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By Miriam Raftery

August 14, 2020 (San Diego) – Over 100,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks of July nationwide, after schools in some areas reopened, CNN reports.  At least three have died, including two teens and a 7-year-old with no preexisting conditions. Thousands are now quarantined due to school-related outbreaks, putting teachers and staff at risk as well as students.

With cases skyrocketing in states that have ignored CDC guidelines, yesterday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Robert Redfield issued a dire warning.

If recommendations are not followed by all Americans, he told WebMD, this could be the “worst fall from a public health perspective” that the U.S. has ever had, CNN reports.

 With over 5.2 million Americans infected and 166,000 dead of COVID-19, the outlook is grim.  Around 1,500 Americans are dying each day from the disease, according to data updated daily by Johns Hopkins University, the nation’s premier medical school.

The rate is by far the worse in Southeast states such as Florida and southern states including Alabama and Mississippi, where Republican governors have refused to order mask-wearing requirements.  

“For your country right now and or the war that we’re in against COVID, I’m asking you to do four simple things wear a mask,social distance, wash your hands and be smart about crowds,” Dr. Redfied urged.  “We’ve all gotta do it.”

Dr.Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, similarly warned that ignoring the biological facts about COVID-19 means economic recovery is “not gonna happen.”

San Diego County remains on the state’s watch list for two metrics: case rate and outbreaks. 

Case rates must be below 100 cases per 100,000 population for 14 days.  The last two days, San Diego dipped just under 100 (94.1and 98.3 cases per 100,000 people) but must maintain that until at least Aug. 28 before schools can reopen, though some have applied for waivers of the rules.

The other metric is community outbreaks and San Diego County is nowhere close to being in compliance.  To get off the watch list would require seven straight days of six outbreaks or less. In the past seven days, our county has had 22 community outbreaks. The latest two, reported August 12, included a business and a food processing operation.

Seven more deaths were reported in our region from July 31-Aug. 11, bringing the total death toll to 615 in San Diego County. The latest victims ranged from age 44 to 90.

Miriam Raftery, editor and founder of East County Magazine, has over 35 years of journalism experience. She has won more than 350 journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, San Diego Press Club, and the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Her honors include the Sol Price Award for responsible journalism and three James Julian awards for public interest reporting from SPJ’s San Diego chapter. She has received top honors for investigative journalism, multicultural reporting, coverage of immigrant and refugee issues, politics, breaking news and more. Thousands of her articles have appeared in national and regional publications.

East County Magazine gratefully acknowledges the Facebook Journalism Project for its COVID-19 Relief Fund grant to support our local news reporting including impacts on vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more: #FacebookJournalismProject and

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