Health/Fitness

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS COULD ADD UP TO $251 BILLION TO NATION’S COMMERCIAL HEALTHCARE MARKETS IN FIRST YEAR OF PANDEMIC

Source: Covered California

March 27, 2020 (Sacramento) -- Covered California on Monday released the first national projection of health care costs due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The analysis estimates the projected costs for 170 million Americans in the commercial market — which includes the individual, small-group and large-group markets — for testing, treatment and care specifically related to COVID-19 ranges from a low of $34 billion to $251 billion or more in the first year of the pandemic.


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NEED HEALTH INSURANCE? COVERED CALIFORNIA EXTENDS DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR COVERAGE TO JUNE 30

 

East County News Service

March 27, 2020 (Sacramento) – If you lack health insurance or lost it due to the COVID-19 crisis, Covered California has extended the enrollment deadline to June 30th.  If you already have a Covered California plan, you may be eligible for a reduction in premiums if your income has gone down substantially, such as due to a business shut-down or job loss To apply or learn more visit www.CoveredCA.com or call 1-800-300-1506.

From now until June 30, anyone who meets Covered California’s eligibility requirements can enroll in health care coverage, similar to the rules in place during the annual open-enrollment period.  There are also recently added changes so that some who would not have applied for subsidies in the past can now qualify.


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LOCAL DISTILLERY MISADVENTURE & CO. SWITCHES PRODUCTION TO MAKE HAND SANITIZERS

East County News Service

March 27, 2020 (Vista) -- Due to world-wide sanitizer shortages, the sustainable Misadventure & Co. distillery has switched all production to make hand sanitizer in accordance with Food and Drug Administration and WHO guidelines. The small company has made large strides to make this product available for public sale as quickly as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic ad will ship nationwide.


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SHARP REES-STEALY TEMPORARILY CLOSING SOME FACILITIES IN LA MESA AND CHULA VISTA

By Miriam Raftery

March 26, 2020 (La Mesa) – Sharp Rees-Stealy has announced that due to the COVID-19 emergency, starting March 26 it will temporarily close its La Mesa West facility on El Cajon Blvd. (though the Grossmont facilities will remain open).  The medical group will also temporarily shut down most services at its Chula Vista facility, except for occupational medicine, pharmacy and urgent care, starting March 27.


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297 LOCAL COVID-19 CASES: COUNTY OFFERS ADVICE ON HOW LONG TO STAY ISOLATED IF YOU’VE HAD SYMPTOMS

East County News Service

 

March 25, 2020 (San Diego) – With COVID-19 testing availability limited and 297 local cases confirmed, County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten is advising people who experience mild to moderate symptoms of possible COVID-19 to stay at home for at least seven days after symptoms appear and three days after respiratory symptoms have improved (such as cough and shortness of breath) and fever is completely gone, without the use of fever-reducing medications


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COUNTY NOW HAS 242 CASES OF COVID-19, INCLUDING TWO INFANTS

Cases expand countywide including more East County communities

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2020 (San Diego) – The number of COVID-19 cases in our region continues to grow at a steep pace.  San Diego County now has 242 confirmed cases, of whom 226 are county residents. Two of the new cases are in infants. Heath experts warn the actual number of cases could be ten times higher, since not enough tests are available and thus testing is being done primarily on those hospitalized with respiratory distress.


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COUNTY REPORTS SECOND DEATH; SHERIFF SEEKS CLARIFICATION ON STATUS OF GUN STORES

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

Photo:  Sheriff Bill Gore speaks at Tuesday’s media briefing. Image from live stream

March 24, 2020 (San Diego) - Health officials reported Tuesday a second death from coronavirus disease involving a San Diego resident, and said two new cases involve infants.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s Public Health Officer, said the latest victim was a man in his late 70s. The death of a man in his early 70s was reported Sunday.


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COVID-19 PROMPTS PRISONER RELEASES, COURT CLOSURES, SUSPENSION OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

 

Update: All jury trials in Calif. Superior courts have been delayed for 60 days, per an order issued today by California's Chief Justice and Chair of the Judicial Council

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Scales of justice, Creative Commons via Bing

March 24, 2020 (San Diego) – The COVID-19 emergency is having major impacts on the criminal justice system. 

Locally, the Superior Court is shut down for all but emergency procedures.  Trials are suspended. Public defender lawyers are barred from visiting defendants in county jails.  The Sheriff and District Attorney have announced plans to release some prisoners awaiting arraignment and some medically vulnerable inmates.

