coronavirus

VIRUS SPREADING LOCALLY WITH FIVE NEW CASES IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

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

Photo:  San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks at county press conference on Covid-19 response, with major officials arrayed behind him. Photo via Kevin Faulconer on Twitter

March 12, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County officials said coronavirus now appears to be spreading in the community with five new cases reported Thursday, and officially banned gatherings of over 250 people.


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SDSU ATHLETICS, ALL MAJOR SPORTS LEAGUES CANCEL SEASONS AND TOURNAMENTS DUE TO CORONAVIRUS

UPDATE AS OF 5:09 PM:  ALL SDSU SPRING SPORTS HAVE BEEN CANCELED

East County News Service

March 12, 2020 (San Diego) - After Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for Coronavirus, the National Basketball Association and several other professional sports leagues have suspended their seasons, the NBA's announcement coming on Wednesday night.  The NBA announced it was suspending games while it determined its next steps.


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TRUMP BANS TRAVEL FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS FROM EUROPE DUE TO COVID-19, PROPOSES ECONOMIC RELIEF FOR AMERICANS IMPACTED

Update March 13: The President today declared a national emergency, freeing up some $50 bilion in federal aid for states.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Airport medical screening; CC by SA

March 11, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump today announced a travel ban on most foreign nationals from Europe and also proposed economic aid to Americans impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.


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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.

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION DECLARES GLOBAL PANDEMIC; STOCK MARKET DROPS TO BEAR TERRITORY

By Miriam Raftery

March 11, 2020 (San Diego) – The World Health Organization today declared a global pandemic.  More than 115,000 cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, have been confirmed worldwide, with more than 4,200 deaths.

In the U.S., 1,237 people have tested positive for the virus and 37 have died.  The fast-spreading virus has reached 41 states and the district of Columbia, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The COVID-19 crisis has contributed to a stock market crash.The Dow Junes plunged over 1,400 points today, officially into bear territory. The Standard & Poors index has fallen over 600 points in the past three weeks, erasing more than half the gains since Trump became president.


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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 PLACES HANDWASHING STATIONS, TAKES OTHER COVID-19 PREVENTION TIPS

Photo: United Site Services
 
Video of hand-washing stations being delivered on March 9.
 
By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
March 10, 2020 (San Diego) -- While there has not been local transmission of the novel coronavirus, in order to lower the future risk of potential spread among people who are homeless, the County is placing handwashing stations in cities and unincorporated areas of the county, the Health and Human Services Agency announced yesterday.
 
To date, 66 handwashing stations have been placed in the City of San Diego, in areas where people experiencing homelessness tend to gather. Six have been placed in Carlsbad and 14 in unincorporated areas of the county, primarily Lakeside, Spring Valley, Ramona and Fallbrook.
 
“Next to sequestering those who are ill, frequent and proper handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent COVID-19,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “We’re placing stations across the region so that people who are homeless can have a place to wash their hands with soap and water.”

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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.

CALIF. DEPT. OF EDUCATION RECEIVES SPECIAL FEDERAL APPROVAL: ENABLES SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO FEED STUDENTS DURING CORONAVIRUS-RELATED CLOSURE

East County News Service

March 10, 2020 (Sacramento) - The California Department of Education (CDE) has received a special waiver called CA COVID19 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will enable a school district that had previously been approved to operate the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to provide meals to students during a coronavirus-related closure. 


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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.

COVID-19: BE PREPARED

 

Cases of the novel coronavirus disease are on the rise across the United States and the world. The uncertainty of what to expect has many feeling anxious and panicky. You can minimize your stress about COVID-19 by taking some simple steps to make sure your family is protected and prepared.

Get more information on how to prepare and protect yourself at coronavirus-sd.com.


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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.

SAN DIEGO STATE GOING TO ONLINE CLASSES APRIL 6 IN LATEST CORONAVIRUS MOVE

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Iconic Hepner Hall at San Diego State University. Photo by Chris Jennewein

March 10, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego State University will conduct almost all classes online by April 6 in a decision backed Tuesday by the University Senate, the school announced, joining UC San Diego in reacting to the coronavirus risk.


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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.

SHARP HEALTHCARE TAKES STEPS TO PROTECT PATIENTS, VISITORS AND CAREGIVERS FROM COVID-19, OFFERS TIPS FOR PUBLIC

East County News Service
 
March 7, 2020 (La Mesa)--Sharp Healthcare, which operates Sharp Grossmont Hospital and other medical facilities in our region, has set up a webpage on the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) with information on steps Sharp is taking to protect against the virus and what the public should know.
 
