April 2020 Articles

LOCAL COVID-19 RESOURCES CENTER

LOCAL COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTER

East County Magazine's Local COVID-19 Resource Center is your comprehensive guide to official health information on the coronavirus and local healthcare services.

Check back often! We are updating our local COVID-19 Resource Center regularly. If you have a suggested resource to add, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

Our special section also has information on local businesses, restaurants and farms open or operating online. You can also learn where to get help for individuals, families, workers, immigrants,  businesses and organizations. Our guide lists help and resources through local cities, San Diego County, California tate and federal sources as well as private and philanthropic organizations.

Help includes grants, loans, stimulus funds,  emergency food distributions, rides, seminars for business owners, education resources, activities to do at home, working from home tips, financial relief for renters and homeowners, relief from utility and insurance bills, resources for crime victims, mental health, abuse and addiction services including virtual meetings, how to file for unemployment and other aid, scams to avoid, volunteer opporutnities, emergency alert services, and more.

We thank Grossmont Healthcare District for generously underwriting the creation of our Local Covid-19 Resource Center and the Facebook Journalism Project for funding expansion and updating of these vital resources.

To view our local COVID-19 resource center, click here or scroll down.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

LAKE JENNINGS CAMPGROUND REOPENS FOR RVS

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Lake Jennings, courtesy of Helix Water District

 

May 16, 2020 (Lakeside) – The Lake Jennings campground will reopen Monday, May 18 – but only for recreational vehicles (RVs).  No tent camping will be allowed yet, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the recreational side of the lake will remain closed.


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LOCAL RANCHERS AND FARMERS GROW NEW BUSINESS MODELS DURING PANDEMIC

By Miriam Raftery

Updated May 14, 2020

April 26, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – “Zoom our Zoo is an online, real-time animal show tailored for your audience,” a message at the Oasis Camel Dairy website reads. Owners of the Ramona-based family ranch, like many local ventures that rely on agritourism, face high costs to feed and care for their camels, exotic performing birds, racing turkeys and other animals without public events during the COVID-19 pandemic. So now they are offering interactive programs online to liven up corporate events or entertain kids with virtual birthday parties featuring “camel capers and parrot pranks” through Zoom – for a fee.


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GOVERNOR: SOME NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES CAN OPEN FRIDAY FOR CURBSIDE SERVICES

By Miriam Raftery

May 5, 2020 (Sacramento) – Due to progress made on flattening the growth curve of COVID-19 hospitalizations in California, Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday announced  plans to allow some (but not all) non-essential businesses in “Stage 2” of his reopening plan to resume business starting Friday, May 8.

The Governor also announced a plan to allow some counties to move quickly through Stage 2 by submitting a readiness plan that meets the state’s criteria for reopening more businesses and public spaces soon. Counties can also opt to retain more restrictive measures.


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BODY FOUND IN OTAY MOUNTAINS WHERE DIRT BIKER WENT MISSING

Photo: Roberto Jose Manual Camou
Photo Courtesy: SD County Sheriff's Dept.
 
East County News Service
 
April 30, 2020 (Otay) –  A body was located shortly before noon yesterday on a rugged trail south of Otay Mountain, says Lt. Ricardo Lopez with the San Diego Sheriff’s department.  This is the area where Sheriff's deputies, the Sheriff's Search and Rescue (SAR) Unit and other partner agencies had been looking for missing dirt biker Roberto Jose Manual Camou.
 
Camou, 48, went off-roading on a motorcycle on Saturday, April 25th. The last time Camou's family heard from him was around noon that day, when he sent them a photo of him standing next to his motorcycle. 
 
Since then, the San Diego Sheriff's Department along with the San Diego Fire Department, U.S. Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR), California State Parks, California Office of Emergency Services (CAL OES) and other partner agencies have been working day and night trying to find Camou. 

