COVID-19

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

March 30, 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.

Coronavirus

Other national news

WORLD

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

COUNTY PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS TO CONTINUE; RENEWALS, STATUS REPORTS DEFERRED

By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Photo courtesy: County of San Diego
 
Medi-Cal, CalWORKs, CalFresh and General Relief benefit payments for current customers will continue uninterrupted through April, May and June and certain paperwork is deferred until further notice.
 
The County began sending texts and calls Wednesday to San Diegans who receive the benefits to let them know about the change and confirm that benefits will continue through June.

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.

COUNTY’S STAY-HOME ORDER EXTENDED INDEFINITELY

By Miriam Raftery

March 29, 2020 (San Diego) – As local COVID-19 cases climb to 488, including seven deaths, the County has extended its existing public health order indefinitely. The order was originally issued only until March 31.

The newest deaths include a man in his 20s who died in Riverside County and a man in his 80s with underlying medical conditions.

 “Just these two deaths reflect the sober reality that we are facing, that COVID-19 can affect individuals of all ages,” said Nick Yphantides, County chief medical officer. Locally, the death rate is 1.4%, or 14 times higher than the death rate from flu.

In just the past 24 hours before yesterday’s press conference, 71 new cases were diagnosed locally.  Most, 57.4%, are in men and nearly 20% required hospitalization, with 8.6% in intensive are.

The public health order will require that non-essential business stay closed including bars, restaurants for dining in services, gyms, fitness centers and more. Schools must also stay homes.

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.

NURSE AT LAS COLINAS WOMEN’S DETENTION FACILITY TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

Two other Sheriff’s employees await test results
 
By Miriam Raftery
Photo credit: Google maps
 
March 26, 2020 (Santee) – A nurse who works at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee tested positive yesterday for COVID-19. She has been isolated at home since March 22, when she began feeling ill.  
 
The Las Colinas facility is the primary point of intake for women prisoners in San Diego County.
 
According to a press statement issued by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, its Detention Services Bureau has identified all inmates and staff who may have come into close contact with this nurse. 
 

TRUMP SIGNS STIMULUS BILL; U.S. NOW HAS MOST COVID-19 CASES IN WORLD

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- President Trump has signed a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, the largest in American history, stating, “I want to thank Democrats and Republicans for coming together and putting America first.”  The package includes direct payments, loans and grants.

The action comes after the U.S. surpassed China and Italy with the most COVID-19 coronavirus cases of any nation on earth. Worldwide over half a billion people have been infected with the virus. In the US there are over 95,000 confirmed cases and more than 1,450 people have died.

The Senate coronavirus bill will include help for:

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.

NEED HEALTH INSURANCE? COVERED CALIFORNIA EXTENDS DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR COVERAGE TO JUNE 30

 

East County News Service

March 27, 2020 (Sacramento) – If you lack health insurance or lost it due to the COVID-19 crisis, Covered California has extended the enrollment deadline to June 30th.  If you already have a Covered California plan, you may be eligible for a reduction in premiums if your income has gone down substantially, such as due to a business shut-down or job loss To apply or learn more visit www.CoveredCA.com or call 1-800-300-1506.

From now until June 30, anyone who meets Covered California’s eligibility requirements can enroll in health care coverage, similar to the rules in place during the annual open-enrollment period.  There are also recently added changes so that some who would not have applied for subsidies in the past can now qualify.

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.

SHERIFF GORE: GUN STORES CAN SELL DURING COVID-19, BUT MUST PROVIDE SOCIAL DISTANCING

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo Courtesy: San Diego Sheriff's Dept.
 
March 26, 2020 (San Diego) – The California Governor’s stay-home order during the COVID-19 emergency allows Sheriff’s to determine whether gun stores are essential businesses. San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore announced that local gun stores an remain open, provided they comply with the county’s public health order requirements for social distancing and consider these alternative means of operation. 
 
No groups of 10 or more people are allowed in any space and at least six feet must be maintained between people.  As a result, Sheriff Gore says, “I am asking all retail firearms establishments to look at alternative sales options which might include scheduling appointments” to prevent lines and comply with health requirements.
 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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]. 

