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Articles written by Jose A. Alvarez


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  • County moves to Yellow Tier; full reopening on June 15

    Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office|Updated Jun 10, 2021

    After registering a case rate of less than two COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents for two consecutive weeks, the County will move to the Yellow Tier of the state’s reopening framework beginning Wednesday, June 9. As of today, the County’s new adjusted case rate is 1.2 cases per 100,000 people after declining to a case rate of 1.7 cases last week. The Yellow Tier means there is minimal spread of COVID-19 in the region. “You did it, San Diegans. You have followed the public health guidance and got vaccinated when the...

  • County rental assistance available to additional 10,000 households

    Jose A. Alvarez, San Diego County Communications Office|Updated Dec 2, 2020

    San Diego County residents who are economically impacted by COVID-19 could qualify for assistance of up to $3,000 to pay for past-due or upcoming rent. The county will be accepting new applications for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program starting Dec. 1. Interested people can find more information about the program and apply starting at http://www.SDHCD.org. Because of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many residents have been unable to pay rent, which can cause them to be evicted and lead to an...

  • County awarded grant for bicycle, pedestrian safety education

    Jose A. Alvarez, San Diego County Communications Office|Updated Nov 24, 2020

    San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency has received a $125,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to improve the safety of bicyclists, pedestrians and scooter riders. “Our goal is that education will change poor behaviors and make our roads safer,” Barbara Rooney, director of OTS, said. “This funding will help ensure the safety of those out biking or walking.” Grant funds will be used for a variety of activities promoting bicyclist, pedestrian and scooter safety, including education workshops...

  • COVID-19 fatigue causing cases to skyrocket

    Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office|Updated Nov 18, 2020

    Too many San Diegans are failing to take sufficient measures to protect themselves from getting or passing COVID-19. That’s the explanation County health officials gave Nov. 16 for the record number of COVID-19 cases that have been reported recently. Over the last seven days, the number of COVID-19 cases skyrocketed, reaching a record 1,087 cases Nov. 14 and followed by 833 cases Nov. 15. More than 600 cases have been reported every single day in the past week. In the last seven days, 5,031 cases were reported, compared to...

  • child in car seat

    County gets grant for Child Safety Seat Education Program

    Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office|Updated Nov 18, 2020

    A new grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety will help the County Health & Human Services Agency teach parents and caregivers how to keep their children as safe as possible while riding in a vehicle. The $225,000, one-year grant will pay for a car seat education program that encourages the proper installation and use of child safety seats. The grant funds the following activities: One-on-one appointments to inspect car seats Child safety seat education classes...

  • Fentanyl, prescription drug deaths increase in San Diego County

    Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office|Updated Nov 9, 2020

    The number of unintentional fentanyl deaths increased by 64% from 2018 to 2019, while at the same time prescription drug deaths rose nearly 12%. This is according to the 2020 San Diego County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force Report Card released Nov. 5. The report card provides a variety of data to measure the prescription drug misuse problem in the region by looking at multiple factors and data points over the last five years in San Diego County. In 2019, a total of 645 people died of an unintentional overdose caused by...

  • If COVID-19 symptoms arise, don't wait to get tested

    Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office|Updated Oct 22, 2020

    A recent analysis of San Diego County data revealed that San Diegans are waiting an average of 3.5 days after symptoms develop before they get a COVID-19 test. The delay could result in further COVID-19 exposures, especially if people do not isolate themselves from others. “People should get tested immediately after they start feeling sick,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “They should also isolate themselves to avoid exposing those around them.” Because there is substantial spread of...

  • How to fight the two: COVID-19 and influenza

    Jose A. Alvarez, San Diego County Communications Office|Updated Oct 7, 2020

    The coronavirus and influenza are both spread from person to person, especially indoors and in crowded places. Here are some tips to help prevent COVID-19 and the flu: · Wash your hands properly and regularly or use a hand sanitizer. · Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw it away and wash your hands. · If you’re sick, stay home and isolate yourself from others. · Use a face covering when in public and close to others. They prevent spreading germs and viruses. · Maintain physical distance from others. ...

