BOATING, WATER SPORTS, SURFING AND SWIMMING BANNED: CITATIONS NOW BEING ISSUED FOR VIOLATING ALL COUNTY HEALTH ORDERS INCLUDING GATHERINGS AND NON-ESSENTIAL OUTINGS

VIRTUAL DESERT WILDFLOWERS TOUR

4.9 QUAKE NEAR ANZA ROCKS SAN DIEGO REGION

INMATE AND FOUR SHERIFF EMPLOYEES TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

LOCAL WINERIES JUICE UP MARKETING EFFORTS AMID COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

WORKERS ON BORDER WALL AT TECATE NOT WEARING MASKS OR MAINTAINING SOCIAL DISTANCING

GROUPS SLAM TRUMP ADMINISTRATION'S ROLLBACK OF AUTO EMISSION STANDARDS

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

MORE AMERICANS DEAD OF COVID-19 THAN FROM 9-11 ATTACKS: QUESTIONS GROW OVER WHY U.S. SENT VENTILATORS OVRSEAS AS U.S. STOCKPILE DWINDLED

COVID-19 OUTBREAK LINKED TO PHARMACY IN EL CAJON; COUNTY DEATH TOLL RISES TO 15

SCHOOL CLOSINGS DUE TO COVID-19 PRESENT POTENTIAL FOR INCREASED RISK OF CHILD EXPLOITATION

MENTAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

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.

STABBING IN UNINCORPORATED EL CAJON

East County News Service
 
March 16, 2020 (El Cajon) – A suspect in a full-face motorcycle helmet reportedly followed a man into an apartment complex at 325 E. Bradley Ave. in unincorporated El Cajon on Sunday morning, then stabbed the victim in the chest. The suspect fled in a gold sedan, traveling east on Bradley.
 
Deputies from the Lakeside Sheriff’s substation responded to a radio call reporting the assault with a deadly weapon at 11:30 a.m.  

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.

39 CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

 

Source: San Diego County News Service

March 15, 2020 (San Diego) -- The County of San Diego is working closely with federal and state agencies and the local healthcare community to monitor and test for the COVID-19 virus in the region. For information about coronavirus disease nationwide, visit the CDC website.

The table below provides information about positive cases of COVID-19 in San Diego County. ***This  table was updated Sunday, March 15, 2020 to provide additional data about local cases. It will be updated daily around 4:00 p.m.

EAST COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS ANNOUNCE FOOD SERVICES DISTRIBUTION FOR STUDENTS DURING SHUTDOWN

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo: creative commons-sa-nc

East County school districts will be providing food services for its students during the mandated school closures over the Coronavirus pandemic.

Below is the distribution schedule for several local districts.

If you know of others, please post the information or links in the comments section below, or email editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

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.

SDGE SUSPENDS ELECTRIC AND GAS SERVICE DISRUPTIONS DUE TO NON-PAYMENT AMID COVID-19 ECONOMIC DISRUPTIONS

Helix Water assures customers water is safe from COVID-19

By Paul Kruze

March 15, 2020 (San Diego)-- In an unprecedented move, San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) announced on Friday that it will be suspending disconnections of service for non-payment.

In a news release published on its website, the utility announced, in part, “With the coronavirus pandemic causing significant impact on the economy and people’s livelihoods, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced today that it will temporarily suspend service disconnections. The disconnection moratorium will remain in place until further notice.”

The company also has urged customers who are struggling to pay their utility bill due to financial hardships stemming from the coronavirus to call its Customer Contact Center at 1-800-411-7343 to make payment arrangements.

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.

WHAT TO DO DURING CORONAVIRUS SHUTDOWN? CHECK OUT THESE ACTIVITY IDEAS

By Miriam Raftery

March 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – If you’re healthy and under 65, but trying to avoid crowds and maintain social distancing (authorities recommended six feet from others), here are a few options to consider, from hiking and fishing at local forests, parks and lakes to homebound activities such as gardening, games, cooking and virtual tours.