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, which is spreading around the world.  Here are tips to help stop spread of the respiratory virus:
 

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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 ASKS RESIDENTS, SCHOOLS, BUSINESSES TO PREPARE FOR COVID-19

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Photo, courtesy County of San Diego: County Microbiologist Jovan Shepherd prepares a specimen for testing of the novel coronavirus.
 
March 5, 2020 (San Diego) -- Be informed. Be prepared.
 
That’s what County and local health officials, business and school leaders want area residents to do should the novel coronavirus be detected in the region.
 
“It’s important for everyone to educate themselves and their family and be prepared in case the new coronavirus makes its way to San Diego County,” said Chairman Greg Cox, County Board of Supervisors. “It’s also important for people not to panic as the risk for this new virus and the disease that it causes continues to be low.”

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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 DECLARES EMERGENCY AS MORE COVID-19 CASES DIAGNOSED, INCLUDING IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

March 5, 2020 (San Diego) – Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency yesterday amid news of 53 COVID-19 cases diagnosed in California and the first COVID-19 death in our state.  New cases include an LAX airport screener, cruise ship passengers, a South Korean flight attendant at LAX, and an AT&T store employee in Otay Mesa here in San Diego County.

California health officials are now monitoring 9,400 cases in 49 counties statewide.


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U.S. DRAWS CRITICISM AS POLITICIANS, NOT SCIENTISTS, LEAD RESPONSE TO COVID-19

California outbreak may be tied to botched federal response

By Miriam Raftery and Jonathan Goetz

Photo by Mikael Häggström, M.D. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87223640

March 1, 2020 (San Diego) --  President Donald Trump is facing criticism for disbanding the team of scientific experts in 2018 who would have been tasked with preparing for and handling pandemics in the United States, to cut costs. He left vacant key posts at the Centers for Disease Control in charge pandemics and further sought to slash CDC funding. His administration also allowed some exposed cruise ship passengers back into the U.S.without waiting for test results.

Now Pres. Trump has put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the U.S. response to the COVID-19 outbreak, instead of health officials, the New York Times reports.  Pence will also handle all White House messaging on the virus, a move that has critics concerned that health and science experts could be muzzled.  Pence has previously drawn criticism for his handling of an HIV epidemic in Indiana that slowed efforts by public health officials to contain the disease.

Trump has drawn sharp bipartisan criticism as well as Senate Republican committee chairs and global health officials for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis.  The disease to date has infected over 85,000 people in 60 nations, killing nearly 3,000. The first U.S. death occurred in Kirkland, Washington, where an outbreak is suspected at a skilled nursing facility at which dozens of residents and healthcare workers have fallen ill.


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COVID-19 VIRUS IS MORE DEADLY THAN FIRST BELIEVED; FIRST U.S. DEATH CONFIRMED

141 people are being monitored in San Diego County for possible exposure

By Miriam Raftery

March 1, 2020 (San Diego) – Over 85,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide on every continent except Antarctica, causing approximately 3,000 deaths, the World Health Organization reports. The first U.S. death has occurred in Washington state and at least 30 cases have been identified in California, the Los Angeles Times reports. These include cases among people who did not travel overseas recently and it is unknown how they were exposed to the virus.

San Diego County has 141 people  being monitored who may have beene exposed .  Mexico also reported its first case this week.

Now, a broad study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reveals that the COVID-19 virus has a death rate nearly as high as the 1918 influenza epidemic, which killed 50-100 million people worldwide and infected a third of the world’s population, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The standard flu kills only about 0.1% of those infected. By contrast, the 1918 epidemic had  fatality rate of 2.5%.  As for COVID-19, out of 72,314 cases in China studied, JAMA reports a death rate of 2.3%--but much higher in older people and patients with underlying health conditions. 


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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COUNTY BOARD RATIFIES COVID-19 EMERGENCY DECLARATION

Illustration of 2019 novel coronavirus
Image Credit: CDC
 
By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Feb. 20, 2020 (San Diego) - The Board of Supervisors yesterday voted to ratify the County’s declaration of a local health emergency and proclamation a local emergency to deal with the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
 
The move is meant to reassure the public that local health authorities are proactively working to stay ahead of any challenges that may arise. The local health emergency will last for 30 days, the local emergency for 60 days. The Board will consider whether each action should be extended at its respective time interval.

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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.

POSSIBLE CORONAVIRUS CASE IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY TEST RESULTS COME BACK NEGATIVE FOR 2019-nCoV

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Photo credit: publicdomainvectors.org
 
January 31, 2020 (San Diego) - A San Diego County resident who visited Wuhan, China and developed a respiratory illness after returning home has tested negative for the novel (new) coronavirus, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced Thurday.
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday confirmed the results and San Diego County currently has no other patients under investigation.
 
Click "Read more" for the current local danger estimate, common symptoms, and a quick reminder on how to protect yourself and others from illness.

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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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