  • 3 San Diegans die daily from opioid, other drug overdoses

    Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office|Updated Oct 2, 2020

    Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, rates of drug related overdose deaths in San Diego County have increased. In July and August numbers of overdose deaths were more than 50% higher than in February and March of 2020, with an average of about three people dying per day in the County. County health officials are warning San Diegans of the dangers of using drugs and encouraging them to know what to do when an overdose occurs. If you suspect someone has overdosed, the first...

  • Suicides dropped in San Diego County in 2019

    Jose A. Alvarez, San Diego County Communications Office|Updated Sep 21, 2020

    The number of people who died from suicide in the region dropped in 2019, according to the San Diego County Suicide Prevention Council’s 2020 Report to the Community released Thursday, Sept. 10. In 2019, there were 429 deaths by suicide, 36 fewer than the 465 reported in 2018. The annual report provides a comprehensive look at suicide in the region and brings together data from multiple sources for the years 2015 through 2019. Other findings in the report include the suicide rate per 100,000 population: 12.8 in 2019...

  • County: Schools could open Sept. 1

    Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office|Updated Aug 27, 2020

    Given that the county’s case rate for COVID-19 has been and appears likely to remain below 100 cases per every 100,000 residents, all schools in the region, kindergarten through 12th grade, could reopen for in-person instruction beginning Sept. 1. Schools that choose to reopen must follow the guidance for schools and school-based programs. The guidance applies to in-person learning and distance learning. “San Diegans have done a tremendous job in helping us to keep the local case rate below 100,” said Wilma Wooten,...

  • Near-drowning incidents increase in children during pandemic

    Jose A. Alvarez, San Diego County Communications Office|Updated Aug 26, 2020

    An increasing number of San Diego County children have been rescued from private pools after nearly drowning, the county Health and Human Services Agency announced recently. Local data shows that 49 rescues occurred in private pools, beaches and bays from March through July 2020 compared to 37 in the same time period of 2019 and 33 the year before that. Nearly all those rescued needed to be taken to local hospitals for treatment. Of the 49 near-drowning incidents reported...

  • How San Diegans can help keep COVID-19 case rate down

    Jose A. Alvarez, San Diego County Communications Office|Updated Aug 26, 2020

    With the San Diego County’s COVID-19 case rate continuing to decline, local health officials are urging San Diegans to keep taking measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The county’s case rate is now at 85.2 and below the state watchlist threshold of 100 cases per every 100,000 residents. Because of that, the region is now in the second day of the 14-day period before all K-12 schools can reopen, if they choose to do so. To make sure the region gets to that point, it’s important that all San Diegans keep tak...

  • 'Promotoras' work in Latino communities to prevent spread of COVID-19

    Jose A. Alvarez, San Diego County Communications Office|Updated Aug 13, 2020

    Community health workers, known as “promotoras,” started working in local Latino communities throughout San Diego County recently to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Promotoras are longtime and trusted residents of the communities they serve. The first group began doing contact tracing in the South Bay. Their role is to contact people who were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, ask them to quarantine themselves and guide them through the quarantine process. Teams of promotoras who speak...

  • Six in 10 adult San Diegans face severe impacts if they contract COVID-19

    Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office|Updated Aug 6, 2020

    Six out of every 10 adult San Diegans are at extra risk for severe illness should they contract the novel coronavirus. That’s because about 57% of San Diego County adults have pre-existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart and lung disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. San Diegans with underlying chronic conditions are at increased risks of serious outcomes if they contract COVID-19, requiring to be hospitalized, placed in intensive care or worse, dying. To date, 95% of San Diegans who died from...

  • County intensifying COVID-19 outreach to Latino communities

    Jose A. Alvarez, county of San Diego Communications Office|Updated Jul 24, 2020

    The county is intensifying its outreach efforts to Latinos across the region because they are carrying a bigger burden of COVID-19 compared to other groups. County health officials are greatly concerned about the disproportionate impact the virus is having in Latino communities. They are responding to this health inequity by ramping up education and outreach to help address systemic barriers that are contributing to Latinos being more severely impacted by COVID-19. The county has launched a new TV, radio, online and signage...

