COVID-19

COUNTY'S FAMILY RESOURCE CENTERS, HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SERVICES OFFICE SUSPENDING IN-PERSON SERVICES

Photo credit: Twitter @211SD
 
By Katie Cadiao, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
March 19, 2020 (San Diego) –While the (County's Family Resource Center and Housing and Community Development Services) physical offices are closing, the County is committed to continue providing its services during the ongoing health emergency. Most services provided at these facilities are available online, and staff will continue to answer questions via phone or email. 
 
Residents looking to apply for essential services, including food and housing assistance, medical coverage and other vital support programs, can apply for benefits online. They can also call 2-1-1 San Diego and a live representative can help with the application process by phone.
 
San Diegans who are already signed up for benefits, including CalWORKs, CalFresh, Medi-Cal or General Relief benefits, can manage their case online. Existing customers can send required documents electronically via LaterDocs.
 

COUNTY COVID-19 INFORMATION AND UPDATES AVAILABLE VIA TEXT MESSAGE

Source:  SDCountyEmergency.com

Image by Free Photos from Pixabay

March 19, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County residents can sign up to receive updated information about the novel coronavirus via text with the County COVID-19 public information text message alert system.

GOV. NEWSOM ORDERS ALL CALIFORNIANS TO SHELTER AT HOME

Gov. Gavin Newsom issues stay-at-home order

Photo via Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association: screenshot of Gov. Newsom announcing statewide stay-at-home order

View the Governor's full speech

March 19, 2020 (Sacamento) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom tonight ordered all Californians to stay at home to stop the spread of coronavirus across the state. Only companies providing essential services may remain open.

He issued the statewide order after public health experts estimated that as many as 25 million Californians will be infected by the virus within two months, making it critical to stop the growth now.

While most will recover and some won't have symptoms, up to 20,000 would likely be hospitalized if nothing is done. That's double the 10,000 bed surge capacity of hospitals statewide, though the state is requisitioning faciliities to fill the gap and working with the private sector to increase the supply of ventilators, which the federal government has failed to provide.

STATE DEPT ISSUES HIGHEST LEVEL “DO NOT TRAVEL” ADVISORY FOR U.S. CITIZENS, WARNS TRAVELERS MAY BE STRANDED

Source: U.S. State Department

March 19, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Department of State today issued a level 4 travel advisory – the highest level -- warning U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  

“In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period, the State Department warns. U.S. citizens living abroad should avoid all international travel.

Some U.S. citizens have already found themselves stranded overseas. The State Department further advises, “Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.  Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips.  If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.”

COUNTY LIBRARIES HALT CURBSIDE CHECKOUT OF BOOKS, GOES ONLINE ONLY

East County News Service

March 19, 2020 (San Diego) – Just one day after announcing curbside checkout of books, the County Library has issued a news release announcing curbside pickup plans are cancelled.  Books and other materials will only be available online during the Covid-19 crisis.  See the county’s full press release below for details. 

SAN DIEGO BLOOD BANK ISSUES URGENT PLEA FOR BLOOD DONATIONS

Source: San Diego Blood Bank

March 19, 2020 (San Diego) - School closures and work-from-home policies have resulted in cancelled blood drives. San Diego Blood Bank collects more than half of its blood supply on bloodmobiles. An additional strain on the blood supply is expected in the coming weeks. See all coronavirus-related travel and exposure deferrals.

COVID-19 VIRUS NOT GOING AWAY IN WARM WEATHER, OR COLD

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2020 (San Diego) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has dispelled hopes that the COVID-19 virus could lessen or go away when the weather warms up.  On its myth busters page, WHO advises that evidence indicates that COVID-19 is being transmitted in all climates, including areas with hot and humid weather, as well as in cold and snow.

See details below.

NEWSOM DID NOT ISSUE A STATEWIDE EVICTION BAN; TENANT GROUPS SAY RENTERS' HEALTH COULD BE THREATENED

By Matt Levin | CalMatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  Resident Martha Kapla, right, holds a sign during a rally in front of an assisted-living home in San Pablo, California, in December. Nearly 80 elderly and disabled residents were told to be out of the building by the end of January. Photo by Jane Tyska, Bay Area News Group

March 18, 2020 (San Diego's East County) - As millions of anxious California renters worry about their health and paychecks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued an executive order that allows cities and counties to stop landlords from kicking out tenants who miss their next rent payment — if local governments want to do so.

AMID CORONAVIRUS, MTS WILL CONTINUE REGULAR SERVICE ON BUSES AND TROLLEYS THROUGH MARCH 31

Source:  MTS

March 18, 2020 (San Diego) - The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System will continue running normal weekday and weekend service through March 31. This will allow more opportunities for passengers to practice social distancing during this critical time. MTS will continue to monitor bus and Trolley ridership and adjust service levels if necessary.

