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

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

GOVERNOR AND STATE SUPERINTENDENT CALL FOR SCHOOLS TO STAY CLOSED THROUGH END OF SCHOOL YEAR

UC EASES ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS IN RESPONSE TO EDUCATION DISRUPTIONS; SUSPENDS LETTER GRADE AND TESTING REQUIREMENTS

CALIFORNIA ORDERS NURSING HOMES TO ADMIT RESIDENTS WITH COVID-19; EXPERTS CALL DIRECTIVE A “DEATH SENTENCE”

SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB WILL HOLD VIRTUAL TOWN HALL ON COVID 19 THURSDAY

STATE SEEKS MEDICAL AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS

SPECIAL EDITION: BREAKING NEWS APRIL 1, 2020

COUNTY LAUNCHES VIRTUAL RECREATION CENTER WITH INDOOR AND OUTDOOR HOME ACTIVITIES

TEACHERS PROTEST PAY RAISE FOR CVUSD SUPERINTENDENT; MIYASHIRO GETS SALARY FAR HIGHER THAN STATE AND NATIONAL AVERAGES FOR SIMILAR-SIZED DISTRICTS

LOCAL COVID-CASES REACH 603: COUNTY RESTRICTS CRUISE SHIPS

News

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.

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.

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.

DEA-LED OPERATION NETS MORE THAN 600 ARRESTS TARGETING DRUG CÁRTEL; 130 ARRESTED IN SAN DIEGO AND IMPERIAL COUNTIES

East County News Service
 
Photos via DEA: seized drugs and guns in the San Diego region
 
March 11, 2020 (San Diego) --  The U.S. Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration today announced results of Project Python, a DEA-led interagency operation targeting the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG).  The six-month investigation has resulted in over 600 cartel associates arrested nationwide and 350 indictments, as well as major seizures of drugs, guns and cash.
 
San Diego and Imperial County DEA investigations related to Project Python have resulted in the arrest of over 130 cartel associates and seizure of approximately 3,282 pounds of methamphetamine, 59 kilograms of heroin, 198 kilograms of cocaine, 44 kilograms of fentanyl, 2 kilograms of opium, over 27,000 fentanyl pills and 18 firearms. This included drugs found under children’s car seats, in tiers and under hoods, as well as a variety of guns.

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION DECLARES GLOBAL PANDEMIC; STOCK MARKET DROPS TO BEAR TERRITORY

By Miriam Raftery

March 11, 2020 (San Diego) – The World Health Organization today declared a global pandemic.  More than 115,000 cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, have been confirmed worldwide, with more than 4,200 deaths.

In the U.S., 1,237 people have tested positive for the virus and 37 have died.  The fast-spreading virus has reached 41 states and the district of Columbia, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The COVID-19 crisis has contributed to a stock market crash.The Dow Junes plunged over 1,400 points today, officially into bear territory. The Standard & Poors index has fallen over 600 points in the past three weeks, erasing more than half the gains since Trump became president.

SEX, LIES AND CREDIT CARDS: DUNCAN HUNTER'S CRIMES, COURAGE LAID OUT FOR JUDGE

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

Photo:  former Rep. Hunter appearing to down a shot of alcohol in a Las Vegas bar.

March 11, 2020 (San Diego) - Duncan Hunter gave up his day in court, but prosecutors of the six-term Republican congressman laid out new evidence for his misuse of campaign funds in a mammoth data dump Tuesday accompanying their call for a 14-month prison term.

EAST COUNTY DINING CLUB INVITES YOU TO JOIN US MARCH 12 AT GIARDINO'S

March 3, 2020 (Lemon Grove) - You're invited to our next East County DIning Club Event, which benefits East County Magazine and our East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts.  RSVP now to reserve space and enjoy authentic Italian cuisine on Thursday, March 12 at 6 p.m at Giardino’s Neighborhood Cucina in Lemon Grove!  (8131 Broadway, Lemon Grove)

Their chef is from Parma, Italy, the ambience is friendly and the Italian food is delicious!Plus they now have a full liquor license – so you can enjoy drinks such as Mimosas, Lavendar Lemonade with vodka, martinis, whiskey and tequila drinks, full wine list, craft beers, port and other after dinner liqueurs and coffee drinks. 

