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Coronavirus Cases Surge To Record Highs

 November 17, 2020 at 4:21 AM PST

California’s Daily cases of COVID-19 have doubled in just the last 10 days. It's the fastest increase the state has seen since the beginning of this pandemic. In San Diego on Monday, officials reported 833 cases: the second highest in a day since the pandemic began. Supervisor Nathan Fletcher says large gatherings on Thanksgiving could spread the virus even more. "it's not every Thanksgiving, it's just right now. It's just this time. And those are the decisions that everyone has to make around what can you do to slow the spread. And that is limiting contact with individuals who do not live with you on a regular basis." The county did not report any new deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday — though hospitalizations and deaths often lag behind case rates as an indicator of how fast the disease is spreading. Meanwhile, Governor Gavin Newsom is tightening restrictions across the state. Last week less than a quarter of all counties were in the purple, most restrictive tier. Now more than two thirds of all counties are in the "purple.” The governor said that his new approach includes prevention, testing, isolation...and now vaccination. "We have a long way to go to get to a vaccine that is widely distributed, but good news nonetheless." Two companies have announced encouraging results from testing vaccines. We’ll have more on the vaccine situation in just a bit. It’s Tuesday, November 17th. This is San Diego News Matters from KPBS News. I’m Anica Colbert. Stay with me for more of the local news you need to start your day. Dozens of protestors gathered outside of the San Diego county administration building on Monday afternoon. It was for a "reopen San Diego" rally. They were there to protest new indoor business restrictions under the state's purple tier. Sarah Piha is the owner of Time Out Sports Tavern in downtown. She has about 140 seats inside but only about 20 outside.. but she says they will follow the closure order. "All of us are budgeting together we're trying to figure it out and it's devastating. Every single one of us is depressed but we're still going to put up a fight it's all we can do." The purple tier restrictions will remain the place in San Diego for at least the next three weeks. Biotech Moderna says its experimental vaccine is just under 95% effective. They made the announcement on monday. KPBS science and technology reporter Shalina Chatlani says the news comes just as coronavirus cases surge across the country, with a million new cases in less than a week. The news of Moderna's success comes just a week after another company... Pfizer and its partner BioNTech.. Announced its vaccine was over 90% effective following phase 3 clinical trials….Moderna chief medical officer Dr. Tal Zaks told CNN he's confident the company can start handing out vaccines by the end of the year. By the end of this year we said that in the United States we expect to have 20 million doses Immunologist Carl Ware, director of Sanford Burnham Prebys' Infectious and Inflammatory Disease Center says the news is promising, but in terms of timeline there are still some important safety and protocol steps that have to happen. WARE: its probably going to take 6 months to a full year to get enough people vaccinated for us to really get out of this dark tunnel of infection. Moderna says it plans to file in the coming weeks with the FDA so that it could be swiftly approved for emergency use authorization. Shalina Chatlani, KPBS news. A recent California law mandates that local law enforcement provide the public an annual report on its interaction with federal immigration authorities. The San Diego county sheriff's department gives its update tonight. Ahead of that, KPBS reporter Max Rivlin-Nadler tells us immigrant advocates are saying the sheriff is in violation of state law. Three years ago, state legislators passed a bill meant to curb local law enforcement's cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. San Diego County sheriff Bill Gore changed some of his department's practices to comply with the law. But the sheriff also began posting release dates and names of detainees online, making it easier for ICE to find and arrest individuals. This is something that is not unusual, he does this all of the time in circumvention of California law. Civil rights Attorney Genevieve Jones-Wright represents a Mexican man, who was arrested by San Diego police while at work earlier this year. When he was released from county jail two days later, ICE agents were waiting for him. He now faces possible deportation and separation from his two US citizen children. When we have a sheriff, like sheriff Gore, who implement such policies to evade state law, every single charge has immigration consequences for our undocumented community members. The county is holding a virtual forum at five tonight to discuss the department's interactions