DMV FURTHER EXTENDS EXPIRING DRIVERS LICENSES

RESIDENTS, HEALTHCARE GROUPS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS REACT TO RESTAURANT AND RETAIL REOPENINGS

HEAT WAVE MAY BREAK RECORDS THIS WEEK

FLAGS FLY AT HALF-STAFF THROUGH MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND TO HONOR CORONAVIRUS VICTIMS AND MILITARY KILLED SERVING U.S.

REV. SHANE PROTESTS CUTS TO LIBRARY FUNDING ON BIRTHDAY OF MALCOLM X

EL CAJON APPROVES RENT AND UTILITY ASSISTANCE: FUNDS LIMITED TO FIRST 150 APPLICANTS STARTING MAY 26

VIEJAS CASINO REOPENING BALANCES ECONOMIC NEED AND PUBLIC SAFETY

PRESCRIBED BURN IN CUYAMACA AREA DID NOT JUMP CONTAINMENT LINE, CAL FIRE SAYS, BUT EXTRA RESOURCES WERE CALLED

OUR GUIDE TO LOCAL FARMS AND FARM-FRESH PRODUCTS SOLD DIRECTLY TO CONSUMERS

STATE APPROVES SAN DIEGO PLAN TO REOPEN DINE-IN RESTAURANTS AND IN-STORE RETAIL SHOPPING

FIVE-STORY MIXED USE COMPLEX IN LEMON GROVE IS A GO

LOCAL WRITERS AND TEACHERS HELP OTHERS THROUGH THE SMALL MOVEMENT

News

AIR FORCE THUNDERBIRDS FLYOVER TO SALUTE HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEES TODAY

 

Photo by  U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. James R. Crow

May 15, 2020 (San Diego) – Starting at noon today, six Fighting Falcons from the U.S. Air Force are slated to fly over San Diego and East County neighborhoods in a salute to health care workers, first responders and other essential workers on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents are asked to watch the flyover from home and avoid gathering while watching the six military planes flying in formation.  According to the map below, the Thunderbirds squadron will start the formation flight over San Diego's South Bay, followed by San Diego, Coronado, then cities in East County, north over the coastal cities, and inland to Escondido.


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SUPERVISOR JACOB AND BOTH CANDIDATES FOR HER SEAT ASK MAYOR FAULCONER TO REOPEN ALL EAST COUNTY LAKES

City opens Miramar, Murray and Lower Otay reservoirs, but leaves others closed indefinitely

Photo: Lake Murray, by Miriam Raftery

May 15, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Lake Murray, Lower Otay Reservoir and Lake Miramar reopen today for fishing, boating, cycling and walking, the city of San Diego announced. But other lakes remain closed. Four of them – El Capitan, Hodges, San Vicente and Upper Otay, are being evaluated for potential reopening later, but Lakes Barrett and Sutherland are slated to stay closed all year, even if stay-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted.

Earlier this week, Joel Anderson, candidate for County Supervisor in the 2nd district, launched a petition he urges the public to sign. It calls on County Supervisors to intervene and  “save our lakes.”


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TWO MORE LOCAL CASINOS ANNOUNCE REOPENING PLANS, BUT COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER OPPOSES ACTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Sycuan Casino

Updated May 14 with additional information from County Public Health Officer Wilima Wooten

May 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Following Viejas’ announced plans to reopen its casino on May 18, Sycuan and Valley View casinos have unveiled plans to reopen on May 19 and 21. All are on Native American reservations, and each has detailed plans for modifications aimed at protecting safety of the public and guests including face masks, sanitation procedures and social distancing.

However in a press conference today,  San Diego County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten voiced concerns and indicated that the county does not agree with the casinos’ reopening plans.  “If. they do open and ignore our request not to open, then we would definitely have to ensure that they put stringent practices in place to help protect the public health. But opening up casinos will cause a risk to our public health. That is very clear; it creates gatherings of individuals,” she stated.

