April 2020 Articles

FEDS ALLOW DISCLOSURE OF PROTECTED HEALTH INFO FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH OVERSIGHT ACTIVITIES DURING COVID-19 NATIONAL EMERGENCY

East County News Service

 

April 2, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- Today, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that effective immediately, it will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for violations of certain provisions of the HIPAA Privacy Rule against health care providers or their business associates for good faith uses and disclosures of protected health information by business associates for public health and health oversight activities during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. 


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MORE AMERICANS DEAD OF COVID-19 THAN FROM 9-11 ATTACKS: QUESTIONS GROW OVER WHY U.S. SENT VENTILATORS OVRSEAS AS U.S. STOCKPILE DWINDLED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via Bing: creative commons NA-SC

April 2, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. hit a grim milestone this week. With the death toll now at 5,794 COVID-19 deaths, more Americans have died from the coronavirus than the 2,996 people killed in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

But that’s just a fraction of the 100,000 to 200,000 U.S. deaths now predicted by the White House, with the peak expected over the next two weeks, authorities announced in a press conference yesterday. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has placed orders for 100,000 body bags

“This is going to be a very painful, painful two weeks,” President Donald Trump stated, adding 100,000 is the minimum number of deaths forecast. As of today, 243,229 cases have been diagnosed in the U.S. and 10,365 have recovered. The U.S. now has a quarter of the more than one million cases worldwide.

But while many nations around the world locked down their supplies of ventilators, respirators, masks and other items needed to keep medical personnel safe and save lives of critically ill patients weeks ago, the U.S. allowed companies to continue profiting off exporting these vital supplies to other countries.


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EL CAJON PARKS AND RECREATION GOES VIRTUAL

East County News Service

April 2, 2020 (El Cajon) — El Cajon’s Parks and Recreation site has set up a Virtual Recreation and Resource Center filled with fun, education and resources through these wild and turbulent times.


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MENTAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

By Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher
 
April 2, 2020 (San Diego) -- It's hard to recognize the world around us right now. Our daily routines have changed dramatically. We're physically away from our friends and family. We have to make sacrifices to protect our health and the health of the community. And we can't escape the constant news coverage.

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SCHOOL CLOSINGS DUE TO COVID-19 PRESENT POTENTIAL FOR INCREASED RISK OF CHILD EXPLOITATION

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

April 2, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- Due to school closings as a result of COVID-19, children will potentially have an increased online presence and/or be in a position that puts them at an inadvertent risk. Due to this newly developing environment, the FBI is seeking to warn parents, educators, caregivers, and children about the dangers of online sexual exploitation and signs of child abuse.


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COVID-19 OUTBREAK LINKED TO PHARMACY IN EL CAJON; COUNTY DEATH TOLL RISES TO 15

By Miriam Raftery

April 2, 2020 (San Diego) – Over 849 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in San Diego County. Of those, 1.4%, or 15 people have died, according to  County health officials. The county has identified several cluster outbreaks, including an outbreak in East County linked to the PalmCare Pharmacy in El Cajon,  NBC-7 reports.

A 25-year-old pharmacy tech who worked there , and who  had hoped to become a doctor, died last week at his family’s home in Riverside County. The pharmacy’s customers included many in East County’s Iraqi Chaldean community.


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TWO FATALITY CRASHES ON HIGHWAY 67 IN LAKESIDE IN PAST TWO WEEKS

By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
 
April 1, 2020 (Lakeside) – Two fatality vehicle accidents have occurred on State Route 67 in Lakeside in the past two weeks. Here are the details, provided by Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol.
 
The first occurred on March 17 at 5 a.m.  A Spring Valley man, 45, driving a silver 2002 Ford Explorer northbound on Highway 67 south of Foster Truck Trail lost control and veered off the side of the road.  It became airborne before overturning down an embankment, then hitting a large boulder.  Law enforcement and a fire crew responded, but the driver died at the scene of his injuries. It is believed that the driver was wearing a seatbelt; alcohol and drugs are not believed to have been factors in the crash.

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GOVERNOR AND STATE SUPERINTENDENT CALL FOR SCHOOLS TO STAY CLOSED THROUGH END OF SCHOOL YEAR

East County News Service

April 1, 2020 (Sacramento) – Governor Gavin Newsom today said he expects that “schools will not reopen” this school year due to the coronavirus outbreak. Newsom also announced a partnership with Google to provide over 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots statewide to improve internet connectivity and help students with online learning.


