COVID-19 San Diego

STATE REJECTS COUNTY REQUEST TO EXCLUDE SDSU COVID CASES THAT COULD TRIGGER NEW RESTRICTIONS

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 17, 2020 (San Diego) – An outbreak of COVID-19 threatens to push San Diego County from the state’s red to the purple tier, a shift that could force temporary closure again of indoor operations at businesses including restaurants, worship services and gyms, also reducing capacity of retail stores to 25%.

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COUNTY IS OFF STATE WATCH LIST, BUT NOT OUT OF THE WOODS FOR COVID-19

By Miriam Raftery

August 19, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego County reached an important milestone yesterday, when the state removed the county from California’ monitoring list. The County Public Health office announced the change was made after the county’s rate of new COVID-19 cases dropped below 100 cases per 100,000 people for three consecutive days. San Diego has been on the watch list since July 3, 2020.

So what does that mean?  First, if the case rate stays under 100 per 100,000 people in the population for another 14 days (until Aug. 31), K-12 schools will be allowed to reopen. Districts will have a choice and may opt for in-class instruction, continue virtual learning, or a combination of both.

Businesses, however, will not be able to resume normal activities until the county receives further guidance on the state. So for now, closed businesses must remain shut-down and those operating outdoors cannot go back inside.


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COUNTY SHOWS IMPROVEMENT IN COVID-19, BUT NOT YET ENOUGH TO ALLOW REOPENINGS

By Miriam Raftery

August 4, 2020 (San Diego) – Since landing on the state’s watch list for three triggers that forced renewed shutdowns of many businesses, San Diego County is finally making progress toward reducing spread of COVID-19. But those improvements are not yet enough to ease restrictions.

Here are the triggers, the progress, and what still needs to happen to enable schools and businesses to reopen in our region.


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SPRING VALLEY HAS WORST RATE OF COVID-19 TEST RESULTS IN COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: cc via Bing
 
July 10, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego County has released data showing the percentage of people who tested positive per each 100,000 in the population, as of July 8th. 

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COUNTY HITS COMMUNITY OUTBREAKS TRIGGER AS MASKS BECOME MANDATORY ACROSS CALIFORNIA

By José A. ÁlvarezCounty of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  Face coverings are required in public and within six feet of someone who is not a household member

June 18, 2020 (San Diego) - Two more COVID-19 community outbreaks were identified in the region June 17, bringing the region’s seven-day total to eight, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.


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UNEMPLOYMENT HITS 30.1% COUNTYWIDE; HIGH RATES IN SEVERAL EAST COUNTY COMMUNITIES

Nationwide, unemployment rate is 14.7% -- worse than during  the Great Depression -- and San Diego has double the national rate.

By Miriam Raftery

May 24, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – An Employment Analysis by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) shows unemployment countywide is at 30.1%, an all-time high.  Of the more than half million (510,000) unemployed residents, nearly 460,000 lost their jobs after the COVID-19 pandemic began March 7.

That’s far higher than the national average of 14.7% -- and with 39 million Americans out of work as of last week according to the Department of Labor, the national unemployment rate is now the highest it’s ever been, even worse than during the Great Depression.

 


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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 TO OFFER COVID-19 TESTING IN RURAL COMMUNITIES, OTHER AREAS

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

Photo:  a nurse administers a COVID-19 test at a drive-up test site.

May 22, 2020 (San Diego) - As part of efforts to expand COVID-19 testing, the County will be opening sites in rural communities and other areas of the region. New locations, starting Tuesday, will be staffed with first responders from CAL FIRE and the San Diego County Fire Authority.


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CASINO PAUMA TO REMAIN TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR SAFETY OF ITS GUESTS, COMMUNITY AND EMPLOYEES

East County News Service

May 22, 2020 (Pauma Valley) – Bucking the trend of several local casinos that reopened this week or have announced upcoming reopening dates, Casino Pauma on Wednesday announced that it will remain closed indefinitely, choosing to following the advice of Governor Gavin Newsom and health officials to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic.


