coronavirus

COVID-19 DEATHS REACH 3 MILLION WORLDWIDE

San Diego has among highest vaccine acceptance rate in U.S., survey finds

By Miriam Raftery

April 19, 2021 (San Diego) – More than 3 million people have now died of COVID-19 worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, including over 555,000 deaths in the United States, the most of any nation. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 141 million around the world, including over 37 million U.S. cases.  

FREEDOM RALLY DRAWS DIVERSE CROWD

By Briana Gomez
 
Photo:  Minister Vereta Wilson (@compton_conservative) addresses the crowd
 
December 29, 2020 (El Cajon) – A myriad of diverse, yet mostly unmasked attendees crowded around vendors and made their way toward a makeshift stage decorated with Christmas décor and a podium in front of the El Cajon City Council chambers, where a “Freedom Rally” was held on Dec. 27 in response to Governor Newsom’s recent shutdown of businesses.

'NOW IT'S THE SENATE'S TURN': ALL EYES ON MCCONNELL AFTER HOUSE APPROVES $2,000 CORONAVIRUS RELIEF CHECKS

Progressives in both chambers of Congress are pressuring the GOP majority leader to urgently hold a vote on the Covid-19 legislation

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer, Common Dreams

Originally published by Common Dreams under a Creative Commons license

December 28, 2020 (Washington, D.C.) - Demands from progressive lawmakers and the public surged for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to urgently support and hold a vote on a bill that would boost coronavirus pandemic direct relief checks from $600 to $2,000 after at least two-thirds of Democrat-controlled House approved the legislation on Monday evening.

'UNCONSCIONABLE' ON CHRISTMAS EVE: GOP BLOCKS $2,000 DIRECT PAYMENTS FOR STRUGGLING AMERICANS

"The House GOP is spending this holiday season trying to block $2,000 survival payments for families struggling to keep food on the table."

By Jake Johnson, staff writer

Originally published by Common Dreams under a Creative Commons license 

December 24, 2020 (Washington, D.C.) - On the morning of Christmas Eve, the House Republican leadership blocked Democratic legislation that would provide $2,000 relief checks to Americans struggling to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis, obstructing direct payments long supported by progressives and endorsed earlier this week by President Donald Trump.

GOVERNOR: SOCAL LOCKDOWN LIKELY TO BE EXTENDED AS ICU CAPACITY FALLS TO ZERO

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

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom. Courtesy of the governor’s office

December 22, 2020 (San Diego) - With ICU capacity essentially zero in Southern California, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday the regional stay-at-home order will almost certainly be extended beyond the current Dec. 28 end date.

COUNTY HAS ABOUT $4 MILLION FOR NON-PROFITS SERVING PEOPLE IMPACTED BY COVID-19

By Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

Image credit:  Shutterstock

December 13, 2020 (San Diego) - Do you run a non-profit organization which serves low and moderate-income people who’ve been impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic?

COUNTY REPORTS 2,104 NEW VIRUS CASES AND 15 DEATHS AS PANDEMIC SURGES

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

December 10, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County public health officials reported the second highest daily increase in coronavirus cases on Wednesday and pleaded with residents to follow the stay-at-home order to avoid overwhelming the health system.

There were 2,104 new cases and 15 deaths, with 8.4% of the latest tests coming back positive.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher told a media briefing that projections showed all county ICU beds would have been occupied before Christmas without the regional lockdown, which is now in its third day.

“When you have as many cases as we have, and it is spreading as fast as it is, there are very few settings that are safe,” warned Fletcher.

BUSINESS OWNERS, HEALTHCARE AND POLITICAL LEADERS SHARE VIEWS ON NEW COVID-19 SHUTDOWNS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Prete-a-Porter Salon & Spa in La Mesa moved outside during the last shutdown, but this time, salons are ordered to close completely. 

December 6, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Healthcare leaders, business owners and public officials are offering mixed reactions to the state’s latest stay-home order and business shutdowns prompted by Southern California dropping below 15% ICU bed availability. 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY EXPECTS INITIAL ALLOCATION OF 28,000 VACCINE DOSES IN DECEMBER

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

Photo:  Creative Commons via Bing

December 2, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County will get 28,000 doses of the new Pfizer vaccine in the next week or two, but it will be March or April before coronavirus vaccines are widely available, public health officials said Wednesday.

PEOPLE AT HOLIDAY GATHERINGS URGED TO GET TESTED FOR COVID-19

Source: County News Service

Photo credit:  Shutterstock

November 30, 2020 (San Diego) - If you traveled or gathered with people outside your household over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, you were at higher risk of having contracted COVID-19 and could inadvertently be spreading it.

