COVID-19

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE RECEIVES $100,000 GRANT FROM FACEBOOK JOURNALISM PROJECT

 

COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund aids over 200 newsrooms nationwide

By Miriam Raftery

East County Magazine has been selected to receive $100,000 through the Facebook Journalism Project COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund Grant Program.  Facebook announced that more than 200 news organizations will receive nearly $16 million in grants through the program as part of Facebook’s $100 million global investment in news.

Read more about our grant project here.  View an index of our grant works to date, organized by topic. 

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

VACCINATED WORKERS CAN GO MASK-FREE STARTING JUNE 17 IF CAL-OSHA APPROVES GOVERNOR’S PLAN; MANY OTHER RESTRICTIONS END TUESDAY

By Miriam Raftery

June 14, 2021 (Sacramento) – With case-rates dropping and California now having the third-lowest rate of positive COVID-19 test results in the nation, the state is poised to end its color-coded tiers and lift most restrictions tomorrow. But employers have been in limbo as Cal-OSHA delayed a decision last week on rules to protect workers.

Now, Cal-OSHA is expected to approve new workplace rules proposed by Governor Gavin Newsom this week, which would allow fully vaccinated workers in most workplaces to remove masks and end social distancing requirements starting June 17th.

That’s a turnaround from an earlier proposal by Cal-OSHA, which would have required all workers to wear masks if anyone in the workplace wasn’t vaccinated but drew objections from employers’ groups.

CALIFORNIA'S BIG REOPENING: WHAT CHANGES AND WHAT DOESN'T ON JUNE 15?

By Ben Christopher, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo:  Carlos Hernandez holds his mask while getting a haircut by Sarah Cordiey at Spiros Barber Shop in Long Beach on June 9, 2021. "During the pandemic, I got depression and anxiety," said Hernandez, who saw his family for the first time last week in more than one year. "But then when I got [fully] vaccinated I felt a lot better." Photo by Pablo Unzueta for CalMatters

June 14, 2021 (San Diego) - California’s grand reopening day is almost here, but it comes with a few asterisks. 

If all goes as expected and promised, on June 15 our 15-month-long ordeal of public health restrictions, mandates, bans and color-coded tiers to stem the COVID-19 pandemic will finally come to an end. As Gov. Gavin Newsom said in April and reaffirmed in May, tomorrow is when “we can start to open up…business as usual.”

GET VACCINATED AND RECEIVE FREE PADRES TICKETS

By Miriam Raftery

June 10, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego County is in the final innings of reaching herd immunity, after rallying to reach one of the highest vaccination rates in the state. So now the County is teaming up with the Padres to give a free pair of tickets for a future Padres game and a Padres Hero T-shirt to every fan who gets vaccinated at Petco Park on June 12 or June 26.  (While supplies last; minors must have a parent present.)

SAN DIEGO COUNTY MOVES TO YELLOW TIER STARTING JUNE 9

By Miriam Raftery

June 8, 2021 (San Diego) – Local businesses and event organizers will get a welcome reprieve from COVID-19 restrictions even earlier than the full reopening set to begin June 15 statewide.  Starting tomorrow, San Diego County will move into the state’s least restrictive Yellow Tier, after two consecutive weeks of less than two COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

DOCTOR WEBER INTRODUCES PANDEMIC TASK FORCE BILL IN LEGISLATURE

By Miriam Raftery

June 5, 2021 (La Mesa) – East County’s newly elected Assemblymember Akilah Weber, a medical doctor and former La  Mesa Councilmember, this week introduced her first authored bill, Assembly Bill 1207. It would create a “Pathway Through Pandemic Task Force” to collect and analyze California’s COVID-19 data and develop a response plan for future pandemics.

GOVERNOR SAYS CALIFORNIA RESTAURANTS CAN CONTINUE ALCOHOL TO GO AFTER PANDEMIC

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

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom outside Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco on Thursday. Courtesy of the Governor’s office

June 4, 2021 (San Diego) - Restaurants across California will be able to continue offering a profitable service that evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic — selling alcoholic beverages to-go — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday.

HOMECARE.ORG SURVEY REVEALS 1 IN 3 AMERICANS NOTICE SIGNS OF MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AMONG SENIOR PARENTS DURING COVID-19

Aging in place platform shares insights to raise awareness of the prevalence of anxiety and depression in older adults

Photo: by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-ND

May 28, 2021 (Atlanta, GA) – Homecare.org, a resource for data, studies, and tools to help seniors remain safe and independent in their own homes, has published a recent survey about mental health problems among older adults during the pandemic. The study generated responses from 1,000 American adults who have parents over the age of 60.

HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

May 28, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.

