Health/Fitness

DENTAL GROUP HELPS LOCAL SENIORS WITH HOME CARE ORAL HYGIENE KITS

East County News Service

May 8, 2020 (San Diego) - With seniors ’sheltering in place” and potentially doing so for many more months to come, the Gary & Mary West Senior Dental Center is making sure vulnerable San Diego seniors have the items they need to keep up their health and oral hygiene during this time.  The organization is in the process of preparing 5,000 Home Care Oral Hygiene Kits for vulnerable seniors in San Diego County.


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IN TOWNHALL, LOCAL LEADERS ANSWER QUESTIONS OVER COVID-19 AND REOPENING LOCAL VENUES

By Miriam Raftery

May 8, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob hosted a virtual town hall Thursday along with El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus. They provided updates on the COVID-19 pandemic locally, addressed ideas for  more businesses, churches and other paces to reopen, and fielded questions submitted by constituents.


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ANSWERS SOUGHT FOR EAST COUNTY YOUTH OPIOID EPIDEMIC DURING ONLINE BRAINSTORMING SESSION TOWN HALL

Challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic also discussed 
 
By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies
 
May 8, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- An effort to improve and expand access, prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery services surrounding Lakeside’s youth opioid epidemic began with an online town hall recently, hosted by the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) San Diego.
 
East County has the highest overdose rate of OxyContin in the region, according the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard. But the opioid epidemic stretches across San Diego County. It has health officials worried, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic limited access to services.

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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

 

May 7, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- We are all going through a lot. I can say that beyond just concern about the possibility of being infected with COVID-19, I worry about my friends and family. Add on the stress of financial issues, taking care of children or other family members, and just the general uncertainty of the future and I know that many are emotionally drained. 


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BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM AND REDUCE INFLAMMATION WITH ORZO CHICKPEA SOUP IN TURMERIC-GINGER BROTH: RECIPE FROM SHARP REES-STEALY MEDICAL GROUP

East County News Service
 
May 6, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Stuck in a dinner rut? Warm your belly without busting your budget with this easy, healthy soup recipe provided by Sharp Rees-Stealy medical group.
 
Chicken soup is good for the soul, but chickpea soup can be made straight from the pantry. This hearty recipe, a favorite of Dr. Angie Neison, a family medicine and culinary medicine doctor with Sharp Rees-Stealy, features turmeric-ginger tea — which helps reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system. New research findings show inflammation is a key factor in severe cases of COVID-19 and other illnesses.
 
Orzo and Chickpea Soup With Turmeric-Ginger Broth
Yields 2 servings

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READER'S EDITORIAL: WHY ARE NURSING HOMES LOOKING FOR IMMUNITY DURING COVID-19?

By Marcel Gemme

Image via Pixabay

May 5, 2020 (San Diego) - Nursing homes and other senior living facilities have been some of the hardest-hit communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As countless news stories emerge about outbreaks at nursing homes, the best guess that anyone has so far as to the total number of coronavirus deaths from nursing homes is 10,000.  


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GOVERNOR: SOME NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES CAN OPEN FRIDAY FOR CURBSIDE SERVICES

By Miriam Raftery

May 5, 2020 (Sacramento) – Due to progress made on flattening the growth curve of COVID-19 hospitalizations in California, Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday announced  plans to allow some (but not all) non-essential businesses in “Stage 2” of his reopening plan to resume business starting Friday, May 8.

The Governor also announced a plan to allow some counties to move quickly through Stage 2 by submitting a readiness plan that meets the state’s criteria for reopening more businesses and public spaces soon. Counties can also opt to retain more restrictive measures.


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COVID-19: SAN DIEGO ESSENTIAL WORKERS AND AT-RISK POPULATIONS ELIGIBLE TO ENROLL IN EMERGENCY SUBSIDIZED CHILD CARE SERVICES

Eligible families may begin enrolling at [http://www.sandiegoforeverychild.org/covid19/]

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing 

May 5, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego essential workers and at-risk populations may be eligible to enroll their children in emergency subsidized child care so they can continue to work and protect our community during the COVID-19 crisis. Child Development Associates (CDA) and the YMCA of San Diego County Childcare Resource Service (YMCA CRS), which operate the two largest subsidized child care programs in the region, will begin processing vouchers for essential worker families starting today. 


