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San Diego County Confirms 84 New COVID-19 Cases

 March 31, 2020 at 3:00 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:01 Good afternoon, everybody. Governor Gavin Newsome says the state needs more than 30,000 extra healthcare workers. He says we need more doctors and nurses, pharmacists, administrative staff, and mental health professionals. The last four days, we have seen a doubling of the number of hospitalizations related to coven 19 the last four days. So to help meet that need, the state is temporarily suspending some licensing requirements and the governor's calling on retired doctors and medical students to help treat an anticipated surge of coronavirus patients in coming weeks. When you see a tripling of the ICU beds, when you see a doubling the hospitalizations just over a four day period, uh, that's a point of not just consideration. It's a point of obvious concern as it relates to our ability to meet not only, uh, the physical needs, uh, of that surge, but the personal protective equipment that is required of it. He says in coming weeks, the state may need an additional 50,000 hospital beds. If you're a nursing school student, medical school student, uh, we need you, uh, if you've just retired in the last few years, we need you Speaker 2: 01:29 [inaudible]. Speaker 1: 01:29 Also in today's local headlines, San Diego mayor Kevin Faulkner issued an executive order Monday declaring all city employees disaster workers. That declaration essentially makes it easier for city staffers to shift gears and help where they're needed when it comes to the local COBIT 19 emergency and San Diego County public health officials on Monday issued two new public health orders that limit cruise ships from both docking and disembarking in San Diego. San Diego zoo global announced Monday that both at zoo and Safari park will remain closed until further notice. And now for the latest COBIT 19 numbers cases grew by 84 on Monday. That's the biggest jump. Yet. Now 603 people have tested positive for coven. 19 in San Diego County deaths are still sitting at seven. I'm Kinsey Morlan and you're listening to San Diego news matters. It's Tuesday, March 31st stick around for more local news you need. Speaker 3: 02:44 The city of San Diego is offering grants and loans to small businesses that have been impacted by the Corona virus shutdowns KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says the response has been overwhelming almost as soon as the online application portal went live. Friday evening it crashed. It was back up about five hours later. Marchelle McKiernan owns Bloxham salon in North park. She says the city should have been better prepared for the onslaught of web traffic. And what was most painful was looking at, you know, these different mayors, high fiving our mayor for doing such a great job, but not even considering that hundreds of business owners were in hysterics trying to get in line for this funding. And many of them will close if they don't get it. The city says it will still give out funding on a first come first served basis and that officials spent all weekend responding to voicemails and emails to ensure everyone was able to submit their application. Speaker 4: 03:42 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 03:43 Andrew Bowen, KPBS news. So nursing students at San Diego state university and across the state have been pulled from working in hospitals because of the Corona virus outbreak. But that's created a real problem. They won't have the clinical hours they need to graduate. KPBS reporter Claire Traeger, Sarah says this could create a shortage of nurses next year, Claire talks to SCSU nursing students. Sarah Foshay, Speaker 5: 04:13 my mom sort of had an influence on me. She's a registered nurse. Speaker 2: 04:18 Sarah Fosha is a third year nursing student at San Diego state. Up until recently, she'd been spending two days a week in the hospital fulfilling the hands on clinical hours that are required for her degree. Then the Corona virus struck. Speaker 5: 04:33 I myself was actually, uh, potentially exposed to one of the patients I was taking care of was a being tested for, um, coronavirus [inaudible]. Speaker 2: 04:44 She and two other nursing students had to be isolated at home until the results came back that the patient didn't have Corona virus. But by then hospitals and SDSU decided nursing students should no longer be in hospitals. Foshay had mixed emotions about the decision. Speaker 5: 05:03 I sort of feel guilty that I can't, I guess. Um, yeah, because I feel like that's part of signing up for the job is there is a chance, you know, you're taking care of sick patients and infectious patients. There's a, there's a risk to yourself as well. Speaker 2: 05:22 The problem is that nursing students can't treat patients, but they still need personal protective equipment and other resources that are in scarce supply. That's according to dr Phillip Greiner, the nursing director at SDSU Speaker 3: 05:37 nurses are the people who run in and take care of patients. Some people might say we should have students doing the same thing, but remember students are here for education, not exposure as they graduate. They might put themselves in harm's way, but we can't do that as part of their education. Speaker 2: 05:57 The decision by SDSU and other schools across the state to pull students from clinical hours has created another problem. About 75% of nursing students, clinical work has to be direct patient care, which means students now can't graduate. Speaker 6: 06:15 If this group was not, were not able to graduate, thousands of students would be backlog, not just this year, but in years behind them. Those students would not be able to progress. Speaker 2: 06:26 California already has a significant nursing shortage. Dr Griner is hoping the state can waive the clinical requirement for these students so the shortage doesn't get worse, but he says it would take an executive order from governor Gavin Newsome to make the change. Speaker 6: 06:42 These students need to graduate, enter the workforce, and be full RNs at a time when we need them. Most Speaker 2: 06:49 nursing student organizations and the California state university system have written letters to the governor asking for his help and students have signed a petition so far he hasn't responded and his spokesman didn't respond to her request by KPBS for comment. In some States, including Virginia, governors have issued executive orders. Other States such as Wisconsin and New Jersey are going so far as to ask nursing students to start working in hospitals amid staffing shortages. Dr Griner says, if SDSU is nursing school allowed students to work as registered nurses, even temporarily, it could lose its accreditation. Speaker 5: 07:30 Am I still going to feel prepared? Speaker 2: 07:35 Sarah Foshay, the nursing student feels like she's missing out on a rare learning opportunity, but she understands the decision. Speaker 5: 07:42 If more like personal protective equipment was available. I feel like this would be a really great learning experience, um, for nursing students. But the decision to have us not be in clinical is better for the radius, number of people and in terms of minimizing the spread. Speaker 2: 08:04 Claire Trigere, sir KPBS news, Speaker 1: 08:11 lots of local arts and culture organizations are struggling right now. A lot of their money comes from events which have been canceled or postponed like the media arts center, San Diego, which had to cancel. It's San Diego Latino film festival this year. It also had to close its digital Jim's cinema earlier this month because of the pandemic, but KPBS arts reporter Beth Armando says like a lot of other struggling arts organizations, media arts is looking to creative online options. Digital gym cinema is now living up to its name as it brings some films from the cancelled Latino film festival to audiences. Digital streaming Speaker 3: 08:56 services festival founder Ethan Bhante says some distributors are working with art houses to provide alternate ways of showing films. Speaker 7: 09:04 They provide us with individual links where these links are just for our specific movie theater. And then each time a person purchases a ticket, a percentage, a 50% goes to our independent movie theater. So again, I think every, everyone needs to understand it's not necessarily business as usual, and this is, that's just for our nonprofits. But you know, for the world around us Speaker 3: 09:26 this week, Brazil's back O'Rowe, which was scheduled to play at the festival, is one of a handful of films now available as part of digital gym cinema at home. Speaker 1: 09:36 That's like Amando KPBS needs. If you're out there doing interesting things to stay connected during the time of Corona virus, I want to hear from you. Tell me your story. Email me@podcastatkpbs.org that's podcast with an S. thanks for listening.

The number of COVID-19 cases in San Diego County increased to 603 Monday, a jump of 84 from Sunday. Plus: the state is looking for retired and student health care workers to help meet an expected surge of coronavirus patients in California and more local news you need.