Serge Dedina

With the number of people who have contracted COVID-19 on the rise in California and especially in Imperial Beach and south San Diego County, we clearly need to continue to be safe. That means wearing a face covering, keeping physically distanced from others and washing our hands continually. The rise in cases resulted in the closure of in-door dining and bars throughout the county. However, the City of Imperial Beach is doing everything possible to facilitate outdoor dining that is compatible with County Health orders.

“We really want to make sure that we can facilitate restaurants staying open outdoors,” said Councilmember Mark West who has been leading efforts to support the business community through the IB Businesss Roundtable. “It is also critical that businesses apply for CARES Act support available through the City of Imperial Beach.”

You can find the application for the Emergency Relief Fund Program for Small Businesses on the COVID-19 section of the City of Imperial Beach website (Imperialbeachca.gov).

Unless we reduce the numbers of cases and hospitalizations, we will never safely be able to re-open our economy and get everyone back to work. Important tools for protecting public health include having access to COVID-19 testing and then implementing contact tracing and quarantine for those who test positive. The County of San Diego will be opening a new drive-through testing facility in Imperial Beach next week. You can make an appointment for a free test from the County at https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/coronavirus.html and you can also contact CVS Health at cvs.com for free testing as well. Please take this seriously and protect yourself, your friends and others. Unless we all work together to defeat the virus, we will be locked in a perpetual cycle of openings and closures and increasing illness and death. Everyone of all ages can get sick and transmit the virus to others. What is clear from the San Diego County Health Department COVID-19 data is that the increase in illness in San Diego is directly tied to indoor restaurant dining, bars and house parties and gatherings.

For all of us the non-stop beach closures as a result of record sewage flow in the Tijuana River is maddening and frustrating. Unfortunately the International Boundary and Water Commission or IBWC has chosen to ignore toxic sewage in the Tijuana River and the closure of our beaches. The agency could have chosen to treat the sewage in the international treatment plant on the border since November 2019, when the Tijuana sewer system collapsed, causing this record wave of beach closures and river flow. The rogue federal agency has deliberately ignored all requests to make even a minimal effort to stop sewage flows from reaching our beaches.

The San Diego Union-Tribune recently reported on the massive corruption at the Baja California Sewage and Water agency (CESPT) during the previous administration of Governor Kiko Vega. Apparently some of the world’s largest companies, many from the U.S. failed to pay their water bills and paid bribes to dump their sewage without adequately treating it. The combination of corruption in Mexico combined with incompetence and negligence by the IBWC is the cause of our pollution crisis. We will continue to press to make sure that authorities on both sides of the border take every step possible to fix the pollution crisis so we can all enjoy our beaches all the time.

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