coronavirus

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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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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WORKING AT HOME OR OUT OF WORK? YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR LOWER CAR INSURANCE

By Miriam Raftery

March 31, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – If you’re out of work, working from home,  not driving to school due to the COVID-19 crisis, or cancelled a driving vacation, you may be eligible to have your vehicle insurance rates reduced.  I called our insurer and was able to reduce our annual car insurance costs by around $260.


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READER’S EDITORIAL: HERE LIES STAND UP COMEDY (1966-2020)

 

By Darryl Littleton

March 30, 2020 (San Diego) -- Stand Up Comedy is dead!   Official cause of death – Coronavirus with Trump complications.  After a lengthy illness due to the politically correct sanctions, and despite recent signs of resurgence (thanks to Netflix), Stand Up finally succumbed this month from the prescription of no public gatherings over 10 people.  That dose was barely enough for a club staff, much less a show.   Not a Stand Up show, anyway.   Not a real one.


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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VEHICLE ACCESS CLOSED AT ALL 280 STATE PARKS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Lake Cuyamaca in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is among sites now closed to vehicle access.

March 29, 2020 (San Diego) – California State Parks announced today that vehicle access is shut down to all 280 state parks due to visitors not following social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 outbreak. In San Diego County, state parks include Cuyamaca Rancho, Anza Borrego Desert, and San Pasqual Battlefield state parks as well as state beaches at Cardiff, Carlsbad and Torrey Pines.


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A HAIRY PROBLEM: WHAT TO DO WITH BARBER SHOPS AND SALONS SHUT DOWN

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Creative Commons via Bing 

 

March 28, 2020 (San Diego) – As the COVID-19 stay-home order drags on, with barber shops and hair salons shut down, you may feel ready to pull a paper bag over your head and cut eyeholes to hide bad-hair-days that are now every day.  

Here are a few other options.


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SAN DIEGO COVID-19 CASES RISE TO 417; THREE NEW DEATHS INCLUDING PHARMACY TECHNICIAN, 25

East County News Service

March 27, 2020 (San Diego) – Today, 76 new cases of COVID-19 in San Diego County have been confirmed, bringing the total to 417.  Three more San Diegans have died from complications of COVID-19, bringing the region’s total deaths to six, County Health and Human Services Agency announced. 


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SAN DIEGO COVID-19 UPDATE: 341 CASES, 3 DEATHS

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2020 (San Diego) – As of March 26th, San Diego County health officials report 341 confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus among county residents. Three area residents have died, all elderly individuals.


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CORONAVIRUS CRISIS COULD ADD UP TO $251 BILLION TO NATION’S COMMERCIAL HEALTHCARE MARKETS IN FIRST YEAR OF PANDEMIC

Source: Covered California

March 27, 2020 (Sacramento) -- Covered California on Monday released the first national projection of health care costs due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The analysis estimates the projected costs for 170 million Americans in the commercial market — which includes the individual, small-group and large-group markets — for testing, treatment and care specifically related to COVID-19 ranges from a low of $34 billion to $251 billion or more in the first year of the pandemic.


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LOCAL DISTILLERY MISADVENTURE & CO. SWITCHES PRODUCTION TO MAKE HAND SANITIZERS

East County News Service

March 27, 2020 (Vista) -- Due to world-wide sanitizer shortages, the sustainable Misadventure & Co. distillery has switched all production to make hand sanitizer in accordance with Food and Drug Administration and WHO guidelines. The small company has made large strides to make this product available for public sale as quickly as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic ad will ship nationwide.


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MEMES BRING HUMOR TO THE HOMEBOUND DURING QUARANTINE

By Miriam Raftery

March 26, 2020 (San Diego) – As Americans stay home for weeks on end to stay safe and flatten the COVID-19 pandemic growth curve, some are sharing humorous memes on social media, bringing smiles and laughter to lighten the mood for others. 