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OUR GUIDE TO LOCAL FARMS AND FARM-FRESH PRODUCTS SOLD DIRECTLY TO CONSUMERS

Find farm-fresh meats, eggs, fruits and veggies, flowers, honey, nuts, soaps, wool and fiber goods, pumpkin patches,  nursery plants, trees, wineries and more
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photos by Miriam Raftery and creative commons images via Bing
 
May 21, 2020 (San Diego) – East County Magazine has compiled our region’s most comprehensive guide to local farms, ranches, nurseries and wineries offering direct-to-consumer sales through farm visits, u-pick orchards, curbside pickup, deliveries to neighborhood pickup points through community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, shipping directly to homes, sales at farm stands, or at farmer’s markets.  
 
San Diego County is home to more family farms (10 acres or less) than any other county in America—giving consumers here a delicious field of choices. Farm-fresh foods are nutritious and delicious. Many are organic. Plus you can avoid grocery store lines and get specialty items not available in stores. 
 
Our guide includes sources to buy these locally grown products:
 
  • Christmas trees
  • Ciders and apples
  • Eggs
  • Emu products
  • Farmer’s markets 
  • Fiber and wool products
  • Flowers, herbs and herbal products
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Hemp
  • Honey
  • Meat, poultry and fish
  • Nuts
  • Plants and trees
  • Pumpkin patches
  • Seeds
  • Soaps
  • Wineries and vineyards

 

Scroll down to view our full directory for each of these local farm product categories.

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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 AND STATE ADD MORE COVID-19 TESTING SITES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Creative Commons via Bing

May 18, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- The region’s COVID-19 testing is expanding this week.  Starting Tuesday, May 19th, the public can get free testing at walk-up sites run by the state at two locations:  The County Assessor’s former office at 200 S. Magnolia Ave. in El Cajon and at the Tubman-Chavez Center, 415 Euclid Ave. in southeast San Diego.


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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.

LOCAL COVID-19 RESOURCES CENTER

LOCAL COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTER

East County Magazine's Local COVID-19 Resource Center is your comprehensive guide to official health information on the coronavirus and local healthcare services.

Check back often! We are updating our local COVID-19 Resource Center regularly. If you have a suggested resource to add, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

Our special section also has information on local businesses, restaurants and farms open or operating online. You can also learn where to get help for individuals, families, workers, immigrants,  businesses and organizations. Our guide lists help and resources through local cities, San Diego County, California tate and federal sources as well as private and philanthropic organizations.

Help includes grants, loans, stimulus funds,  emergency food distributions, rides, seminars for business owners, education resources, activities to do at home, working from home tips, financial relief for renters and homeowners, relief from utility and insurance bills, resources for crime victims, mental health, abuse and addiction services including virtual meetings, how to file for unemployment and other aid, scams to avoid, volunteer opporutnities, emergency alert services, and more.

We thank Grossmont Healthcare District for generously underwriting the creation of our Local Covid-19 Resource Center and the Facebook Journalism Project for funding expansion and updating of these vital resources.

To view our local COVID-19 resource center, click here or 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.

SHERIFF REVERSES COURSE, HALTS EVICTIONS AMID PANDEMIC

Action brings relief for renters, but fears for landlords facing mortgage payments

By Miriam Raftery

May 7, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore announced today that he is temporarily halting enforcement of evictions.    

Earlier this week, the Sheriff began issuing eviction notices to around 160 tenant for evictions already in progress before the COVID-19 shut-down orders. But after reportedly receiving political pressure from the Governor’s office and at least one Supervisor, the Sheriff reversed course.


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EAST COUNTY LEADERS TO HOST TOWN HALL TODAY 4 PM ON REOPENING BUSINESSES AND RECREATION AREAS

By Miriam Raftery

May 6, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob will host a virtual town hall today at 4 p.m. along with El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus on COVID-19 and the county’s latest measures to reopen businesses and recreation areas. Questions can be submitted in advance to Dianne.jacob@sdcounty.ca.gov.

To attend, click on your web browser or mobile device at https://bit.ly/May6TownHall or listen by phone by calling 415-466-7000. Enter the PIIN: 8155997 followed by #.   For American Sign Language access go to https://bit.ly/2z9FVL.  For those accessing with ASL who want to submit questions, go to https://gvpdkasj.bjn.pt .

Yesterday, Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt a framework to reopen businesses in a safe manner, with Supervisor Jacob sending a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom ask for the county to have “total local control” over reopening decision.  It is unclear whether the Governor will grant such broad discretion. The County has provided a  template for businesses preparing to reopen to review, but it may be updated depending on direction from the state.


