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LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

North County Vaccine Roll-Out

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SCRIPPS HEALTH

Inside the intensive care unit (ICU) of one of Scripps hospitals in this undated photo.

Vista begins phase 1A of it’s vaccine roll out plan. Meanwhile California is nearing 30,000 deaths from Covid-19. Also, some states and cities are trying to improve the quality of data on veteran suicide, which is often incomplete and years old.

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Monday, January 11th

Vista starts phase 1-A of vaccine roll outs.

We’ll have that next, but first... let’s do the headlines….

California is nearing 30,000 deaths from Covid-19 as the holiday surge continues. The state reported a single-day record of 695 deaths on saturday, followed by 468 deaths on sunday.

Locally San Diego county officials reported more than 3200 new covid-19 infections and 33 deaths on sunday. They also reported another 32 hospitalizations on sunday for a total of more than 6,000, along with 4 more people in intensive care units.

Hospitals warn they may need to ration care as intensive care beds dwindle.

San Diego County health officials today (MONDAY) are opening up the county’s first COVID-19 vaccination super site. The site, at Tailgate Park in the East Village, is meant to streamline and speed up the vaccine's rollout. Health care workers and those who live or work at assisted living facilities are still the only groups eligible for the vaccine. Appointment slots will be opened weekly via VaccinationSuperStationSD-dot-com.

Pro- and Anti-Trump protestors faced off in Pacific Beach on Saturday. The pro-trump rally was originally planned at Crystal Pier, but anti-fascist activists showed up first in an effort to stop the rally from happening. Police eventually separated the two sides over several blocks of Mission Boulevard and at one point declared the protest an unlawful assembly. Police shot pepper balls at the counter protesters. A few fights broke out but widespread violence was avoided.

From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.

Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

San Diego County is now in the full Phase 1A of COVID-19 vaccinations. KPBS North County reporter Jacob Aere says that includes all healthcare personnel, and the residents and employees of long-term care facilities… rather than just acute health care workers.

As of Friday, the county says about 60,000 San Diegans have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 2,700 people have received both shots.
The Vista Community Clinics began administering their Moderna vaccines on December 29 and have since given the first dose to over 220 employees at all of their locations. On Friday, Jesse Resendiz (Resend-ease) received his initial shot.
“I know there is some types of side effects that may potentially come, but I feel like it's safe, and not only protecting myself, but protecting the community as well.”
The next group to be vaccinated in San Diego County will be those from group 1b-tier 1, which includes people aged 75 and older and certain sectors of essential workers. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.

COVID-19 made evacuating from disasters harder last year and the threat isn’t over. inewsource reporter Camille von Kaenel explains what local officials have learned since then.

VON KAENEL: San Diego County is working to improve its disaster response after recently finishing a review of 2020’s largest fire.
Sheltering was a big problem.
When the Valley Fire near Alpine erupted in September, workers scrambled to find enough hotel rooms to safely house evacuees amid the pandemic. Here’s Sean Mahoney with the Red Cross:
MAHONEY: It was particularly challenging that the big fire occurred during labor day weekend when a lot of hotels were being used, but even on that weekend, we were able to meet the need for everybody.
VON KAENEL: Any larger event and the Red Cross would have had to turn to small group shelters. Since then, the county has finished training its staff to step in as additional shelter workers.
For KPBS, I’m inewsource reporter Camille von Kaenel

That was Inewsource reporter Camille Von Kaenel. Inewsource is an independently funded, nonprofit partner of KPBS.

Qualcomm is getting a new CEO later this year. KPBS’s Sarah Katsiyiannis (cat-sea-YAWN-niece) has more on the transition from Chief Executive Steve Mollenkopf, who is retiring after 26 years with the company.

Incoming CEO Cristiano Amon first joined Qualcomm as an engineer in 1995.
Miro Copic is an SDSU lecturer and cofounder of bottom line marketing. He told KPBS that the new CEO will be diving more into artificial intelligence, the rebirth of the Qualcomm venture arm and 5th generation cellular technology.
“Not only be focusing on 5G, this coming year they're going to look at over half a billion chip sets that they’re going to send out to smartphone manufacturers and other players in this space.”
The move will be effective on the 30th of June, but Mollenkopf will stay on for a period of time to help the transition which in turn will help the stability of Qualcomm’s stocks. SOQ

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, a lot more trash has been going to the Miramar landfill. KPBS reporter John Carroll explains why that’s the case, and what we can all do to help.