 At the federal level, the Department of Justice has asked Congress to grant federal judges  sweeping new powers to detain people indefinitely during emergencies even if they have not yet been charged with a crime, halt court proceedings, and prohibit anyone with COVID-19 from seeking asylum in the U.S., among other changes that concern civil liberties experts. The Trump administration has also indicated it will arrest anyone who crosses the border seeking asylum.


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SOME BEACHES, PARKS AND TRAILS SHUT DOWN AS CROWDS DEFY ORDERS, 205 LOCAL COVID-19 CASES CONFIRMED

By Miriam Raftery

March 22, 2020 (San Diego) – This weekend, crowds of mostly young people defied orders by the Governor and San Diego County banning groups of 10 or more and requiring social distancing of six feet.  As a result, police shut down parking lots at city beaches, some parks were ordered closed, and Cleveland National Forest closed down trails to Cedar Creek and Three Sisters Falls in East County.

Tonight County health officials announce that 205 people in San Diego County have tested positive for COVID-19, including 178 county residents and 16 non-residents. The first death of a San Diego resident from the new coronavirus occurred after the man, who was in his 70s, traveled to Hawaii and was being treated in Santa Clara County.

Cases have been confirmed in the cities of Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, La Mesa, National City, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and Vista, as well as the unincorporated areas of Fallbrook, Lakeside, Ramona and Rancho Santa Fe.


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FEMA AID FOR CALIFORNIA

Source: FEMA

March 22, 2020 (San Diego) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that federal emergency aid has been made available for the state of California to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020, and continuing.

The President's action makes federal funding available for crisis counseling for affected individuals in all areas of the state of California.

Federal funding is also available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct federal assistance under Public Assistance, for all areas affected by COVID-19 in the state of California. The federal cost share is 75 percent.


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SAN DIEGO MAY RUN SHORT OF VENTILATORS IF PEOPLE DON’T STAY HOME

By Miriam Raftery

March 22, 2020 (San Diego) – The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that hospitals countywide (not counting the military) have 826 respirators – and around 500 are now in use.  While some additional respirators may be available by tapping into our nation’s emergency strategic supplies, if the growth in severe COVID-19 cases continues to grow at the rate it has recently, supply could soon outstrip demand, meaning life-saving treatment would not be available to all who need it.

Fortunately, we may all be able to prevent that from happening. The UT reports, “Hospital impact models suggest that it’s quite possible to make it through the coming spread of disease across the region without outstripping ventilator and hospital bed capacity, but only if a significant percentage of the populace actually follows through with the social-distancing measures that have been ordered.”

Around 1% of COVID-19 patients need ventilators –but among those patients, severe respiratory symptoms tend to appear rapidly.  With immediate access to a ventilator, pressure can be applied to open up collapsed air sacs in the lungs before irreversible lung damage or death occurs. With this intervention, the patient can get enough oxygen for their own immune system to have time to kick in and start fighting off the virus.


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GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE CEO ASKS FOR DONATIONS OF MASKS, INCLUDING HAND-SEWN; ALSO PROVIDES RESOURCE LINKS ON COVID-19

 

Update: Grossmont has secured a supply of masks and no longer asks for public help to sew masks, though donations of N95 masks are still appreciated.

By Miriam Raftery

March 22, 2020 (La Mesa) – Grossmont Healthcare District CEO Barry Jantz announced today on Facebook that while Sharp Grossmont Hospital currently has an adequate supply of masks, those supplies are expected to dwindle as ability to replace them becomes difficult nationwide. 

“Therefore, the district will be accepting donations of regular paper and hand-sewn masks,” he states. “On Monday a central donation site will be established for the various hospitals in the Sharp system, including Grossmont. A phone number may also be established for coordination of donations. Instructions on hand sewn masks will be included.”

The announcement follows inquiries from community members.  “Thanks so much for the community stepping up on this in such a significant way! You are all so much appreciated!,” Jantz concludes.

In an email sent to ECM, Jantz also provided links to information he’s been reading about on COVID-19, along with this note:


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NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES NOT GETTING AID TO FIGHT COVID-19: FEDS OFFER EXPIRED RESPIRATORS TO TRIBAL HEALTHCARE WORKERS

By Miriam Raftery

March 21, 2020 (San Diego) – Health clinics at Native American reservations as well as urban Indian healthcare centers are running dangerously low on medical supplies needed to combat the COVID-19 crisis and protect healthcare workers, Politico reports


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159 CASES OF CORONAVIRUS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY CONFIRMED: HERE ARE THE COMMUNITIES

Updated 8 p.m. with newest numbers

By Miriam Raftery

March 21, 2020 (San Diego) – As of today, San Diego County has 159 confirmed cases of COVID-19, though there may be many times that amount since testing availability is still limited.  The County has released a city-by-city breakdown . Some health experts believe the true number of cases could be 10 times higher,  due to lack of tests available even for many patients with symptoms.

