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5 Things To Know: COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign, Hazard Plan, Call for Mask & Vaccine Mandate

SAN DIEGO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: HASD&IC President & CEO Dimitrios Alexiou joined health care leaders from UCSD, Scripps Health, and Sharp HealthCare at the Aug. 31 meeting to provide testimony (starts at 3:22) in support of the proposal to declare health misinformation a public health crisis. After more than 15 hours of debate and more than 250 public speakers who spoke in opposition, the board voted 3-2 to approve the measure. Board Chair Nathan Fletcher said the action makes San Diego County the first in the nation to call medical misinformation a public health crisis. This meeting came on the heels of the Aug. 17 Board of Supervisors meeting in which the board was met with public outcry when hundreds protested the COVID-19 guidelines released by the county and health officials. More than 100 speakers addressed the supervisors during public comment to express their opposition to recommendations that call for people to wear masks indoors and for businesses to require employee vaccinations or regular COVID-19 testing.

5 Things To Know: COVID-19 Testing Sites, Monoclonal Antibody Therapy, Behavioral Health Trailer Bills

COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO EXPANDS COVID-19 TESTING SITES: As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to increase, so too has the demand for COVID-19 testing. To help divert people from coming to emergency departments for testing and make access as convenient as possible, the County of San Diego is reopening some of its former large testing sites, including the site at San Diego State University. Additional COVID-19 testing sites and mobile sites are being added to the list of options. Primary health care providers, community health clinics, and pharmacies all continue to offer testing. To find a site near you, visit the county website at Sites & Appointments.

COVID-19 Won’t Shake Its Grasp

On the off-chance that anyone needed proof of COVID-19’s relentless grasp on the state and the region specifically, one only needs to take a quick look at the numbers.

5 Things To Know: Medi-Cal Managed Care, Behavioral Health Hearings, State Budget Agreement

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Address Medi-Cal Managed Care: Lask week, HASD&IC President & CEO Dimitrios Alexiou provided public comment (testimony starts at 4:08) in support of the Framework for the Future: Improving the County’s Wellness Care Delivery System to Address Health Disparities Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic and shared the HASD&IC Board of Directors guiding principles for new Medi-Cal managed care contracts. He emphasized the importance of using this opportunity to prioritize patients, strengthen local oversight, and increase accountability. HASD&IC will continue to engage with supervisors on the Medi-Cal managed care procurement process.

Healing the Emotional Scars from the Pandemic

Even in the best of times, burnout is common for health care workers. The pandemic — which uprooted workplace routines and turned knowns into unknowns — has only made these stressful and demanding jobs that much harder.

5 Things To Know: Disaster Planning, EMS Changes, Addressing Chronic Homelessness

Addressing Chronic Homelessness: On June 28, the first phase of a partnership between the City and County of San Diego launched, with outreach teams hitting the streets to address the immediate and long-term challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness. This month-long outreach campaign is designed to connect individuals to immediate shelter, housing navigation and behavioral health services, and medical care. The second phase, scheduled to launch in August, will address the struggle of those who experience chronic homelessness with severe substance use disorder. It will connect them with teams who can link them to health and social services, including specialized temporary housing, regardless of the status of their sobriety.

Best Wishes to Sara Steinhoffer of Sharp HealthCare

While the Biweekly Briefing was not originally scheduled to publish this week, I would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge Sara Steinhoffer, who is retiring on July 2 after 12 years as vice president of government relations at Sharp HealthCare.