HEALTH

SCIENCE AND TECH

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

GOV. NEWSOM ANNOUNCES “VAX FOR THE WIN: $116 MILLION IN LOTTERY PAYOUTS FOR LUCKY CALIFORNIANS VACCINATED BY JUNE 15

East County News Service

May 27, 2021 (Sacramento) -- Governor Gavin Newsom today launched Vax for the Win,” a new multi-faceted vaccine incentive program designed to motivate Californians to get their vaccination leading up to the state’s reopening on June 15. The incentives aim to give an extra nudge to those who still need to get vaccinated against COVID-19, especially those in hard-to-reach communities, while also thanking everyone who has already been vaccinated.

NEARLY 68% OF COUNTY RESIDENTS OVER AGE 12 HAVE HAD AT LEAST ONE VACCINE

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo  chart via County of San Diego Health and Human Services compares COVID case numbers to vaccine doses administered
 
May 26, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego’s successful COVID-19 vaccine rollout has now resulted in over 3.57 million doses.  Over 67.9% of all San Diego County residents age 12 and up have now received at least one shot and more than 52.5% are fully vaccinated, according to the County Health and Human Services department.

COUNTY WILL SOON MAKE OVERDOSE REVERSAL MEDICATION AVAILABLE TO ANYONE

By Anita Lightfoot, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
Video by James Kecskes
 
May 24, 2021 (San Diego County) -- A COVID-19 related spike in overdose deaths in San Diego County has fueled a behavioral health crisis. In 2020, the County reported 457 fentanyl-related overdose deaths. This is a 202% increase in one year, from 151 recorded deaths in 2019.

NEED A RIDE TO GET VACCINATED? UBER AND LYFT OFFERING FREE TRANSPORTATION

East County News Service

Photo: Unknown Author licensed under CC BY-SA

May 23, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – For readers without transportation, getting a COVID-19 vaccine has been challenging.  Fortunately, through a partnership forged by the White House under the Biden administration, Uber and Lyft have agreed to provide free rides from now through July 4 for anyone going to get vaccinated.

Sign up here for a ride with Lyft:  https://www.lyft.com/vaccine-access

For a ride from Uber or to donate to help fund rides for vaccines, visit https://www.uber.com/us/en/coronavirus/

MORE THAN HALF OF COUNTY FULLY VACCINATED; COUNTY ADDS MORE MOBILE EVENTS

 

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

May 22, 2021 (San Diego) - More than half of all San Diegans 12 years old and older — 50.3% — have now been fully vaccinated, County officials announced Thursday in an important milestone.

STATE TO LIFT ALL CAPACITY LIMITS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS STARTING JUNE 15

By Miriam Raftery

May 22, 2021 (San Diego) – Fifteen months after COVID-19 shut downs began, the state of California will be lifting all capacity limits and color-coded tiers starting June 15, allowing all businesses to reopen at full capacity without physical distancing. Locally, that includes Padres games at full capacity, a return of symphony concerts, festivals and more.

The announcement came Friday from Dr. Mark Ghaly, head of the California Health and Human Services Agency, who indicated the state will largely follow guidelines U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There will, however, be some requirements for mega-indoor events as well as guidelines for massive outdoor events. In addition, rules remain pending for workplaces and some travel limits may be imposed for travelers from nations with high rates of COVID, in accordance with CDC recommendations.

NOT VACCINATED FOR COVID? HERE ARE ALL THE PLACES YOU CAN’T GO

By Miriam Raftery

May 19, 2021 (San Diego) – With over two-thirds of Californians now at least partially vaccinated and half fully vaccinated, many people are looking forward to resuming normal activities. But if you haven’t had the COVID-19 vaccine, you may be surprised to learn that you won’t be allowed to go many places.

These include all cruise ships, many colleges and universities, and some sports arenas and stadiums. Nursing homes and other senior care facilities may require vaccinations before admitting new patients or indoor visitors. Some employers are also requiring vaccines. Even some event planners are requiring guests to be vaccinated to attend functions such as weddings.

Not getting the vaccine is a personal choice, but a growing number of places are opting to protect their customers, workers or patients by banning the unvaccinated. Others are allowing unvaccinated people only if they can pass a COVID test. But who really wants to have your nose swabbed every time you go to a Padres game? Similarly, some places are allowing unvaccinated travelers – but only if you both pass a COVID test and quarantine in your hotel room for a number of days after arriving, which can spoil vacation plans unless you have an extended trip.

So where can’t you go, as of now, if you’re not vaccinated?

SAN DIEGO COUNTY AND STATE TO KEEP MASK MANDATE UNTIL JUNE 15

By Miriam Raftery

May 18, 2021 (San Diego) – California and San Diego officials have announced that they will wait until June 15 to lift mask mandates for most public places. The four-week wait allows young people age 12 and up to get vaccinated, since the CDC just approved COVID-19 vaccines for younger teens starting last week.

