County Ratchets Up Coronavirus Response As First Local Death Reported And More Local News
San Diego News Matters / March 23, 2020
The coronavirus tightened its grip on San Diego Sunday, with the county reporting its first death and a significant increase in cases. This news came as state and local officials took a series of dramatic steps to combat the exploding pandemic. And Neighborhood Healthcare, with clinics in San Diego and Riverside counties, says it’s gotten donated gear from Habitat for Humanity and construction workers. Plus, on Saturday morning, the US border with Mexico was closed to all “non-essential” travel as part of the federal government’s effort to contain the Coronavirus pandemic. But people with valid reasons for crossing the border will still be able to.
Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Monday, March 23rd. I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. San Diego County has its first death from the coronavirus and just like in the U S many in Mexico are concerned with their government strategy to fight the Cova 19 pandemic Gaia to see people must not fall into fear or psychosis. It keep our cool and more coming up right after the break.
Speaker 2: 00:36 [inaudible]
Speaker 1: 00:37 San Diego County official Sunday reported on the first San Diego County resident to die from covert 19 the disease caused by the coronavirus KPBS reporter max was an Adler as details
Speaker 3: 00:49 County public health officer. Dr Wilma Wooten disclosed the death during a Sunday afternoon news conference.
Speaker 4: 00:55 This is a resident of San Diego County. Uh, it is a male in his early seventies who was being cared for in Santa Clara County. After returning from travel to Hawaii,
Speaker 3: 01:09 the County had no further information about the individual at the press conference. Wooten also reminded people to continue to practice social distancing and that violations of the governor's statewide stay at home order or a misdemeanor offense and subject to a $1,000 fine. Also on Sunday, the city of San Diego announced it would be closing its park and beach parking lots to discourage large gatherings during the pandemic max or Adler KPBS news.
Speaker 1: 01:36 Governor Gavin Newsom recently claimed a staggering 56% of Californians will be infected with the Corona virus over the next two months. Cap radios, PolitiFact, California reporter Chris Nichols examine that claim.
Speaker 5: 01:49 Newsome made this jaw-dropping claim in a letter asking president Trump for federal help. We found his number is in line with global estimates which paint a really bleak picture about how many people could become infected, but all of those are based on the idea that nothing is done to stop the spread of the virus. Newsome makes no mention of this in his letter and that's despite the fact that schools had closed across California when he wrote it and nearly all of the Bay area had shut down. The governor did acknowledge this later on, but that was hours after news. Headlines carried his out of context statement around the globe in Sacramento. I'm Chris Nichols.
Speaker 1: 02:33 As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise among servicemen and women. Local military leaders continue to update their response. KPBS military reporter Steve Walsh says more sailors are being asked to stay home
Speaker 3: 02:47 over the weekend. The Navy reported five more cases of the Corona virus among ships home ported in San Diego. The Navy continues to increase its response announcing that it was going up one notch to health protection condition Charlie one below the highest level. That means more sailors based on shore will be asked to work from home. More events will be canceled. The Navy and Marines, that response is still a bit and third fleet says cruise onboard shipped in port are told to allow six feet between the sleeping quarters while sailors at sea must make do with stepped up cleaning and quarantining those suspected of having the virus. Many training exercises have been canceled. Other events continue. First Marine says the Marines are limiting the size of formations and meetings. All of this is happening while the military is trying to maintain operational readiness. Steve Walsh KPBS news,
Speaker 1: 03:36 the most protective mask for healthcare workers known as in 90 fives are in short supply. This has prompted hospitals to restrict their use for only high risk procedures. KPBS health reporter Tara and Minto tells us local doctors, CVS restrictions as dangerous amid the pandemic and have created a petition against them that already has more than 1 million signatures.
Speaker 6: 04:00 The petition is a plea from physicians at UC San Diego medical center to use federal stockpiles of safety equipment and lift restrictions on end 95 masks workplace safety regulators say the clothes fitting masks are necessary to protect healthcare employees from contagious diseases, but as shortages grow, the CDC says loose surgical masks are acceptable. You CSD registered nurse Shannon cotton says the restrictions at her hospital are putting her at risk.
Speaker 7: 04:29 Why don't they give it to us now to all nurses, to all staff so that we can slow the spread of the virus and maybe we won't have to worry about a surge later on. We can stop it now.
Speaker 6: 04:41 A UCS. D spokeswoman says they are not short on [inaudible] now, but that could happen if medical staff are unnecessarily using them. Data show a regular surgical mask could keep workers safe from the cops and sneezes that spread Corona virus, but a Harvard study found the risk to Chinese healthcare workers was eliminated when they wore protective gear including and 90 fives Taryn mento KPBS news.
Speaker 1: 05:07 This report was a joint collaboration of KPBS and I knew source. I knew source is an independently funded nonprofit partner of KPBS. Job loss is a growing concern in San Diego and across the country due to the Corona virus, KPBS says Donald Bloodworth has more
Speaker 8: 05:26 workers in the restaurant industry. The travel industry and other industries deemed non-essential are getting hit very hard by coven 19 prior to the pandemic, the national unemployment rate set at historic low of three and a half percent. Now estimates show that by April 1st the national rate will nearly double to 6.1% mural. COPEC is an SDSU marketing lecturer and the founder of bottom line marketing. He broke down the latest unemployment numbers for KPBS evening edition. The peak of the 2008 financial crisis. There were six and 50,000
Speaker 9: 05:58 weekly claims being filed. We're approaching that right now with only a third of the States reporting. For example, the state of California, we've seen a four times increase in the amount of unemployment claims being filed.
