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‘This Facility Is Not Properly Equipped To Deal With This Virus’

 April 17, 2020 at 2:57 AM PDT

**Parts of this transcript have been automatically generated. Please excuse typos.*** San Diego Pride is the latest big local event to fall to COVID-19. SAN DIEGO PRIDE AMBI On Thursday, the nonprofit announced that all Pride events happening in … July ...have been canceled. AMBI OUT Many local officials, including San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, commended the decision. KEVIN FAULCONER PRIDE CLIP I will tell you though, the pride’s mission, um, bringing our community together, uh, it's more important than ever while we are physically apart right now. BEAT At the Otay Mesa Detention Center, The COVID-19 outbreak is now the largest among all US immigration Detention Centers. There are now 19 detainees with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the privately-run Center. The immigrants rights group Otay Mesa Detention Resistance made public recordings of phone calls from detainees at the center. Here’s Jose Martinez Gonzalez. OTAY DETAINEE CLIP Eue to the coronavirus, my family needs me for support so I can take care of them, help them in every which way possible. I am also a diabetic, this facility is not properly equipped to deal with this virus. The center houses immigrant detainees and those in U.S. Marshal’s custody. Eight staff members have also tested positive. Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein this week called for an investigation into the treatment of detainees at the center. BEAT Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday signed an executive order to mandate two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave for a broad swath of workers in California’s food industry The new rule applies to those who grow and harvest food, plus people who pack, deliver, cook and serve it. BEAT Also on Thursday, the U.S. Navy publicly identified the sailor from the San Diego-based USS Theodore Roosevelt, who died this week of COVID-19 complications. Charles Robert Thacker Jr. was 41, and died Monday at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Guam. BEAT And on the heels of the planned budget cuts announced Wednesday, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Thursday offered up a little bit of relief for the local arts community. The mayor announced nearly $1.3 million in funding to help support artists and nonprofits affected by COVID-19. The effort, dubbed “San Diego Arts + Culture Challenge,” is a partnership between the City of San Diego, the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition, The San Diego Foundation and private donors. MAYOR CLIP ARTS we had to reduce our arts and grants by 50%, but make no mistake arts culture are incredibly important in the fabric of. Really who we are. Uh, in this great city of ours, The proposed cuts to the city’s arts funding are close to $6 million. BEAT Some good news: a much smaller, modified version of the Hillcrest Farmers Market will be open on Sunday, April 19 from 9 am to 2 pm. The normally packed and very popular outdoor market will maintain social distancing rules. Farmers markets have been allowed to remain open as an essential service. BEAT And for the latest COVID count: Officials reported three more deaths Thursday and 75 more positive cases. That's a countywide total of 63 fatalities and 2,087 cases. BEAT I’m Kinsee Morlan and you’re listening to KPBS’ daily podcast San Diego News Matters. It’s Friday, April 17. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. MIDROLL 1 AD Testing capacity is still limited so people in San Diego are turning to private companies holding pop-up locations. But county health officials recently closed one of those sites for not meeting testing standards. KPBS Reporter Matt Hoffman explains. ___________________ MIRACOSTATEST 1 No more cars will be lining up for COVID-19 and antibody testing at MiraCosta college in the north county. The college is not affiliated with the "COVID Clinic." It just provided space in its parking lot for the drive-through testing. The company had an agreement to be on campus for just a week, with terms expiring on Friday. But just days into testing county health officials ordered the site to shut down, saying it failed to provide necessary state certifications. County officials also said operators wouldn't provide them with testing results. Thursday county health Dr. Eric McDonald announced additional findings- 23:00 mins Dr. Eric McDonald, County Health and Human Services "We determined that they do not have a CLEA certificate to be able to do the testing they were doing also they don't have the certification to send specimens out of state The covid clinic was charging 125 for coronavirus tests and 75 