Delta Variant Dominates Covid-19 Cases In California
San Diego News Now / July 9, 2021
The Delta Covid-19 variant is becoming the dominant strain in California, meanwhile research shows one dose of a two-dose covid-19 vaccine is not enough protection. Meanwhile, California regulators have fined two local nursing homes for violations relating to how they handled sexual assault allegations against a former caregiver. But the fines may not be enough to force change. Plus, ‘Say Their Names’ memorial exhibit opens this weekend in San Diego.
Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Friday, July 9th.
The Delta variant is dominating covid-19 cases in California
More on that next, but first... let’s do the headlines….
Governor Gavin Newsom is asking Californians to cut back on their water use as the western United States faces a drought that is affecting our water supply. He declared an emergency drought for nine additional counties. The state secretary of natural resources, Wade Crowfoot, says climate change is more evident than ever.
“ In the past week temperatures as high as 17 degrees above average have exacerbated drought conditions across the entire american west.”
The governor says more than 5 billion dollars will be allocated to support the agriculture industry during the drought.
Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey has called on the Coronado Unified School District's board to apologize for releasing a statement condemning the Coronado High School basketball team as being "fueled by racism, colorism and classism." Last month, after Coronado high’s boys basketball team defeated Orange Glen, a largely latino team, some fans threw tortillas at the Orange Glen team. In response the California Interscholastic Federation vacated Cornado high’s championship. The Coronado Unified School board has since voted to start an appeal process for the CIF’s decision.
The heat wave for the San Diego mountains and deserts is expected to be here tomorrow, bringing temperatures up to 120 in the deserts. The national weather service issued an excessive heat warning that’s since been updated. It’ll now be in effect from 9am Saturday to 8pm on Monday.
From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.
Stay with me for more of the local news you need.
The more contagious delta variant is dominating new coronavirus cases in California. And now research is showing that just one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t fully protect against it. KPBS Health reporter Matt Hoffman explains.
New numbers show the delta variant is growing.. Representing nearly half (42.9%) of all sequenced cases in the state last month.. But in San Diego County, the variant represented less than 10 percent of sequenced cases--
Those 54 cases really are just the tip of the iceberg
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Christian Ramers with Family health centers of San Diego says to keep in mind sequencing data could be nearly a month delayed--
So the stuff that we see coming into those reports is late that’s sort of what happened three weeks ago and I say that I think everything is delta now because the speed which has taken over is just striking
San Diego County Health officials released new data showing some 140-thousand residents have skipped their second doses of the moderna and pfizer vaccines, something that could have deadly consequences.
Early on if we go back to last year there weren't all the variants circling around the information was that yeah sure one dose looks pretty good but that is really not true anymore when you bring delta into the equation
While nearly 1.9 million county residents are fully vaccinated, that means there’s more than a million people who aren’t either because they just haven’t gotten one or both shots, or they are minors who aren’t eligible yet.
This virus just looks for places to go and looks for people to infect and as long as you’re in a place with unvaccinated people it’s going to find them and the delta variant is better at finding them then any variant thus far
New county data also shows that since the beginning of the year more than 99 percent of COVID-19 related deaths, hospitalizations and cases are from the unvaccinated.
And we’re now living in a world where it’s almost like two completely different populations: those that are vaccinated where they are having either totally asymptomatic or no infection at all and 99 percent of the hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated people. So the decision to not be vaccinated is basically getting more and more dangerous of decision going forward
Ramers was speaking to us from one of family health centers' monoclonal antibody treatment centers… the therapy is used in newly discovered coronavirus cases and proven to reduce hospitalizations. MH KPBS News.
In April, KPBS reported that California regulators allowed an accused sexual predator to work in local nursing homes while they investigated him. Now the state has fined those facilities for violations related to the case. But, Advocates argue the fines are too low to change behavior. Kpbs’ Amita Sharma has more.
The California Department of Public Health has imposed a $16,000 fine against Parkway Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation in La Mesa. That’s where ex-certified nursing assistant Matthew Fluckiger is accused of raping a resident twice in one hour. Among other things, regulators cited the nursing home for lax background checks and not adequately monitoring “inappropriate behavior” by its staff. Officials also slapped a $2,000 fine on Avocado Post Acute in El Cajon, where Fluckiger is accused of sexually assaulting another woman. The state says Avocado failed to immediately report the alleged incident.
“I can't explain the levels of the fines in either of those cases. They both seem incredibly low.
Scott Fikes is a lawyer representing one of Fluckiger’s alleged victims. He and other advocates for nursing home residents say such light fines aren’t enough to change behavior inside these homes.
The purpose of a fine is to punish the person who has performed a wrongful act and demonstrate to other people that if you perform that kind of act, there will be consequences. Sixteen thousand dollars doesn't stop anything.
Fikes says state regulators should publicly explain why those fines are so low. CDPH declined an interview but told KPBS in an email that the maximum penalties for the Parkway Hills’ violations was $20,000. The $2,000 fine against Avocado was the maximum penalty California law allows for failing to report sexual abuse.
Amita Sharma, KPBS News.
After a year-long delay, the Tokyo Olympics are on track to begin later this month. And for the very first time, skateboarding will be a part of the program. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne says a handful of USA Skateboarding team members are from San Diego.
For the very first time, skateboarding will be a part of the Summer games.
Hayden Acasio, an avid skateboarder in Oceanside, is excited to see the sport hit the big leagues.
Hayden Acasio/Oceanside Skater
“It's crazy, we’ve been wanting skateboarding olympics probably since skateboarding has been a thing. So it's kind of insane for us to see it on the big screen. I think everyone’s going to be watching it. It's going to be sick.”