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

'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.

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.

MOUNTAIN CHILD MUSINGS: LOGIC IN AN ILLOGICAL TIME

By Jake Zawlacki

March 24, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- I love watching zombie movies. They’re gruesome and grotesque and impossible. For all their entertainment value, I could never take them seriously. I knew that people didn’t act like that. They didn’t lose their minds when a slow-moving threat came into the world. They didn’t raid everything and kill people out of fear. I knew those things, until I went into a supermarket yesterday.

The current global situation is a unique one, but it’s not one that has to scare everyone to scurry like rats in their holes. It can also allow us to unite and do our part to help mitigate this phenomenon, to not act selfishly, and to leave food and supplies in the aisles for everyone else.

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.

FREE AP TESTS AND PREP CLASSES FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS OFFERED BY AP COLLEGE BOARD DUE TO COVID-19: CLASSES ONLINE START MARCH 25

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2020 (San Diego) – Students who want to take the Advanced Placement (AP) exams and be prepared, despite school closures, can now take free AP review classes online.  The AP College Board is giving students free live and on-demand.  They are also developing a new at-home testing option.

AP  tests are college-level exams on specific subjects and are normally administered in May upon completion of an AP course at a student's high school. At many colleges and universities, a high enough score will earn the student college credit. In some instances, earning college credit can mean an overall lower college tuition bill.

You can learn more or sign up at https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates.

A message on the AP College Board website states, “We surveyed 18,000 AP students to see if they still wanted the opportunity to test this year. Their answer: a resounding yes.”

SOME BEACHES, PARKS AND TRAILS SHUT DOWN AS CROWDS DEFY ORDERS, 205 LOCAL COVID-19 CASES CONFIRMED

By Miriam Raftery

March 22, 2020 (San Diego) – This weekend, crowds of mostly young people defied orders by the Governor and San Diego County banning groups of 10 or more and requiring social distancing of six feet.  As a result, police shut down parking lots at city beaches, some parks were ordered closed, and Cleveland National Forest closed down trails to Cedar Creek and Three Sisters Falls in East County.

Tonight County health officials announce that 205 people in San Diego County have tested positive for COVID-19, including 178 county residents and 16 non-residents. The first death of a San Diego resident from the new coronavirus occurred after the man, who was in his 70s, traveled to Hawaii and was being treated in Santa Clara County.

Cases have been confirmed in the cities of Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, La Mesa, National City, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and Vista, as well as the unincorporated areas of Fallbrook, Lakeside, Ramona and Rancho Santa Fe.

FEMA AID FOR CALIFORNIA

Source: FEMA

March 22, 2020 (San Diego) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that federal emergency aid has been made available for the state of California to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020, and continuing.

The President's action makes federal funding available for crisis counseling for affected individuals in all areas of the state of California.

Federal funding is also available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct federal assistance under Public Assistance, for all areas affected by COVID-19 in the state of California. The federal cost share is 75 percent.

SAN DIEGO DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR, OTHER PROMINENT DEMOCRATS HOSPITALIZED WITH COVID-19

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Three members of Congress, including Republican Senator Rand Paul, also test positive

Photo: Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, Kelvin Barrios and Steve Padilla are all hospitalized with COVID-19

Update March 26, 2020  - Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, the county Democratic Party Chair, is now out of the V.A. hospital after being ill for 13 days including nearly a week "fighting for my life"  in the hospital, including "terrifying periods where I struggled to breathe." On Facebook, he thanked his medical team adding, "If there is anyone out there who is not taking this seriously, change your opinion now. COVID19 could have killed me.

March 21, 2020 (San Diego) – Following a troubling national pattern of younger patients being hospitalized with COVID-19, three prominent local Democrats are currently in intensive care units after testing positive for the disease.

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, Chairman of the San Diego County Democratic Party, is hospitalized in an intensive care unit at the Veterans Administration Medical Center. Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Padilla, who also chairs the California Coastal Commission, has also been hospitalized and on a respirator after testing positive. Kelvin Barrios, a candidate for San Diego City Council in District 2, is on a respirator as well.

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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