Naloxone Treatment: With the number of drug-related deaths growing at an alarming rate locally, the county of San Diego will soon make naloxone, an overdose reversal medication, widely available at several community-based locations and clinics throughout the county. While concerns over the increase in fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths were growing prior to the pandemic, fentanyl-related deaths increased 202% from 2019 to 2020 with more than 457 fentanyl-related deaths countywide in 2020.
New County Office: The San Diego County Board of Supervisors recently approved the creation of an Office of Evaluation, Performance and Analytics. Proponents say the office will prioritize evidence and data — rather than ideology or conventional wisdom — in decision-making to ensure better policies. A few slides that outline the framework, benefits, and next steps are available from presentation.
County Activation Level: San Diego County’s All-Hazard Health Services Capacity Management Plan activation level moved from Level 2 Escalated Activation to Level 3 Partial Activation following the Operational Core Group’s recommendation on May 25. This allows the county’s health services providers to address system strain to coordinate and augment operations. Masking, physical distancing, and other protective practices remain critical tools to mitigate the risk of another pandemic-related surge while close system monitoring is ongoing to determine the need to return to Plan Level 1 or Plan Level 2.
Binational Vaccination Efforts: Binational efforts are underway in Imperial County for a vaccine effort similar to the one rolled out recently in San Diego County. Imperial County leaders and many partners from Mexicali are meeting to outline the details. Both El Centro Regional Medical Center and Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District are involved in the effort to support it.
FEMA Releases Pandemic Guidance for Emergency Managers: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released guidance to help emergency managers plan for disaster response and recovery while adhering to public health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The guidance includes considerations related to planning COVID-19 testing and vaccination operations, and updated resources based on lessons learned and best practices for operating in a pandemic environment. FEMA is hosting five COVID-19 pandemic operational guidance webinars in June.