Coronavirus

Aggressive medical debt collection continues

Darcel Richardson knows she’s fortunate in one sense: She still has her job as a vocational counselor in Baltimore. But despite that, she won’t be able to make her rent payment this month because she’s not getting her full salary for a while. More than $400 per biweekly paycheck — about a quarter of her after-tax income — has been siphoned off by Johns Hopkins…


Escondido issues ‘COVID-19 Action Plan’ (Updated 4/23: 96 dead, hundreds laid off.)

(Editor’s Note: We will be updating coronavirus information on a regular basis. This report is for Thursday April 23, 2020. It is not intended as a comprehensive source, but aims to highlight resources and news of interest to the community.) San Diego County cases rise dramatically The angel of death descended on San Diego County yet again as the local death count hit 96 person…


Volunteers bring meals to local health workers

The newly-formed Front Line Appreciation Group (FLAG) San Diego chapter has delivered more than 1,000 meals prepared by local restaurants to healthcare workers in the first week since its founding on April 6.  FLAG San Diego is solely dedicated to providing an urgently-needed boost to two groups heavily affected by the coronavirus: healthcare workers on the front lines and local restaurants. The premise is simple:…


Coronavirus prison break as jails are emptied

San Diego County and California prisons and jails were being emptied of prisoners this week, part of a dramatic release of inmates aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, which can race through institutional populations with deadly impact. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department released around 400 inmates without bail Wednesday and Thursday in compliance with a state order to reduce prison populations to prevent…


Say it ain’t so! 2020 SD County Fair a no-go

With coronavirus ravaging the land from sea to shining sea and then some, and the need to socially isolate and avoid crowds, was there any doubt the San Diego County Fair would happen. Nope, and it became official this week as the 2020 San Diego County Fair website magically transformed into the 2021 San Diego County Fair page proclaiming in large white letters: “We’ll see…


SD County officials waffle over COVID-19

San Diego County officials have held daily news conferences since the beginning of March to update the public on the coronavirus pandemic. Almost every day, they provide the latest numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, recite the newest guidelines and rules for residents to follow, and explain the ever-changing steps they’re taking to curtail the spread of the highly contagious virus and the deadly disease…


San Diego ag all the rage in coronavirus age

Loss of business due to mass closures of restaurants, schools and corporate cafeterias in response to COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders has small farms looking to collaborate as they try to adapt to the crisis by finding new markets and changing sales strategies, according to Ching Lee, an assistant editor of Ag Alert, published by the California Farm Bureau. During a webinar last week aimed at helping…


Tales from the coronavirus home front

Tie a yellow ribbon Tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree first appeared in a 1973 hit song by Tony Orlando & Dawn. It was a reference to an unnamed prisoner, according to Dr. Jack Santino, a folklorist. Yellow ribbons became a national obsession during the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis as trees across the nation were decked out in them to show solidarity…


Coronavirus temporary federal pop-up hospital to open at Palomar Medical Center

Coronavirus fighting came home to roost Sunday, April 5 as San Diego County officials announced plans for a 250-bed federal temporary hospital to open at Escondido, helping expand the local capacity to treat patients during the viral pandemic. The pop-up “hospital within a hospital” will be installed on the 10th and 11th floors of the Escondido facility as a fully functioning hospital and will add to the…


ACLU: Release COVID-19 at-risk detainees (Updated 4/13 — Detainees released.)

Updated Monday, April 13….ACLU clients, Yusuf Ozdemir and Jane Doe, were released the night of Thursday, April 9; and Miguel Angel Benitez and Issis Yoselin Zelaya Sagastume were released the following Friday night. “Our plaintiffs’ release from custody is a victory for them and their families,” said Monika Y. Langarica, immigrants’ rights staff attorney with the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties. “We urge ICE to continue…