Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

First San Diego Police Officer Tests Positive For COVID-19

 March 28, 2020 at 6:42 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 San Diego County health officials confirmed three new coven, 19 related deaths on Friday, bringing the total number of deaths to six. The deaths included one man in his mid fifties and another male in his early eighties the County also reported the death of a 25 year old man, a San Diego County resident who died in Riverside County where he'd been self quarantining and not surprisingly because they're still out and about doing their job. A San Diego police officer from the Western division became the first law enforcement officer in the city of San Diego to test positive for COBIT 19 in a press conference. Friday. Mayor Kevin Faulkner said three lifeguards from San Diego fire rescue department have also tested positive. Speaker 2: 00:47 These are particularly difficult times for our public safety professionals as well because they're out there working day and night. Speaker 1: 00:54 So here's the little bright spot for you. The mayor also said that the city's 6.1 million small business relief fund is now accepting applications. Small businesses can it's Saturday, March 28th I'm Kinsey Morlan and you're listening to San Diego news matters. KPBS is daily news podcast bringing [inaudible] you the local news you need the Corona. Yeah. Virus made its grim arrival at San Diego county's senior care facilities this week. KPBS reporter I meet, the Sharma says three assisted living communities have confirmed cases and three others are awaiting results. Capable. Speaker 3: 01:41 Yes. This identified two if three facilities with cases for people who work at Lavita realz assisted living community in Rancho San Diego have tested positive for Covance. 19 another worker is awaiting results according to a statement from the company. Also for elderly people who live in Lavita realz memory care section are being tested after showing symptoms. Meanwhile, at San Diego stellar care, one person has tested positive and several others have undergone testing two weeks ago, senior care facilities countywide started banning all that essential staff workers. Temperatures are taken when they enter their facilities, but someone with the virus can be asymptomatic for two weeks. I meet the Sharma KPBS news. Speaker 1: 02:28 San Diego's airport is feeling the squeeze of the coven. 19 pandemic, aren't we all? Passenger traffic at San Diego's international airport is down 80 to 90% since the beginning of the month. The airport is considered an essential service, so it is open right now, but people just aren't flying the San Diego airport authorities. Scott Brickner says the industry is seeing a huge dip in passengers Speaker 2: 02:56 at the beginning of the month. Started out, I think we were even percent up year over year. And then it started to decline slowly and then just very rapidly for the rest of the month. And even the last week, we're down about 80 to 90%. Speaker 1: 03:15 The Navy now has the most cases of Corona virus among the services and now they're trying to get a handle on why kbps military reporter Steve Walsh explains Speaker 4: 03:27 this week acting secretary of the Navy Thomas mode lay says the Navy now has 104 cases of covet 19 not counting families and contractors together. The Navy and the Marines now have one third of all active duty cases in the U S military. Speaker 5: 03:41 Um, I, I will say that we, our forces are all over the world all the time. Uh, that may have something to do with it. Um, and the, we also have big fleet concentration areas such as San Diego and Norfolk and other areas where we have a lot of people that are together. Speaker 4: 03:54 The USS Roosevelt has at least 23 confirmed cases of the virus. There have been several other cases of sailors assigned to San Diego Bay ships testing positive. They were all onshore in San Diego when they were diagnosed. New recruits are being screened on arrival at Marine Corps recruiting Depot San Diego and exercise scheduled in April at 29 palms has now been canceled. Steve Walsh KPBS news, Speaker 1: 04:24 a lot of people are worried about immigration detention centers. They're worried that they could become coronavirus hotspots. And so far there have been no confirmed cases of chronic virus in these detention centers in California. But some civil rights groups this week filed an emergency ruling to force immigration and customs enforcement to step up its efforts to protect vulnerable detainees. KPBS reporter max Rivlin Adler spoke with immigration attorney, Dorian Edgar Seto about conditions inside the center Speaker 6: 04:56 since the beginning of the Corona virus or the rumblings of of that there was going to be this global health, um, emergency. What have you seen in terms of precautions that have been being taken for those in ice custody? Um, leading up to this? Speaker 7: 05:14 Um, so the progressions have been fairly inconsistent across facilities. Every detention center that's run by ice, um, is, has different roles, um, even across companies. So there are a few large private prison companies that run many different detention centers across the country. But even though they're part of the same umbrella company, um, each of the facilities has its own process, its own rules, it's unregulated and its own relationship with a local ice office. And