COVID-19 VIRUS FOUND IN WASTEWATER AT UCSD: THOSE WHO USED RESTROOMS IN 5 AREAS SHOULD GET TESTED AND WATCH FOR SYMPTOMS

East County News Service

 

November 29, 2020 (San Diego) – A campus notice advises that the COVID-19 virus (also known as SARS CoV-2) has been detected in the wastewater in five campus areas at the University of California, San Diego. 

BOARD APPROVES MORE FUNDS FOR BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITS IMPACTED BY COVID-19

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

November 28, 2020 (San Diego) -- The County Board of Supervisors this week voted to provide more stimulus funds to businesses forced to close indoor operations after the region was placed in the Purple Tier.

At a special meeting, the Board gave the green light for $20 million in general funds to be added to the Small Business Stimulus Grant Program established in May.

The funds will be available to businesses and nonprofit organizations in the following industries:

  • Restaurants
  • Gyms and fitness centers, including yoga studios
  • Movie theaters
  • Museums
  • Zoos and aquariums
  • Event planners (weddings, festivals, fairs, etc.)

AS PANDEMIC AID ENDS, CALIFORNIANS FACE BRUTAL NEW YEAR

By Nigel Duara, CalMatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  Jacques Gene at his home in Cool, near Sacramento, with his 7-year-old son Wyatt. They are among the hundreds of thousands of Californians who are bracing for pandemic aid to end, as federal unemployment benefits expire and the state lifts its eviction moratorium. Photo by Hector Amezcua for CalMatters

November 25, 2020 (Sacramento) - In late 2017, a house fell on Jacques Gene. 

The construction foreman in Cool, east of Sacramento, was inside a half-finished home when the rolling trusses that make up the underside of the roof fell, collapsing the whole house. Gene, 46, suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung and a concussion. When his coworkers sorted through the rubble, he says, they didn’t expect to find him alive. 

ANOTHER COVID RECORD: 1,478 NEW CASES IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY AS VIRUS SURGES

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

Photo:  Coronavirus testing at San Diego State University. Courtesy of the university

November 23, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County public health officials Saturday reported a record-high 1,478 new COVID-19 infections and six new deaths, raising the region’s totals to 70,709 cases and 966 deaths.

SAFELY GIVE YOUR TIME AND MONEY TO CHARITIES THIS HOLIDAY SEASON—EVEN IN A PANDEMIC

By Brent Wakefield, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels San Diego County 

November 19, 2020 (San Diego) -- This holiday season, charitable giving and volunteering will look a lot different, thanks to COVID-19. The need for volunteers and donations is greater than ever as millions more people than usual struggle amid the pandemic’s economic disruption.

FACTS ABOUT VACCINES THAT MAY BEGIN ROLL-OUT IN DECEMBER AMID SKYROCKETING COVID-19 CASES

By Miriam Raftery

November 19, 2020 (San Diego) – A vaccine for COVID-19 can’t come soon enough to protect the health of people around the world and preserve economic futures for businesses that have shut down or been forced to operate under stringent limits. 

Over a quarter of a million Americans have died of COVID-19 in just eight months – nearly five times more than perished in the Vietnam War. That’s far higher than the 34,000 flu deaths last year, and the virus is now spreading exponentially. More than  three million Americans are now believed to have active infections—or nearly one percent of the U.S. population, the Washington Post reports. In San Diego, cases have tripled in the past two weeks; nationally, South Dakota and Iowa reported more than half of all COVID-19 tests were positive as hospitals fill up and nurses are in short supply. 

UNMASKED: DOCTORS’ ASSOCIATION EXECS JOINED NEWSOM AT LOBBYIST’S BIRTHDAY BASH

By Laurel Rosenhall, CalMatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo: The exclusive French Laundry restaurant in the Napa Valley, where California Gov. Gavin Newsom and representatives of the California Medical Association, the doctors' lobby, dined at a birthday party for lobbyist Jason Kinney — despite telling the public to avoid such gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by K Tao via Flickr

November 18, 2020 (Napa Valley) - The dinner party Gov. Gavin Newsom apologized this week for attending — saying it was a mistake to dine with so many people amid the coronavirus pandemic — included two guests who lobby on behalf of California doctors, the very profession that has been imploring people to refrain from social activity that could hasten the virus’ spread. 

COUNTY CRACKS DOWN ON BUSINESSES AND CHURCHES VIOLATING HEALTH ORDERS AS LOCAL CASE RATE TRIPLES

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – New COVID-19 cases in San Diego have broken all-time records the past two days, at 1,087 and 833 on Nov. 14 and 15.  

The County yesterday announced that it has issued cease and desist letters to 10 businesses and churches caught in “blatant and willful” violations of purple Tier orders banning indoor operations for worship services, restaurants and gyms, according to Greg Cox, Chair of the County Board of Supervisors.  The County has also sent letters to all regional mayors urging help to enforce public health orders.

But El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells has thus far defiantly told media outlets that his police will not prioritize enforcement.

