Free flu shots
This fall, reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses, like flu, is more critical than ever. Although flu vaccination is not related to COVID-19, it is vital to minimize the impact of respiratory illnesses and resulting burdens on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting Oct. 4, Champions for Health (CFH) will provide free flu shot clinics across San Diego County in partnership with the County of San Diego Health & Human Services Epidemiology and Immunization Services program and United Healthcare.
“COVID-19 has impacted access to general medical care and increased the number of uninsured people in our community,” said Adama Dyoniziak, Champions for Health executive director. “The combination of chronic disease and complications due to COVID will put many people at a higher risk of flu complications.”
The CDC recommends getting a flu vaccination in September or October but getting vaccinated anytime during the flu season can help protect you. A flu vaccine may also provide several individual health benefits, including keeping you from getting sick with flu, reducing the severity of your illness if you do get flu, and reducing your risk of flu-associated hospitalization.
CFH will focus efforts on the underinsured, uninsured, essential workers, those who have lost their employer’s health insurance, and anyone who may need it. CFH activates the local medical community to volunteer and assist in these events. The pop-up clinics will be a hybrid of drive-thru and walk-up, depending on the site.
Everyone qualifies, ages four years and up and pregnant women, to receive a flu shot. Nasal spray and high dose vaccine will not be available. No insurance is required. A mask is required at all flu shot locations.
Nearby October flu clinic locations:
Oct. 10, 9 a.m.–1 p.m., Grossmont Healthcare District, 9001 Wakarusa Street, La Mesa, CA 91942
Oct. 11, 7:30–11:30 a.m., Northgate Market, 5403 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92105
Oct. 19, 11a.m.–2 p.m., Grossmont College, 8800 Grossmont College Drive El Cajon, CA 92020
Oct. 24, 9 a.m.–1 p.m., Volunteers in Medicine, 1457 E. Madison, El Cajon, CA 92019
Oct. 26, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Grossmont Health Occupations Center, 9368 Oakbourne Road, Santee, CA 92071
Flu clinics will run October 2020 to March 2021.
Additional dates and locations can be found at bit.ly/34ANv5q.
County expands outdoor COVID testing
The County announced on Sept. 29 it will be increasing the number of COVID-19 testing sites across the region to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The number of sites will increase from 29 to 41 and the number of tests available to be administered by public health nurses through the County’s lab contract with Helix will nearly double to about 30,000 weekly tests.
Testing by the County of school employees will take place at four regional locations the County identified through consultation with the San Diego County Office of Education. Testing of teachers and staff is recommended by the state for schools preparing to reopen for in-person instruction.
COVID-19 testing continues to be primarily being conducted at hospitals, with additional tests from commercial labs and community health centers.
Testing is available through your healthcare provider and health plans are required to cover the cost. Many County sites no longer require an appointment, but others do. To make an appointment, visit 211sandiego.org or call 2-1-1.
Outdoor playgrounds reopen
The state has released guidelines to allow for the reopening of outdoor playgrounds in parks, campgrounds and other publicly accessible locations.
The County local health order will be updated to reflect the new guidelines which go into effect locally Sept. 30. They include:
Use of face coverings for everyone 2 years and older; children must be accompanied by a caregiver.
Physical distance must be maintained, and children must be from the same household.
No eating or drinking in playground, to ensure face masks are worn.
Wash or sanitize hands before and after using the playground.
Limit visit to 30 minutes per day when others are present.