COUNTY LIBRARIES CLOSE, MOVE TO ONLINE SERVICES ONLY

 

March 20, 2020 (San Diego) - The County of San Diego’s libraries are closed due to the coronavirus crisis to protect safety of customers and staff.

County Library Director Migell Acosta said library patrons can still access all the Library’s e-books and e-magazines around the clock — 24 hours a day, seven days a week — by downloading the Libby app for e-books or Flipster (under e-books and e-magazines) for e-magazines like Sports Illustrated, People, Time. The New York Times and other reference resources are available on our website.

All of the library’s online resources can be accessed here. Residents who do not have a library card can sign up for an Instant Digital Card and use their mobile phone number as their library card. To download the Libby app, San Diego County residents can go to sdEbooks.org. Library patrons can even order books and materials that are available at any of the County’s 33 branch libraries and have them delivered to their own branch library for them to pick up.

TRUMP INVOKES WARTIME POWERS, CONGRESS ALSO TAKES ACTION TO ADDRESS CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – Today, President Donald Trump announced he will invoke the Defense Production Act to help combat the Covid-19 crisis and fill critical needs for ventilators, respirators, masks and productive equipment.

The Act gives the President the authority to order increased manufacturing of  these items as well as distribution of emergency medical supplies and equipment where needed most.  Trump also authorized two military hospital ships to be dispatched, one to New York, though it will take weeks to arrive. The other will be sent from San Diego to an as yet unnamed West Coast destination.

SHERIFFF BUSTS PRICE-GOUGING HOARDERS

Sheriff also warns consumers about virus-related scams

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2020 (San Diego)—The San Diego Sheriff's department has arrested eight local people for selling hoarded toilet paper, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and protective equipment at price-gouging rates. The suspects, who posted the items for sale online, could be fined up to $10,000 and imprisoned.

It is illegal to price gouge during an emergency. After the state emergency declaration due to COVID-19, when consumers found store shelves emptied of much-needed supplies, deputies began checking out online websites. They found local residents offering items at up to 20 times higher than normal. 

Plain-clothes deputies from the Fallbrook station arranged to meet and buy the excessively priced goods, then arrested the suspects including individuals from unicorporated El Cajon, Escondido, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Rainbow, and Vista.

The eight people arrested, who were cited and released pending trial, are:

ISSA CLAIMED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS WAS “MANUFACTURED” BY DEMOCRATS IN FUNDRAISING LETTER AFTER MARCH 3 PRIMARY

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 18, 2020 (San Diego) — Weeks after the COVID-19 virus had begun rapidly spreading around the world, Darrell Issa, the Republican nominee running in the 50th Congressional district, sent a March 4 fundraising letter in which he accused “the left” of “manufacturing crisis after crisis” including climate change and “the outbreak of viruses…”

READER’S EDITORIAL: TO COMBAT COVID-19, WE SHOULD MOBILIZE OUR MILITARY TO BUILD HOSPITALS AND ASK FACTORIES TO PRODUCE VITAL SUPPLIES

By Ammar Campa-Najjar, candidate in the 50th Congressional District
 
March 18, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) - Make no mistake: I’ve lived in a war zone.  We are at war with the Coronavirus. People are scared, unsure and know the worst is yet to come. Working parents are sheltering in place with their children, small businesses struggling to meet overhead costs. 

GOVERNOR ORDERS EXTRA WEEK OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR WORKERS LAID OFF DUE TO COVID-19

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

March 18, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) - Coronavirus has disrupted the job market across California, including all of San Diego County. Governor Gavin Newsom has waived the one-week waiting period to file for unemployment and ordered an extra week of benefits for people out of work due to the COVID-19 emergency.

DMV EXTENDS RENEWALS FOR 60 DAYS DUE TO COVID-19

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 18, 2020 (Sacramento) – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, has asked California law enforcement to exercise discretion for 60 days in their enforcement of driver license and vehicle registration expiration dates beginning March 16th. 

GOVERNOR NEWSOM ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER TO PROTECT RENTERS AND HOMEOWNERS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The Executive Order authorizes local governments to halt evictions, slows foreclosures, and protects against utility shut offs through May 31

March 16, 2020 (Sacramento)-- Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an executive order that authorizes local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slows foreclosures, and protects against utility shutoffs for Californians affected by COVID-19.

The Executive Order comes as Californians are experiencing substantial loss of hours or wages, or layoffs related to COVID-19, affecting their ability to keep up with their rents, mortgages, and utility bills.