for antibodies ones with results promised within days. We reached out to the "COVID Clinic" and its Orange County-based owner for comment on this story but have not heard anything back. BEAT The Metropolitan Transit Agency says five bus drivers have tested positive for coronavirus. All of those drivers are quarantining, along with several other drivers who might have been exposed. But KPBS reporter Claire Trageser says at least 8 drivers who are staying home, aren’t getting paid. ________________ MTSDRIVER 1 Two weeks ago, bus driver Tom Jensen was told he had to quarantine at home. He'd driven a bus after another driver who tested positive for coronavirus. But then he got another piece of news. MTSDRIVER 1A "The next day they called us and said it would be unpaid, and told me when to report back to work. It takes a lot of nerve to do that." Jensen's union Teamsters Local 542 confirmed--at least 8 drivers who work for MTS subcontractor First Transit were asked to quarantine because they were potentially exposed to the virus but haven't tested positive. None are being paid. Jensen drives for First Transit, a contractor of MTS. A spokesman for First Transit confirmed that drivers like Jensen aren't being paid, but can use sick time or can apply for unemployment. MTS, by the way, announced Thursday that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to the organization postponing plans for a November ballot measure. If passed, the money would have funded an expansion of city transit projects. BEAT Data has shown San Diegans are listening to stay at home orders and taking fewer trips to locations like stores and parks… But urgent and emergency care facilities are also seeing a drop in visits. KPBS Health Reporter Tarryn Mento asks what this says about non-coronavirus medical needs during the pandemic. ____________________________________________ URGENTCARE 1 Patient volume at Sharp Rees Stealy's five urgent care clinics has dropped from about 600 people a day down to about 150. Urgent care director Dr Phil Yphantides (EE-fan-TEE-deez) says this may be a positive sign. 00:01:37:11 people are not in close proximity to each other and they're getting sick less often. And we're also seeing decreased rates of trauma. We're seeing decreased rates of heart attacks and even strokes. Sharp and other facilities also saw far fewer visits to their emergency departments, which handle more severe problems. Still there is concern this means non-COVID patients are just forgoing care to avoid public spaces during the outbreak. The county's chief medical officer Dr. Nick Yphantides — yes, Dr. Phil's older brother — says that may be putting them at even greater risk. 00;19;31;18 These are individuals that have health issues completely unrelated to COVID-19 are coming in potentially with a higher acuity of illness Sharp and other medical facilities are significantly boosting their telehealth appointments to help make sure all patients are getting the care they need. Today marks the first public radio music day, A day that celebrates the special role that non-commercial radio stations play in bringing music to our ears in Southern California. So… we’re going to bring some music to your ears. KCRW in LA is a GoTo for finding rad music new and old. And their series “private playlist” is a listening session with Southern California's most notable musical figures in their private creative environments. Like Chris Cohen - a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He spoke with KCRW about clearing the mind with experimental jazz and his own frightening near miss with coronavirus. MIDDAY KCRW PACKAGE Speaker 3: 00:53 This is Chris Cohen. I'm a musician and producer. Speaker 3: 01:00 I was coming back from a show on the 10th of March from Missouri and I got sick on the plane. So that day was like the first day I was like, okay, like something is definitely going on. And um, there were no recommendations coming from the government then and it was really unclear. I managed to get an appointment with my doctor like two days later and he was just like, yeah, you, you might have it. I can't test you just quarantine. It was really like weird like nightmare scenario. Like I'm a paranoid person so I've, I've been waiting in a weird way for this. And then my girlfriend picked me up at Lex, then we moved on the 15th of March. I was planning on just working on new music at home anyway, so lucky for me, I didn't really have to like not do anything that I was planning on Speaker 4: 01:52 [inaudible] Speaker 3: 01:52 not that long before we moved. I was listening a lot to this guy, junior H my neighbors were playing it really loud outside and I was like, Whoa, what? It sounded so cool. And um, I was too shy to go up an estimate. It was so I Shazammed it. There's this one junior age song can S Ken