The city of San Diego has by far the most, with 87 confirmed cases.  Among East County residents, confirmed cases include 2 in El Cajon, 1 in Santee, and 2 in Ramona. News reports indicated another case involved a worker at a Spring Valley retirement home, who did not live locally.  Other inland communities also have cases: 1 in Poway and 2 in Esocndido.

The city listings are based on where the patients live; this does not account for potential exposure through where these individuals may have worked, attended school, or participated in other activities.

County Public Health Office Dr. Wilma Wooten reminds the public to obey the Governor’s stay-at-home order “if you do not need to go out for an essential reason.”


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BLOOD DRIVE MARCH 25 AT CVS IN EL CAJON: BLOOD SUPPLY IS RUNING LOW

East County News Service

March 21, 2020 (El Cajon) – Blood donations countywide are running very low due to the coronavirus, since many locations normally visited by the bloodmobile are shut down. Donating blood is considered “essential” and is an exemption to the Governor’s stay at home order.

The American Red Cross will join with State Senator Brian Jones and other local leaders in a blood drive on Wednesday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the CVS parking lot, 575 Fletcher Parkway, El Cajon.


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JULIAN ASKS VISITORS TO STAY AWAY DUE TO VIRUS

By Miriam Raftery

 

March 21, 2020 (Julian) – Julian, San Diego’s historic gold rush town, thrives on tourism. But yesterday, a press release sent by the  Julian Chamber of Commerce board of directors asks visitors to stay away in order to protect the health of residents during the coronavirus emergency.


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COUNTY'S FAMILY RESOURCE CENTERS, HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SERVICES OFFICE SUSPENDING IN-PERSON SERVICES

Photo credit: Twitter @211SD
 
By Katie Cadiao, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
March 19, 2020 (San Diego) –While the (County's Family Resource Center and Housing and Community Development Services) physical offices are closing, the County is committed to continue providing its services during the ongoing health emergency. Most services provided at these facilities are available online, and staff will continue to answer questions via phone or email. 
 
Residents looking to apply for essential services, including food and housing assistance, medical coverage and other vital support programs, can apply for benefits online. They can also call 2-1-1 San Diego and a live representative can help with the application process by phone.
 
San Diegans who are already signed up for benefits, including CalWORKs, CalFresh, Medi-Cal or General Relief benefits, can manage their case online. Existing customers can send required documents electronically via LaterDocs.
 

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COUNTY COVID-19 INFORMATION AND UPDATES AVAILABLE VIA TEXT MESSAGE

Source:  SDCountyEmergency.com

Image by Free Photos from Pixabay

March 19, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County residents can sign up to receive updated information about the novel coronavirus via text with the County COVID-19 public information text message alert system.


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GOV. NEWSOM ORDERS ALL CALIFORNIANS TO SHELTER AT HOME

Gov. Gavin Newsom issues stay-at-home order

Photo via Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association: screenshot of Gov. Newsom announcing statewide stay-at-home order

View the Governor's full speech

March 19, 2020 (Sacamento) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom tonight ordered all Californians to stay at home to stop the spread of coronavirus across the state. Only companies providing essential services may remain open.

He issued the statewide order after public health experts estimated that as many as 25 million Californians will be infected by the virus within two months, making it critical to stop the growth now.

While most will recover and some won't have symptoms, up to 20,000 would likely be hospitalized if nothing is done. That's double the 10,000 bed surge capacity of hospitals statewide, though the state is requisitioning faciliities to fill the gap and working with the private sector to increase the supply of ventilators, which the federal government has failed to provide.


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HEALTH AND SCIENCE HIGHLIGHTS


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SAN DIEGO BLOOD BANK ISSUES URGENT PLEA FOR BLOOD DONATIONS

Source: San Diego Blood Bank

March 19, 2020 (San Diego) - School closures and work-from-home policies have resulted in cancelled blood drives. San Diego Blood Bank collects more than half of its blood supply on bloodmobiles. An additional strain on the blood supply is expected in the coming weeks. See all coronavirus-related travel and exposure deferrals.