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JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES PROVIDES FOOD, MEALS AND RIDES TO ANY SAN DIEGANS IN NEED DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

East County News Service

March 26, 2020 (San Diego) -- Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) has expanded its most vital programs to serve families and individuals of all faiths, background and ages, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and wants San Diegans to knowFood, meals and transportation are available for those in critical need.


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BANKS AGREE TO CORONAVIRUS MORTGAGE PAYMENT RELIEF IN CALIFORNIA AMID PUSH FOR EVICTION BAN

By Laurel Rosenhall | CALmatters

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

Photo:  Aerial view of suburban neighborhood street with big villas next to each other in Black Mountain, San Diego, California, USA. 

March 26, 2020 (San Diego) - With 1 million Californians filing for unemployment over the last two weeks, several major banks have agreed to delay foreclosures and offer mortgage relief to homeowners impacted by the coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday.


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REV. SHANE HARRIS AND PEOPLE'S ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE LAUNCH "WISH LIST SENIORS FUND” TO DELIVER FOOD AND TOILETRIES TO SENIORS’ HOMES

East County News Service
 
March 26, 2020 (San Diego) - Civil rights activist and President of People's Alliance for Justice Shane Harris has launched a new fund to serve vulnerable seniors countywide during the COVID-19 Coronavirus public health crisis.  Starting today, volunteers will deliver toiletries and food to seniors age 65 and older at their homes.

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SHARP REES-STEALY TEMPORARILY CLOSING SOME FACILITIES IN LA MESA AND CHULA VISTA

By Miriam Raftery

March 26, 2020 (La Mesa) – Sharp Rees-Stealy has announced that due to the COVID-19 emergency, starting March 26 it will temporarily close its La Mesa West facility on El Cajon Blvd. (though the Grossmont facilities will remain open).  The medical group will also temporarily shut down most services at its Chula Vista facility, except for occupational medicine, pharmacy and urgent care, starting March 27.


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297 LOCAL COVID-19 CASES: COUNTY OFFERS ADVICE ON HOW LONG TO STAY ISOLATED IF YOU’VE HAD SYMPTOMS

East County News Service

 

March 25, 2020 (San Diego) – With COVID-19 testing availability limited and 297 local cases confirmed, County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten is advising people who experience mild to moderate symptoms of possible COVID-19 to stay at home for at least seven days after symptoms appear and three days after respiratory symptoms have improved (such as cough and shortness of breath) and fever is completely gone, without the use of fever-reducing medications


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GARNISHMENT OF SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS FOR STUDENT LOANS IN DEFAULT SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY, AMAC SAYS IT WILL FIGHT TO MAKE IT PERMANENT

Source:   Association of Mature American Citizens 

Image by 3D Animation Production Company on Pixabay

March 25, 2020 (Washington, D.C.) - The Trump Administration has put a timely halt on the ability of the government to garnish Social Security benefits to pay for defaulted student loans for an indefinite period during the COVID crisis, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. 


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LOCAL WRITER OFFERS FREE ONLINE CLASS AND FREE LIFE COACHING SESSIONS

East County News Service

March 25, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Local author and life coach Dianna Bellerose is offering a free mini-class “created as a result of having to reinvent myself during the last economic downtown, and with reports of a global recession underway the content is more important than ever." Click here to download your free copy


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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.

'WE LIVE PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK': UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS STRUGGLE AS ECONOMY GRINDS TO A HALT

By Jacqueline Garcia and Jackie Botts

Jacqueline García is a reporter with La Opinión. CalMatters reporter Jackie Botts contributed to this article. This article is part of The California Divide, a collaboration among newsrooms examining income inequity and economic survival in California.

Photo:  undocumented immigrants often work in construction. Photo by La Opinión

March 24, 2020 (San Diego) - More than 2 million undocumented workers, who do not quality for many state and federal benefits, are among the hardest hit Californians as the economy is battered by the coronavirus pandemic.