“People shouldn’t lose or be forced out of their home because of the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Newsom. “Over the next few weeks, everyone will have to make sacrifices – but a place to live shouldn’t be one of them. I strongly encourage cities and counties take up this authority to protect Californians.”

CAL FIRE/SAN DIEGO COUNTY FIRE AUTHORITY RESTRICTS ACCESS TO FIRE STATIONS, HALTS ISSUING NEW BURN PERMITS

By Miriam Raftery

March 16, 2020 (El Cajon) – To help contain spread of the COVID-19 virus and assure uninterrupted emergency response services, effective immediately, nonemergency access by the public is halted at all Cal Fire/County Fire Authority fire stations in the unincorporated region of San Diego County.

COUNTY SHUTS DOWN BARS, LIMITS RESTAURANTS TO TAKE-OUT FOOD, BANS EVENTS OF 50+, AND MORE RESTRICTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Gy Kirk, new co-owner of Sheldon's Station in La Mesa, says his restaurant is offering curbside take-out immediately and willl soon offer a home delivery service.

Read official health order here.

March 16, 2020 (San Diego) – Alarmed by news of 55 COVID-19 cases countywide—a nearly seven-fold increase in the past four days – San Diego County officials today announced tough new restrictions that will impact daily lives of virtually all residents and businesses. A new fund aims to help those adversely impacted.

Effective midnight Tuesday through March 31, the following rules are imposed countywide:

  • All gatherings of 50 or more are prohibited, including public and private events.
  • All non-essential gatherings, regardless of size, are discouraged.
  • All bars and other businesses serving alcohol without food must shut down.
  • Restaurants may offer only delivery, pick-up or drive-through service. On-site pickups must include social distancing of at least six feet.
  • Schools of all levels, public and private, must cancel any on-campus classes.
  • Businesses must not require doctor’s notes for sick time or other leave.
  • Businesses must allow telecommuting if possible and adopt social distancing for on-site workers, along with increased cleaning.
  • Hospitals and health care facilities should preserve resources including cancelling elective and non-emergency procedures when feasible.
  • Only essential personnel may enter hospitals and long-term care facilities—and any essential personnel with symptoms of COVID-19 are prohibited from entering.
  • Hospitals, commercial testing labs and all healthcare providers must report COVID-19 test results to the county’s public health officer immediately after receiving results.
  • Travelers arriving in San Diego County should self-quarantine at home for 14 day if they traveled from or through nations on the Centers for Disease Control Level 3 list. The list currently includes China, Iran, South Korea, and most European nations.
  • Self-quarantine at home is strongly recommended for people over age 65, as well as those with chronic underlying conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Everyone with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate at home before seeking medical treatment.

GROSSMONT AND CUYAMACA COLLEGES CLOSE DOWN, EXCEPT FOR STUDENTS IN FINAL WEEK OF CLASSES

East County News Service

 

MARCH 19, 2020 UPDATE: 

Remote classes and student support at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will continue to be held until the end of the spring semester on June 1. The Grossmont and Cuyamaca college campuses are also closed to all students and the public until June 1. 

All instructional activities and office hours, including any lab courses, and support services will be held in some form of remote delivery. Faculty will be communicating directly with their students regarding next steps.Student information about withdrawals and late drops is available. 

Gov. Newsom has ordered that all Califrornians stay at home effective midnight March 19. To comply with that order,  all District employees are to work from home beginning Friday, March 20. Essential personnel who are necessary to secure district facilities and maintain core operations will be contacted by district leadership. 

All student events through June 1 are cancelled, and intercollegiate athletics games are cancelled indefinitely. 



 

 

March 16, 2020 (El Cajon) --As the coronavirus situation remains in a state of flux, effective today, Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are now closed to students and the public until further notice. All instructional activities, office hours and labs will take place online or through another remote delivery to the fullest extent possible. Students are advised to follow directives provided by their instructors and to regularly check the college website and emails to keep apprised by the latest developments.

CHIEF’S CORNER: IS THERE A VIRUS OF INCONSIDERATION?

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
 
March 15, 2020 (San Diego)--You probably don’t remember me, but I remember you. At the bank, the gym, in the grocery store, the receptionist. You were the one disgustingly sneezing, coughing and hacking without covering your mouth. Like a driver texting, you’re placing everyone else at risk. Is it just ignorance or arrogance?
 
I am shocked as I observe the inconsideration some are demonstrating during this time. Please be mindful!
 
Flu activity peaks between December and March resulting in more than 200,000 hospitalizations and thousands of deaths each year. Now with the Corona virus we have an even greater risk of being exposed to an additional dangerous and deadly virus.
 
