Government officials announced that the San Diego stay-at-home order is extended indefinitely. Any changes to it will only be made with the state's guidance, said County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten.

She went on to say "We cannot open back up until the state gives the green light to do so."

Chairman Greg Cox admitted Tuesday was a "critical day" with 1 million positive COVID-19 cases across the country and 58,000 deaths. 

“I cite these numbers not to scare people, but to put into context our discussions about the future,” he said.

He added that he also empathizes with those who want to go back to work.

So, what needs to happen so San Diego can reopen? 

The county needs to meet five specific criteria for it to be ready to reopen in phases. ABC San Diego reported the following:

  • Downward trend of illnesses similar to influenza illnesses within two weeks
  • Downward trend of cases resembling COVID-19 within two weeks
  • Downward trend of cases/positive tests within two weeks
  • Ability to treat all patients without crisis care
  • Antibody testing and other strict testing for at-risk health care workers

San Diego County has met three out of five of the above criteria so far.

They still need to see COVID-19 cases go down over a 14-day period and have a stringent testing program for health care workers at risk.

However, even when the county meets all five requirements, they will still have to wait for state direction to reopen, said Wooten.

California Governor Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home order was issued on March 19.

Since then, he has urged residents to stay indoors and practice safe social distancing when going outside for essential purposes.

Newsom recently reported that we are "weeks away" from easing up on some of the restrictions in place but has not given a date for when the order will be lifted.