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Navy Says USS Theodore Roosevelt Has 550 COVID-19 Cases

 April 13, 2020 at 2:39 AM PDT

Over the weekend, the U.S. Navy announced 103 new cases of coronavirus onboard the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. That brings the number of positive cases on the ship to 550. Navy officials said 92% of the ship’s crew members have been tested for COVID-19, with 550 positive and 3,673 negative results. In response, nearly 3,700 sailors have moved ashore, which includes 518 who were taken off the ship since Friday. The outbreak on the ship made international headlines after the ship’s commanding officer, Captain Brett Crozier (Crow-sher), wrote a letter begging the Navy for more help combating the spread of the disease. NEWS MONTAGE? But he got sacked early this month after the letter was leaked. Then, days later, then-acting Navy secretary Thomas Modly (Mode-ly) gave a speech to the crew on the ship and called the captian naive and stupid if he thought the letter wouldn’t become public. MODLY SPEECH CLIP Modly then resigned a day after audio of that speech was leaked. BEAT To help the San Diego VA clear bed space, VA's in southern California have banned together to debut a faster test for COVID-19. Jessica Wang-Rodriguez runs the lab for the VA in the region. She says early on in the outbreak it could take the VA up to 15 days to get test results. They'd use a private lab, the CDC and what she calls a homebrewed test the VA created in-house. It left a backlog of patients in isolation, waiting for test results. VATEST 2 :14 "All of the doctors and nurses had to be wearing the full personal protective equipment. And that's really exhausting and quickly depleting our supplies and stores of personal protective equipment." But then the VA region partnered with Roche, a medical company looking for places to test the first FDA-approved fast test for COVID-19. They've since run 3,100 tests in just 10 days. BEAT Over the weekend, County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced that the county would be soon identifying a “testing coordinator” to help integrate all of the different testing efforts in the county. SATURDAY COUNTY PRESSER CLIP “The availability of widespread rapid testing is a foundational piece of any effort that must accompany any consideration of reopening our society,” he said. And for the latest Covid count: San Diego County health officials reported no new COVID-19 deaths Sunday, leaving the county's toll at 45. However, 42 new cases were reported, bringing the total to 1,804. BEAT I’m Kinsee Morlan and you’re listening to KPBS’ daily news podcast San Diego news Matters. It’s Monday, April 13. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. Midroll 1 Police across the region are seeing their jobs change with the coronavirus -- they're enforcing stay-at-home orders and keeping the peace at food banks and grocery stores. And when they do make arrests, there's a new level of danger, with the slightest touch meaning they could get sick. KPBS reporter Claire Trageser examines the psychological impacts of the pandemic on police. POLICEIMPACT NAT POP [Notes:00:09:09] And he's running away from us and we had to catch up to him, make contact with him and placing him under arrest and handcuff him. [Notes:00:09:18] [Notes:9.5] Having to tackle someone who's running away is a pretty standard part of the job for Chula Vista Police Officer Victor Del Rio. But the coronavirus pandemic makes it far more complicated. During an arrest… [Notes:00:04:36] When we first contact with the subject, obviously we are practicing our social distancing. We stay six feet from them and when we determine a crime had occurred, it was time to conduct our business and I'll tell him to please put his hands behind his back. [Notes:00:04:53] [Notes:16.4] Officers are now wearing masks and gloves at all times. But an arrest is still an arrest and they have to come in close contact with people to do their jobs. Del Rio says it's instinctual. [Notes:00:05:23] Training just takes over and we just have to act. I mean, it's training. It is in the back of my mind. We are worried about it, but we are here for public safety. And when it's time we do our job. [Notes:00:05:38] [Notes:14.6] Still, the threat of the virus is always there, lingering and invisible. So says Del Rio's partner, Officer Javier Castillo. [Notes:00:07:56] It always constantly crosses our mind, especially the most concerning part is contracting it, taking it to my family." [Notes:00:01:28] I think what we're seeing now is that many places police officers are being more reactive as opposed to proactive." Phil Stinson is a former police officer who studies policing and criminal justice at Bowling Green State University. SOT con't "In other words, police officers are responding to calls for service, they're responding to 911 calls, but they're not being as aggressive in terms of proactive traffic enforcement and other types of activities." In March, arrests in Chula Vista were down significantly -- by almost 50 percent from 2019. San Diego police wouldn't make an officer available for an interview, but their arrests were also down. Going forward, Stinson predicts that when police do have to make arrests... [Notes:00:03:23] What we're going to see, among other things, is that the charges are aggravated. In other words, people are going to be charged with more charges or more serious charges than they otherwise would. [Notes:00:03:32] [Notes:9.1] So fewer arrests, but heftier charges for those who do end up in handcuffs. Chula Vista Lt. Dan Peak says the department has made other changes: an emergency staffing plan that eliminates interaction between teams and keeps officers on reserve in case others get sick. He says there's constant stress. [Notes:00:20:39] We may have officers now that have child care issues just like anybody else in the world right now, where maybe they have a spouse or significant other that lost their jobs. Now, maybe there's some financial issues. But on top of that, we're also asking our officers to go out and provide some service to the public while also knowing that there's this deadly virus. [Notes:00:21:16] [Notes:36.8] SOT "They're emotionally drained. They have this hypervigilance." Dr. Nancy Bohl-Penrod leads The Counseling Team International, which provides counseling services to many local law enforcement agencies , including in the Sheriff's Department, Oceanside and National City police. She says the hyperawarness that police always have has gone to a higher level. SOT "Am I getting it, am I carrying it, does that person