COUNTY RELEASE DATA ON COVID-19 EXPOSURE SETTINGS: RESTAURANTS AND RETAIL TOP LIST

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  shopping online may be safer than in retail and grocery stores, which account for 8.8% of cases countywide since June.  Photo CC by SA

November 13, 2020 (San Diego) – After repeated pressure from media to release more information on which locations pose the highest risks of COVID, San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Department has released new data on potential exposure settings. 

EL CAJON CITY COUNCIL EXTENDS COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORTS

Source:  City of El Cajon

November 12, 2020 (El Cajon) - On Tuesday, November 10, the El Cajon City Council unanimously approved extending the City’s COVID-19 relief measures through June 30, 2021. The relaxed rules and fees were set to expire on December 31, 2020. These measures include:

OWNERS CALL FOR AID TO MOVIE THEATERS IN LAME DUCK SESSION CONGRESS

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) this week called for Congress and the Trump administration to act now to save local movie theaters devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic by passing relief legislation. According to a press release issued by the organization, 96% of movie theaters have reported over 70% in losses in 2020. 

COVID-19 AND FLU SEASON: HOW SENIORS CAN STAY HEALTHY

By Jyotu Sandhu, MD, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, and  Simona Valanciute, President & CEO, San Diego Oasis
 
Photo: Creative Commons via Bing 
 
November 11, 2020 (La Mesa) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that both the novel coronavirus and flu viruses will spread significantly this fall and winter, which could overwhelm health care facilities. Seniors are already at higher risk of serious health problems from COVID-19, and this year’s flu season will likely compound those worries for older adults and those who care for them.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY SLIPS INTO 'PURPLE TIER' AND MAY FACE NEW RESTRICTIONS NEXT WEEK

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

Photo:  Dr. Wilma Wooten briefs local media on the coronavirus numbers and purple tier ranking. Image from livestream

November 4, 2020 (San Diego) - Rising coronavirus cases pushed San Diego County into the “purple” zone on Wednesday, raising the possibility of new restrictions if the case rate does not fall by next week.

LA MESA ADDRESSES YOUTH IN THE AGE OF COVID

By Briana Gomez
 
Image via Alexandra Koch from Pixabay
 
November 1, 2020 (La Mesa) -- The City of La Mesa Community Relations and Veterans Commission and the Youth Advisory Commission hosted a zoom summit Wednesday on youth in the age of COVID.

THE PARTY’S OVER: COUNTY SHUTS DOWN PLANNED EVENTS AT SDSU FRATS AND SORORITIES

By Miriam Raftery
 
October 30, 2020 (San Diego) – The County Health Department has sent cease and desist orders to multiple fraternity and sorority houses at San Diego State University, along with two other addresses, prior to Halloween weekend. The letters, signed by Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten, states that the venues “intend to hold large gatherings on October 30, 2020–November 1, 2020” in violation of the county’s public health order and state guidelines.
 
Failure to comply will result in “criminal misdemeanor citations with a $1,000 fine for each violation,” the letters state.  County rules prohibit private gatherings of more than three households due to COVID-19.
 
The threat of criminal penalties and fines comes after SDSU reported more than 1,300 COVID cases since August, a surge that threatens to push San Diego County, currently in the state's red tier, into the most restrictive purple tier that would force many businesses to shut down indoor activities.
 
 

HOW TO REPORT A VIOLATION OF COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER

East County News Service

October 23, 2020 (San Diego) - The County of San Diego has set up a phone line and email address for the public to report businesses or organizations that are violating the county’s public health order. This includes businesses that are open despite closure orders due to COVID-19, as well as those violating other orders, such as not following masking and social distancing requirements.  To report violations, you can call (858) 694-2900 or email SafeReopeningComplianceTeam@sdcounty.ca.gov

Employers are required to notify the County if any employee tests positive for COVID by calling (888) 950-9905. You will need to provide the worker’s name, birth date, and contact information for contact tracing.   

HEALTH OFFICIALS WORRIED ABOUT SAN DIEGO SLIPPING INTO 'PURPLE' TIER

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

Photo:  Dr. Wilma Wooten speaks at Friday’s press conference. Image from livestream

October 16, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County public health officials warned Friday that coronavirus infections are creeping up and the county could enter the widespread, or purple, tier in state rankings.

RESTAURANTS ADVISED TO COMPLY WITH COMPLEX ‘PARKLET’ DINING RULES

Many restaurant owners don’t understand regulatory layers and risk running afoul of laws

By Marco Polo Cortes, Owner of Marco Polo Permits 

October 15, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Restaurant owners say that outdoor dining has allowed them to survive the recent COVID-19 closures. Since August 31, restaurants in San Diego County can serve customers indoors – but only at 25% capacity. Sidewalk cafes and “parklets” can allow these struggling businesses to provide outdoor dining, but there are many misconceptions about the rules.

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