with ICE. It's a change from last year when it was held in the middle of the day, which made it inaccessible to many working immigrants. Max Rivlin-Nadler, KPBS News Massive high tides known as "King Tides" are hitting San Diego and the California coast through Tuesday — with tides expected to reach nearly 7 feet. KPBS Reporter Jacob Aere says the King Tides can cause flooding and erosion. King Tides happen when the sun, moon and Earth are in alignment and the moon is in its closest position to the Earth, creating a stronger gravitational pull. Last year, king tides in Imperial Beach caused a bit of erosion and some street flooding. Lt. Brian Clark is a lifeguard in San Diego and says people need to be aware of the dangers with the extreme tide changes. Brian Clark | Lieutenant Lifeguard "You'll see the tide coming up a lot higher and then you'll also see the tide receding a lot further than you typically see so that can also be dangerous for mariners." The next King Tides event is expected to occur December 13th to 15th of this year. Jacob Aere, KPBS News. Coming up on the podcast….COVID-19 restrictions have kept youth athletes from playing in front of college coaches and recruiters. "Playing locally is not allowed. They have to stay within their cohort. However it is allowed in other neighboring states.' So some teams are hitting the road. That story next. COVID-19 restrictions have kept youth athletes from being able to get out and play. For many graduating high school athletes, college and scholarship opportunities have vanished. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne talks to an Oceanside soccer team about what they're doing to get those opportunities back. "I'm not sure how this is going to end up but they've really lost a lot of valuable time." Frank Zimmerman, coach for the Oceanside Breakers, was unable to lead his boys team of high school juniors to defend their 20-19 state cup championship due to COVID-19 restrictions. For these 16 to 17 year old boys, this is a pivotal moment where college teams begin to scout players. Without the ability to compete, players like Javier Camarga can't get those opportunities. Javier Camarga/Oceanside Breaker "We were really looking forward to National Cup, were defending champs back in 2019, we could've been exposed to a lot of colleges now that we're Juniors, and were pretty bummed out." California's COVID-19 guidelines allow conditioning, practice and training but no competition outside a team's defined practice cohort. Zimmerman "Playing locally is not allowed. Even playing with one of our breakers team against another is not yet allowed. They have to stay within their cohort. However it is allowed in other neighboring states.' Sporting events have been held in Arizona, Nevada and Utah. Zimmerman plans on making the trip to Arizona with his team Thanksgiving weekend… even though California has issued a travel advisory, telling people to quarantine if they go out of state and return. Christian McElroy, an Oceanside Breaker, is looking forward to playing in front of college coaches when his team travels to the Arizona tournament. "We just want to play and were not allowed to play in California so whenever we get a chance it will be good." With the restrictions on competitive play, sports clubs throughout San Diego are struggling to keep running. Bob Turner, Executive Director of Presidio Soccer Club, says that impacts some players more than others. Bob Turner "The kids with money are going to be able to play, they can afford it. But the underprivileged kids that have been helped and scholarshipped aren't going to have those scholarships, they will not have them, and now again the direct effect is to those kids." Coaches Turner and Zimmerman said the lack of competitions in sports also impacts the mental health of players who just want to play. "They miss competing with each other against other teams and they havent got to do that since March 13th, before March 13th." Youth sports opens the door to college for many athletes. With no ease of restrictions in sight, players like Javier Camarga will need to work with their coaches to find the opportunities to get them exposed to college and pro recruiters. SOT: "I've been playing the sport since I was 4 and yea its something I do want to play professionally, hopefully. I look forward to getting scouted one day and like making my dreams come true." ..That was reporting from KPBS’ North County reporter Tania Thorne. This story was produced with support from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. That’s it for the podcast today, thanks for listening and have a great day.

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San Diego County is setting records: On Monday there were 833 cases reported, following a record high of 1,087 on Sunday and 736 Saturday. Meanwhile, business owners gathered with protestors for a “re-open San Diego rally” on Monday to protest closure of indoor business operations under the state’s “purple tier.”