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LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 (coronavirus)

San Diego Gets Its First Case Of Covid-19 And More Local News

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Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Tuesday, March 10th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. San Diego gets its first presumptive case of coven 19 and cutting the risk of infectious disease by providing clean needles to drug users. I would have never made it into recovery if it wasn't for syringe programs. That and more coming up right after the break.

Speaker 2: 00:36 [inaudible] [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 00:36 San Diego County health officials on Monday confirmed the county's first presumptive positive case of Corona virus in a local resident. A case is considered a presumptive positive until test results are confirmed by the U S centers for disease control and prevention. Dr Wilma Wooten, the county's health officer said the patient is a woman in her 50s and the infection is related to overseas travel. County officials did not specify what country the patient had visited, but the location did not subject her to automatic 14 day quarantine when she returned an indication she did not travel to high danger countries such as China or Northern Italy. Wooten said the patient is hospitalized and doing well. Some passengers from a cruise ship with a Corona virus outbreak are heading to San Diego, MCA. Miramar is once again becoming a quarantine site. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman says people from the ship could be here as soon as today.

Speaker 3: 01:35 At least 21 people on board. The grand princess tested positive for the virus. Around a thousand people from the ship are from California and will be quarantined at Travis air force base and MCA S Miramar. It's unclear how many of those people will actually come to San Diego, but Miramar officials say they have up to 300 quarantine rooms available. All passengers from the ship will be screened for the virus before coming to San Diego to complete their two week quarantine. This isn't the first time MCA S Miramar has been used as a coven. 19 quarantine site last month. People from Mohan China, the epicenter of the outbreak came here. The County lab will be testing passengers on base for the virus during this quarantine period. The County just got some more testing kits and now has a little less than a thousand on hand. Matt Hoffman, KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 02:21 elk Grove unified. The largest school district in Northern California moved his spring break to this week because of a family that tested positive for coronavirus KPBS reporter. Prius rather takes a look at what San Diego schools are doing to prepare. So far, no closures have been announced in San Diego. Music. Watson with the County office of education says the county's health and human service agencies can advise schools or school districts to close if they start seeing confirmed cases.

Speaker 4: 02:51 If public health is saying, you know, given the situation, given these numbers of this concentration, we wouldn't recommend that you continue to operate school. Then obviously schools would probably make a decision not to, but it really will depend very much based on the situation.

Speaker 1: 03:05 Governor Gavin Newsome held a meeting Monday for County superintendents across the state to discuss how to prepare. Should the number of cases here increase Prius? Sure. Either K PBS news as the number of people who get tested for Corona virus increases in the U S some doctors expect a surge and positive cases over the next week or two cap radios. Ezra David Ramiro report.

Speaker 5: 03:30 It's the number of cases detected so far in California are potentially just the tip of the iceberg says UC Davis infectious disease specialists. Dr. Dean Blumberg

Speaker 6: 03:39 with the limited testing that's been occurring, only the most severe cases are being tested. We think that there's many more cases out there

Speaker 5: 03:48 with the governor's announcement last week that 24 million Californians will be eligible for free testing. Soon Blumberg says more cases will show up as positive. He also says two of the three people UC Davis has treated have been discharged and are quarantined at home. He says the third patient is improving and will go home soon. That person was the first case in the country with no clear ties to travel overseas or a separate case in Sacramento, a Mazur, David Romero

Speaker 1: 04:15 on international women's day on Sunday, thousands of Mexican women took to the streets in protest of an alarming rise in violence against women in the country. Monday, many of them stayed home as part of a second day of protest. KPBS reporter max swivel and Adler was in Tijuana on what's called a day without women.

Speaker 7: 04:34 The number of women murdered in Mexico has doubled compared to five years ago. This is kicked off weeks of demonstrations across the country. Decrying the lack of action and accountability by the Mexican government in DeQuan. On Monday, some businesses were closed and stores went without staff. As women engaged in a one day strike, they're calling. When DIA seen mu Harris one coffee shop hung up cards with the names of missing and murdered women. Many women in public wore purple and solidarity. 21 year old Alexandra works at a bookstore off of Avenida revolusi on. She wasn't able to take the day off today because only women work at the shop. She says the majority of her friends are staying in today.