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COUNTY REOPENS PARKS AND GOLF COURSES, ALLOWS BOATING

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2020 (San Diego) – Starting tomorrow, a new county health order eases many restrictions on recreational facilities. Specifically:

  • All county parks will be reopened, with 50% parking capacity for social distancing.
  • Members of the same household can picnic or participate in sports or other activities in parks, but gatherings are still prohibited.
  • Recreational boating can resume at local lakes, bays and the ocean, however passengers must be in the same household.
  • Golf courses can also reopen, but golf carts are not allowed. Courses must provide physical distancing and conduct temperature screenings on all golfers.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

GOVERNOR HEEDS LOCAL LEADERS’ REQUESTS, CLOSES ONLY ORANGE COUNTY BEACHES

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson at Pacific Beach
 
April 30, 2020 (San Diego) – After crowds packed Newport Beach in violation of social distancing mandates amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom today ordered Orange County beaches to shut down. But he backed off a broader order that Reuters News Service reported was under consideration, which could have closed all beaches statewide.

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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

GOVERNOR ROLLS OUT FOUR-PHASE PLAN TO REOPEN BUSINESSES


By Miriam Raftery

April 29, 2020 (Sacramento) – Low-risk businesses and public spaces may be able to open, with modifications, in “weeks, not months” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a briefing yesterday . He laid out a detailed plan to reopen the state in four phases, with six key indicators to be met in order to lift restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 health emergency.


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SCHOOL YEAR COULD BEGIN IN JULY OR AUGUST, SAYS GOV. NEWSOM

By Miriam Raftery

April 29, 2020 (Sacramento) – In a briefing yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom suggested California schools could reopen in July or August, provided keys steps are met. 

“We recognize there’s been a learning loss because of this disruption,” Newsom said of school closures since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those closures have impacted 6.1 million students statewide.  “We’re concerned about the learning loss even into the summer,” the Governor added.

Newsom outlined four phases to reopen the state, which is currently in phase one. Phase two would allow some low-risk businesses to reopen, ease restrictions on some public spaces, and potentially include plans to reopen some K-12 schools for either summer school programs or an earlier start to the 2020-2021 school year.


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PASSAGES: FAMED MOTOCROSS CHAMPION MARTY SMITH AND WIFE KILLED IN DUNE BUGGY ROLLOVER

By Miriam Raftery
 
April 28, 2020 (Alpine) – Motocross Hall of Fame champion Marty Smith, 63, died yesterday along with his wife, Nancy in a dune buggy accident at the Imperial Sand Dunes in Glamis, California.  
 
The couple lived in Alpine and are survived by two daughters, a son and grandchildren.
 
TMZ sports reports that the couple was in a dune buggy that flipped and rolled down a hill. According to TMZ, Marty Smith was not wearing a safety harness and his wife wore only a lap belt. 
 
Lee Rampage posted “with a grieving heart” on social media that he and his wife, Tammi, were with the Smiths when the crash occurred.

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EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES HUNKER DOWN TO WAIT OUT PANDEMIC: CITY LEADERS SHARE VIEWS ON REOPENING

By Emmet Pierce

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing

April 27, 2020 (San Diego’s East Count) -- Despite a growing desire to return to life as normal, East County residents and businesses are following the state’s COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, officials say.  But some mayors and local business leaders voice concerns over impacts on the business community from extended closures.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: FAITH IN TRYING TIMES

East County News Service
 
April 28, 2020 (El Cajon) – Robert Gehr of El Cajon sent in this image taken at Christ Church Unity in El Cajon, which he titled “Finding strength in faith during these trying times.”

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SAN DIEGO FOUNDATION APPROVES $5 MILLION FOR INTEREST-FREE LOANS FOR NONPROFITS

Source:  San Diego Foundation

April 28, 2020 (San Diego) - Today the San Diego Foundation Board of Governors announced it approved $5 million to support short-term, interest-free loans to San Diego County nonprofit organizations impacted by COVID-19.  


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COVID-19 CASES IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY RISE TO 3,141; HUNDREDS OF CASES IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

April 28, 2020 (San Diego) – Over the weekend, 98 new cases of COVID-19 were reported by the San Diego County Health and Human Services department. The jump follows the trend in several cities where rallies were held to end shutdowns. The Sheriff arrested several local protesters over the weekend for violating stay-home orders.

The disease has spread rapidly in East County, where El Cajon now has 181 cases, La Mesa 71, Santee 29, Lemon Grove 28, Lakeside 22, Ramona 14, Jamul 6, and Alpine 4.  The communities of Ranchita, Boulevard, Potrero, Julian and Pala each have 2 cases; Borrego Springs, Descanso, and Tecate each have at least 1 case. View an interactive map with the latest updates on local cases by community.


