COVID-19

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…


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…


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…


California hospitals face coronavirus surge

California’s hospitals thought they were ready for the next big disaster. They’ve retrofitted their buildings to withstand a major earthquake and  whisked patients out of danger during deadly wildfires. They’ve kept patients alive with backup generators amid sweeping power shutoffs and trained their staff to thwart would-be shooters. But nothing has prepared them for a crisis of the magnitude facing hospitals today. “We’re in a…


Being isolated: Buddhist chaplain’s wisdom

“It’s a paradox. Isolation can be a window to deeper connections with ourselves and others. It can shock us out of a habitual way of living.” That’s the message from Jonathan Prescott. A resident of Guemes Island in the San Juans, the Buddhist chaplain, pastoral counselor, and ordained student of world-renowned Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, Prescott works with patients as well as caregivers in…


Homeless services stretched thin by virus

Almost two-thirds of the county’s homeless population is in the city of San Diego. But homelessness is a problem throughout the region – from the South Bay to North County. The homeless shelters in these communities, one of which was struggling financially even before the novel coronavirus pandemic, are now being stretched thin as they scramble to meet the needs of the vulnerable people they…


SD County Officials 3/21 COVID-19 Update

San Diego County officials on Saturday, March 21 re-emphasized California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new coronavirus message a day after he issued a statewide “stay home” order to stop the spread of the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. “The message is very clear,” County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., said. “All Californians are being asked to stay at home if you do…


SD-based USS Boxer hosts first ship virus

After discovering a sailor with coronavirus, the U.S. Navy crowded dozens of sailors in one room. On the USS Boxer, where the Navy discovered its first case of coronavirus on a ship, a sailor says his superiors called a meeting that crammed more than 80 senior enlisted sailors and officers together. It wasn’t a surprise when the U.S. Navy announced Sunday that the fast-spreading coronavirus…


Caregivers essential in COVID-19 crisis

Feeling restless and useless isolated at home wondering what I could do to help others during this virus crisis. Not being able to work at a food bank or deliver items to seniors, I thought my knowledge with caregivers could be valuable somehow. How San Diego County and the state of California can get access to more home care providers Caregivers are essential to get…