this is true nationally and also locally to Southern California is that every, every facility where I have clients that are to attend the facilities have been taking different precautions. Speaker 6: 05:53 So let's take one. A site in particular, the OTI Mesa detention center run by core civic. Over the past few weeks. What precautions have you seen being taken for people in detention there and, um, in terms of not only the people in detention but also guards and legal visitors? Speaker 7: 06:12 I've heard different things from different clients at Otay Mesa detention center in terms of safety progressions on the inside as is common in detention centers, there is limited access to cleaning supplies. We've had clients report that although the facility does provide soap for free, which is not necessarily a guaranteed in immigration custody in many facilities you do have to buy it from the content. Sorry. Um, if you want, um, if you want look, so Inbar form, um, the, the, the housing units don't have consistent access to cleaning products like disinfectant. And many of our clients haven't really been told what's what's happening. Um, they have some, some notices have been posted about washing your hands, um, about trying to stay, um, about social distancing. Um, but nobody from the facility has really come to each housing unit and given people instructions or an update about what's happening across the world. Speaker 7: 07:05 Most people are getting all of their information from the news. Um, and many clients are worried because they're hearing from the news social distance, try not to be in groups of more than 10 people and that's just absolutely impossible in the housing units that they are assigned to. Um, everybody shares rooms. Um, there's people are in enclosed spaces. There isn't consistent access to fresh air. Again, there's not consistent access to disinfectant products and so on. People are very, very concerned because they've had this lack of information from the people of course supposed to be making sure that they're safe coupled with this lack w with, with all of the stress and anxiety that all of us are, are hearing. I'm watching the news every night, um, and an inconsistent access to things like disinfected products. Um, and, and, and our clients aren't able to control their space. Right? Um, they are assigned to the housing unit that they're assigned to. They're assigned to the roommate that they're assigned to. And people who do want to practice social distance thing, who are worried about their health, um, who have creates a state health conditions that make them uniquely vulnerable to particularly acidity or CVID 19, aren't able to take care of their health, um, in the ways that they would if they were given the opportunity to do so. So that's in terms of, that's what we've seen inside. Speaker 6: 08:24 So how has this played out for people who are both doing legal visits and um, the, the guards themselves? Speaker 7: 08:30 So, um, for people who are doing legal visits, um, the role is, has been changing every, every few days. Um, initially we were told that we were still able to do contact visits to get things like signatures that we needed for a client's cases. Um, that will was changed. And we're now at [inaudible], we're only allowed to, um, do visits with people over these like video consoles, um, and then any may paperwork we need signed. Um, we have to hand to guards to give to our clients. And they handed that. However, um, the last time I was at Latina said, which was several days ago, and this may have changed since, um, none of the guards had gloves. Um, the, the security officers were not practicing social distancing. Um, there were signs up in the facility encouraging people to do so. Um, but it looked very much like business as usual at the detention center, except that we weren't able to do, um, contact visits. Speaker 7: 09:25 And so I think that everybody in detention is rightfully concerned that, um, all of the people who need to be going in and out of detention just on an everyday basis to bring food deliveries to bring the mail. Um, all of the security guards. So we're concerned as advocates, of course, as attorneys, we want to do everything that we can to minimize the spread of covert 19 by us into detention. And so I'm happy to limit my contact with my clients, but we are concerned that the security officers that the ice officers and that all of the people who are going in and out of that facility on a daily basis, um, who are necessary to keep it running, um, that, that people, that people inside attention are at risk, um, from, from just that natural in and out movement in facilities. Speaker 8: 10:18 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 10:18 you can hear that full interview on KPBS midday edition podcast. Just search for it wherever you listen to podcasts. Okay, so it's the weekend, but here's your reminder to stay home as much as you can. Most all parks and beaches are closed and even going on hikes in rural spots, you run the risk of running into crowds. Thanks for listening to San Diego news matters.

Ways To Subscribe
A San Diego police officer from the Western Division became the first law enforcement officer in the city of San Diego to test positive for COVID-19, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Friday. Plus: Immigration detention facilities could become coronavirus hot spots and more local news you need.