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COUNTY ALLOWS GOLF CART USE FOR SENIORS AND DISABLED

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: CC via Bing
 
May 5, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- On May 1st, several changes to the County's Order of Health Officer and Emergency Regulations went into effect. Including allowing reopening of public and private golf courses that meet certain requirements.  
 
Since then, there have been questions about a ban on use of golf carts. 
 
After consulting with the Public Health Officer, the following clarification is being provided regarding the use of golf carts. Golf cart use is limited to the following two groups: 
 
• Senior citizens over 55 years of age. 
• People of any age with disabilities that would prevent them from walking the course. 

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COUNTY LAUNCHES MOBILE COVID-19 TESTING AFTER CONCERNS RAISED OVER RACIAL DISPARITY; ALSO ANNOUNCES JOBS FOR TRACERS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Rev. Shane Harris, People’s Alliance for Justice

 

May 2, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego County will deploy mobile testing sites to at-risk communities. The vehicles will include a new Live Well Bus, bookmobiles and other County vehicles, the County announced on Thursday. The County also announced plans to dramatically increase tracing of contacts with each person who tests positive and announced job openings for tracers.


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SANTEE OPENS MAST AND WOODGLEN VISTA PARKS, INCLUDING DOG PARKS

By Miriam Raftery

May 1, 2020 (Santee) – The city of Santee today announced the reopening of Mast Park and Woodglen Vista Park, with some limitations to prevent spread of COVID-19. (see below)  All other parks remain closed, however all trails and walking paths remain open.

The city asks everyone to follow the regulations below “so we can keep these parks open, and hopefully open more parks in the near future.”


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TWO MAJOR SAN DIEGO HOSPITAL CHAINS SEEK 'URGENT' FEDERAL HELP ON BORDER

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

Photo:  A Scripps Health medical team. Group president/CEO says San Diego needs “PPE, pharmaceuticals and scarce medical equipment needed in this type of pandemic.” Photo courtesy of Scripps

May 1, 2020 (San Diego) - Executives with Scripps Health and Sharp HealthCare, two major San Diego hospital chains, have written to the federal government seeking “urgent action” to combat COVID-19 along the U.S.-Mexico border.


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GOVERNOR HEEDS LOCAL LEADERS’ REQUESTS, CLOSES ONLY ORANGE COUNTY BEACHES

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson at Pacific Beach
 
April 30, 2020 (San Diego) – After crowds packed Newport Beach in violation of social distancing mandates amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom today ordered Orange County beaches to shut down. But he backed off a broader order that Reuters News Service reported was under consideration, which could have closed all beaches statewide.

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SAN DIEGO FOUNDATION APPROVES $5 MILLION FOR INTEREST-FREE LOANS FOR NONPROFITS

Source:  San Diego Foundation

April 28, 2020 (San Diego) - Today the San Diego Foundation Board of Governors announced it approved $5 million to support short-term, interest-free loans to San Diego County nonprofit organizations impacted by COVID-19.  


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COVID-19 CASES IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY RISE TO 3,141; HUNDREDS OF CASES IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

April 28, 2020 (San Diego) – Over the weekend, 98 new cases of COVID-19 were reported by the San Diego County Health and Human Services department. The jump follows the trend in several cities where rallies were held to end shutdowns. The Sheriff arrested several local protesters over the weekend for violating stay-home orders.

The disease has spread rapidly in East County, where El Cajon now has 181 cases, La Mesa 71, Santee 29, Lemon Grove 28, Lakeside 22, Ramona 14, Jamul 6, and Alpine 4.  The communities of Ranchita, Boulevard, Potrero, Julian and Pala each have 2 cases; Borrego Springs, Descanso, and Tecate each have at least 1 case. View an interactive map with the latest updates on local cases by community.


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FACE COVERINGS MANDATORY STARTING MAY 1, COUNTY ANNOUNCES

 

By Katie Cadiao, County of San Diego Communications Office

April 24, 2020 (San Diego) - The number of local COVID-19 deaths went up by two and total cases saw a record increase for a second day in a row with an additional 183 confirmed cases, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.


