A barrier signals the closure of the Morley Field Sports Complex. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

County leaders have laid out five criteria that must be met before the city can reopen.

And as of Wednesday, we’ve met four of them, reports VOSD’s Will Huntsberry. The only barrier left is a lack of widespread coronavirus testing.

Various local institutions – including local hospitals and clinics – have told Huntsberry that they have the capacity to test at least 4,700 people per day. And yet for the past seven days, an average of 1,983 tests has been reported each day – roughly 42 percent of what’s possible.

We’ve started tracking coronavirus testing this week.

As parks and beaches have gradually started reopening, there’s been a lot of confusion over what you exactly can do outside right now.

The city of San Diego has said we can sit in the park by ourselves or with members of our households. But the county said we can only walk, run or bike – not sit or stop.

VOSD’s Jesse Marx tried to clear up some of the confusion.

Yes, you can sit at the park and the county’s restrictions will line up with the city’s better starting Friday.

You can’t sit at the beach, though.

And about beaches …

After reports spread Wednesday that Gov. Gavin Newsom would close down all beaches statewide, some San Diego GOP officials put out letters and releases urging him to reconsider, since San Diegans had been responsible with their recent limited beach reopenings.

“I urge Gov. @GavinNewsom to pull back on his unfortunate move to close our beaches. While I understand concerns about packed beaches, not every region of the state has seen huge crowds and shouldn’t be treated with a broad brush. San Diego County has done a good job on,” tweeted County Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

Supervisor Greg Cox sent a similar letter.

“San Diegans have been following the rules set by our public health officials and lifeguards since beaches reopened this week. A sudden state ban on every single beach — regardless of the facts on the ground — sends the wrong message to regions where people are acting responsibly,” tweeted San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Newsom didn’t end up closing all beaches, just those in Orange County, which saw really large crowds over the weekend. He said he was never considering closing all beaches, and that reports suggesting otherwise were wrong.

Faulconer’s chief of staff, Aimee Faucett, disputed that.

“For the record, last night Mayor Faulconer’s administration was notified by Governor Newsom’s administration that he would be announcing the closure of ALL CA beaches. Minutes before today’s press announcement Mayor’s office was notified this would only apply to Orange County,” Faucett tweeted.

Plan to Turn Hotels Into Homes Comes Into Focus

The San Diego Housing Commission has proposed $19 million in its new budget on hotel acquisitions, bringing the city’s plan to acquire distressed hotels and turn them into housing for homeless residents into focus.

The Housing Commission is also planning to spend another $10 million on rental assistance for residents in the newly acquired hotels, reports VOSD’s Andrew Keatts.

The commission would also hire three new full-time staffers to focus on rehousing homeless people in converted hotels.

The proposed budget could be approved by the Housing Commission’s board of directors during a special meeting Friday.

In Other News

  • San Diego State University says the coronavirus pandemic has cost the school at least $42 million and that it’s difficult to determine whether it will be able to offer classes on campus this fall. (Union-Tribune)
  • A San Diego federal judge ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement to review a list of detainees at the Otay Mesa Detention Center who would be at high risk for serious coronavirus symptoms for release. As of Wednesday, at least 163 people in custody at the facility had tested positive for the virus. (Union-Tribune)
  • San Diego’s infrastructure needs are going to get even worse because of the pandemic, which has hit the city’s budget hard. (inewsource)

The Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan and Scott Lewis, and edited by Sara Libby.

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