Health

Board Expands COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program

coronavirus illustration
Credit: Shutterstock

The County Board of Supervisors voted today to expand the emergency rental assistance program for San Diegans who have suffered economic hardships due to COVID-19.

The County’s program allows San Diegans who are facing eviction or are unable to pay their rent to apply for financial assistance. Funds can be used to cover rent, utilities and other household expenses.

The expanded program will award funds for up to six months of expenses at a time and applicants can request additional funding if they still require monetary assistance after that time. The emergency rental assistance program would also give priority to single-parent households, many of which have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic’s impact on the economy.

The program is funded by $48.8 million in federal stimulus funds the County received earlier this month. The federal stimulus dollars will cover rental assistance needs for residents living in 16 cities in the County, as well as the unincorporated areas. The cities of San Diego and Chula Vista received their own funds from the federal government and will oversee their rental assistance programs separately.

The Board also voted to work with the state to develop a plan to allow a safe return to youth sports competitions.

Return to Purple Tier

After the state lifted its seven-week Regional Stay Home Order yesterday, restaurants, museums, theaters and other businesses are now allowed to resume outdoor operations. The state made the decision to end the Stay Home Order based on projections that show the Southern California four-week intensive care unit bed availability to be above the 15% threshold it had previously established.

While the end of the Stay Home Order is welcome news, County Health Officials urge San Diegans to keep their guard up.

“This is still a precarious period, and we urge all San Diegans to continue to follow all of the health precautions we have implemented since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Please wash your hands, watch your distance, and wear your mask, and when it is your turn to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, get vaccinated.”

The County is currently vaccinating people 65 and older, as well as health care workers in Phase 1A at its vaccination sites. Appointments are required, and vaccinations are available based on supply.

More information is at coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine and appointments can be made at vaccinationsuperstationsd.com.

State Metrics:

  • San Diego County’s state-calculated, adjusted case rate is currently 49.6 cases per 100,000 residents and the region is in Purple Tier or Tier 1.
  • The testing positivity percentage is 12.6%, placing the County in Tier 1 or the Purple Tier.
  • The County’s health equity metric, which looks at the testing positivity for areas with the lowest healthy conditions, is 16.7% and it’s in the Purple Tier or Tier 1. This metric does not move counties to more restrictive tiers but is required to advance to a less restrictive tier.
  • The California Department of Public Health assesses counties on a weekly basis. The next report is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Community Setting Outbreaks:

  • Four community outbreaks were confirmed Jan. 25: two in business settings, one in a daycare/preschool/childcare setting and one in a government setting.
  • In the past seven days (Jan. 19 through Jan. 25), 52 community outbreaks were confirmed.
  • The number of community outbreaks remains above the trigger of seven or more in seven days.
  • A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

Testing:

  • 15,634 tests were reported to the County on Jan. 25, and the percentage of new positive cases was 9%.
  • The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 9.6%. Target is less than 8.0%.
  • The 7-day, daily average of tests is 22,771.
  • People at higher risk for COVID-19 who are with or without symptoms should be tested. People with any symptoms should get tested. Healthcare and essential workers should also get a test, as well as people who have had close contact to a positive case or live in communities that are being highly impacted. Those recently returned from travel are also urged to get tested.

Cases:

  • 1,434 cases were reported to the County on Jan. 25. The region’s total is now 230,066.
  • 9,594 or 4.2% of all cases have required hospitalization.
  • 1,380 or 0.6% of all cases and 14.4% of hospitalized cases had to be admitted to an intensive care unit.

Deaths:

  • 46 new COVID-19 deaths were reported Jan. 25. The region’s total is 2,421.
  • 17 women and 29 men died between Jan. 11 and Jan. 24.
  • Of the 46 deaths reported today, 28 people who passed away were 80 years or older, six people were in their 70s, seven people were in their 60s, four people were in their 50s and one person was in their 40s.
  • 44 had underlying medical conditions, one did not and one had medical history pending.

More Information:

The more detailed data summaries found on the County’s coronavirus-sd.com website are updated around 5 p.m. daily.

 

Katie Cadiao is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact