Health/Fitness

HUNDREDS PROTEST SCHOOL VACCINE AND MASK MANDATES IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery and Henri Migala

View Zoom interview with Dr. Mark Sawyer, infectious disease specialist at Children's Hospital and advisor to the FDA, responding to parents' concerns:  https://youtu.be/qSlSxgWUQaU   

View video of protesters:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deM8NE8SWAo

October 20, 2021 (La Mesa) – Over 300 parents, teachers, staffers and students held a protest against new mandates to require vaccines in public schools and existing mask mandates.

The local protest was held Tuesday on the Grossmont bridge over Interstate-8 in La Mesa, part of a statewide school walkout day over California’s public health mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants waved flags and held signs, slowing traffic on the freeway as some motorists honked in support.

ECM spoke with several parents  regarding their concerns for their children's health, and also consulted a prominent pediatric medical expert on COVID-19 to respond to those concerns. In addition, we reached out to two East County school districts to assess the impact of the walkout on school funding and attendance.

Parents and school employees speak out; medical expert responds


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MORE SHIGELLA CASES FOUND AMONG SAN DIEGO HOMELESS PEOPLE

Source: County of San Diego

October 19, 2021 (San Diego) -- The County of San Diego today announced 11 new shigella cases associated with an ongoing outbreak, bringing the total to 15 confirmed and three probable. The cases are all among individuals experiencing homelessness who resided at multiple locations in central San Diego; none have been identified in East County.

No source of the outbreak has currently been identified, says County spokesman Jose A. Alvarez. The continuing investigation shows onset of illness dates between Aug. 16 and Oct. 14. The 18 cases in this outbreak represent 6.8 percent of the 266 total cases reported to date in San Diego County.

The County is working closely with the City of San Diego to:


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80% OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY RESIDENTS AGE 12 AND UP ARE NOW FULLY VACCINATED AGAINST COVID

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2021 (San Diego) – If you’re a San Diego County resident not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, you’re in a shrinking minority. San Diego County has one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation with over 2.2 million people fully vaccinated. That’s 80% of everyone eligible (ages 12 and up), the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.  Even more, 89.2%, are at least partially vaccinated.

Yet hospitalizations and deaths continue – nearly all among unvaccinated people. In the past 30 days, 263 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in San Diego County – and 258 of those were not fully vaccinated. In the past week, 37 deaths were reported from COVID-19, and 31 of those were not fully vaccinated.


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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GOVERNOR NEWSOM SIGNS FIVE OF SIX NURSING HOME REFORM BILLS

East County News Service

October 9, 2021 (Sacramento) -- This week, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law five out of six reform bills that respond to the tragic conditions nursing home residents face in California and the growing public awareness during the pandemic that residents are often being neglected, abused, mistreated and exploited, as Cal Matters recently reported.

Known as the PROTECT Plan (Prioritize Responsible Ownership, Treatment, Equity and Corporate Transparency), the reforms are the product of a dedicated group of legislative champions: Senator Henry Stern and Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi, Eloise Gómez Reyes, Ash Kalra, Reginald Bryon Jones-Sawyer Sr., and Adrin Nazarian.

The Governor signed the following measures:


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PREGNANT SAN DIEGO WOMAN DIES FROM COVID-19

Pregnant women with COVID have a 70% higher risk of death than people who are not pregnant, according to the CDC

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

October  8, 2021 (San Diego) - An unvaccinated woman is the first pregnant San Diego woman to die from COVID-19, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.


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BOIL WATER ORDER FOR THE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE HIGH SCHOOL WATER SYSTEM

Source: County of San Diego

 

October 7, 2021 (Pine Valley) -- The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health and Quality (DEHQ) has issued a Boil Water Order for the Mountain Empire High School water system effective immediately.

 

The drinking water system at the high school in Pine Valley has tested present for E.Coli bacteria. The presence of E.Coli bacteria indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal waste. Health effects can include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms. E.Coli may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.


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CDC WARNS COVID-19 CAN CAUSE PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS AND STILLBIRTHS, OFFERS VACCINE GUIDELINES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC by SA-NC via Bing

 

October 6, 2021 (Atlanta) – If you’re pregnant, you are at higher risk for severe COVID-19. Not only can expectant mothers suffer more serious complications, but so can their unborn children. COVID-19 can increase the risk of bleeding disorders, high blood pressure, maternal death and stillbirth, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control warns.


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CUSTOMS SEIZES FORGED COVID-19 VACCINATION CARDS AND BANNED DRUGS; FEDS WARNS OF CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR USING FAKE CARDS

East County News Service

Ivermectin pills and hydroxychloroquine from China also seized

October 6, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – The FBI has warned of federal criminal penalties for using, buying or selling counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers report multiple seizures of fake vaccination cards at international borders, as well as intercepting shipments of Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine ills shipped in violation of FDA regulations. The shipments have been turned over to the FDA office of criminal investigation.


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RAIN BRINGS URBAN RUNOFF TO BEACHES

Source: County of San Diego

 

October 5, 2021 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Quality (DEHQ) has issued a General Rain Advisory to avoid water contact at all coastal beaches and bays due to recent rainfall. Swimmers, surfers and other water users are warned that rain brings urban runoff, which can cause bacteria levels to rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets. Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation. Bacteria levels can remain elevated after a rainstorm depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean conditions.


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COUNTY ANNOUNCES $9 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR CHILDHOOD OBESITY PROGRAMS

 

By Katie Cadiao, County of San Diego Communications Office

Video by Brett Michel

October 4, 2021 (San Diego) - The County of San Diego and its partners announced $9 million in funding to address childhood obesity. The funding is a combination of three separate grants that will support programs that address the root causes of childhood obesity, including barriers to healthy eating and exercising.


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BOIL WATER ORDER ISSUED FOR RAMONA OAKS RV PARK

Source: County News Service

October 4, 2021 (Ramona) -- The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health and Quality has issued a Boil Water Order for the Ramona Oaks RV Park water system located at 24340 Hwy 78, Ramona, effective immediately. All affected customers are advised to not drink the water without boiling it first:


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WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A COVID-19 BOOSTER SHOT? CDC EXPANDS LIST

By Miriam Raftery

October 3, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – If you’ve been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 for at least six months, you’re eligible for a booster shot now if you are in any of these categories, according to new information published September 30 on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control website:

 

  • 65 years and older
  • Age 18+ with underlying medical conditions (the list of conditions is long and includes common conditions such as high blood pressure and being overweight)
  • Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings (such as nursing homes)
  • Age 18+ who live in high-risk settings (such as homeless shelters)
  • Age 18+ who work in high-risk settings  (including school employees, healthcare workers, first responders such as police and firefighters, food and agricultural workers, manufacturing employees, prison employees, postal service workers, public transit workers, and grocery store employees.

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STUDENT COVID VACCINATIONS: CALIFORNIA BECOMES FIRST STATE TO REQUIRE THEM FOR KIDS 12 AND UP

By Joe Hong, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

October 3, 2021 (San Diego) - In another aggressive effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure schools remain open, Gov. Gavin Newsom today announced a vaccine mandate for students ages 12 and older, making California the first state in the nation to require students to be fully vaccinated for in-person instruction.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: DRUG TAKE BACK DAY ON OCT. 23 CAN PREVENT OVERDOSES, HOSPITALIZATIONS, AND DEATHS

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

October 3, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- When a Santee woman recently passed away while in home hospice care, her loved ones were left with a medicine chest filled with prescription drugs. The homecare professionals who had been attending their patient told the family that they could not legally remove the drugs from the home. It wasn’t until a registered nurse came by to check on the wellbeing of the woman’s husband, that the drugs were removed from the residence for proper disposal.


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MARCH FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS SATURDAY, LEGISLATION IN CONGRESS AIM TO PROTECT ABORTION ACCESS

By Miriam Raftery

October 1, 2021 (San Diego) – In the wake of restrictive laws and fears that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade, a March for Reproductive Rights is slated to be held Saturday, October 2 at 10 a.m. at San Diego’s Waterfront Park. The march is one of 500 marches planned nationwide in the wake of restrictive laws in several states and fears that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade. Details are available on the event’s Facebook page.

Numerous other states have enacted abortion restrictions and Missippi is reportedly preparing to ask the conservative majority on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade. These actions have galvanized both anti-abortion activists and abortion rights supporters.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has passed legislation that aims to protect most abortion access. Among San Diego’s Congressional delegation, Democrats Sra Jacobs, Mike Levin, Scott Peters, and Juan Vargas voted in favor, while Congressman Darrell Issa voted against.


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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RAPID COVID-19 TESTS IN SHORT SUPPLY IN CALIFORNIA

By Kristen Hwang, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo:  Maria Jimenez swabs her daughter, Glendy Perez, 7, for a COVID-19 test at Canal Alliance in San Rafael on Sept. 25, 2021.

September 27, 2021 (San Diego) - Sarah Voit likes to keep 10 to 15 rapid test kits on hand in case any of the residents of the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition in Hayward need to be tested for COVID-19. They’ve had some infection scares, and the antigen tests — which return results in minutes — have been crucial to curbing the virus in the family shelter.


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BOIL WATER ORDER IN EFFECT FOR BUTTERFIELD RANCH

Update September 30, 2021 - This order has been lifted.

Source:  San Diego County Emergency Updates

September 25, 2021 (Julian) - The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health and Quality has issued a Boil Water Order for the Butterfield Ranch water system located at 14925 Great Southern Overland, Julian, CA 92036, effective immediately. All affected customers are advised to not drink the water without boiling it first.


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NOT VACCINATED? NEW SURVEY FINDS YOU MAY HAVE TROUBLE GETTING HIRED

National survey by ResumeBuilder finds 63% of hiring managers prefer candidates who list vaccine status—and many reject unvaccinated applicants

Source:  ResumeBuilder.com

September 22, 2021 (Seattle, Wash.) – If you’re looking for a job, you may want to roll up your sleeve and get the “jab” first.  A nationwide survey of 1,250 conducted by  ResumeBuilder.com, a resource for professional resume templates, found that one-third of hiring manages will ignore resumes without a COVID-19 vaccine status – and 63% say they prefer candidates who list vaccine status on their resumes.  A growing number of companies are now requiring vaccines and/or giving first preference in hiring to those job-seekers who are fully vaccinated.