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IRAQI REFUGEE IN EL CAJON NOW SAVES LIVES MAKING MASKS FOR MEDICAL WORKERS, ASYLUM-SEEKERS AND NAVAJO NATION

By Miriam Raftery
May 4, 2020 (El Cajon) –“Helping other people was the only way that I survived through different rises and wars I went through,” says Kilian Colin, an Iraqi refugee in El Cajon who says he went through lockdowns in Iraq and Syria.  A long-time civil rights and labor activist, he has now started a mask-making campaign that is protecting thousands of the most vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
His masks have been sent to protect healthcare workers in San Diego and in cities across the nation including had-hit New York City, as well as to farmers in the Midwest, farmworkers in Oregon, asylum seekers in Mexico, and tribal members of the Navajo Nation in Arizona.
 
How the effort began
 
“I was visiting Asia in January when the pandemic started,” says Colin, who began wearing masks in Vietnam and Taiwan.  Back home as a student at San Diego State University, he kept wearing a mask to avoid infecting others.  
 
But he recalls, “Both professors and students at SDSU were making fun of me…I had no option but to face some of those bullies and told them I was protecting them by wearing this mask, since I had no idea if I carried the virus with me home.” 
 
In mid-March, SDSU moved classes online. Without spending an hour daily commuting, Colin decided to make several masks instead and offer them online to whoever needed them, also replacing his own surgical masks that had been washed too many times to be protective.
 
“I looked online for patterns to make masks and I looked in my closet for clothes that I no longer use,” he tells East County Magazine in an exclusive interview. 

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STATE SUPERINTENDENT ANNOUNCES NEW BENEFIT PROGRAM TO HELP STUDENTS WITH FOOD INSECURITY DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Source:  State Superintendent’s office
 
May 2, 2020 (Sacramento) -- California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a new food assistance program for children throughout the state who are living in households struggling with food insecurity. The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program provides electronic food benefits to families equal to the value of meals children eligible for free or reduced-priced meals would have received at school.

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COUNTY LAUNCHES MOBILE COVID-19 TESTING AFTER CONCERNS RAISED OVER RACIAL DISPARITY; ALSO ANNOUNCES JOBS FOR TRACERS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Rev. Shane Harris, People’s Alliance for Justice

 

May 2, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego County will deploy mobile testing sites to at-risk communities. The vehicles will include a new Live Well Bus, bookmobiles and other County vehicles, the County announced on Thursday. The County also announced plans to dramatically increase tracing of contacts with each person who tests positive and announced job openings for tracers.


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COVID-19 DISRUPTS REGULAR HEALTHCARE, BUT ELECTIVE SURGERIES CAN RESUME

By Kendra Sitton

Photo:  Telehealth is increasingly being used to provide patients access to physicians (CC by NC-ND)

May 2, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Governor Gavin Newsom is lifting some hospital restrictions on elective surgeries, bringing parts of the healthcare system back online. COVID-19 has yet to overwhelm hospitals locally, but in preparation, only essential surgeries were conducted for the past two months. Other medical offices switched to telehealth options or shut down completely. For some patients, particularly in East County, health care has gotten harder to access.

In a survey of 1200 cancer patients and survivors, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) found half of them had care that was impacted by the virus. A quarter of those who were impacted had treatment that was delayed and 13% do not know when their care will be rescheduled.


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TWO MAJOR SAN DIEGO HOSPITAL CHAINS SEEK 'URGENT' FEDERAL HELP ON BORDER

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

Photo:  A Scripps Health medical team. Group president/CEO says San Diego needs “PPE, pharmaceuticals and scarce medical equipment needed in this type of pandemic.” Photo courtesy of Scripps

May 1, 2020 (San Diego) - Executives with Scripps Health and Sharp HealthCare, two major San Diego hospital chains, have written to the federal government seeking “urgent action” to combat COVID-19 along the U.S.-Mexico border.


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REMINDER: MASKS REQUIRED FOR THESE ACTIVITIES STARTING TODAY

East County News Service
 
May 1, 2020 (San Diego) – Starting today, all San Diego County residents over age 2 must wear a face-mask when within six feet of others in public places, as well as when riding on public transit, shopping or certain other activities. However exercising with social distancing will be exempted from the order set for release this week, according to ECM news partner 10 News.
 
Here are examples of where you will be required to cover your nose and mouth:
 
  • Waiting in line to enter a store.
  • Shopping in a store or other essential business,
  • Picking up food at a restaurant,
  • Waiting on transit or riding on public transportation, such as a bus, trolley or train,
  • Riding in a taxi or rideshare vehicle,
  • At a healthcare facility or
  • Working at an essential job where you interact with the public.
 