Later she indicated the county has reached out to the federal government to potentially block the casinos from reopening, NPR reports. 

Tribal reservations are considered sovereign nations that make their own laws, however state and federal officials do have some powers to intervene if public health is at risk. It remains to be seen whether authorities will allow the casino openings to proceed, or take steps to require modifications or prevent openings.


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RABBIT HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE FOUND FOR FIRST TIME IN CALIFORNIA

Public, hunters and hikers  asked to take precautions to avoid spreading deadly illness

East County News Service

Photo: Creative Commons-S.A. via Bing

May 13, 2020 (Palm Springs) – After 10 dead jackrabbits were found dead on a private property near Palm Springs, a carcass has tested positive for Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease virus type 2 (RHDV2) which is highly contagious and often lethal to both wild and domestic rabbits, as well as hares and pikas. The virus has been confirmed in state and federal lab tests. 


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SPRING VALLEY STORAGE FACILITY OFFERS TWO MONTHS FREE STORAGE TO BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19 AND RESIDENTS WITH CHARITABLE DONATIONS

By Miriam Raftery

May 13, 2020 (Spring Valley) – With many businesses shuttered and charities not accepting donations, one family-owned business has decided to give back to help the community. 

A Storage Space has served our region for over 30 years. Now, the company is offering two months of free storage space at its newest location in Spring Valley near Rancho San Diego for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for individuals who need a place to store items for charitable donations until charities reopen.

“While we are certainly feeling the strain of the current situation, we are fortunate to remain open and in business. We know a number of the business in the community are struggling right now,” says owner Bryan Grissinger, who works with many essential businesses and other companies. “We want to help our neighbors in these uncertain times. If businesses need a secure place to store their belongings while in a time of transition, this is one way we can assist.” The offer also includes waiving move-in fees.


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STATE SETS GUIDELINES FOR RESTAURANTS TO REOPEN, ALLOWS DINE-IN SERVICE TO RESUME IN SOME COUNTIES WITH LOW RATES OF COVID-19

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Anthony's Fish Grotto in La Mesa has reversed plans to close down, rehiring some employees after an outpouring of public support.  Owner Craig Ghio has expanded the take-out menu and hopes to survive--with social distancing--once the lakefront restaurant  with seafood market is allowed to reopen for dine-in customers.

May 13, 2020 (San Diego) – Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday released guidelines for restaurants in areas with low rates of COVID-19 to reopen their dining rooms, with changes to protect diners and staff.

But bars, brew pubs, wineries and craft distilleries must remain closed, unless they offer sit-down meals with any alcohol served.

Once the state allows a region’s restaurants to reopen, the County must also grant approval. Each restaurant must submit a COVID-19 prevention plan that includes requirements for cleaning and disinfecting, keeping six feet between tables, using disposable menus and partitionsa at cash registers and host stands. Windows and doors to outside should be kept open and patio seating can be expanded.


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SHOPPING MALLS CAN REOPEN FOR PICKUPS: OTHER BUSINESSES TO REOPEN INCLUDE CAR WASHES, PET GROOMERS, GARDENERS AND OFFICES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine is among the local malls eligible to reopen for curbside pickups.

May 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego County officials yesterday announced several more types of businesses that can reopen, with modifications, ranging from shopping centers to landscapers. All must prepare and post a safe reopening plan to protect employees and customers.

Shopping malls, including outlet malls and strip malls, can offer pickup service with clearly marked curbside outdoor pickup locations, but customers are not allowed inside stores.  In East County, malls eligible to begin offering curbside sales include Grossmont Center in La Mesa, Parkway Plaza in El Cajon, and the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine as well as smaller retail centers.

Other businesses allowed to reopen are car washes, pet grooming services, landscaping and gardening businesses, outdoor museums and offices, though telework is still strongly encouraged.