Representing Team USA, 23 eager skateboarders ready to head to Tokyo to compete. Eight of them are from San Diego.
The three competitors for the Women’s Skateboard Park division all have ties to North County.
Liz Nguyen skates at Alex Road Skatepark in Oceanside and is excited to see some locals on the team.
“I think that's awesome, keeping it local is great, especially in North County, that's great.
Brighton Zeuner from Encinitas will turn 17 just in time to compete in the Olympics and is the youngest ever X Games competitor.
Bryce Wettstein and Jordyn Barratt also have North County ties and have become a household name in the skateboarding community.
LIZ NGUYEN/Oceanside Skater
“I’m just excited to be watching Bryce on the TV, seeing her at the Olympics.
Acasio says North County skaters are excited to see some of their own make it to Tokyo.
“I got to meet them and stuff and they’re so sick and so nice. I’m hyped that they’re representing our state and our country.”
Skateboarding competitions will make their debut on July 25th.
Although the Tokyo games are taking place this year, they will still be referred to as the 2020 Olympics. The opening ceremony will be on July 23rd. TT KPBS News.
Seven million tenants across the country are behind on rent more than a year into the COVID-19 crisis. And many small landlords are struggling to pay their bills, as well. As CapRadio’s Chris Nichols reports, the economic pressures are rising on these mom and pop rental owners.
Before the pandemic, Ravi Kahlon and her husband Raja Jagadeesan owned six rental properties, including some duplexes, in Sacramento and the Bay Area.
Natural sound of landlord giving a tour at Sacramento rental property
“We have a room here you can look at …”
They say their goal is to provide housing the community can afford.
But after the economy shut down, 4 of their 9 tenants stopped paying rent entirely.
RAVI Months: “September we didn’t get rent. October we didn’t get … November, December, January, February, March … So, that’s $28,000 in just one county.” (:11)
Without this revenue, the couple says they used personal savings to pay for repairs, property taxes and their mortgages.
But Jagadeesan says that approach just isn’t sustainable.
RAJA “If we want to provide clean, safe housing for people, I mean we need to at least make the numbers work out.”
More than a year into the pandemic, the bills are continuing to pile up for small landlords, who own nearly half the rental units in America, and often provide housing that’s affordable for middle- and lower-income renters.
But as of this month, landlords still can’t ask courts to remove tenants who aren’t paying.
That’s because the federal government recently extended its eviction moratorium through the end of July. California continued its eviction ban through the end of September. But many renters can apply for 100 percent back rent, which will ease the situation somewhat.
NO EVICTIONS CHANT: “What do we want? No evictions! When do we want it? Now!” (:04)
At rallies like this one in Sacramento this spring, tenant advocates pushed for the bans to stay in place … They say they’re needed because just a fraction of the billions of dollars in state and federal rent relief has gone out to those affected by COVID-19.
But economists say the eviction ban puts a huge weight on small landlords, especially those whose rental income has dried up.
Given the red hot real estate market, they say some might just sell … and get out of the rental business altogether.
01Tucker: “Homes are selling very quickly almost no matter what condition they’re in.” (:04)
That’s Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker.
02Tucker: “And therefore that is a very tempting window of opportunity especially for a small-time landlord to cash out and sell that home.” (:07)
Those sales are happening ... but not to other mom and pop owners, says Russell Lowery, who heads the California Rental Housing Association, which represents landlords.
02Russell: “We believe we’re shifting the landlord mix from smaller to corporate.” (:05)
That shift could mean fewer affordable, entry-level rental options.
Renter advocates like Shanti Singh of Tenants Together say they also want to avoid more corporate ownership, which can be less forgiving to renters.
We definitely don’t want to see a further consolidation of property in the hands of corporate landlords. We have been fighting that.” (:05)
Back in Sacramento, small landlord Raja Jagadeesen says he and his wife ended up selling half their properties.
He says they couldn’t make the numbers work.
01 Raja Bleeding Money: “You know, we’re not getting any revenue from property X. But we are bleeding money every month. And so we have to make those hard decisions. I think we have to sell. And that happened not once, not twice but three times.” (:12)
He says one went to a young couple who plan to live at the home, taking it off the rental market.
Another went to an investor, who Jagadeesen says will likely slap some paint on it ... and then raise the rent. In Sacramento, I’m Chris Nichols
And that was cap radio’s chris nichols reporting from Sacramento.
Coming up.... Say Their Names opens tomorrow in San Diego. It’s an exhibit honoring Black Lives lost to police brutality and systemic racism. Plus, 5 songs to discover in July from Arts Editor and Producer Julia Dixon-Evans. Those stories next, just after the break.
“Say Their Names” is a new memorial exhibit coming to San Diego honoring Black Lives lost to police brutality and systemic racism. The memorial is part of a nationwide grassroots initiative spurred by the protests of 2020 to put names and faces to the more than 200 Black lives lost due to racism. Gaidi Finnie is the executive director of the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art. They are responsible for bringing the installation here to San Diego.
He joined KPBS Midday Edition Host jade Hindmon to talk about the exhibit.
That was Gaidi Finnie, executive director of the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Arts. He was speaking with KPBS Midday Edition Host Jade Hindmon. The “Say Their Names” Memorial Exhibit opens tomorrow at the New Children’s Museum Park.
With the return to live music in San Diego, many local bands will finally get to perform again for an audience, on a stage, this summer. KPBS Arts Editor and Producer Julia Dixon Evans spoke with KPBS Midday Edition Maurenn Kvanaugh about some new music from some of San DIego’s local bands. Here’s what they’re listening to….
That was KPBS Midday Edition Host Maureen Kavanugh. You heard her speaking with KPBS Arts Editor and Producer Julia Dixon Evans.
That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and 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.