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COUNTY BANS GATHERINGS OF 10 OR MORE AND LEAVING HOME FOR ANYTHING NON-ESSENTIAL: GYMS AND MOVIE THEATERS CLOSE, NEW RULES FOR DAY CARE

By Miriam Raftery

March 19, 2020 (San Diego) – With 80 cases of COVID-19 now in our region, San Diego County health officials have banned gatherings of 10 or more people in any indoor or outdoor space. Smaller groups must stay six feet apart to slow spread of COVID-19. 

Gyms and fitness centers have been ordered closed. Movie theaters are closed. Large department stores such as Macy’s and Penney’s have announced temporary closures.

Stores selling groceries and pharmacies remain open, as well as restaurants providing take-out or delivery only.

Day care must be limited to groups of up to 10 children in the same room and they must remain in same group each day, with the same staff person.

Social Distancing to Flatten the Curve

People who are home, working remotely and students should not be out unless it’s necessary. You can go out to:


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COVID-19 VIRUS NOT GOING AWAY IN WARM WEATHER, OR COLD

By Miriam Raftery

March 18, 2020 (San Diego) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has dispelled hopes that the COVID-19 virus could lessen or go away when the weather warms up.  On its myth busters page, WHO advises that evidence indicates that COVID-19 is being transmitted in all climates, including areas with hot and humid weather, as well as in cold and snow.

See details below.


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COUNTY LIBRARIES CLOSE, MOVE TO ONLINE SERVICES ONLY

 

March 20, 2020 (San Diego) - The County of San Diego’s libraries are closed due to the coronavirus crisis to protect safety of customers and staff.

County Library Director Migell Acosta said library patrons can still access all the Library’s e-books and e-magazines around the clock — 24 hours a day, seven days a week — by downloading the Libby app for e-books or Flipster (under e-books and e-magazines) for e-magazines like Sports Illustrated, People, Time. The New York Times and other reference resources are available on our website.

All of the library’s online resources can be accessed here. Residents who do not have a library card can sign up for an Instant Digital Card and use their mobile phone number as their library card. To download the Libby app, San Diego County residents can go to sdEbooks.org. Library patrons can even order books and materials that are available at any of the County’s 33 branch libraries and have them delivered to their own branch library for them to pick up.


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ALL EAST COUNTY CASINOS TO CLOSE MARCH 21-31 DUE TO COVID-19

Barona, Campo, Jamul, Sycuan, and Viejas Jointly Announce Casino Closures in Response to Coronavirus crisis

Source: Kumeyaay Nation

March 18, 2020 (San Diego's East County)  — Tribal government leaders of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, Campo Kumeyaay Nation, Jamul Indian Village, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians today jointly announced that they are temporarily closing their casinos amid concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) beginning on Friday, March 20 at noon through the end of the month.

The Tribes are united in this decision to close for the health and well-being of the community, their guests and approximately 9,000 employees. Despite this closure, it is their hope that they can continue to provide emergency services for their respective communities.

 

In Campo, the gas station and convenience store will remain open for the convenience of residents.


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CHIEF’S CORNER: MARCH IS COLON CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
 
Make No “If’s ands or Butts” About It – Get Checked!
 
March 18, 2020 (San Diego) -- I always liked to say I was Andy's training captain, because as young boys we would set fires in my parents' backyard and play "firefighter." Andy was the smart one. I provided the training center (my parents' backyard), which meant I was stuck with the evidence while Andy rode his bike home, another successful "training" session complete.
 
Though my dad wasn’t in the fire service, I swear he was a fire investigator in a past life. Andy and I always took pains to cover our tracks from the fires we set, but my dad managed to find the burn patterns, the point of origin and the Ohio blue tips used for ignition along with burned wood, debris and weeds.

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READER’S EDITORIAL: TO COMBAT COVID-19, WE SHOULD MOBILIZE OUR MILITARY TO BUILD HOSPITALS AND ASK FACTORIES TO PRODUCE VITAL SUPPLIES

By Ammar Campa-Najjar, candidate in the 50th Congressional District
 
March 18, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) - Make no mistake: I’ve lived in a war zone.  We are at war with the Coronavirus. People are scared, unsure and know the worst is yet to come. Working parents are sheltering in place with their children, small businesses struggling to meet overhead costs. 

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STORES OFFER SPECIAL SHOPPING HOURS FOR SENIORS


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DMV EXTENDS RENEWALS FOR 60 DAYS DUE TO COVID-19

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 18, 2020 (Sacramento) – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, has asked California law enforcement to exercise discretion for 60 days in their enforcement of driver license and vehicle registration expiration dates beginning March 16th. 

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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.


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