  • San Diego woman dies from vaping-related lung injury

    Jose A. Alvarez, San Diego County Communications Office|Updated Jun 18, 2020

    A 76-year-old woman who died May 24 is the first local fatality of electronic cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced June 11. Three other EVALI cases in young adults were confirmed in recent weeks and they are the first reports of the lung illness in San Diego County since 2019. All the newly reported local cases tested negative for the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, and they all reported recently...

  • San Diegans encouraged to get tested for COVID-19

    Jose A. Alvarez, San Diego County Communications Office|Updated Jun 11, 2020

    Given that people without symptoms can transmit the novel coronavirus, San Diegans should get tested for COVID-19, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced June 4. “Since we can’t be sure who is contagious, people should get tested even if they’re asymptomatic to make sure they’re not positive and infecting others,” Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer, said. Residents without symptoms wishing to get a COVID-19 test should check first with their health care provider. They can also...

  • Face coverings protect others and you

    Jose A. Alvarez, San Diego County Communications Office|Updated Jun 11, 2020

    Are you wearing a face covering when out and around others? If not, you should. Research has shown that when face coverings are used properly, they reduce transmission of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. Face coverings are important because people can have COVID-19 and transmit the virus, but not have any symptoms. "Since we can't be sure who is contagious, the best protection is to have everyone two years and older cover their face," Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public...

  • County, Rady Children's Hospital to test 2,000 daily for COVID-19

    Jose A. Alvarez, San Diego County Communications Office|Updated Jun 4, 2020

    The County and Rady Children's Hospital have launched a new initiative to test up to 2,000 children and their families daily for COVID-19 over the next six months. Developed with the support of the county's T3 Strategy of "test, trace and treat," the COVID Collaborative for Children will include testing at Rady hospital, clinics, as well as at the locations of Rady's health care partners. Rady Children's Hospital officials said children and their parents can get a test during...

  • What to expect if a contact tracer calls you

    Jose A. Alvarez|Updated Jun 4, 2020

    County of San Diego Communications Office If you get a call from a number you don’t recognize, don’t automatically ignore it. The person on the other end could be calling from County Public Health Services to tell you you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. The County has been scaling up its contact tracing efforts as some stay-at-home restrictions are eased and people are out more and heading back to work. Contact tracing is done by local and state health departments when certain infectious diseases are reported. This is a...

  • What to expect if a contact tracer calls you

    Jose A. Alvarez|Updated Jun 4, 2020

    County of San Diego Communications Office If you get a call from a number you don’t recognize, don’t automatically ignore it. The person on the other end could be calling from County Public Health Services to tell you you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. The County has been scaling up its contact tracing efforts as some stay-at-home restrictions are eased and people are out more and heading back to work. Contact tracing is done by local and state health departments when certain infectious diseases are reported. This is a...

  • What's allowed, not allowed in restaurants, stores

    Jose A. Alvarez, San Diego County Communications Office|Updated May 28, 2020

    Restaurants and stores in San Diego County can now open to serve customers in person; however, they must follow specific guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Guidelines for dine-in restaurants require temperature and symptom screening for employees daily. Employees with symptoms are not allowed to work. All tables need to be 6 feet apart or have barriers separating them. Signs need to be posted reminding customers to social distance. Employees must wear facial coverings. Customers must wear facial coverings except...

  • Tips to maintain your mental health during COVID-19

    Jose A. Alvarez, San Diego County Communications Office|Updated May 20, 2020

    Outbreaks of infectious diseases can be a stressful time. With additional concerns about the economic impact of the pandemic, many may feel overwhelmed with anxiety, fear or worry. May is Mental Health Month, and San Diego County officials are encouraging residents to monitor their mental well-being and that of their loved ones. They're also offering tips on how to mentally cope with pandemics. Common signs of distress may include: · Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety...

  • COVID-19 testing trends up in San Diego County

    Jose A. Alvarez, San Diego County Communications Office|Updated May 14, 2020

    Testing for the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19 has been increasing in San Diego County. The number of daily total tests in the region exceeded 3,300 in four of the past five days. On Sunday, May 10, there was a decrease in the number of tests reported – 2,638 tests. Testing dips typically occur Sundays. The decrease may be more pronounced with the three state sites, which have a capacity of nearly 800 daily tests, being closed Sundays and Mondays. Overall, the number of tests is expected to continue to climb...

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