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PIZZAS DELIVERED TO SHARP-GROSSMONT HOSPITAL BY TEACHER BOOST MORALE FOR MEDICAL PROVIDERS AND HELP LOCAL PIZZERIA

By Mimi Pollack

April 1, 2020 (La Mesa) -- So far, 2020 has proven to be a disturbing year, and everyone’s anxiety has been heightened.  The majority of us are staying home and waiting.  I have been teaching my class at Grossmont College online and struggling along. Inspired by stories of folks helping others in these trying times, I also decided to take action in my own small way.


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ALPINE’S LIONS TIGERS & BEARS SEEK DONATIONS TO FEED THEIR ANIMALS DURING COVID-19 SHUTDOWN

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

File photos by Miriam Raftery

March 31, 2020 (Alpine) -- Local tigers and other rescued exotic animals at Alpine’s Lions Tigers & Bears Animal Sanctuary need your monetary help.  The tigers, and more, need to keep eating even during today’s economic hard times induced by the COVID-19 crisis.

With millions in stay-at-home lockdown locally and nationally, money from attendance at the sanctuary has evaporated. The facility is closed to the public due to the pandemic. The COVID-19 shutdown has also forced postponement or cancellation of fundraising events for the foreseeable future.

You can donate at https://www.lionstigersandbears.org.  

Founder Bobbi Brinks set up the rescue facility and dedicated it to providing a safe haven for abused and abandoned exotic animals for life.

Unlike the infamous facility featured on “Tiger King,” Lions, Tigers and Bears is a no-kill and no-breeding  sanctuary.


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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.

UC EASES ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS IN RESPONSE TO EDUCATION DISRUPTIONS; SUSPENDS LETTER GRADE AND TESTING REQUIREMENTS

By Nicole Freeling, UC Newsroom  

April 1, 2020 (San Diego) -- Across California and the nation, students have been forced to adapt as measures to combat COVID-19 have closed schools, cancelled standardized tests and upended every aspect of their education. And many have faced a nagging concern: how will this affect my college prospects?


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SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB WILL HOLD VIRTUAL TOWN HALL ON COVID 19 THURSDAY

East County News Service

San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob will hold  an East County Virtual Town Hall on Thursday to discuss the novel coronavirus, and she is encouraging residents in her district to submit questions.

County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten will take part in the meeting, which will take place at 4 p.m.


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CALIFORNIA ORDERS NURSING HOMES TO ADMIT RESIDENTS WITH COVID-19; EXPERTS CALL DIRECTIVE A “DEATH SENTENCE”

By Miriam Raftery

April 1, 2020 (San Diego) -- After weeks of warning Californians about the deadly threat the coronavirus poses to nursing home residents, the State of California on March 30th ordered California nursing home operators to bring the virus into their facilities, “knowing full well it is likely to kill many residents,” says Michael Dark, staff attorney at California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR).


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TWO HEARTLAND FIREFIGHTERS INJURED IN EL CAJON HOUSE FIRE

"Thirteen homes around the hill of a one-way cul-de-sac were saved.  God Bless the neighbor who called us, God Bless the fireman and first responders."--Dolores E. Landers
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News
 
 
April 1, 2020 (El Cajon) – Updated April 3:  A burning section of a home collapsed early this morning, trapping two Heartland Fire & Rescue firefighters, ECM news partner 10 News reports.
 
Two fireifghters were taken to a hospital, and have since been releaesed, a neighbor has informed ECM. 

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STATE SEEKS MEDICAL AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS

East County News Service

April 1, 2020 (San Diego) -- The California Health Corps Registration has put out an urgent request for volunteers who are health professionals or medical students during the COVID-19 crisis. An online registration has been set up here.

Participants will be paid and will be given malpractice insurance coverage. Locations will vary, but the staste-run organization will try to match your geographical preferences.

“As California responds to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are preparing for an increase in the number of people who urgently need health care in our communities. To serve Californians and support our health care system, we are preparing to open additional health care sites to provide medical services both for people who have symptoms of, or test positive for, COVID-19 and to relieve the pressure on our health care system by providing care for non-COVID-19 cases,” the site states.

“We need your help. To ensure adequate staff for these sites throughout the state, we’re calling on healthcare providers, behavioral health professionals, and health care administrators.”

The following healthcare professionals are among those sought, though additional occupations are listed in the actual application:


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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.

SPECIAL EDITION: BREAKING NEWS APRIL 1, 2020

April 1, 2020—East County Magazine has the exclusive scoop on astounding major stories breaking today.