Here are examples of where you will not have wear a mask:

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COUNTY REOPENS PARKS AND GOLF COURSES, ALLOWS BOATING

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2020 (San Diego) – Starting tomorrow, a new county health order eases many restrictions on recreational facilities. Specifically:

  • All county parks will be reopened, with 50% parking capacity for social distancing.
  • Members of the same household can picnic or participate in sports or other activities in parks, but gatherings are still prohibited.
  • Recreational boating can resume at local lakes, bays and the ocean, however passengers must be in the same household.
  • Golf courses can also reopen, but golf carts are not allowed. Courses must provide physical distancing and conduct temperature screenings on all golfers.


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GOVERNOR HEEDS LOCAL LEADERS’ REQUESTS, CLOSES ONLY ORANGE COUNTY BEACHES

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson at Pacific Beach
 
April 30, 2020 (San Diego) – After crowds packed Newport Beach in violation of social distancing mandates amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom today ordered Orange County beaches to shut down. But he backed off a broader order that Reuters News Service reported was under consideration, which could have closed all beaches statewide.

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GOVERNOR ROLLS OUT FOUR-PHASE PLAN TO REOPEN BUSINESSES


By Miriam Raftery

April 29, 2020 (Sacramento) – Low-risk businesses and public spaces may be able to open, with modifications, in “weeks, not months” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a briefing yesterday . He laid out a detailed plan to reopen the state in four phases, with six key indicators to be met in order to lift restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 health emergency.


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COVID-19 CASES IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY RISE TO 3,141; HUNDREDS OF CASES IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

April 28, 2020 (San Diego) – Over the weekend, 98 new cases of COVID-19 were reported by the San Diego County Health and Human Services department. The jump follows the trend in several cities where rallies were held to end shutdowns. The Sheriff arrested several local protesters over the weekend for violating stay-home orders.

The disease has spread rapidly in East County, where El Cajon now has 181 cases, La Mesa 71, Santee 29, Lemon Grove 28, Lakeside 22, Ramona 14, Jamul 6, and Alpine 4.  The communities of Ranchita, Boulevard, Potrero, Julian and Pala each have 2 cases; Borrego Springs, Descanso, and Tecate each have at least 1 case. View an interactive map with the latest updates on local cases by community.


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NEW FINDINGS SHOW COVID-19 TIED TO DEADLY CLOTS , STROKES, AND LONG-TERM ORGAN DAMAGE IN SURVIVORS

By Jake Zawlacki

Blood clots can cause strokes, brain and neurological damage; cc image via Bing

April 28, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- There are still a lot of unknowns regarding COVID-19 and its effects. Over the past few weeks, patient developments have led researchers to investigate previously unknown risks of COVID-19, including blood clots, debilitating strokes in young people, and long-term damage in some survivors.

COVID-19 was the second leading cause of death in the U.S.from April 6-12. It killed an astounding 12,392 people during that period – ten times more than the 1,227 deaths from flu and pneumonia. The coronavirus killed more people than cancer nationwide. Over 50,000 Americans have died from COVID-19,  or roughly the same number killed during the Vietnam War. While the death toll of the 2019-2020 flu season will be unknown for a couple more months, the rates of infection and death are clearly more severe in coronavirus.


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COUNTY'S TWO NEW TESTING SITES OPEN

Video shows some footage of trial site in Oceanside that is not currently open.
 
By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
April 27, 2020 (San Diego) -- Two new, appointment-only COVID-19 testing sites opened today in Escondido and Chula Vista, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.
 
One of the drive-up free testing sites is at the North Inland Live Well Center in Escondido, and the other is at the Live Well Center in Chula Vista.

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ALS ASSOCIATION ASSISTING DURING VIRUS PANDEMIC BY LOANING HOSPITAL BEDS TO SHARP GROSSMONT HOSPITAL

East County News Service

April 26, 2020 (La Mesa) – As part of its response to serve the San Diego community during the coronavirus pandemic, the ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter has announced it recently loaned six, fully-electric hospital beds to Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa.


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FACE COVERINGS MANDATORY STARTING MAY 1, COUNTY ANNOUNCES

 

By Katie Cadiao, County of San Diego Communications Office

April 24, 2020 (San Diego) - The number of local COVID-19 deaths went up by two and total cases saw a record increase for a second day in a row with an additional 183 confirmed cases, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.