Speaker 1: 06:11 COPEC says there are some bright spots in the economy like San Diego based Mercado online grocery delivery, Donald Bloodworth KPBS news on Saturday morning, the U S border with Mexico was close to all non-essential travel as part of the federal government's effort to contain the Corona virus pandemic, but most people who need to get back and forth across the border will still be able to Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez. The consul general of Mexico and San Diego says many who regularly crossed the border will be exempt from the restrictions.
Speaker 9: 06:43 We are not stopping everybody. We are not impeding people to go down if they continue. It's essential for them.
Speaker 1: 06:51 The console explained that the closure is meant to cut down on people who are coming to either countries strictly for recreational reasons. Rideshare drivers are calling on their companies to provide more support during the coronavirus pandemic cap radios. Nicole Nixon has more. Jerome gage is a Lyft driver based in Los Angeles. He says because big app based companies aren't complying with a new law to classify gig workers as employees, he and other drivers are missing out on health insurance and sick leave during this crisis.
Speaker 10: 07:22 Uber and Lyft believe we aren't deserving of basic protection after all, these companies are not actually employees.
Speaker 1: 07:30 Some companies are offering sick leave, but only to drivers who've tested positive for the virus or who are individually quarantined at home by a health official. Five companies including Lyft, Uber, and door dash have pledged a combined 110 million to fight AB five the worker reclassification law gage says instead that money should be used to support drivers. Stacy Wells is a spokeswoman for the ballot campaign. She says the companies are putting together resources for their drivers.
Speaker 10: 08:00 Everyone's working frantically to make this work so that if drivers do need help, they will be able to reach out and make sure that they have some type of coverage for their medical needs. Well
Speaker 1: 08:10 says these companies are considered essential services right now in order to deliver supplies and take people to the doctor in Sacramento. I'm Nicole Nixon. Last Wednesday, Mexico's health authorities confirmed the country's first coronavirus related death and the fatality is raising more concerns about the Mexican government's preparation and the transparency of its efforts from KJ [inaudible] Frontera, his Bureau in Mexico city Rodrigo's services reports the country's first person to die was a 41 year old diabetic man from Mexico city who symptoms began just 90 [inaudible] but his death confronts the authorities version of Corona virus cases in Mexico which says that every single patient in the country had traveled overseas. The man who died didn't is
Speaker 11: 08:56 this [inaudible]? That's Google Lopez, got Dale Mexico center, secretary of public health saying that the first covert 19 related deaths illustrates the expected people with health complications or above 60 or more vulnerable. The government faces criticism for its strategy, which currently focuses on promoting hygiene and social distancing, but not even precedent, and that is Manuel Lopez. Obrador is following the recommendations, hugging and kissing people at his rallies. [inaudible] says his administration, he's acting responsibly protecting his people and the economy. He has blamed his opponents for stoking fears. The president says he is protecting shield against coronaviruses, his honesty, as well as the lucky charms given by his followers deck he carries in his wallet. One of them is a dollar bill from a migrant living in the U S Lopez Obrador. His administration says it's ready for an outbreak with all the equipment needed while monitoring every case and applying enough tests, but not everyone agrees.
Speaker 10: 09:57 I don't know. I mean,
Speaker 11: 09:59 Sylvia Brown is 76 year old woman diagnosed with Cova at 19 asks me, who do I trust more the government or her? Sylvia lives with her family in Mexico, second largest city, Guadalajara. She says it all started by feeling a little weak, then a little bit of dry cuffing and then fever.
Speaker 10: 10:18 [inaudible].
Speaker 11: 10:19 CVS says she wants to see her children and grandchildren, but no, she knows she has to stay in her bedroom for her family's sake. The woman says her family had to hire a private lab for getting tested. It cost them about $210 and they had to wait for a week to get the results.
Speaker 10: 10:35 Well, I don't know if they're contested.
Speaker 11: 10:37 Sylvia, his daughter as Deanna Brown tells me the government's hotline to report coronavirus cases doesn't work and the secretary of health didn't help.
Speaker 10: 10:45 It's the two people
Speaker 11: 10:48 other Deanna says, Mexico is a breeding ground for the virus. Health authorities still need to validate her mother's tests in order for her to be added to the statistics and many cases like hers are floating in the air.
Speaker 10: 10:59 Less [inaudible], more focused.
Speaker 11: 11:03 Philippe is a lawyer at the nonpartisan nonprofit, Mexicans against corruption. He says tests are being administered to very few people, which is hindering early detection efforts. A judge voted in favor of that complaint filed by Mexicans against corruption for what the organization says is a poor strategy to fight the pandemic. The federal government is now expected to show improvements on its strategy.
Speaker 10: 11:24 Well, that'd be a one time move. Just massive to me.
Speaker 11: 11:28 Maddie says many actions are still needed, including more tests canceling or banning more public events and building a nationwide strategy shared between the federal and state governments.
Speaker 10: 11:39 No,
Speaker 11: 11:41 the lawyer says the government is trying to avoid panic, well, protecting the economy, but a more efficient and timely policy would be more helpful to minimize the negative impacts of the pandemic and most importantly to more lives.
Speaker 1: 11:55 I'm [inaudible] in Mexico city. 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.