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Day of the Dead memorial planned for COVID-19 victims



The names and photos of local residents who died of COVID-19 this year will be displayed in a Dia de los Muertos memorial that will be dedicated Sunday in downtown San Diego.

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is observed Nov. 1 and 2 and is a traditional Mexican celebration in memory of loved ones who have died. In San Diego County, about 880 people have died after contracting COVID-19.

Residents from City Heights worked with county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and his wife Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez to create the altar. Other partners and supporters of this ceremony include Consulado General de Mexico en San Diego, San Diego Latino Health Coalition.

Names and photos can be submitted to The deadline is 3 p.m. Thursday.

The altar will be near the east entrance to the San Diego County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway, and will be on display through Monday.

The Altar de Muertos is traditionally decorated with bright yellow marigold flowers, photos of those who passed away and other items of remembrance.

A dedication ceremony at the altar is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sunday and will be live-streamed on Fletcher’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

“The COVID-19 Altar de Muertos is our way of remembering those we have lost to this horrible virus,” said Fletcher, co-chair of the county’s COVID-19 Subcommittee. “It provides an opportunity to reflect on the effect COVID-19 has had on all communities, but we should be paying special attention to the disproportionate impact it has made on Black, Brown and other communities of color.

“Every death because of COVID counts,” he continued. “Every life lost to COVID matters. It is now time to rededicate ourselves to protecting one another by taking the actions needed to slow the spread.” READ MORE