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HUNDREDS AT DOWNTOWN 'FREEDOM RALLY' HONK, CHEER FOR STATE TO 'OPEN UP'

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

April 18, 2020 (San Diego) - Aaron Ruis of El Cajon manages an assisted-living facility for disabled adults, but Saturday in downtown San Diego he was managing crowd chants at a “freedom rally” to open the state’s economy.


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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.

JANTZ FAMILY LAUNCHES GO FUND ME SITE FOR GROSSMONT HOSPITAL FOUNDATION FOOD PANTRY AND SUPPLIES

Donations of money, non-perishable foods and personal protective equipment are needed for healthcare workers

By Miriam Raftery

April 17, 2020 (La Mesa) – Barry Jantz, CEO of Grossmont Healthcare District, and his family have launched a GoFundMe site on behalf of the Grossmont Hospital Foundation to help healthcare workers with an on-site food pantry and medical supplies. 

“As most of you know, the care team at our local hospital is working tirelessly during this global battle against COVID-19. Many of the healthcare workers are unable to go to the store and get items they need for their families, either because the items are gone from the shelves or they’re just exhausted by the end of their shift. On a daily basis, these amazing individuals are here doing their very best to help those in need,” a message from Barry, Colleen and Kayleigh Jantz states.

A contribution via this GoFundMe page will go to the non-profit Grossmont Hospital Foundation to provide Food Pantry items and/or much-needed hospital supplies to protect front-line caregivers during this crisis.  Donations are 100% tax deductible.

People can also donate non-perishable food items and personal protective equipment directly. Click here for details or to make a donation.


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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 BANS ALL GATHERINGS; DEATH TOLL RISES TO 36 LOCALLY

By Miriam Raftery

April 9, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego County officials yesterday expanded a prior health order to prohibit gatherings of any type, effective today. That means gatherings of 10 people or less are no longer allowed in San Diego County, unless they live in same household.

San Diego County health officials  also urged local residents to avoid experimental treatments for COVID-19, stressing that there is no known cure yet for the illness.

In a briefing on Tuesday, two county medical officials specifically warned against hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial medication touted multiple times in recent days by President Trump. “We are not recommending this medication,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s chief health officer. 


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COVID-19 CASES RISE ACROSS EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 7, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- El Cajon now has 74 cases of COVID-19 reported, accounting fo 5.3% of the total cases in San Diego County, as of yesterday's figures released by County health officials.

The cities of La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Santee have 23, 13, and 16 cases respectively.

In the uincorporated communities, 157 cases are reported including 63 in communities not identified, 34 in Spring Valley, 12 in Lakeside, 8 in Ramona, 2 in Jamul, 1 in Alpine, and  a case or two each in even remote area such as Ranchita, Borrego Springs, and Descanso.


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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 RELEASES RACIAL BREAKDOWN ON COVID-19 AS TOTAL CASES REACH 1,404

By Miriam Raftery

April 7, 2020 (San Diego) – Following news reports this about high rates of COVID-19 cases among African-Americans in Chicago, civil rights activists have called on the U.S., cities and counties to release racial data on coronavirus cases. Yesterday, San Diego County health official released available data, which indicates that of the 71% of cases for which racial data was reported, the breakdown is consistent with the County's racial and ethnic demographics.

Of 1,404 confirmed case to date, 405 (29%) did not include an ethnic background.

Of the 999 (71%) of cases that did report ethnic background, 49% are white, 31% Hispanic,10% Asian, 6% African American, and 4% other. 

That tracks closely to the county’s ethnic composition based on the last census, which reported 45% white, 34% Hispanic or Latino, 12% Asian, 5% African-American, with the remainder multiple races or other ethnicities.


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SAN DIEGANS URGED TO COVER MOUTH AND NOSE IN PUBLIC; ESSENTIAL WORKERS REQUIRED TO WEAR MASKS

 

 

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

Photo: San Diegans are strongly encouraged to wear a facial covering while in public.

April 2, 2020 (San Diego) - A woman in her late 90s is the 16th COVID-19 death reported in the region, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

To prevent the spread of the virus and potential future deaths, San Diegans who are out in public are strongly encouraged to cover their nose and mouth to flatten the curve, County health officials recommended. Businesses, including grocery stores, convenience stores and restaurants, are required to have employees wear face coverings.


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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.


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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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