#Facebook Journalism Project

COUNTY ORDERS SHUTDOWN OF BARS, WINERIES AND BREWERIES, HALTS REOPENING OTHER BUSINESSES

By Miriam Raftery

June 29, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency today ordered  bars, wineries and breweries to shut down starting July 1 to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The county also halted reopening of any additional businesses until at least August 1, due to a spike in cases locally.

Although Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this week ordered bars in six counties to close and recommended closures in eight other counties, San Diego was not on those lists. However local officials made the decision to shut down the alcohol establishments after nearly 500 new cases were reported yesterday, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. Also, 7% of test results reported yesterday were positive, up sharply from the 4.1% rate over the prior two weeks.

Concerns are also rising over hospital capacity, since San Diego has taken some patients from neighboring Imperial County, where 23% of tests have come back positive in recent days prompting the state to order a return to a full lockdown there.

Today, Riverside County’s hospital ICU units hit 99% capacity, forcing hospitals to resort to surge mode, converting other hospital bed areas into ICU units to accommodate COVID-19 patients. San Diego could be asked to accept yet more patients from its neighbor to the north if Riverside's surge in cases continues.


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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.

PLASMA FROM RECOVERED COVID-19 PATIENTS NEEDED TO TREAT OTHERS LOCALLY

Source: By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC by NA - SC

May 29, 2020 (San Diego) -- The San Diego Blood Bank is partnering with the County to encourage San Diegans who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma, the liquid part of blood which contains antibodies. This plasma could help treat people who are hospitalized or seriously ill from the novel coronavirus.

While currently there is no vaccine or proven treatment for COVID-19, “convalescent plasma may help patients fighting the virus because the plasma has antibodies against it,” the County’s top health official announced yesterday.

“This partnership helps us to achieve one of the indicators at the federal level for treatment of COVID-19,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “We’re very excited about this partnership.”


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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 RELIGIOUS GROUPS REACT TO NEWS THAT WORSHIP SERVICES CAN RESUME, WITH CHANGES

 

Update May 29, 2020: The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear an appeal of the Ninth Circuit appellate court's ruling against a Chula Vista church. By a 5-4 vote, the majority of justices found that California's llimits on attendance size at in-person woship services during a pandemic did not violate the First Amendment or discriminate against churches, noting that simlar or more severe restrictions apply to concerts, movie theaters and other venues with gatherings.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Miriam Raftery: Bishop Robert McElroy, during 2018 bicentennial celebration at the Santa Ysabel Mission, has called for Catholic masses to resume in June, but parishioners could opt to continue online services if they choose.

May 27, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego County Health officials yesterday announced that houses of worship can resume services, with limited numbers of people and other changes. The action follows Governor Gavin Newsom rolling out new state guidelines allow in-person worship services and ceremonies, though officials are encouraging alternatives such as online worshipping or outdoor services to help protect parishioners and staff from COVID-19.

Under the county health rules, churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship must limit attendance to 25 percent of capacity or 100 people, whichever is smallest. Worshippers not in the same household must sit or stand six feet apart.


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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.