Speaker 1: 05:16 [inaudible]

Speaker 7: 05:17 she says they're not going outside. They're not going to eat anything. They're not going to do social media so they can be a part of this movement in Tijuana. Max Lynn Adler, K PBS news,

Speaker 1: 05:29 a new report shows San Diego is more at risk of an earthquake on the Rose Canyon fault than previously thought. The report says the fault running South from LA Jolla to the border as a one in five chance to cause a 6.7 magnitude earthquake in the next 30 years. Jorge menaces is a California seismic commissioner and the author of the report, he says, buildings on the coast like the airport terminal are at risk for damage

Speaker 8: 05:57 years. The fault was considered to be inactive. So when they built much of the existing infrastructure in San Diego, eh, they were designed the, the fault was inactive. So now we are realizing that the fault is active.

Speaker 1: 06:14 The earthquake engineering research Institute estimates that equate would inflate $38 billion in building and infrastructure damage. Manessa says that while an exact prediction is impossible, a major quake will occur with 100% certainty to hear the entire interview. Listen to the mid day edition podcast, heroin and meth are illegal drugs, but public health advocates want to make it safer for people to inject them. KPBS health reporter Teran Minto explains why a local Democrat is challenging the conservative County government's ban on needle exchange programs.

Speaker 9: 06:50 A line of drug users begins to form as early as 9:00 AM. They're standing outside a recreational vehicle on the side of the road that research says is a life saving tool. Inside is where they exchange their old syringes and get clean ones to reduce their risk of spreading infectious disease. There's also a friendly face that opens a paper bag and fills it with alcohol, wipes, gauze, condoms, and even emergency medication for overdoses. Advocate, Tara stomp most basic says this, mobile syringe exchange gives drug users the tools and space to feel safe. They're able to go to a place for maybe only three minutes out of their week where they're not judged or stigmatized or stereotypes aren't there. Most basic is part of the county's initiative to eliminate hepatitis C estimates say people who inject drugs account for nearly a third of the counties. Hep-C infections. Drug users may share dirty needles that can spread the bloodborne virus, which can cause liver failure. That's because sterile needles are hard to get without a prescription. Using a syringe service program and clean needles decreases chances of hepatitis C transmission about 50% and longterm substance use is actually decreased by engaging in services like this one. She says distributing clean needles can help curb growth in the regions hepatitis C rate, but this syringe exchange has unlimited impact. The team from family health centers of San Diego is the only one in the County. A decades old decision prohibits the programs but supervisor and Fletcher wants to overturn that.

Speaker 8: 08:30 I would like us to have more of these throughout San Diego County.

Speaker 9: 08:33 Fletcher, the county's first democratic supervisor in decades is challenging the ban. He says the exchanges, health educators provide support and care that can motivate an addict to seek help.

Speaker 8: 08:46 People are five times more likely to get into drug treatment. Um, if they come to a syringe services program. And so we can't let optics or the way someone or the way someone

Speaker 10: 08:55 felt 30 years ago stop us from doing what we know is the right thing.

Speaker 9: 08:59 Fletcher is proposing to add syringe exchanges to the counties harm reduction plan and stomp [inaudible] B SIG is advocating beside him. She knows the programs work. Before she was an advocate, she wasn't addict.

Speaker 4: 09:12 I would have never made it into recovery if it wasn't for syringe program.

Speaker 9: 09:15 The heroin and Matthews are traversed the city with her belongings on her back, including enough shoes to satisfy her love of footwear.

Speaker 4: 09:23 So like make sure that I have enough shoes to change with my outfit.

Speaker 9: 09:26 She found brief moments of refuge inside low rent motels, like one off busy Pacific highway.

Speaker 4: 09:32 I would see the mirror and I would look in the mirror and just like, you know, Tara, you don't belong here.

Speaker 9: 09:37 Tributes her recovery to the support she felt inside the family health centers, mobile needle exchange

Speaker 4: 09:43 should, I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the the staff and the the lack of stigma and judgment that kept me coming back.

Speaker 9: 09:53 But she says then opportunity was limited then and still is today. Users can line up only once a week at sites and to city of San Diego locations. The sidewalk operation in North park drew a 21 year old cashier from neighboring city Heights, but also a couple who drove from Mira Mesa in a 53 year old handyman from Campo style. Most B6 says she has people like these in mind when she advocates for better access to syringe services. She knows it's a long journey to get to where she is now. A certified addiction counselor on the way to becoming a licensed clinical social worker.

Speaker 4: 10:31 I don't want to leave people where they are. I want to meet them where they are and uh, and help them to make any kind of positive change in certain service programs are a big part of that.