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EAST COUNTY RALLIES TO HELP THE NEEDY DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

By Emmet Pierce

May 11, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- While East County residents anxiously wait out the COVID-19 pandemic, community groups and concerned citizens are rallying to help those in need.


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SOME ADVICE IF YOU SEE A NAZI OR A KLANSMAN

By Donald H. Harrison, Editor, San Diego Jewish World
 
Reprinted with permission from San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association
 
May 11, 2020 (Santee) — So, imagine you are shopping and into the store comes someone who is wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood, or a face mask with a swastika on it, as happened respectively at a Vons and a Food4Less outlet in Santee recently.  What should you do?

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CHURCHES, GUN SHOPS AND IRATE BRIDES; ALL THE SHUTDOWN LAWSUITS AGAINST NEWSOM, EXPLAINED

By Ben Christopher | CALmatters 

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  CalMatters is tracking lawsuits against California's shelter-in-place order and other pandemic responses. Photography by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters; elements via iStockkkkkkk

May 11, 2020 (San Diego) - Alongside the beach-goers denied, the indignant gun shop owners and the house-bound pastors, Gov. Gavin Newsom now has yet another ticked off challenger to face in court: an extremely disappointed bride-to-be.


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LA MESA RETAILERS BEGIN TO REOPEN

 

 

By Miriam  Raftery

 

May 9, 2020 (La Mesa) – Just in time for Mother’s Day, some La Mesa retailers have reopened for curbside sales. Tiramisu Trattoria, a popular eatery closed for eight weeks, has reopened its doors for takeout orders. San Pasqual Winery is offering a health care worker, local restaurant and wine-to-go promo. Other businesses, not yet open, offered messages of encouragement for the community in storefront windows. 


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HIGH ROAD KITCHENS PROGRAM HELPS LOCAL RESTAURANTS PROVIDE FREE MEALS AND REHIRE LAID-OFF WORKERS

Region’s workforce experts equip local restaurants to feed essential workers and community members in need. Restaurant owners commit to increase wages and equity for employees over time, led by Ponce’s and Super Cocina.

 

Photo courtesy of High Road Kitchens

 

East County News Service

May 11, 2020 (San Diego) -- Governor Newsom’s administration on May 1st announced a program called High Road Kitchens, a statewide network of independent restaurants that provide food on a sliding scale to low-wage workers, health care workers, first responders and others in need.

Launched during the COVID-19 crisis, High Road Kitchens provides jobs for restaurant workers and a subsidy for responsible restaurant owners who commit to paying a living wage and following equitable employment practices across the state.

The San Diego Workforce Partnership and The San Diego Foundation are coordinating with local restaurants in the region – including Ponce's Mexican Restaurant and Super Cocina in conjunction with the One Fair Wage campaign – to fund the training, start-up costs and initial wages for workers rehired as part of this initiative.


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PANDEMIC FOOD BENEFITS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: cc via SA-Bing

May 10, 2020 (San Diego) – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) has provided the following information on new food benefits approved by Congress and the state of California to assist recipients of EBT, WIC and CalFresh programs during the pandemic. She also provides details on a new state program to enable restaurants to deliver meals to seniors, aid to food banks and more, with links to helpful resources.

Below is the information provided by her office:

As COVID-19 began to disrupt life in America, Congress moved swiftly and passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to help families impacted by the pandemic.


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MTS CEO PAUL JABLONSKI PASSES AWAY

East County News Service
 
May 10, 2020 (San Diego) – Today, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) announced that MTS Chief Executive Officer Paul Jablonski passed away suddenly on Sunday, May 10. He was 67 years old; the cause of death has not been released by MTS. His career in transit spanned more than 40 years, including the last 16 years at MTS.
 
“We are shocked and saddened about the passing of Paul,” said MTS Board Chair Nathan Fletcher. “He was a good man who not only ran a great agency but was a respected national transit industry leader. The entire MTS family is grieving right now, and our thoughts and prayers go out to Paul’s family. Deputy Chief Executive Officer Sharon Cooney will serve as the interim chief executive officer.”
 
