until March 31, 2020, unless otherwise extended. It mandates the following within City limits:
    • City of San Diego OperationsView Status of City Services
      • All City of San Diego public buildings are closed to the general public. 
      • City departments will execute their continuity of operations plans and continue to provide essential services including police, fire-rescue, water, wastewater and trash pick-up.
      • Homeless Services - The City of San Diego, County of San Diego, Regional Task Force on the Homeless and San Diego Housing Commission established a Homeless Operations Branch working out of the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to coordinate the needs, resources and logistics of homeless service operations. The objective is to help limit the spread of the virus and quickly react to changing events during this public health crisis.

Golden Hall and parts of the Convention Center have been identified to serve people experiencing homelessness and allow for adequate physical distancing within current shelter facilities. The two new facilities will be brought online in a phased approach.

The EOC’s Homeless Operations Branch, working in coordination with San Diego county will be screening and monitoring individuals coming in off the streets, provide the recommended distancing for individuals in shelters, and adequately staff the shelters using a combination of remaining service provider staff and Convention Center employees. Any individual exhibiting symptoms, who is at greater risk of exposure, or part of a vulnerable population will continue to be placed in various hotel and motel rooms for temporary lodging per San Diego County’s guidance.

Other steps already taken to protect people experiencing homeless include:

  • Installation of PDF icon 66 handwashing stations in the City of San Diego.
  • Procurement of hotel and motel rooms by the County to temporarily isolate individuals who may have symptoms, including 200 specifically allocated to RTFH to assist homeless individuals.
  • Public health nurses are deployed to nine shelters across the region including: Alpha Project Bridge Shelter on Imperial Ave., Alpha Project Bridge Shelter on Newton Ave, Golden Hall, Haven House, La Posada, Operation Hope North County, Rachel’s Women’s Shelter, San Diego Rescue Mission and Veterans Village of San Diego.
  • Public Health nurses have been assigned to Homeless Outreach Teams to educate individuals living on the streets, in the canyons and in the riverbed about COVID-19.
  • Assessing supply needs with homeless service providers on a regular basis and assisting when possible to distribute items based on need.
  • Educational flyers about COVID-19 have been posted at City libraries, recreation centers, homeless shelters and City facilities. Print or download CDC resources for your school or business.
  • The City of San Diego continues to monitor COVID-19 and is in close communication with officials from the County of San Diego Department of Health and Human Services. The City will continue to follow their directives including any required quarantines or closures.

Recent City Updates

The following is a list of recent updates from the City of San Diego. For information regarding cases, information and directives from the County of San Diego, please visit www.coronavirus-sd.com.

Announcements (tap to expand for updates and directives from Mayor Faulconer)

Business Relief and Support

To ensure the resiliency of local businesses and assist in job retention, the City of San Diego has established a Small Business Relief Fund (SBRF) to provide grants and forgivable or low- to zero-interest-rate loans to eligible small businesses for working capital. Visit the Economic Development Department Business Relief and Support page

Residential and Commercial Eviction Moratorium

To prevent homelessness, maintain public health, and bring housing and business stability during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of San Diego has enacted an PDF icon eviction moratorium that provides relief to residential and commercial tenants facing hardship related to COVID-19. The emergency law temporarily halts evictions in the City of San Diego from March 25 - May 31, 2020. Tenants must demonstrate a substantial decrease in income or medical expenses caused by COVID-19 in order to qualify. It will not relieve a tenant of their requirement to pay rent or restrict a landlord from recovering rent at a future time.

Public Schools

All public school districts in San Diego County will be closing schools starting Monday, March 16 in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The schools will reopen April 6, unless conditions call for an extension. For information on the schools, visit the San Diego County Office of Education website.

Public Transit

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and County of San Diego have partnered to place handwashing stations at all 53 Trolley stations, plus the UTC Transit Center amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. MTS will also staff additional cleaning crews at their busiest transit centers throughout the day. For the latest rider information related to COVID-19, please visit the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System Public Health web page.


The CDC recommends everyday actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched including doorknobs, telephones, desks, keyboards, and light switches.

Be Prepared

Households, businesses and schools should be prepared for any kind of emergency. Have extra food, water, medical supplies and a first aid kit on hand. Visit the County of San Diego’s COVID-19 website to learn more to prepare specifically for this virus.

Stay Informed

Stay informed on COVID-19 by visiting the Center for Disease Control website, and the County of San Diego Health and Human Services website.


If you are planning to travel, read the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations to protect yourself and others.

U.S. – Mexico Border

The federal governments of the United States and Mexico announced March 20, 2020, new limitations to the U.S.-Mexico border. Essential personnel and commerce such as food, fuel, healthcare and life-saving medicines will be unimpeded during this time and all non-essential travel will be suspended. Non-essential travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.

The new limitations will commence at 00:01 Saturday, March 21, 2020, throughout the US-Mexico land border for a period of 30 days subject to extension upon review. View a list of essential workforce.


Many San Diegans are in need during this time. Please see a list of organizations below seeking volunteers. You can also visit 211sandiego.org for more opportunities.

211 San Diego

Phone: 211 211 San Diego Website

Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank

Phone: 866-350-FOOD Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank Website

San Diego Blood Bank

Phone: 619-326-4926 San Diego Blood Bank Website

Serving Seniors

Phone: 619-235-6572 Serving Seniors Website

Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties

Phone: 1-800-RED-CROSS Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties Website

Feeding San Diego

Phone: 858-452-3663 Feeding San Diego Website

Meals on Wheels San Diego County

Phone: 619-260-6110 Meals on Wheels San Diego County Website

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