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July 16, 2020 (San Diego) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego's inland regions, published in other media.  This week's round-up stories include: 



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


San Diego County to restrict COVID-19 testing, citing nationwide supply shortage (San Diego Union-Tribune)

News of an 80 percent reduction in critical supplies had San Diego County poised to start closing many of its COVID-19 testing sites Saturday, but a midnight phone call provided a little breathing room.

U.S. Navy Ship Fire in San Diego Could Be an Environmental Disaster (Weather.com)

The USS Bonhomme Richard fire burning in San Diego harbor could cause a number of environmental issues.

Los Angeles and San Diego Schools to Go Online-Only in the Fall (New York Times)

California’s two largest districts made the joint call amid a White House push to get children back into classrooms.

Beluga whale sighted off San Diego coast mystifies scientists (National Geographic)

It's thousands of miles from the nearest beluga population, and no one knows where it came from or why.

Honduran Family’s Complaint Says Baby Born in Chula Vista was Sent to Mexico (Times of San Diego)

A complaint was filed Friday on behalf of an asylum-seeking Honduran family — which includes a newborn U.S. citizen born in Chula Vista — that was sent across the border to Mexico to await asylum proceedings two days after the child’s birth… While forced to wait in Mexico, the complaint alleges the family was “accosted and detained by a group of armed men who attempted to extort them.” … neither the newborn, nor his mother, has received any medical care since the birth…

Which ‘hate’ groups are operating in San Diego? (San Diego Union-Tribune)

There is little dispute that hate has largely moved from community clubhouses into virtual spaces, making it easy for like-minded people to fellowship from afar, no membership required….The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit that tracks hate and extremist groups across the U.S., found 1,020 such organizations in 2018, up 7 percent from the previous year. Its latest “hate map” places seven such groups as being active in San Diego County last year, with many tied to larger national movements.

Rev. Rolland Slade, first black chair of Southern Baptist Executive Committee, elected (Religion News Service)

Rev. Rolland Slade, senior pastor of Meridian Baptist Church in El Cajon, California, has been elected as the first African American chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, the group that runs the business of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination outside its annual meetings…recently he has been recognized for promoting personal health and advocating for the homeless…He also has served as the head of local boards in his community and was a representative of the faith community on a San Diego County commission for children and families.


Someone might call claiming to be a coronavirus contact tracer (Sacramento Bee)

 Be vigilant, says Cal OES -- The latest worry for Californians this year comes in a relatively innocuous form. You might get a call from someone claiming to be a coronavirus contact tracer, notifying you of a potential exposure to the highly-contagious virus — not a great start, admittedly, but it gets worse: then they ask you for money…Cal OES said that a real contact tracer will never ask for money, credit card numbers, banking information, Social Security numbers or immigration status.

‘It takes 150 redials’: Horror stories from Californians filing unemployment claims, getting no results (Los Angeles Times)

Barry Levine has blown through two-thirds of his life savings while waiting for his unemployment insurance claim to be processed. He figures that, by sometime in September, he will have nothing left.

Hair salon owners urge Gavin Newsom to let them go back to work — outdoors (Sacramento Bee)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom may have closed down hair salons and barbershops in most of the state due to rising COVID-19 numbers, but advocates say only a technicality is keeping hair stylists and barbers from still being able to work. They want to governor to make one change so they can go back to work…  Section 7317 of the Business and Professions Code…states that barbering, cosmetology and electrology services must be conducted inside a licensed establishment. Violations of that rule are subject to an administrative fine and may also be a misdemeanor offense. All it would take to waive that rule is a single phone call from Gov. Newsom, Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, said at Thursday’s press conference.

California reports record-high ICU usage and hospitalizations (San Jose Mercury)

 California hit all-time highs in the number of patients hospitalized or in intensive care unit beds with COVID-19, while county health departments reported 9,522 new COVID-19 cases and 95 deaths on Friday.


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