i just arrested and put in back of my car, does he have it." Dr. Bohl-Penrod worries about officers taking these additional stresses home with them -- -- and ratcheting up tensions with spouses and children. SOT "Many have told me their spouses don't want them to come back, want them to stay at the station until this is over. That's hard because they want to sleep in their own beds, and don't want pushback from their families." She's telling her clients to eat healthy, exerce, talk with family and maybe even keep a journal. SOT "Law enforcement are instant gratifiers, they wanted it yesterday, it's really hard to be patient and say ok, this is what we're in now. They have to stay positive, this will pass, we're strong nation, communities, and this will pass." That's good advice for everyone. Claire Trageser, KPBS News During the coronavirus pandemic there's a run on cleaning supplies, including hand sanitizer. It's sold out online and if you're lucky enough to find it in a store, it's limited to one per customer. KPBS Reporter Matt Hoffman introduces us to a local distiller who’s stepping up to fill the need. _______________________________________________ BARRIOBIZ (:44) 07;32;23;04 Just the one thing we keep hearing is that nobody can get their hands on sanitizer So Bill Rodgers who owns Liberty Call Distilling decided to ditch the booze and start making hand sanitizer. 07;33;45;26 we're selling it to people who can afford to buy it the big corporations that really need it for their employees, Amazon for example In just two weeks they've sold thousands of gallons to the city of Los Angeles, the port of San Diego, UPS, the U.S. Postal Service and a handful of local hospitals. Thanks to those sales, Liberty Call is giving away free bottles of hand sanitizer every weekend now in Barrio Logan. 07;33;42;22 Just to give back to the community 07;37;36;29 Everybody is so thankful and happy that we're giving it out. 07;39;14;27 Every saturday and sunday 10-2 until this is over The hand sanitizer is based on a vodka recipe. Matt Hoffman, KPBS News. School districts across San Diego County are trying to feed as many students as they did before the coronavirus forced schools to close. A lot of families depend on those free school meals they get when school’s in session. Some districts know they’re not reaching as many kids as they could be. inewsource reporter Jennifer Bowman explains. MEALS 1 In a matter of days after schools closed, districts hurried to serve hundreds of thousands of meals. But some county districts report they're falling short of reaching all of the children who relied on the free meals before the pandemic. One of them: Cajon Valley Union School District. Sixty-eight percent of its students come from households with incomes low enough to qualify for free and low-cost meals. MIYASHIRO: "There are some families that aren't accessing the lunch and we're in the process now of finding out why." (00:05) That's Superintendent David Miyashiro (ME-uh-SHEER-oh). He says the district typically serves over thirteen-thousand meals a day. Since COVID-19, that number's dropped to about eight-thousand. National School District and Borrego Springs Unified also reported declines. But no one is keeping track of these numbers. The county Office of Education has a voluntary reporting effort. Jerry Smith with the county office hopes more meal sites will open with the help of private and charter schools. SMITH: "We realize these are special times and that we have to adapt and feed the children and the public." (00:07) To find out where your family can pick up food, go to inewsource dot org. For KPBS, I'm inewsource reporter Jennifer Bowman. inewsource is an independently funded, nonprofit partner of KPBS. With social distancing and stay at home orders, AMC and other cinemas have shut down. Studios have paused filming and pushed back releases...or sent them straight to viewers at home via streaming services. Sarah Katsiyiannis (cat-sea-YAWN-niece) has more on how the coronavirus could change the movie industry. AMC 1 With theatres expected not to open until july or august, analysts are starting to worry about AMC's future. The company already laid off 600 of their corporate staff and stopped paying rent on their buildings. In an effort to bring in revenue, they are offering online movie rentals or purchases. Miro Copic with San Diego State and Bottom Line Marketing says that with unemployment going up and streaming services offering more for the same price, consumers are opting out in order to save money AMC 1A (:12) "For 6.99 i can watch all the TV that I want, shows, movies, and consumers are trading this off and so even new revenue streams that could've been lucrative for AMC are drying up." He says coming out of this, AMC may have fewer locations and many fewer workers. SOQ Birch Aquarium of course remains closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. But you can catch them online. The aquarium marked Easter with a special live stream of the fish feeding in its kelp forest. AQUARIUM 1A "Oh, what is this? Do we have two scuba bunnies? We might have two scuba bunnies!" The fish food came from two scuba divers dressed as the Easter bunny. Here's Birch Aquarium spokeswoman Caitlin Scully. AQUARIUM 1B 0:07 We know there are holidays this week and this weekend, so we really wanted to do something nice for you guys to enjoy as a family. The livestream - which you can find at aquarium dot ucsd dot edu included questions and answers on the various species of fish at the aquarium. And the baseball season is currently on pause due to the pandemic, but MLB is still finding ways to entertain baseball fans. I just walked out into my living room, by the way, and caught my husband watching Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres live streaming himself playing a baseball video game called MLB The Show. MLB CLIP Apparently, this is a thing now. MLB announced early April that 30 players will represent their respective teams and compete in this online mini-season playing the game and streaming it live on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and the MLB Network's Twitch site. Just google "MLB The Show" for details. That’s all for today. Thanks for listening.

Over the weekend, the U.S. Navy announced 103 new cases of coronavirus onboard the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, bringing the number of positive cases on the ship to 550. Also on the San Diego News Matters podcast: the psychological impacts of the pandemic on police, a local distiller who’s stepping up to fill the hand-sanitizer need and more of the local news you need.