Before joining MTS in 2004,  Jablonski served as CEO of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, General Manager of the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority in Massachusetts, and General Manager of the Saudi Arabian Public Transport Co., according to his Linked In page.
 
He is survived by his wife, four children and grandchildren.

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COUNTY ALLOWS CAMPING AND SOME SPORTS GEAR RENTALS, CLARIFIES NEW RULES FOR BUSINESSES AND CHILDCARE FACILITIES

Toasty Campfire by Jack RiordanBusinesses must take temperatures, check for symptoms

Photo: Toasty Campfire by Jack Riordan

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2020 (San Diego) – Yesterday the county announced easing of more restrictions.  Effective today, campgrounds can reopen at 50 percent capacity, though campsites can be rented only to members of the same household and play equipment must stay closed.

Companies that rent recreational equipment such as bicycles, surfboards, boats, kayaks and other watercraft can also reopen after submitting a Safe Reopening Plan that includes sanitization with a disinfectant effective against COVID-19. Equipment for use by multiple people can only be rented to people in the same household.


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A WINNING BET? VIEJAS CASINO PREPARES TO REOPEN WITH CHANGES TO PROTECT GUESTS

By Miriam Raftery

May 8, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – With casinos, hotels and other tribal enterprises shut down since March due to COVID-19 as stay-home orders remain in effect statweide, San Diego’s Native American tribes have been hard-hit economically. In addition to losing gaming revenues, many tribal members also lost their jobs. For non-gaming tribes that depend largely on shared revenues from tribes with casinos, some tribal members still live below the poverty level, so the consequences of the shut-down have been severe.


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MAN WITH SWASTIKA MASK SPOTTED SHOPPING IN SANTEE STORE

Source:  Patch.com

Photo via Shutterstock/sebastianosecondi

May 9, 2020 (Santee) - For the second time in a week, a shopper was spotted wearing a mask associated with racist hate groups at a Santee grocery store.

A man was seen wearing a swastika mask at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Food 4 Less store on Cuyamaca Street.


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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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SHERIFF REVERSES COURSE, HALTS EVICTIONS AMID PANDEMIC

Action brings relief for renters, but fears for landlords facing mortgage payments

By Miriam Raftery

May 7, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore announced today that he is temporarily halting enforcement of evictions.    

Earlier this week, the Sheriff began issuing eviction notices to around 160 tenant for evictions already in progress before the COVID-19 shut-down orders. But after reportedly receiving political pressure from the Governor’s office and at least one Supervisor, the Sheriff reversed course.


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SANTEE BUSINESSES, INCLUDING AL’S SPORTS SHOP, BEGIN TO REOPEN

By Mike Allen
 
Photo: Al's Sports Shop, Santee
 
May 6, 2020 (Santee) -- It’ll be a lot different, but Rob Treadwell, the owner of Al’s Sports Shop in Santee, says things will work out.
 
“We’ve been here 40 years and I believe we’ll make it,” said Treadwell, interviewed a few days before his store partially reopens. 
 
County rules adopted earlier this week following a statewide easing of restriction require that qualifying businesses follow similar rules that restaurants have been operating under since March 19, when California enacted a shelter-in-place quarantine in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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SANTEE VONS SHOPPER IN KKK HOOD IDENTIFIED BY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT

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

Photo: The Santee Vons shopper wearing a makeshift Ku Klux Klan hood has been identified, the Sheriff’s Department announced Tuesday
 
“Detectives have identified the man in the images and will continue their follow-up of the incident,” said a news release. “The Sheriff’s Department would like to thank the public for their assistance and cooperation with this incident.”