CORONAVIRUS INDUCED PANIC BUYING HITS EAST COUNTY: PUBLIC URGED NOT TO HOARD SUPPLIES -- AND CONSIDER THESE OPTIONS TO AVOID CROWDED STORES

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

Photo, left by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson:  Meat aisle at Vons in Santee was picked nearly clean by shoppers yesterday.

March 15, 2020 (East County)—After public health officials recommended stocking up on 14 days of supplies in the event of home quarantine during the local, state and federal COVID-19 emergency declarations, shoppers overwhelmed many local stores, causing long lines and local shortages.

Officials are now urging the pubic not to hoard products, to assure that everyone will have access to items that they need. Some stores are also beginning to limit sales to prevent hoarding or reselling  items at a higher price. (It is illegal to price gouge during a declared emergency and violators can be fined or imprisoned).

Shoppers yesterday were out in force piling their shopping carts not only with toilet paper but with meats, canned beans, breads, potatoes (if they can find them), and other products.  At Trader Joe’s in La Mesa, the line when the store opened extended from one end of the shopping center to the other. Inside, the checkout line stretched to the back of the store.

SANTEE IDENTIFIES WHERE IT CAN BUILD NEARLY 2,000 NEW HOUSES

By Mike Allen
 
Photos Credit: City of Santee
 
March 15, 2020 (Santee) -- Santee identified 37 different properties that could accommodate 1,949 new houses as part of a state mandated program to spur the building of affordable housing.
 
At its March 11 meeting, the Santee City Council reviewed the sites identified by city planners as most likely to handle the new units. The majority of the sites are zoned as single family residential, but by increasing zoning densities, a much higher number of living units could be built, which ultimately is the goal, city officials said.
 
Yet the prospect of change, even if it’s financially beneficial, caused some owners to voice their anxieties.

PARENT OF 3 SAN DIEGO JEWISH ACADEMY STUDENTS TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS

By Donald H. Harrison, Editor of San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association
 
Photo, left: Donald H. Harrison
 
Photo, right: Inspirational steps at San Diego Jewish Academy
 
March 15, 2020 (San Diego) –  A parent of three San Diego Jewish Academy students has tested positive for coronavirus, according to Chaim Heller, the retiring head of the school.  In a letter to other parents sent on Saturday (Shabbat), he wrote, “The parent was at school during the past week.  Their children, who are in grades, 1, 3, and 6, were in many rooms, including the Ulam (Auditorium), many times during the past week as well.  They were with their friends acting in a regular, non-distance manner during that time.  Effectively, they could have been with anyone from the school, from ECC (Early Childhood Center) to high school.”

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

NEW ASSESSOR/RECORDER/COUNTY CLERK OFFICE AND FIRST-EVER ARCHIVE CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING

Photo credit: Michael Uyeda
 
By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
March 13, 2020 (Santee) -- It’s official. The new Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk East County Branch Office and Archive in Santee formally celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.
 
The new 25,000-square-foot building features a first for the County – County Archives. Historic documents dating back 170 years now have a dedicated space of their own. Some 4,400 cubic feet of archival records and microfilm moved from offsite storage to a repository with its own generator, heating and air conditioning system, state of the art fire suppression system and secure access.

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.

 

BIDEN AND SANDERS OFFER COVID-19 RESPONSE PLANS; WILL DEBATE ISSUES ON SUNDAY EVENING

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden

March 13, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- Former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential contenders, criticized President Donald Trump's handling of the COVID-19 panedemic and offered plans of their own to address the crisis.

Biden and Sanders will also square off in a debate Sunday on CNN starting at 4 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. The debate was moved from Arizona to CNN's studio in Washington D.C. due to the coronavirus outbreak.  You can tune in via cable TV, as well as on the CNN website, the Univision website, and both networks’ mobile apps.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE NEWS

March 13, 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:  

LOCAL

STATE

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

LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS CLOSING DOWN DUE TO CORONAVIRUS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: cc via Bing

March 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Over half the school districts in San Diego have announced plans to shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak until sometime in April.