Is truth stranger than fiction? You decide. Click any title  to view a description of each, then click "read more" to view the full story. Or click here to view our complete special April 1st edition.

Trust us, you won't want to miss this news!


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SEEDS OF CHANGE: ENTREPRENEURSHIP BRINGS REVENUES TO LEMON GROVE

By Seymour Lemmons

April 1, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – After a ballot measure to raise sales tax failed, Lemon Grove community members today announced plans for new revenue streams centered around the city’s core staple: lemons.

“With shortages of hand sanitizers amid COVID-19 concerns, the first product we’re rolling out is a lemon-scented hand sanitizer manufactured by the City of Lemon Grove,” said Mayor Racquel Vasquez, who added that she drew inspiration from New York State, which recently started producing its own brand of hand sanitizers.

 Unlike New York, which is relying on prison labor, Lemon Grove is teaming up with a spirited  local distillery and hiring local residents, creating “good jobs with livable wages” to also put more disposable income into workers’ pockets, the Mayor added, spritizing sanitizer spray into her palms and rubbing them vigorously as the aroma of lemon wafted over the press corps assembled for the announcement.


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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.

CASA DE ORO UNVEILS VISION FOR THE FUTURE

By Angel Amongus

April 1, 2020 (Spring Valley) – The County of San Diego and Casa de Oro Alliance today announced agreement on a long-awaited revitalization design plan for Casa De Oro, along with revelation of funding provided through a county grant approved by Supervisor Dianne Jacob and a major angel donor: Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs.

“In honor of Supervisor Dianne Jacob, and angel donor Irwin Jacobs, whose support and vision have made this all possible, we have chosen a Jacobian architectural style for the reimagined new heart of our community,” announced Bob Yarris, chair of the alliance. "And if Sara Jacobs wins her run for Congress, we may soon have a trifecta of Jacobs serving East County to honor."

Yarris elaborated, “We believe the richness of the English Jacobean era, which brought us the literary triumphs of Shakespeare and the discoveries of Galileo, are fitting for our vision for Casa de Oro’s future as a community rich in arts, culture, and creativity."


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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.

POLITICIANS DONATE PIT BULL EMOTIONAL SUPPORT THERAPY DOG TO ECM CONTRIBUTING EDITOR PAUL KRUZE

 

By I.M. Skerd, ECM Special Correspondent

April 1, 2020 (El Cajon) -- A generous group of El Cajon politicians and school board members have come together with donations to the East County animal rescue group RescuingCujo.com to give a pit bull emotional support dog to East County Magazine Contributing Editor Paul Kruze. In addition, a fundraiser for the good cause was held by members of the former Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD).

Kruze, has covered many high-stress stories including the rise and fall of former El Cajon City Councilman Ben Kalasho, controversies in the Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD), and a firestorm over takeover of the JCFPD by the County of San Diego Fire Authority, along with other hot local issues.


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CAJON VALLEY UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT ANNOUNCES NEW FILM STUDIO DEVELOPMENT DIVISION

Remake of classic Arnold Schwarzenegger film “Kindergarten Cop” to be first project

By M. Holly Wood, Contributing Editor

April 1, 2020 (El Cajon) – To raise revenues and meet challenges of coordinating its 16,000 students back into a learning environment after the COVID-19 emergency ends, CVUSD Superintendent David Miyashiro today announced on Monday that the district is going into the film business. 

With the state facing an unprecedented pandemic and yesterday’s advisory from the state that schools should remain closed for the rest of this school year, the future of state educational funding is uncertain. Cajon Valley Union School District faces a double loss after defeat of its school bond measure, but is rolling out an innovative solution.

Citing its extensive experience producing nearly 250 promotional videos for itself in the past five years, the CVUSD revealed that its new division will be named “CV World of Film.” This will complement its existing “World of Work” curriculum, which the district cites as an outside revenue stream, and will directly utilize CVUSD students in its operations.


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MYSTERIOUS CREATURE SPOTTED IN JULIAN AREA

By Miss Terry

April 1, 2020 (Julian) – Around the world, as cities and towns shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are reports of wild animals roaming the streets – from cougars in Colorado to coyotes in San Francisco.  Early this morning, several reports have come in of a mysterious creature first spotted in Ranchita and later, lumbering down Main Street through downtown Julian.

“It looked just like that statute of a yeti in front of the Ranchita store, only with long, dark hair,” said Ida Witness, a Ranchita resident who says she heard her dogs howling shortly before dawn when she went outside and saw the towering, shadowy figure.


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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.

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