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COUNTY OPENING BEACHES TO SWIMMING, SURFING, OTHER WATER SPORTS ON MONDAY

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

Photo:  Lifeguards enforce the closure of city beaches. Photo by Chris Stone

April 24, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County officials announced Friday that coastal cities may reopen beach access for swimming, surfing, paddleboarding and kayaking on Monday.

“The ocean is a symbol of who we are as San Diegans, and it is appropriate at this point that we open up limited access to the ocean as a step in our continued progress,” said Fletcher at the county’s daily media briefing during the coronavirus pandemic..


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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READER’S EDITORIAL: PEOPLE’S LIVES TRUMP THE DOW JONES DURING PANDEMIC

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH, retired epidemiologist
 
April 23, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- So Senator Jones claims America exceptionalism because our Constitution begins with “We the People,” in his recent editorial on restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nice sentiments, but what is the reality? 
 
According to Senator Jones, “‘We the People’ established a Constitution with a Bill of Rights that enshrines the liberties that cannot be permanently taken from us. Just because we’re in an emergency doesn’t mean we hand over our freedoms to the government absolutely and indefinitely.” 
 
First, no one is talking about handing over our freedoms indefinitely. However, if we rely on our “intuitive genius” President and people like Senator Jones rather than experts on infectious diseases we may actually hand over more than our freedoms--threatening our health and our lives.

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COUNTY MOVES CLOSER TOWARD REOPENING, AS GROWTH IN COVID CASES SLOWS BUT DEATH TOLL MOUNTS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilima Wooten urges everyone to wear masks in public to prevent spread of COVID-19.

April 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The growth curve for new  COVID-19 cases is showing signs of slowing locally, even as San Diego County reported 15 new deaths, bringing the total  deaths to 87. Meanwhile officials offered insights on what it will take to begin lifting local restrictions.


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LIFE ON THE STREETS IN EAST COUNTY DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Story and photos by Jake Zawlacki

Photo, left:  Homeless man Mike in downtown La Mesa, April 21, 2020

April 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- “Things are different,” said Mike, a local homeless man, as I spoke with him in downtown La Mesa yesterday. “Everyone’s afraid of the homeless.”

Mike typifies many homeless individuals living across East County with nowhere to go. The recent halt of new intakes at the East County Transitional Living Center  in El Cajon is only one example of doors closing to homeless people. Just a block from the closed Wells Park in El Cajon, you can see almost 20 migrated homeless individuals now camped in the parking lot outside of the Neighborhood Healthcare Facility.

“We can’t really take showers anymore,” Mike said.


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FOOD INSECURITY, LACK OF RESOURCES TOP ISSUES FOR IMMIGRANTS DURING PANDEMIC

By Kendra Sitton for East County Magazine

Photo: Syrian refugee children in El Cajon, by Rachel Williams

April 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- While it may be true that a virus cannot discriminate, the structural inequalities already in place are exacerbated in a crisis. Groups already in a precarious position are more vulnerable than ever. Among these at-risk groups are immigrants and refugees. According to advocates working with immigrant and refugee communities, some of the top concerns they are hearing involve food insecurity and a lack of resources.


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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: COBRA HEALTH BENEFITS AFTER JOB LOSS

East County News Service
 
Photo: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at www.CMS.gov
 
April 22, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – The federal government has just released critical health insurance for private sector employees in a new, updated booklet titled “An Employee's Guide to Health Benefits Under COBRA.” 
 
This health insurance update explains in detail your rights  to purchase a temporary extension of your healthcare benefits if you lose your job, under the health benefit guide called COBRA. 

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INDIAN HEALTH COUNCIL IN VALLEY CENTER AWARDED FEDERAL GRANT FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT DURING COVID-19 CRISIS

 
East County News Service
 
April 21, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has expedited its process to yesterday release $110 million in emergency grants to strengthen access to treatments for substance use disorders and serious mental illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Locally, the Indian Health Council in Valley Center is the recipient of a $420,300 grant. For details on their grant and others awarded, visit https://www.samhsa.gov/grants/awards/2020/FG-20-006.   
 
“Within just a few weeks of Congress providing these grant funds, SAMHSA is distributing them to help Americans with substance use disorders and serious mental illness receive the treatment they need during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “SAMHSA has been working around the clock to ensure that Americans are getting access to the mental healthcare they need, whether for preexisting mental health conditions or for challenges arising during this emergency. President Trump has made mental health a priority throughout his time in office, and HHS will make support for quality mental healthcare a priority throughout the COVID-19 crisis.”

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