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EAST COUNTY LEADERS TO HOST TOWN HALL TODAY 4 PM ON REOPENING BUSINESSES AND RECREATION AREAS

By Miriam Raftery

May 6, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob will host a virtual town hall today at 4 p.m. along with El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus on COVID-19 and the county’s latest measures to reopen businesses and recreation areas. Questions can be submitted in advance to Dianne.jacob@sdcounty.ca.gov.

To attend, click on your web browser or mobile device at https://bit.ly/May6TownHall or listen by phone by calling 415-466-7000. Enter the PIIN: 8155997 followed by #.   For American Sign Language access go to https://bit.ly/2z9FVL.  For those accessing with ASL who want to submit questions, go to https://gvpdkasj.bjn.pt .

Yesterday, Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt a framework to reopen businesses in a safe manner, with Supervisor Jacob sending a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom ask for the county to have “total local control” over reopening decision.  It is unclear whether the Governor will grant such broad discretion. The County has provided a  template for businesses preparing to reopen to review, but it may be updated depending on direction from the state.


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PASSAGES: BUDDY RABAYA, 58, SANTEE COMMUNITY LEADER

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor
 
Photo: Buddy Rubaya
 
May 6, 2020 (Santee) -- Stalwart Santee community leader Buddy Rubaya, a strong advocate for local mobilehome owners, passed away on April 28, 2020 after suffering a stroke on March 25. 
 
Rabaya was born in Brawley, CA on May 14, 1961. He later moved to Oceanside, where he graduated in 1979 from El Camino High School. During his high school years, he was a star tennis player and was on the speech team. He later continued his studies at Palomar College, where he was also active in student politics and served as executive vice president of the student body. 
 
His active participation in Santee led him to become president of the Santee Mobilehome Owners Action Committee (SMOAC), lobbying for residents rights including rent control. In the same vein, he was appointed regional manager of the Golden State Manufactured Home Owners League’s political action committee.

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COUNTY ALLOWS GOLF CART USE FOR SENIORS AND DISABLED

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: CC via Bing
 
May 5, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- On May 1st, several changes to the County's Order of Health Officer and Emergency Regulations went into effect. Including allowing reopening of public and private golf courses that meet certain requirements.  
 
Since then, there have been questions about a ban on use of golf carts. 
 
After consulting with the Public Health Officer, the following clarification is being provided regarding the use of golf carts. Golf cart use is limited to the following two groups: 
 
• Senior citizens over 55 years of age. 
• People of any age with disabilities that would prevent them from walking the course. 

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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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FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS RELEASE OF DOZENS OF MEDICALLY VULNERABLE PEOPLE AT OTAY MESA DETENTION CENTER

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo (Google): CoreCivic's Otay Mesa Detention Center
 
May 5, 2020 (San Diego) – Judge Dana Sabraw issued an order on April 30 directing the federal government to release more than 50 medically vulnerable individuals who are in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody at the Otay Mesa Detention Center. According to the ICE website, at least 105 detainees at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19.
 
Judge Sabraw wrote in his decision, “The Court HEREBY DECLARES that current conditions of confinement for Otay Mesa Medically Vulnerable subclass members held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center are unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment because the conditions of their confinement place subclass members at substantial risk of serious illness or death.”

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"DANGEROUS" HEAT WARNING FOR DESERT, HEAT ADVISORY FOR INLAND VALLEYS ALL WEEK

 

East County News Service

May 5, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat waring for San Diego County deserts, where dangerously hot temperatures of 103 to 108 degrees are forecast each afternoon this week. In addition, a  heat advisory is in effect local valleys including the cities of Escondido, El Cajon, San Marcos, La Mesa, Santee, and Poway today through Friday.


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TWO INJURED AFTER JUMPING FROM VEHICLE ON HIGHWAY 67

By Miriam Raftery 

May 5, 2020 (Lakeside) – A male driver and passenger were transported to a hospital with major injuries after jumping from a moving vehicle in Lakeside, says Officer Travis Garrow.


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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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