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COUNTY REPORTS SECOND DEATH; SHERIFF SEEKS CLARIFICATION ON STATUS OF GUN STORES

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

Photo:  Sheriff Bill Gore speaks at Tuesday’s media briefing. Image from live stream

March 24, 2020 (San Diego) - Health officials reported Tuesday a second death from coronavirus disease involving a San Diego resident, and said two new cases involve infants.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s Public Health Officer, said the latest victim was a man in his late 70s. The death of a man in his early 70s was reported Sunday.


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BORED AT HOME? FREE CLASSES ONLINE IN WRITING, ART, SCIENCE AND MUSIC

Some of history’s greatest works were created during past epidemics

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Playwright William Shakespeare and physicist Isaac Newton are among those inspired to creative endeavors while in quarantine (public domain images via Wikipedia)

March 24, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Creativity can blossom out of hardship. As you’re hunkered down at home due to the COVID-19 epidemic, consider this: during historic epidemic eras, some of the world’s most famous writers, artists and scientists drew inspiration for their greatest works. We've provided a few of their stories, along with some links to free online classes in writing, art, science and music to spark your own creative impulses.


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SUPERVISORS GASPAR AND DESMOND SEEK RELIEF FOR RESTAURANT INDUSTRY

East County News Service

Photo: Jeff Rossman, president, California Restaurant Association, estimates 60% of local restaurants have shut down.

March 23, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Supervisor Kristin Gaspar and Supervisor Jim Desmond announced Monday they will ask County staff to defer all environmental health fees for restaurants for the next six months at their Board meeting Tuesday. This includes permit fees, late fees and plan check correction fees associated with plans submitted prior to March 1, 2020. Since the Governor implemented a ban on all indoor dining, the President of the California Restaurant Association Jeff Rossman, estimates that 60% of local restaurants have shut down.


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NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES NOT GETTING AID TO FIGHT COVID-19: FEDS OFFER EXPIRED RESPIRATORS TO TRIBAL HEALTHCARE WORKERS

By Miriam Raftery

March 21, 2020 (San Diego) – Health clinics at Native American reservations as well as urban Indian healthcare centers are running dangerously low on medical supplies needed to combat the COVID-19 crisis and protect healthcare workers, Politico reports


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JULIAN ASKS VISITORS TO STAY AWAY DUE TO VIRUS

By Miriam Raftery

 

March 21, 2020 (Julian) – Julian, San Diego’s historic gold rush town, thrives on tourism. But yesterday, a press release sent by the  Julian Chamber of Commerce board of directors asks visitors to stay away in order to protect the health of residents during the coronavirus emergency.


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COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS TO AFFECT COUNTY BOARD MEETINGS

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  March 10, 2020 Board of Supervisors meeting

March 20, 2020 (San Diego) - The County Board of Supervisors will cancel next week’s Wednesday board meeting and discuss those agenda items during its Tuesday board meeting on March 24.


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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.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

March 20, 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 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.

REPAIRSMITH DONATES $100K IN FREE 'NO-CONTACT CAR REPAIR' SERVICES TO SUPPORT PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HARDSHIP DURING PANDEMIC

At-Home Service Company Launches Free Car Repair Program for Car Owners in Need; Ramps Up Technician Hiring and Fleet Service for Businesses

Source: PR Newswire/Repair Smith

March 20, 2020 (San Diego)--Today, RepairSmith announces it will donate $100,000 in free, 'No-Contact Car Repair' to the communities it serves. The company is introducing a series of initiatives to support members within the community who are facing hardship because of the coronavirus.  

Starting today, in California and Las Vegas, free car repairs are available to car owners who are severely impacted by COVID-19, either via loss of employment or acting as a frontline worker to their community.

This includes government workers, service workers, delivery drivers, healthcare professionals, employees of grocery stores and pharmacies, volunteers and others who require the use of a functioning car, in locations where RepairSmith currently operates, including San Diego County.


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