Starting June 15, assuming cases remain low, as expected, Californians who are fully vaccinated will be able to go without masks in most indoor settings, according to Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services Secretary.  Vaccinated people can already go without masks in most outdoor settings.

“We urge all Californians to get vaccinated to ensure that infection and hospitalization rates remain low across the state and that we can all return to the activities we love,” Dr. Ghaly advises.

“San Diego County is aligned with the California Department of Public Health and will wait until June 15 to adopt CDC mask guidance,” Nathan Fletcher, Chair of the County Board of Supervisors, announced yesterday on twitter. “This short time frame allows us to ensure everyone has access to the vaccine and time for business and entities across our county to prepare for the change.”

EAST COUNTY LAGS BEHIND ON VACCINATION RATES, BUT RURAL AREAS ARE UNCOUNTED

Data raises troubling rural/urban equity disparity in vaccine distribution 

By Miriam Raftery

May 17, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – COVID-19 Vaccination rates in East County communities are significantly below the county average – but most rural, mountain and desert communities haven’t even been documented.  

NEW CONSENT FORM FOR MINORS GETTING COVID-19 VACCINE WITHOUT GUARDIAN

By Katie Cadiao, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  Registered nurse Carol Shapiro gets ready to give Kayden Faulkner, 14, her COVID-19 vaccination.

May 14, 2021 (San Diego) - Starting Saturday, youths ages 12-17 who want to get a COVID-19 vaccination in San Diego County without a parent present will have to provide a signed form to show their parent or legal guardian has given permission.

READER’S EDITORIAL: COVID-19 TAKES ITS TOLL ON TEENS

By Branson Bajoua
 
May 13, 2021 (Rancho San Diego) -- Jogging down a stretch of sidewalk, edged with vibrant sprouts of grass as a breath of air gently passes by. Soaking in the summer sun floating just above the horizon before settling a match of volleyball. Or perhaps you’re eyeing an empty row of seats in a packed theater, popcorn in one hand with a slushy resting in the other, as you signal to your friends. Admittedly, we have all imagined ourselves in any one of these scenarios. Being in quarantine for over a year, who could blame us?

COUNTY EXPECTED TO START VACCINATING 12-15 YEAR OLD YOUTHS THURSDAY

 

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

May 12, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego County officials said Wednesday that they fully expect 12-to-15 year old youths to be able to start getting vaccinated Thursday with Pfizer vaccines, pending the expected approval Wednesday night by the Western States Scientific Safety Review and California Department of Public Health.

FDA APPROVES COVID-19 VACCINES FOR KIDS AGES 12-15 ON EMERGENCY BASIS

East County News Service

May 10, 2021 (Washington d.C.) -- Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents ages 12 through 15, Previously, the Pfizer vaccine was approved only for people age 16 and up.

Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., says the action is “a significant step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” adding, “Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic. Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations.”

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH DURING COVID

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

May 10, 2021 (San Diego) -- The past 13 months have been a rollercoaster of emotion, stress, and anxiety for many folks. As East County and the rest of the state finally move out of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, it’s important to remember that our mental and emotional health may need more time to adjust. The stay-at-home orders and pandemic lifestyle may have made some of us stronger and more resilient, but some may have become more vulnerable. These are important considerations, year-round and when we observe May is Mental Health Month.

SUBSTANCE USE INCREASES RISK OF SEVERE COVID-19 ILLNESS, CDC REPORTS; USERS ADVISED TO GET VACCINATED

Sources: Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts and Addiction Policy Forum

 

May 10, 2021 (New York and Bethesda) -Health officials have released an update that individuals with substance use disorders (SUD) are at a heightened risk for serious complications from COVID-19 and underscored the importance for individuals with SUD and their caregivers to get vaccinated.   

GRANT TRIPLES COVID-19 ESSAY AWARDS, 1ST PLACE NOW $1,000

Source: East County Leadership Council

May 6, 2021 (El Cajon) - East County Leadership Council’s grant has allowed it to triple the prize money for its COVID-19 essay contest. ECLC has also extended the deadline for entries to May 29 to allow broader participation.

The goal of the essay contest is to better understand how COVID-19 has affected young people academically, in their college plans, and in their career choices. This contest is open to east county high school juniors, seniors, and college freshman. 

EVENING COVID-19 VACCINATION CLINICS COMING TO NORTH, EAST, SOUTH COUNTY

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

May 6, 2021 (San Diego's East County) - Starting, Thurs., May 6, three County COVID-19 vaccination sites in North, East and South County will start offering evening hours for San Diegans.

POST-PANDEMIC LIFE FOR SENIORS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME. THAT CAN BE A GOOD THING

By Simona Valanciute, President and CEO, San Diego Oasis

May 4, 2021 (San Diego) - Seniors have been hit hard by the pandemic. Highly effective COVID-19 vaccines now offer hope of a return to a more normal life, but many of our institutions might be changed forever.

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