Speaker 9: 10:41 Opponents argue. Exchanges make it look like the government endorses and facilitates drug use. Supervisor Diane Jacob said that a decade ago, this time, 10 years later, Jacob says she'll listen to the testimony and presentations at an upcoming board meeting before weighing in. That's Tara and mental reporting. The board of supervisors will vote today whether to include syringe exchanges as a County public health tool. San Diego. His border region is being pummeled every day by massive cross border flows of sewage tainted water. Hey, PVS environment reporter Eric Anderson says there's some irony that this daily public health disaster is happening at the same time, a possible solution is near

Speaker 10: 11:26 Imperial beach. Mayor Serge Dudina looks at the river flowing through this us Valley. This should be dry. That was dry weather. There shouldn't be dry. There should be a pump station on the water in the Tijuana river Valley comes from Mexico and it's on its way to the ocean. On this day, 27 million gallons of sewage tainted water, which also carries a slurry of toxic chemicals, runs untreated into the United States. The smells for residents South San Diego have been off the charts as well as IB. Some days the flows hit 50 million gallons and this has been happening daily since November to Dina says some weeks that means 350 million gallons of dirty and dangerous water crossed the border. We've been literally freaking out about the astronomical increase in sewage and then the absolute absence of any communication from authorities in Mexico. And then the international boundary and water commissioner, even EPA KPBS reached out several times to the international boundary and water commission seeking information, but the agency has not answered questions to Dina says it's clear that Mexico's overtax sewage system is collapsing pump stations and collectors are offline for repairs and to says there is concern the cross border flows may persist

Speaker 11: 12:41 per month. The

Speaker 10: 12:44 going environmental disaster got a slice of attention from County supervisor Greg Cox during his state of the County address a couple of weeks ago

Speaker 12: 12:52 because of topography and a failure to maintain infrastructure in Mexico. Imperial beach has been subjected to Torrance of sewage since the 1930s the T O on a river and tributary canyons are the major source of untreated sewage trash sediment and hazardous toxins

Speaker 10: 13:12 sounded an optimistic tone and he's confident this is the time to fix the problem.

Speaker 12: 13:18 We're closer than ever to solving this problem and I will fight tooth and nail over the coming year to make that happen.

Speaker 11: 13:27 Toxin other local leaders are putting their hopes for a longterm

Speaker 10: 13:30 solution on a $425 million diversion and treatment facility. Of the U S side of the border, a berm would capture the polluted cross border flows and an expanded treatment plant would clean it up. We think that there is an ample opportunity for us to make substantial investments on the U S side of the border that get results. David Gibson is in charge of the state agency that monitors water pollution in San Diego. He says both the federal government and the state are making money available to fix the problem, but that money can only be spent on projects in the U S which Gibson backs those solutions work. Investments in Tiawana are often inadequate in the first place, poorly maintained, and there's no capital improvement budget to expand or improve upon them as they age out. So we're looking at this from the perspective of putting good money after good money in the U S the EPA controls the $300 million in the United States, Mexico and Canada trade agreement, but they have publicly expressed willingness to back the capture and treat option.

Speaker 10: 14:31 Gibson says the forces have aligned much like they did in the 1990s when the international wastewater treatment plant was built. Many of us forget that we used to have about 15 million gallons per day of raw sewage every single day of the year in the Tijuana river. The construction of that treatment plant in the Canyon collectors changed that. We still have a pollution problem, but we don't have the same pollution problem. We're at the same moment now in 2020 the legal fight to compel the U S government to clean up the pollution has been on hold since late last year. The groups agreed to stand down while efforts to find money for a U S solution moved ahead. That makes the situation even more frustrating for Imperial beach. Mayor, Serge Medina, he's concerned about the health of the people living in his small beach town, and we still don't have an accounting of like really what happened to the sewer system of Tijuana, how much water was dumped in the river, but it was astronomical levels and we are just left whole, right? And literally being bombarded by sewage public health is a major concern for the Dina. But what happens to the ocean in Imperial beach is also important to that community's economy. Eric Anderson KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 15:50 thanks for listening to San Diego news matters. If you're not already a subscriber, take a minute to become one. You can find San Diego news matters on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

The “presumptive” case of coronavirus was found in a woman in her 50’s who traveled overseas. Also, local schools ponder what to do if the virus appears among students. And supplying clean needles to drug users is again on the agenda of San Diego county supervisors.

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San Diego News Matters

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.