Borrego Sun - Since 1949

COVID-19 Still Looming


Last updated 8/7/2020 at 9:24am

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to loom upon us, as the uncertainty of how long it will last grows. It seems that many things have not really changed in the coming days in regards to modifications or restrictions, as many remain in place for most of California.

The only thing changing rapidly is the number of positive cases, rising in dramatic fashion, as the state has 512,850 cases, the most in the United States. Out of those cases, 9,400 have died from COVID-19 complications. The United States as whole is nearing five million cases with 4,687,828 and 155,062 have died as of Aug. 3, 4 p.m.

San Diego County has 30,226 positive cases and 565 deaths. Of those deaths, 539 had underlying health conditions.

As of Aug. 3, 38 of the 58 California counties are on the monitoring list.

While many have followed orders, others continue to defy them. And in order to help with the defiance, San Diego County District 1 Supervisor Greg Cox announced a Safe Reopening Compliance Team being assembled to help enforce the Public Health Order among businesses, establishments and the public. The team will be made up of County staff and representatives from local jurisdictions to address the issues many are having with those not following the local health order.

Despite those that have safely scaled back operations, many have refused to comply with the orders, and this team will help single out those who refuse. Then more strict measures can be applied.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance that may be controversial for many establishments. Based on a CDC test-strategy, they are now saying that it is no longer recommended that employers require employees who tested positive for the virus to be tested again before they can return to work.

“Employers do not need to follow the test-based strategy for their employees to go back to work,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “Employers must ensure that employees have met the new criteria to be released from isolation.”

The CDC test-based strategy stated that people with COVID-19 who have mild to moderate symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:

At least 10 days have passed since symptoms began, have not had a fever for 24 hours without taking fever reducing medications and other symptoms have resolved.

A limited number of people who have severe or critical illness or are severely immunocompromised are recommended to wait 20 days after symptoms developed and one day after fever resolution and improving symptoms.

People who are severely immunocompromised but have no symptoms can leave isolation after 20 days after testing positive.

People who tested positive for the novel coronavirus but never developed symptoms can stop isolation and other precautions 10 days after the date of their first diagnostic positive test virus.

This comes as quite controversial, as the numbers of COVID-19 outbreaks in community settings continue to rise throughout the state.

On July 17, Newsom made the announcement that all public and private schools in California counties on the state’s monitoring list for rising virus cases would be required to be closed and do distance learning until they are able to meet strict criteria to reopen.

In order to resume in-person class instruction, a county must have been off the state’s COVID-19 watch list for 14 consecutive days. Districts in the counties on the watch list will only be able to do distance learning if they remain on the list. With this announcement, this would mean many, if not all schools in the state, would start online in the fall.

However, even after getting off the monitoring list, it is still unsure that a district would resume in-class instruction. This would be still left up to local officials, as well as individual districts.

On July 31, the Borrego Springs Unified School District held a virtual meeting to discuss its plans for the 2020 – 21 school year and how they will be reopening.

The school district was prepared to reopen with in-class instruction, but due to the guidelines announced, they would have to begin the school year with distance learning.

With the school year being quite different this time around, this also affects the athletics department. The California Interscholastic Federation announced on July 20 that all three seasons of high school sports in the state will be moved to later in the 2020 – 21 school year due to COVID-19. The season will be from December to June, and condensed into just two seasons – fall and spring. The good news is that it does not mean that any sports will be eliminated. However, it seems that schools may not have a team for one sport, as some may have to choose one over the other if played during the same time.

Each CIF Section Office will also release their own calendar to reflect the regular season starting and ending dates and Section playoffs, according the statement released.

The CIF San Diego Section later released its own statement and anticipating a plan/schedule to be in place by Aug. 14.

As the numbers continue to rise, we can only work together to slow the spread.