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LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Convention Center Seeing Cancellations Due To Coronavirus And More Local News

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Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Wednesday, March 11th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. The first passengers from a cruise ship arrived for quarantine at MCA S Miramar and the department of veterans affairs. Looking for new ways to use artificial intelligence.

Speaker 2: 00:17 Being able to cut the workload down is one way to do though

Speaker 1: 00:21 that more coming up right after the break.

Speaker 3: 00:36 [inaudible] [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 00:36 Miramar air station is once again a coronavirus quarantine site, a plane carrying a small group of passengers from the grand princess cruise liner arrived last night. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman says this operation will be similar to last months.

Speaker 2: 00:52 Last month, 230 people from Mohan China came to MCA S Miramar for a two week quarantine. Anyone showing signs of the virus was taken to local hospitals for observation and testing, citing lessons learned. Dr. Eric McDonald with County health and human services says this time officials will try and keep people on the base.

Speaker 4: 01:10 The only people that will be hospitalized at San Diego are people that need hospital level care. And the federal government has a good, um, policies in place, uh, to handle individuals who might be positive but don't need to be in the hospital.

Speaker 2: 01:26 Another major difference with this quarantine is everyone coming to the base is from California County. Health officials also say there is a small number of San Diego's who were on that ship. Matt Hoffman, K PBS news.

Speaker 1: 01:37 A larger number of passengers is expected today for conferences at the San Diego convention center had been canceled and another was postponed because of the coronavirus KPBS editor. Tom fudge says that's a lot of dollars lost to the local economy,

Speaker 5: 01:54 the parking expo, experimental biology, the American medical group association and the American association for cancer research. All their conferences were scheduled in San Diego for March and April. All of them were canceled due to concerns about the Corona virus. The American association of cancer research is one of the largest conferences of the year with 23,000 people expected to attend the convention center. It says it's cancellation means $73 million in regional impact will be lost as spokesmen for one association said so many of their member companies now have travel restrictions due to the virus that holding a convention in San Diego was no longer viable. One bit of good news Comicon, which attracts 135,000 people and $150 million impact is still on four July. Tom fudge, KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 02:47 UC San Diego will move nearly all classes online for the spring quarter to prevent the spread of the Corona virus. KPBS education reporter Joe Hong spoke with students about their unanswered.

Speaker 6: 03:00 The university announced the move on Monday, but it remains unclear what the shift will look like and whether the university will charge full tuition for virtual classrooms. Kristen Jackson is a second year student at UC San Diego studying linguistics.

Speaker 7: 03:12 Yeah, it's definitely interesting paying full tuition for basically an online college experience. Um, but it's happening at so many colleges across the country. It seems like we're all kind of missing out on our college experience. I just don't know how much they can really change about that.

Speaker 6: 03:29 A spokeswoman for the university confirmed that labs and other hands on classes will still be held in person. She said more information will be released as soon as it becomes available. Joe Hong KPBS news

Speaker 1: 03:40 mayors from California as big as city say they believe local governments are best positioned to address homelessness. CAPP radio, Scott rod reports, that means they oppose a key piece of governor Gavin Newsome's proposed budget.

Speaker 6: 03:53 Newson wants to shift more authority to the state. He's proposing a $750 million housing fund controlled by the department of developmental services. The money will be allocated on a regional basis.

Speaker 1: 04:04 Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said the big city mayors opposed this model but are negotiating with Newsome to strike a balance between state and local authority on homeless spending. A recent report from the nonpartisan legislative analyst's office found Newsome's plan lacked a clear strategy. San Diego city council members on Tuesday paved the way for a new affordable housing project and Claremont KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Boyd says the vote was not unanimous.

Speaker 8: 04:32 The four acre property on Mount Etna drive used to be a County crime lab, but it's been vacant for nearly two years. Council members voted eight one to rezone the property to allow for just over 400 new apartments for low income households. Some residents oppose the project fearing increased traffic and taller buildings, but cat LaFond, a formerly homeless senior told council members the affordable housing shortage is a bigger concern.

Speaker 9: 04:56 The bottom line, we need housing. There was over 2000 seniors that are living on the street. Imagine your grandmother, your grandfather being one of those that's just horrendous.

Speaker 8: 05:11 Council woman, Barbara Bree who is running for mayor cast the only no vote saying she was sympathetic to concerns the new homes would not be supported by new infrastructure. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 05:21 the San Diego County board of supervisors fell short of outright approving needle exchanges as a public health tool. Instead, the board voted three to two to establish a subcommittee to create an implementation strategy for a syringe services program. That's where injection drug users can drop off their dirty syringes for clean ones to reduce the spread of diseases. Supervisor Kristin gas bar said a subcommittee would help them better match federal health guidelines on establishing syringe services programs or SSPs.

Speaker 9: 05:54 We would meet with staff who would meet with stakeholders, professionals in the

Speaker 10: 05:57 field to do that needs assessment. Prior to the establishment of the SSP.