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NEW FINDINGS SHOW COVID-19 TIED TO DEADLY CLOTS , STROKES, AND LONG-TERM ORGAN DAMAGE IN SURVIVORS

By Jake Zawlacki

Blood clots can cause strokes, brain and neurological damage; cc image via Bing

April 28, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- There are still a lot of unknowns regarding COVID-19 and its effects. Over the past few weeks, patient developments have led researchers to investigate previously unknown risks of COVID-19, including blood clots, debilitating strokes in young people, and long-term damage in some survivors.

COVID-19 was the second leading cause of death in the U.S.from April 6-12. It killed an astounding 12,392 people during that period – ten times more than the 1,227 deaths from flu and pneumonia. The coronavirus killed more people than cancer nationwide. Over 50,000 Americans have died from COVID-19,  or roughly the same number killed during the Vietnam War. While the death toll of the 2019-2020 flu season will be unknown for a couple more months, the rates of infection and death are clearly more severe in coronavirus.


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COUNTY'S TWO NEW TESTING SITES OPEN

Video shows some footage of trial site in Oceanside that is not currently open.
 
By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
April 27, 2020 (San Diego) -- Two new, appointment-only COVID-19 testing sites opened today in Escondido and Chula Vista, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.
 
One of the drive-up free testing sites is at the North Inland Live Well Center in Escondido, and the other is at the Live Well Center in Chula Vista.

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EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

April 26, 2020 (San Diego) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego's inland regions, published in other media.  This week's round-up stories include:  

LOCAL

STATE

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.


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ALS ASSOCIATION ASSISTING DURING VIRUS PANDEMIC BY LOANING HOSPITAL BEDS TO SHARP GROSSMONT HOSPITAL

East County News Service

April 26, 2020 (La Mesa) – As part of its response to serve the San Diego community during the coronavirus pandemic, the ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter has announced it recently loaned six, fully-electric hospital beds to Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa.


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SEARCHERS LOOKING FOR DIRT BIKER BELIEVED MISSING IN OTAY MOUNTAINS

Update: A body has been found in the area where Roberto Camou went missing

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

April 26, 2020 (Otay) – An intensive search is underway for Bobby Camou, who went on a solo ride on his dirt bike round 10 a.m. yesterday but did not return home.  His daughter, Katie Camou  posted on Facebook this morning, “We are fairly certain he went riding in the Otay Mountains near home. He had planned on being home around 4:30 p.m. and we last heard from him at 12:20 p.m. when he sent us a snap shot of himself taking a break, so not hearing from him is making us very scared.”

According to her post, his phone was pinged last night around 10:30 p.m. San Diego Sheriff and Border Patrol have been conducting searches during today’s high heat with dogs, all-terrain vehicles, drones and helicopters.


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BEACH SHUT-DOWN PROTESTERS ARRESTED

By Miriam Raftery
 
April 25, 2020 (Encinitas) – The San Diego Sheriff arrested three protesters today for violating county and state orders against public gatherings during the COVID-19 emergency. The action follows several similar rallies around the county.
 
The protest at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas drew 75-100 demonstrators who called for beaches to be opened. 
 
According to Lt. Amber Baggs, “Several protestors walked onto the beach and sat as deputies began speaking to them regarding the County Public Health Order. The people were given multiple opportunities to comply with the state and county orders. Three attendees refused and were arrested.”

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SDSU FOOTBALL'S KEITH ISMAEL PICKED BY WASHINGTON IN 2020 NFL DRAFT

 

Ismael goes to Redskins in fifth round

Source:  goaztecs.com

Video courtesy goaztecs.com

April 25, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego State center Keith Ismael, who earned all-Mountain West accolades all three seasons he competed for the Aztecs, was selected in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins on Saturday. Ismael, an Oakland, Calif., native, was chosen with the 11th pick of the fifth round (156th overall).


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ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

April 25, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

 

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.