and I really like his musical. I was listening to him before that trip to Missouri. Speaker 4: 02:42 [inaudible] [inaudible] Speaker 3: 02:43 when I was in my twenties I worked in record stores and stuff. So I have like tons of records. It's in the new house. We have like the stereo by the couch, like a turntable and stuff. Then we have like a little Bluetooth speaker in the kitchen and we've been listening to a lot of music like while we're cooking Speaker 4: 03:08 [inaudible] Speaker 3: 03:08 do you know this group called Knauss L Golan? We've been listening to this record that we have, but there is a really like lifts my spirits up. It's physical and it's really, the songs are long and they have like this kind of like back and forth group vocals and stuff. It's exciting music to listen to you. I really, I love that. Speaker 4: 03:40 [inaudible] Speaker 3: 03:41 the first thing we listened to when we moved into the house, I put on this old David Murray record, the tenor sax player Speaker 2: 03:48 [inaudible] Speaker 3: 03:51 it's called flowers for Albert and it's kind of an early morning clearing and mind kind of song. Speaker 2: 04:05 [inaudible] [inaudible] Speaker 3: 04:06 when I was, uh, I think I was about, I was like 18 or something. I saw an ad in the recycler newspaper that was like jazz records, $3 and it said like sun RA Coltrane or something. It just had like clearly this really intense collection and I went to this guy's house. My friend of his had passed away. He was just selling hundreds of like really incredible, like rare, avant garde jazz records. I remember like borrowing money from my sister, trying to buy as many as I possibly could and I bought like a huge box of records from this guy and that was just one of them. And I remember just going through them for like a year or so. Each day I just like pick out anyone and I just kept going back to that one cause I just, it's a live recording and um, it's just a lot. There's a lot of space. It gets real like out there, but it's also very, has a lot of restraint. Speaker 2: 05:03 [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] Speaker 3: 05:20 I bet you're probably going to get this answer from a lot of other musicians, but my routine hasn't changed that much. I live my life like our hermit anyways, so it's not super different. But, uh, my girlfriend is working from home and um, I listen to certain kinds of music when I'm alone and I haven't been alone at all. I think it's like certain music I listened to alone because I know I'm not going to be, I don't want to be distracted from, for example, you knew David tutor. There's this pulsars record that I'm like, I love listening to that record but I only listen do it alone really because you're speechless when you're listening to it like puts you in a different state that's not social Speaker 4: 05:57 [inaudible] Speaker 5: 06:26 [inaudible] Speaker 3: 06:26 there's this collection that just came out like yesterday or day before. It's on this label called bongo Joe records. It's a collection of rye music from eighties Algerian people in France in Leone. Kind of blending like rye music with other forums. It's got my grab K seven club Speaker 5: 06:45 [inaudible] Speaker 3: 07:02 the way that I listen to music in my new, my new space is really different. We were living in happy Valley in Lincoln Heights and we had like a little back house so I could like, it can be pretty loud and I really am like still kind of figuring out like how to listen to music or how to play music in the house. I moved to piano in here and I'm kinda like nervous about playing piano with my neighbors. So still figuring out Speaker 1: 07:40 that was songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Chris Cohen, speaking to KCRW for the series private playlist. For more of the series, you can find a link on our website kpbs.org. Anishka Lee-Skorepa is a bilingual opera singer who works and performs in San Diego and Tijuana. She recently posted an ode to those who find themselves out of a job because of the pandemic. ANISHKA SONG CLIP https://www.facebook.com/anishka.leeskorepa/videos/10222233405881995/U If the coronavirus has inspired, or maybe forced you to do something creative or innovative to stay connected with our community -- tell us about it. Record a voice memo and text it to (619) 452-0228‬ or email it to podcasts@kpbs.org. Thanks #################END#############################

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At the Otay Mesa Detention Center, the COVID-19 outbreak is now the largest among all US immigration detention centers. Also on the San Diego News Matters podcast: San Diego Pride is cancelled due to the coronavirus, funding for artists and nonprofits impacted by the pandemic, a public radio playlist and more local news you need.