Speaker 1: 06:03 The subcommittee will present its plan to the board within three to four months. A new report card from the group. Climate action now finds that San Diego is falling behind on its clean energy goals, especially when it comes to transportation. KPBS reporter max Wilson Adler tells us why

Speaker 11: 06:20 the group has been issuing report cards for cities and San Diego County for the past four years. This year's report finds the city is still making good progress on hitting its goals for clean energy use, awarding it a silver metal, but it is falling behind on transportation which makes up over half of the city's emissions. The report found that other cities in the County had also failed to prioritize alternatives to driving like expanding mass transit and adding bike lanes. Muleeka Marsden is one of the authors of the report.

Speaker 9: 06:49 We remained stuck with a car centric region and have not sufficiently committed to building affordable homes near jobs and transit. As a result, we are driving more miles and our carbon emissions are rising.

Speaker 11: 07:03 The report called on the County of San Diego to reduce transportation emissions by cutting down on sprawl. It also called the county's climate action plan fatally flawed because it hasn't tackled how to cut down on driving max with Lynn Adler KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 07:18 the rain moving through the San Diego region is being carried on an atmospheric river. KPB has environment reporter Eric Anderson says local researchers are taking advantage of the weather system to learn more about it. Tie it on there.

Speaker 12: 07:35 Alyssa is attaching a small instrument cluster to a latex weather balloon. She and Chad hacked had been at the end of scripts pier since mid day Monday. Doing this every three hours, Michael has says, researchers want to know more about the storm systems responsible for much of the region's rain.

Speaker 1: 07:51 Then we're able to get an idea of what is going on inside these Claudia areas that we can't see otherwise.

Speaker 12: 07:57 The researchers are curious about atmospheric rivers because those storm systems are responsible for big storms that have big impacts. The information gathered this week will help improve forecasting models that predict those storms. Eric Anderson, KPBS news,

Speaker 1: 08:13 the department of veterans affairs recently hired his first artificial intelligence director. It has also launched a national Institute to help develop AI technology that can improve veteran's health from Tampa. Stephanie Calambini reports for the American home front project inside a laboratory at the Tampa veterans hospital. Machines are rapidly processing tubes of patient's body fluids and tissue samples. Pathologists examine those samples under microscopes to spot diseases like cancer. Distinguishing certain features about a cancer cell, which can drastically affect treatment can be tricky. So dr Steven masteries and Andrew Borkowsky to get a computer involved. They uploaded hundreds of images of slides containing lung and colon tissues into artificial intelligence software. Some tissues were healthy and others cancerous for Koski says they then tested that software with more images the computer had never seen before

Speaker 13: 09:12 and the module was able to put it together and I was able to differentiate. Is it their cancer or is it not a cancer? And not only that, but also was able to say what kind of cancer is it?

Speaker 1: 09:23 The doctors were harnessing the power of what's known as machine learning software pre-trained with millions of all kinds of images like dogs and trees can learn to distinguish new ones. Dr Stephen master Reedy says it only took minutes to teach the computer what cancerous tissue looked like.

Speaker 13: 09:39 Earliest study showed accuracy over 95%

Speaker 1: 09:42 the doctors say this kind of technology could be a vital asset to rural veterans clinics where pathologists and other specialists aren't easily accessible or in crowded VA emergency rooms. Murkowski says he sees AI as a tool to help doctors work better and faster, not to put them out of a job.

Speaker 13: 10:00 It's one replaced the doctors, but the doctors who use AI will replace the doctors that don't.

Speaker 1: 10:07 The Tampa pathologists aren't the first to experiment with machine learning in this way of the thousands of AI tools out there at the U S food and drug administration has approved about 40 algorithms for medicine, including apps that predict blood sugar changes and help detect strokes and CT scans. The VA already uses AI in several ways, such as scanning medical records for signs of suicide risks and the agency's new artificial intelligence director Gil Alto. [inaudible] is looking for other uses to help VA staff make better use of their time.

Speaker 14: 10:39 Being able to cut the workload down is one way to do that. Other ways are working on a processes, so reducing patient wait time, analyzing other paperwork,

Speaker 1: 10:50 but throw if it's notes. There are challenges to implementing AI like privacy concerns and trying to understand how and why AI systems make decisions. Last year, Google's AI company DeepMind used VA data to test a system that could predict deadly kidney disease in patients up to two days in advance. But for every correct prediction, there were two false positives. Mildred Cho, associate director of Stanford university, center for biomedical ethics, says, best-case and untrustworthy AI system waste time worse. It could actually cause harm. It's important for AI systems to be tested in real world environment with real world patients and clinicians because there can be unintended consequences. VA doctors say they don't want to rush things when it comes to AI, but they say the work they're doing now will sift through the hype and lead to more practical use in the near future. I'm Stephanie Calambini in Tampa. This story was produced by the American Homefront project, a public media collaboration that reports on military life and veterans funding comes from the corporation for public broadcasting. 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.

Four conventions in March and April that were scheduled for the San Diego Convention Center have been cancelled due to concerns about the coronavirus. Plus, UC San Diego students are bummed about having to take classes online, because of the virus. And San Diego gets poor grades for failing to meet the terms of its Climate Action Plan.

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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.