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LOCAL EAST COUNTY SCHOOLS BEGIN DISTANCE LEARNING AFTER MONTH-LONG SHUT DOWN

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

April 24, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Local East County primary and secondary school began sailing in unchartered waters earlier this week when school districts began offering distance learning for their students because of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

East County Magazine reached out to primary and high school districts across our inland region to learn what steps they are taking to educate students remotely.


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FACE COVERINGS MANDATORY STARTING MAY 1, COUNTY ANNOUNCES

 

By Katie Cadiao, County of San Diego Communications Office

April 24, 2020 (San Diego) - The number of local COVID-19 deaths went up by two and total cases saw a record increase for a second day in a row with an additional 183 confirmed cases, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

RESIDENTS URGED TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS DURING HEAT

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office

April 24, 2020 (San Diego) - With high temperatures forecast over the next several days, County health officials are encouraging San Diegans to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses. People should especially pay close attention to children, the elderly and pets.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

COUNTY OPENING BEACHES TO SWIMMING, SURFING, OTHER WATER SPORTS ON MONDAY

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

Photo:  Lifeguards enforce the closure of city beaches. Photo by Chris Stone

April 24, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County officials announced Friday that coastal cities may reopen beach access for swimming, surfing, paddleboarding and kayaking on Monday.

“The ocean is a symbol of who we are as San Diegans, and it is appropriate at this point that we open up limited access to the ocean as a step in our continued progress,” said Fletcher at the county’s daily media briefing during the coronavirus pandemic..


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HEAR OUR RADIO SHOW WITH COVID UPDATES AND MORE

April 17, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- Our award-winning radio show on KNSJ 89.1 FM has been providing critical community updates on relief funds to help local residences, impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities in San Diego's inland region, as well as the latest updates on COVID-19 and

Audio: 


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NEW SMALL BUSINESS FUNDS APPROVED FOR SBA: APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED STARTING MONDAY, APRIL 27

East County News Service

April 24, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – After the first round of Small Business Administration (SBA) funds for businesses impacted by COVID-19 ran out, Congress approved a new round of funding just signed into law by President Donald Trump.  

The funding window for the new round of funding under the Paycheck Protection, which is designed to help small businesses retain workers, opens Monday morning and must be submitted through an approved lender.  Applications previously submitted before the earlier round of funding runs out are also eligible for funding.

Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Jovita Carranza and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin issued the following statement today on the resumption of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP):


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LET’S GROW TOGETHER SAN DIEGO: NEW STAY-AT-HOME GARDEN RESOURCES FROM MASTER GARDENERS

East County News Service  
 
April 24, 2020 (San Diego) -- San Diegans looking to plant their first Victory Gardens, refresh some tired succulent beds or maybe teach their children how to grow food from seed can get their garden questions answered any time of the day thanks to Let’s Grow Together San Diego, a free online effort  launched this week by the University of California Master Gardener Program in San Diego County.
 
Need to get rid of weeds? Grow herbs for cooking? Plant spectacular roses or bring butterflies to your backyard? Folks still staying close to home can visit www.MasterGardenerSD.org   and take their pick from how-to videos and dozens of articles on all kinds of flowers, vegetables, and fruit trees plus tips on saving water. Since it will be a while before the Master Gardeners can make presentations at large county-wide events, their refreshed website is filled with targeted information to help San Diegans required to stay-at-home.
 
Let’s Grow Together San Diego is meant for gardeners of all ages and skill levels. There are fun projects for caretakers who want to get seniors back into the garden and for parents needing some home-school lessons. Beginning gardeners are offered step-by-step instructions and even seasoned pros will find in-depth details on hundreds of plant species. And many of the video lessons are offered in Spanish.

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READER’S EDITORIAL: NATIONWIDE VOTE-BY-MAIL NEEDED TO PROTECT OUR DEMOCRACY

By Al Chavarria

April 24, 2020 (Spring Valley) -- The most important element of our nation is our democracy. The right to vote is as basic of a right as we have. The right to have your voice heard in a nation of multiple voices shouting at the same time. The only way to decide on who will be our leaders is for the majority to decide and the only to do that is to vote! Simple and Patriotic, right?

So obviously with the current pandemic, the only safe way to achieve this in this coming election, is to VOTE BY MAIL. All  states need to prepare now and they should not be afraid to implement this strategy for fear of losing elections.


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