LANDFILL 1 :45 SOQ
The Miramar Landfill is the end of the line for San Diego’s trash and these days, there’s more of it. San Diego’s Deputy Director of Environmental Services Matthew Cleary says there’s been an 11-percent increase in trash since the state first went into lockdown last March. He says the reason is directly related to the pandemic. The city only collects residential trash… and a lot more of us are staying at home these days.
“People are working at home, students are learning from home. We attribute the increase in tonnage to just that.”
Cleary says we can all do our part to increase the life of the landfill by buying things with little or no packaging, and recycling everything we can. JC, KPBS News.

Coming up.... A new study of all suicide deaths in Los Angeles county over the last five years found nearly six percent were veterans, in a county where veterans are only 3% of the population. We have an American Homefront project report on what LA county is doing in response up next, just after this break.

Groups that are trying to prevent suicide among military veterans say they're often hampered by a lack of accurate information. In many areas, data on veteran suicide is incomplete and years old.

Los Angeles County is hoping to address that by creating a veteran-focused suicide review board. It would be one of the largest communities in the country to do that.
Robert Garrova reports for the American Homefront Project.

Nico Correa left the military in 2015. During his time in the Army, he saw combat twice in Iraq.
CORREA: “In the 15 years that I was in, I mean, I tell people I’m 39 but I feel 59 inside. The wear and tear, mentally.”
As a combat veteran, Correa says he knows the anguish that former service members go through. For many, coming home doesn’t bring an end to those struggles.
CORREA: “I was lost in the sauce, I didn’t know what route to take, which direction.”
Correa tells me about one of his buddies, someone he served with, who died by suicide. His friend’s wife also died by suicide.
CORREA: “And they had a son. And now his son’s alone. You know, we had to find his grandparents. It was bizarre.”
Correa offers grassroots support to fellow veterans with a group he started a few years ago called PTSD Armor. But he and other advocates have a problem: the data on veteran suicides often comes years after the fact and is incomplete.
Here in LA County there’s a push to get a better understanding of not just the number of veterans who are lost to suicide, but more information on the indivuals behind the numbers.
ALVAREZ: “So really the intent is to provide data more real time with additional information that can be used within the community.
That’s Roberto Alvarez. He’s Special Assistant for Military and Veterans Affairs for LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. He’s looking at the feasibility of creating what they’re calling a Veteran Suicide Review Team.
ALVAREZ: “It stems from the fact that the data that’s published for veteran suicide within LA County comes from the state. And one of the things that came up from organizations was the fact that this data was coming about two-years after the fact, with no real way to really break down that data.”
A study of all LA County suicide deaths during the last five years found nearly six percent could be confirmed veterans. That’s in a county where veterans make up about three percent of the larger population. Sharon Birman, Chief of Suicide Prevention at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center presented the data at a virtual conference this fall.
BIRMAN: “That’s really scary. That’s compelling data. That says to me, we need to pay attention to this vulnerable population.”
What’s more, it’s possible that veteran suicide deaths were undercounted in the study, since researchers were unable to verify veteran status for five percent of those suicide deaths.
Birman says part of the idea behind the Review Team would be to set up a data sharing agreement between the Medical Examiner’s Office and the VA. The multi-agency group would meet monthly to review every veteran suicide in the county and hopefully eliminate the need for retrospective data analysis.
BIRMAN: “To take more of a proactive approach and understanding what are the risk factors in every single suicide. What happened? Understanding the story behind the suicide.”
States and counties around the country have created similar systems for better understanding and tracking veteran suicides, including Montana and Suffolk County in New York.
The hope is that this granular data will better guide the efforts of county and nonprofit agencies here in LA County.
In the meantime, Nico Correa is offering whatever help he can to fellow veterans with his support group. He says it's also a way for him to heal personally.
CORREA: “...We could do Skype or Zoom... Whatever it is, because, I mean the veteran crisis line, it’s one thing. But there’s gotta be more than just the veteran crisis line.
With the isolation and mental health concerns that have come with the pandemic, Correa says keeping up those connections with people who understand the veteran experience is more important than ever.

That story from Robert Garrova. This story was produced by the American Homefront Project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans. Funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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San Diego News Now

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.