Win prizes! Our prize drawings will include restaurant gift certificates, wine lover's gifts, whale-watching with Hornblower in San Diego, gift certificates to local stores, gardening gift baskets, a cutlery set, bakeware, cookbooks, and more.  

Giardino’s has prepared a special menu for us at a set price of $35 (tax and tip not included). The feast includes:

TWO NEW STORMS TO BRING FLASH FLOOD RISKS AND SNOW TO OUR INLAND REGION

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Alex Tardy, National Weather Service

March 11, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – A pair of storms are forecast to bring heavy rain this week and next, with snow dropping to 3,000 feet by next week.  Flash floods, lightning and mudslides may also occur.

COUNTY PLACES HANDWASHING STATIONS, TAKES OTHER COVID-19 PREVENTION TIPS

Photo: United Site Services
 
Video of hand-washing stations being delivered on March 9.
 
By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
March 10, 2020 (San Diego) -- While there has not been local transmission of the novel coronavirus, in order to lower the future risk of potential spread among people who are homeless, the County is placing handwashing stations in cities and unincorporated areas of the county, the Health and Human Services Agency announced yesterday.
 
To date, 66 handwashing stations have been placed in the City of San Diego, in areas where people experiencing homelessness tend to gather. Six have been placed in Carlsbad and 14 in unincorporated areas of the county, primarily Lakeside, Spring Valley, Ramona and Fallbrook.
 
“Next to sequestering those who are ill, frequent and proper handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent COVID-19,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “We’re placing stations across the region so that people who are homeless can have a place to wash their hands with soap and water.”

CALIF. DEPT. OF EDUCATION RECEIVES SPECIAL FEDERAL APPROVAL: ENABLES SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO FEED STUDENTS DURING CORONAVIRUS-RELATED CLOSURE

East County News Service

March 10, 2020 (Sacramento) - The California Department of Education (CDE) has received a special waiver called CA COVID19 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will enable a school district that had previously been approved to operate the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to provide meals to students during a coronavirus-related closure. 

SAN DIEGO STATE GOING TO ONLINE CLASSES APRIL 6 IN LATEST CORONAVIRUS MOVE

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

Photo:  Iconic Hepner Hall at San Diego State University. Photo by Chris Jennewein

March 10, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego State University will conduct almost all classes online by April 6 in a decision backed Tuesday by the University Senate, the school announced, joining UC San Diego in reacting to the coronavirus risk.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER SEEKS CANDIDATE STATEMENTS FOR ENDORSEMENTS

East County News Service

March 10, 2020 (El Cajon) -- The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce will begin endorsing candidates for elective office in the November 2020 general election, those found to be aligned with the Chamber’s goals of promoting business in East County.

The Chamber will consider endorsements for candidates to elected offices that serve the East County region. 

Candidates seeking endorsement should submit a statement of no longer than 500 words that should address the question, “Why should the Chamber endorse you?”

Candidate statements should be submitted to Diana Senica by email at events@eastcountychamber.org, no later than May 1, 2020.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY WARNS BUSINESSES, CONSUMERS OF PRICE GOUGING LAW IN WAKE OF CORONAVIRUS

 

Spiking Prices During a State of an Emergency is a Crime

East County News Service

Photo: Cc by ND via Bing

March 10, 2020 (San Diego) – After California and San Diego County each declared a state of emergency over the COVID-19 virus, The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office has issued a warning to businesses and scammers not to take advantage of consumers by price gouging.

During a declared state of emergency, it is illegal for a business to increase its prices for essential goods or services by more than 10 percent, unless they can show their own costs have been increased. "The statute would theoretically apply to online retailers as well as brick and mortar—as well as individuals who might be selling on an app like Offer Up,"  says Steve Walker, communications specialist at the District Attorney's office.

Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in California on March 4 and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors extended its countywide state of emergency for an additional 30 days on February 19.

“We want county residents to know that we stand ready to protect their consumer rights under the law,” District Attorney Summer Stephan said. “We will strictly enforce violations related to price gouging.”

UCSD SHIFTS MOST SPRING CLASSES ONLINE DUE TO CORONAVIRUS, BANS FANS FROM SPORTING EVENTS

By Miriam Raftery

March 10, 2020 (San Diego) – The University of California, San Diego has announced that starting with the spring quarter, all lecture and discussion courses will be conducted online due to concerns over COVID-19, the new coronavirus strain spreading rapidly around the world.  Lab and studio courses for which remote instruction is not possible will continue meet in person.

The campus is also restricting fans from attending most sporting events and urging cancellation or postponement of large events through at least May 10.

PUBLIC COMMENTS NEEDED ON STATE PARKS PLAN TO RESTORE CLOVER FLAT WILDLIFE PRESERVE DAMAGED BY OFF-ROAD VEHICLES

By Patrick Williams, Back Country Land Trust

Photo; Typical Clover Flat OHV trail for closure and restoration:

March 10, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Mountain Empire residents and others interested in seeing the Clover Flat wildlife preserve near Campo restored can submit comments on the restoration proposal by May 4, 2020.  Below are details on the proposal and how to submit your public comments.

California State Parks  proposes to  restore off-highway vehicle (OHV) including quad and four-wheel drive damaged areas totaling five restoration acres at Clover Flat wildlife preserve. Damaged areas will be secured, then restored with native plant seed, wattles and mulch and signage will be placed to direct riders (mostly accessing the area from the RR access road) to legal OHV Corral Canyon or Lark Canyon riding areas.

State Parks OHV public review and comment instructions:

FREE SANDBAGS FOR THE STORM

Source: County News Service

March 9, 2020 (San Diego) – With heavy rains from an atmospheric river set to douse our region over the next several days, the County is urging residents to be prepared.  Mud, plants an debris washed away can clog storm drains, damage roadways and cause flooding.  

You can stock up on free sandbags at these locations in the unincorporated areas, but call ahead to be sure of availability, and bring a shovel to fill the bags:

TOYOTA RECALLS 1.8 MILLION VEHICLES FOR FUEL PUMP FAILURE RISK

East County News Service

March 9, 2020 (San Diego) -- Last week, Toyota amended a safety recall involving fuel pumps first announced on January 13, 2020.  Approximately 1.8 million vehicles in total are now involved in this recall due to a risk of fuel pumps that may cease operating, calling the vehicle to stall, not restart, and increase the risk of crashes especially following stalls at high speeds. 

STATE DEPARTMENT URGES AMERICANS NOT TO TRAVEL ON CRUISE SHIPS, WARNS OLDER PEOPLE TO AVOID CROWDED PLACES AND NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons by NC via Bing

March 9, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory that states, “U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship.” 

The advisory cites the Centers for Disease Control’s warning that a cruise ship environment increases the risk of COVID-19 infection.

The State Department advises that many nations have denied port entry rights to ships and prevented passengers from disembarking to curb the spread of COVIC-19. Some passengers have been quarantined overseas. Although the U.S. has evacuated some cruise ship passengers recently, the State Department now warms, “repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities.”

The State Department also urges older adults and travelers with underlying health issues to avoid other situations that put them at risk. This includes avoiding crowded places and avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips or cruises.

SHARP HEALTHCARE TAKES STEPS TO PROTECT PATIENTS, VISITORS AND CAREGIVERS FROM COVID-19, OFFERS TIPS FOR PUBLIC

East County News Service
 
March 7, 2020 (La Mesa)--Sharp Healthcare, which operates Sharp Grossmont Hospital and other medical facilities in our region, has set up a webpage on the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) with information on steps Sharp is taking to protect against the virus and what the public should know.
 
There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, which is spreading around the world.  Here are tips to help stop spread of the respiratory virus:
 

Pages