East County districts that are shutting down include Alpine Union, Grossmont-Union High School District, Cajon Valley, Dehesa, Jamul-Dulzura, La Mesa-Spring Valley, Lakeside Union, Mountain Empire, and Vallecitos. 

County Health and Human Services asks parents, We recognize the difficulty that these school closures present for working families. It is important to remember that closing schools is an effort to maintain at least six feet of distance between people and to reduce the number of individuals gathered into a given space to prevent the spread of the virus. While there are still public spaces open and available, including malls, parks, movie theaters, etc., we would ask parents to strongly consider keeping their children home or limited to small groups at this time.”

Nationwide, school closures due to COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, are impacting over 8 million K-12 students, according to EdSource, or nearly a quarter of the 50 million K-12 students in the U.S.

Here are schools locally announcing closures so far:

COUNTY AND STATE BAN NEARLY ALL GATHERINGS; FIVE NEW LOCAL COVID-19 CASES REPORTED

Many major events closed or cancelled across our state and region

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2020 (San Diego) – In response to the fast-spreading COVID-19 outbreak, effective immediately, the state of California and San Diego County have ordered that from today through March 31st: Violators are subject to fines or imprisonment.

  • all gatherings of over 250 people be cancelled or postponed, including concerts, conferences, and sporting events;
  • Smaller events of 10 may be held only if social distancing space of 6 feet between people can be provided;
  • Gatherings of people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people, while following social distancing guidelines. This includes gatherings at retirement facilities, assisted living facilities, developmental homes and support groups for people with health conditions.
  • Visitors should be restricted at medical facilities with people at high risk of COVID-19 complications, such as nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and hospitals providing acute in-patient care.

The ban on gatherings generally does not apply to workplaces, shopping malls, grocery stores, or emergency shelters such as those for the homeless.

View:  Governor Gavin Newsom’s message, Calif. Dept. of Public Health directiveCounty press release, County health office order,  World Health Organization director’s statement on pandemic

VIRUS SPREADING LOCALLY WITH FIVE NEW CASES IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

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

Photo:  San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks at county press conference on Covid-19 response, with major officials arrayed behind him. Photo via Kevin Faulconer on Twitter

March 12, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County officials said coronavirus now appears to be spreading in the community with five new cases reported Thursday, and officially banned gatherings of over 250 people.

ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

March  12, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

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

SEVERAL NEWCOMERS ELECTED TO COUNTY CENTRAL COMMMITTEES IN THE AD 71 REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC PARTIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 12, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Several new members were elected to San Diego County's Republican and Democratic central committees in the 71st Assembly District covering much of East County.

While some incumbents won reelection by voters valueing experience, the races also resulted in several incumbents ousted, as well as some long-time party leaders and elected officials rejected by voters who chose activists and newcomers over establishment figures to fill some seats.

SDSU ATHLETICS, ALL MAJOR SPORTS LEAGUES CANCEL SEASONS AND TOURNAMENTS DUE TO CORONAVIRUS

UPDATE AS OF 5:09 PM:  ALL SDSU SPRING SPORTS HAVE BEEN CANCELED

East County News Service

March 12, 2020 (San Diego) - After Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for Coronavirus, the National Basketball Association and several other professional sports leagues have suspended their seasons, the NBA's announcement coming on Wednesday night.  The NBA announced it was suspending games while it determined its next steps.

TRUMP BANS TRAVEL FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS FROM EUROPE DUE TO COVID-19, PROPOSES ECONOMIC RELIEF FOR AMERICANS IMPACTED

Update March 13: The President today declared a national emergency, freeing up some $50 bilion in federal aid for states.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Airport medical screening; CC by SA

March 11, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump today announced a travel ban on most foreign nationals from Europe and also proposed economic aid to Americans impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

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