What you could have done once symptoms came on is:

CAJON VALLEY AND OTHER EAST COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS ANNOUNCE COVID-19 POLICIES AND CLOSURES

CVUSD provides multi-lingual updates

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

Photo: Superintendent David Miyashiro, EdD, screenshot off video

 

March 15, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- In line with worldwide concern over the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, Cajon Valley Union School District Superintendent David Miyashiro, EdD outlined a policy Tuesday night on plans to cope with the growing health crisis.

GOVERNOR ASKS SENIORS OVER 65 TO STAY HOME, CALLS FOR CLOSURE OF BARS, CUTBACKS AT RESTAURANTS

By Miriam Raftery

March 15, 2020 (Sacramento)—With 330 Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) cases in California, double the number just four days ago,six deaths in our state and thousands of deaths worldwide, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced extreme steps to slow the rate of infection and reduce deaths. The actions aim to save lives and prevent hospitals and medical workers from becoming overwhelmed.

The Governor’s new emergency proclamation calls for:

  • Home isolation of everyone over age 65
  • A ban on visitors to nursing homes, except for end-of-life visits
  • Closure of bars, wine bars, breweries and pubs
  • Restaurants to reduce occupancy by half; restaurants can also provide curbside service and at-home deliveries
  • Moving homeless people into motels, trailers or other facilities
  • Allow urgency for procuring medical supplies, sharing data, and bringing in out of state licensed medical professionals to help with treatment

Though the Governor stopped short of mandating closures of bars, restaurants and wineries, and left home isolation of seniors voluntary for now, his actions are similar to what some foreign nations and Governors in other states have done. 

The entire nations of Spain and Denmark are on lockdown. France has ordered closure of cafes, restaurants and bars.  The Governors of Ohio and Illinois have ordered restaurants and bars to close.  New York state’s Governor has ordered restaurants to cut occupancy in half and called for voluntary closure of many private businesses.

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN SPRING VALLEY AND AT SDSU

By Miriam Raftery

March 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – An employee at the Covenant Living retirement and continuing care community in Spring Valley has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, Fox 5 reports. So has a student at San Diego State University, according to Patch.com

WHY HASN’T TRUMP FOLLOWED QUARANTINE RULES FOR HIMSELF AFTER EXPOSURE TO COVID-19?

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: President Trump, at today’s Coronavirus press conference, shakes hands with Target’s CEO as Vice President Mike Pence stands beside him, despite president being closely exposed to three people infected with COVID-19

March 13, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – Despite close exposure to at least three individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, President Donald Trump has not followed health guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control, which advise exposed individuals to self-quarantine for 14 days and keep at least six feet away from others.  Yet at a press conference today, the President was photographed shaking hands with at least seven people.

TRUMP DECLARES NATIONAL EMERGENCY, AGREES TO SUPPORT HOUSE DEMOCRATS’ BILL TO HELP AMERICANS IMPACTED ECONOMICALLY BY COVID-19

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: President Donald Trump, via WhiteHouse.gov

March 13, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – After issuing a national emergency declaration today, President Donald Trump in a rare moment of bipartisan agreement urged Congressional Republicans to pass economic relief legislation authored by House Democrats.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi negotiated the economic relief deal with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin following days of plummeting stock prices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

STATE AND LOCAL SAN DIEGO OFFICIALS WORK TO CALM COVID-19 CHAOS COMING FROM WASHINGTON D.C.

By Kathleen Connell
 
March 13, 2020 (San Diego) -- Confusion and fear have reigned supreme for citizens worried about the medical and economic impacts of the coronavirus. To make matters worse, the Trump White House has put out untruths and conflicting information, according to Factcheck.org.  In addition to factual errors in his recent press conference, at a Trump rally earlier this year he called COVID-19 a “hoax” and blamed Democrats.  On Jan. 22, he insisted, “We have it totally under control,” yet his administration had still failed to fill vacancies on the CDC’s pandemic team left unfilled since 2018 and failed to provide testing anywhere near the rates that other countries have provided for their residents.

LA MESA ISSUES EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION, BUT HAS NO COVID-19 CASES

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis
 
March 13, 2020 (La Mesa) – “In order to assure that the City of La Mesa is eligible to receive any available and necessary disaster relief funds, we have declared a formal state of emergencies,” La Mesa Mayor Mark Arapostathis announced today.

EL CAJON CITY MANAGER DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS, WILL LIVESTREAM PUBLIC MEETING MONDAY

By Miriam Raftery

 

March 13, 2020 (El Cajon) – El Cajon City Manager today declared a state of emergency for the city. The City Council must meet to ratify the declaration.  A special meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 16 at 11:30 a.m. and will be livestreamed so that people can attend the meeting remotely.

 

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