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CALIFORNIA HAS NATION’S LOWEST COVID-19 RATE: CDC CREDITS VACCINES

San Diego’s rate is substantially lower than state – and County has even higher vaccination rates

By Miriam Raftery

September 21, 2021 (San Diego) – California has the lowest rate of COVID-19 cases of any U.S. state, according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control – and San Diego County is faring even better. Both have high vaccination rates, a fact the CDC credits for the dramatic difference between COVID spread in California and other states.


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YEAR’S FIRST WEST NILE VIRUS CASE REPORTED IN SAN DIEGO

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

September 17, 2021 (San Diego) - A 53-year-old San Diego County resident is the first locally acquired case of West Nile Virus this year, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.


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COVID TESTS DOUBLE OVER PAST WEEK; NEARLY ALL HOSPITALIZATION AND DEATHS LOCALLY ARE UNVACCINATED PEOPLE

77.2% of County residents over age 12 are now fully vaccinated; 87.1% are fully vaccinated

East County News Service

 

September 15, 2021 (San Diego) – Deaths from COVID-19 tripled over the past week (Sept. 8-14) to 59, the highest number during the current surge. Since March, over 96% of hospitalizations were unvaccinated patients and nearly 89% of deaths were people who had not been vaccinated.


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SAN DIEGO ASSOCIATION OF BLACK JOURNALISTS HOSTS VIRTUAL EVENT TO DEBUNK CORONAVIRUS MYTHS

Online discussion hopes to decrease vaccine hesitancy in local Black community

Source:  San Diego Association of Black Journalists

September 15, 2021 (San Diego) - On the heels of the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors declaring misinformation as a public health crisis, the San Diego Association of Black Journalists (SDABJ) will host a thoughtful virtual discussion on Wednesday, Sept. 22 to debunk myths about the coronavirus, and discuss vaccine hesitancy in the San Diego Black community. A panel of five distinguished Black doctors from the San Diego community will lend their expertise on these topics and answer any questions or concerns the community has about the coronavirus. 


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FACT-CHECKING RECALL CLAIMS: MASKS, VACCINES, CLIMATE CHANGE AND MORE

By Sameea Kamal, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters

Photo:  John Cox showed off Tag the bear on Harbor Island during his campaign. Photo by Chris Stone

September 12, 2021 (San Diego) - Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts.

That holds true for politicians, including the candidates in California’s Sept. 14 recall election and Gov. Gavin Newsom. Campaigning during a resurgent COVID-19 pandemic and deadly, unprecedented wildfires, their approaches to the state’s problems can vary.

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COVERED CALIFORNIA OPENS SPECIAL ENROLLMENT FOR THOUSANDS OF CALIFORNIANS WHOSE FEDERAL COBRA SUBSIDIES EXPIRE SEPT. 30

East County News Service

September 9, 2021 (Sacramento) -- Covered California announced a special-enrollment period for an estimated 138,000 Californians who will soon be losing federal financial help to keep their medical benefits under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, better known as COBRA, which expire September 30.  People who sign up by Sept. 30 with Covered California can potentially save hundreds of dollars a month on health insurance, with coverage starting October 1 – and many will be able to stay with the same brand-name insurance company that they currently have.


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BACK TO SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH: TIPS FOR TALKING TO YOUTH ABOUT SUICIDE

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day.  Civilian.com and the California Mental Health Services Authority have provided tips for talking to youths about suicide.

By Joe Camero, Civilian.com

September 8, 2021 (San Diego) – Numerous research studies indicate children and youth have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Forced into remote learning and physically isolated from their peers and activities, many have suffered declines in social, emotional, physical and academic health. And the impact continues to linger.


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SUPERVISORS DECLARE MEDICAL MISINFORMATION A “HEALTH CRISIS”; STATE ASSEMBLY PASSES SIMILAR MEASURE

By Miriam Raftery

September 3, 2021 (San Diego) – After more than 14 hours of heated testimony, San Diego County Supervisors voted 3-2 late Tuesday night to declare medical misinformation a public health crisis. 


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COVID-19 DEATHS IN COUNTY NEARLY DOUBLE IN ONE WEEK

Source: County News Service

September 3, 2021 (San Diego) – COVID-19 deaths countywide nearly doubled in the past week, with 49 deaths Aug. 25-31, up from 25 the week before, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced on Sept. 1.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: BEAUCRACY IN THE WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM: KAISER PERMANENTE MEDICARE ADVANTAGE AS AN EXAMPLE

By Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

September 2, 2021 (San Diego) - As in many other technologically advanced democracies, the U.S. is blessed with highly trained medical personnel and superb facilities. However, we are also by far the most expensive healthcare system in the world. Our taxes fund 65% of the total costs of our healthcare system (Harrison, 2008). More than 30 cents on every dollar goes to large partly unaccountable administrative bureaucracies that, on the whole, do not make a positive contribution to actual health care (Harrison, 2018).


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