COVID-19 San Diego

GOVERNOR SAYS CALIFORNIA CAN FULLY REOPEN JUNE 15; SAN DIEGO ENTERS 'ORANGE' TIER

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

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks outside a vaccination site in San Francisco on Tuesday. Image from live feed

April 7, 2021 (San Diego) - Marking a major step in a return to normalcy, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that all COVID-19 restrictions on businesses, gatherings and recreational activities will be lifted June 15, although a statewide mask mandate will remain in place.


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COUNTY RECAPS A YEAR FIGHTING COVID-19

By Anita Lightfoot, County of San Diego Communications Office

March 24, 2021 (San Diego) - On March 19, 2020, California became the first state in the country to issue a stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The months since have been filled with challenges, fear and grief, innovation and historic breakthroughs. Here is a look back at a year that San Diego was seized by a deadly threat and how the County fought back.


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COUNTY COVID-19 OUTLOOK CONTINUES TO IMPROVE

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: cc via Bing
 
March 23, 2021 (San Diego) – Over a half million San Diego County residents, or 18.8% of the population age 16 and up, are now fully vaccinated – and 30.6% of those eligible have received at least one vaccine, as of yesterday. As the number of people vaccinated ramps up, the number of cases, outbreaks, and testing positivity rates are continuing to drop.

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SAN DIEGO STILL DOESN'T HAVE EQUITABLE INTERNET ACCESS ONE YEAR INTO PANDEMIC

Community activists have long underscored the impacts of the gaps of access to high speed, reliable internet to non-White and poorer communities and they’ve critiqued public leaders for not taking quicker action to bridge the divide.

By Kayla Jimenez, Voice of San Diego

This post has been updated.

Image via Pixabay

March 23, 2021 (San Diego) - A year after the pandemic made having a reliable internet connection a requisite for countless families, professionals, school children and others, the number of people without it has not changed and cities across the San Diego region have either no plan to address it or no money to fund their plans.


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COUNTY REPORTS 376 NEW VIRUS CASES AS AVAILABLE VACCINE DOSES RISE TO OVER 100,000

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

Photo:  People with appointments line up at the Sharp Covid-19 vaccination supersite at Grossmont Center in La Mesa. Photo by Chris Stone

March 2, 2021 (San Diego) - The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported 376 new cases of coronavirus and 14 deaths Tuesday as new shipments of vaccine boosted the currently available doses over 100,000.


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SAN DIEGO COUNTY 2-3 WEEKS AWAY FROM VACCINATING TEACHERS, OTHER ESSENTIAL WORKERS

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

Photo:  Supervisor Nathan Fletcher briefs the media on the coronavirus pandemic. Image from live stream

February 11, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego County health officials said Thursday that vaccinations of teachers, law enforcement and other essential workers will likely begin within two to three weeks.


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COUNTY OPENS NEW VACCINE SITE AT TUBMAN CHAVEZ COMMUNITY CENTER

By Katie Cadiao, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  The COVID-19 vaccine is now available for health care professionals and people 65 and older at multiple sites in the region.

February 8, 2021 (San Diego) - The County’s expanding COVID-19 vaccination efforts now include the opening of a site at Tubman Chavez Community Center. Starting today, the site will offer COVID-19 vaccinations from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday.


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SAN DIEGO REPORTS FEWEST COVID-19 INFECTIONS IN MORE THAN A MONTH

By Elizabeth Ireland, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Hospitalman Apprentice Jewel Guese, a sailor assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego’s Naval Branch Health Clinic, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, prepares vaccines at the clinic. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Luke Cunningham

February 1, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego County public health officials Monday logged 1,082 COVID-19 infections — the fewest new cases in more than a month — and no additional fatalities.


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SAN DIEGO REPORTS 1,434 COVID CASES, 46 DEATHS AS POSITIVE TESTING RATE TRENDS DOWN

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

Photo:  A man is tested for coronavirus at a drive-up site. Courtesy County News Center

January 27, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego County public health officials reported 1,434 new COVID-19 cases and 46 more deaths Tuesday as the positive-test rate continue to trend down.


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KPBS GETS COUNTY DATA ON OUTBREAKS IN RESTAURANTS, RETAILERS, CASINOS AND MORE: THE NUMBERS MAY SURPRISE YOU

By Miriam Raftery

Image via KPBS, republished under Fair Use Doctrine

December 21, 2020  (San Diego) – It took a lawsuit under the California Public Records Act filed by KPBS, Voice of San Diego and the San Diego Union-Tribune to obtain data previously kept secret on the exact location of COVID-19 outbreaks, including names of businesses affected.

The data reveals many outbreaks at venues such as Walmart, Costco, Target, casinos and manufacturers/businesses. The most outbreaks, however, have been at senior living facilities/nursing homes(214 outbreaks) followed by restaurants and bars with 208 outbreaks from March through November.

The number of outbreaks doesn’t tell the whole story, however.


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COUNTY REPORTS 2,104 NEW VIRUS CASES AND 15 DEATHS AS PANDEMIC SURGES

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

December 10, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County public health officials reported the second highest daily increase in coronavirus cases on Wednesday and pleaded with residents to follow the stay-at-home order to avoid overwhelming the health system.

There were 2,104 new cases and 15 deaths, with 8.4% of the latest tests coming back positive.

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher told a media briefing that projections showed all county ICU beds would have been occupied before Christmas without the regional lockdown, which is now in its third day.

“When you have as many cases as we have, and it is spreading as fast as it is, there are very few settings that are safe,” warned Fletcher.


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SAN DIEGO COUNTY EXPECTS INITIAL ALLOCATION OF 28,000 VACCINE DOSES IN DECEMBER

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

Photo:  Creative Commons via Bing

December 2, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County will get 28,000 doses of the new Pfizer vaccine in the next week or two, but it will be March or April before coronavirus vaccines are widely available, public health officials said Wednesday.


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PEOPLE AT HOLIDAY GATHERINGS URGED TO GET TESTED FOR COVID-19

Source: County News Service

Photo credit:  Shutterstock

November 30, 2020 (San Diego) - If you traveled or gathered with people outside your household over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, you were at higher risk of having contracted COVID-19 and could inadvertently be spreading it.


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SAN DIEGO COUNTY SLIPS INTO 'PURPLE TIER' AND MAY FACE NEW RESTRICTIONS NEXT WEEK

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

Photo:  Dr. Wilma Wooten briefs local media on the coronavirus numbers and purple tier ranking. Image from livestream

November 4, 2020 (San Diego) - Rising coronavirus cases pushed San Diego County into the “purple” zone on Wednesday, raising the possibility of new restrictions if the case rate does not fall by next week.


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HEALTH OFFICIALS WORRIED ABOUT SAN DIEGO SLIPPING INTO 'PURPLE' TIER

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

Photo:  Dr. Wilma Wooten speaks at Friday’s press conference. Image from livestream

October 16, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County public health officials warned Friday that coronavirus infections are creeping up and the county could enter the widespread, or purple, tier in state rankings.


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SAN DIEGO COUNTY REPORTS 161 NEW VIRUS CASES AND REMAINS IN 'RED TIER'

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

Photo:  a county public health nurse administers a COVID-19 test. Courtesy County News Center  

October 7, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County reported 161 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday and remained in the substantial, or red, tier in the latest state ranking.


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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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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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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 including vaccine locations, testing, and help for those in need.

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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