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Uptick In COVID-19 Cases

 July 20, 2021 at 4:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Kinsee Morlan in for Annica Colbert….it’s Tuesday, July 20. The latest on the Delta variant and the resurgence of COVID-19 in San Diego County… That story soon….but first, your local headlines…. **** Federal prosecutors in San Diego announced the indictment of four Chinese men accused of a massive computer hacking campaign that targeted businesses, research institutions and universities in San Diego and abroad for years. The announcement came yesterday and the indictment says the hack was coordinated by the official Chinese Ministry of State Security and deployed by front companies created to try to hide the involvement of the Chinese government. *** Father Joe Carroll, who wasa local icon as an advocate for the homeless, will be honored in a public funeral mass today. The Catholic priest died last week at the age of 80 following a battle with diabetes. The service is scheduled to take place at 10 o'clock at St. Rita's Catholic Church in Lincoln Park. Carroll was president and C-E-O of Saint Vincent de Paul Village from 19-82 until his retirement in 20-11... after which the facility was renamed as Father Joe's Villages. *** It's a midsummer heat wave and… Beach closures have finally been lifted in the South Bay... Beaches from the international border to Imperial Beach had been closed since June 24th because of sewage contamination. But The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Quality lifted the water contact closure after testing confirmed Saturday that water quality along the shorelines meets state health standards and was safe for recreational use. **** From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. Midroll 1 Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise -- a trend that’s likely due to the Delta variant which is now the dominant strain locally. San Diego County just released the latest case numbers from Friday through Sunday.. each day was above 400. COVID-19 hospitalizations are rising in San Diego, but the numbers are still relatively low compared to winter levels that nearly overwhelmed healthcare systems.. Dr. Jess Mandel is UC San Diego Health’s chief of Pulmonary & Critical Care. He says nearly all their current hospitalized covid-19 patients are unvaccinated. We’re dealing with severe illness that in many cases are preventable and it really is heartbreaking when you have folks that are incredibly sick the trauma to themselves their families and just think how much of this could have been prevented with vaccination (:15) KPBS Health reporter Matt Hoffman talked to another expert who reiterated that point: the best way to combat spread is simple: vaccinations. Delta is really infectious and it is a bigger problem it’s easier to catch it’s easier to transmit Infectious disease expert Shane Crotty at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology is one of the leading researchers on COVID-19. He says the good news is that the vaccines protect against the delta variant.. 14;21;34;03 Shane Crotty, professor La Jolla Institute for Immunology At this point you’re either vaccinated or you’re going to catch delta variant and if you’re not vaccinated and you catch delta you’re more likely to end up in the hospital than anything else you’ve caught in your life He says we simply need to get more people vaccinated or delta could bring back restrictive measures meant to protect public health, like mandatory masking. *** On Monday, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria unveiled a plan he calls “Housing For All Of Us.” KPBS reporter Melissa Mae says it’s a set of affordable housing planning initiatives. Mayor Todd Gloria says the goal is “a roof over your head at a price you can afford.” His package aims to provide affordable housing for low income families, and middle class families as well. Gloria said the City Planning Department is working on several initiatives. They include creating housing at city facilities and in underused commercial sites. The plans also call for better housing accessibility for the disabled and elderly… housing developments near public transit… and housing for families. HOUSING 1 (:14) “Anyone here with a family knows it is difficult to find housing that you can actually put your kids in. Where they can have their own bedroom. That is not acceptable. We have to be a city that welcomes families and we encourage and incentives more homes of three bedrooms or more, we can do that.” The City needs to nearly triple annual housing production to meet the needs of its residents during the next decade. *** When COVID-19 emerged in California, many local health departments had to allocate much of their slim resources to the crisis. That meant other health issues — like sexually transmitted infections — were likely going undetected. CapRadio’s health care reporter Sammy Caiola [kay-OH-luh] has more on the current trends. Statewide STI cases dropped during the pandemic. Comparing the first six months of 2020 to the first six months of 2019 ... chlamydia was down 31% and gonorrhea dipped 13%. That’s according to a new study from the state health department. But advocates say transmission was likely still happening. “The numbers we might see don’t tell the full story.” Amy Moy is with nonprofit group Essential Access Health. “There’s been a huge gap in STI testing. Also during the pandemic, city and county health departments that were conducting STI prevention activities had to really shift.” Researchers found that 78% of health departments they surveyed had to reassign at least half of their workforce to COVID-19 by the fall of 2020. The largest declines in STI case reporting were among Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Black residents … who likely had the least access to testing. Moy’s group is pushing a bill to mandate that Medi-Cal AND commercial plans cover at-home STI test kits. *** For many, doing the laundry is a dreaded chore. But for people who don’t have access to a washer and dryer, doing laundry is more than just a chore --- it can be a daunting challenge. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne tells us about a mobile laundry trailer free for people to use. From the outside, It looks like an ordinary trailer. But Oscarin Ortega, the founder of Lived Experiences, has transformed the trailer into a mobile laundromat, free of charge. “We created a mobile laundry program. 4 washers 4 dryers, bring it to the communities all day and have people have the ability to feel that privilege of having free laundry.” The non profit organization provides services to low income families in North County. Laundry service was something Ortega saw some people needed. “A lot of us don’t have the ability or the privilege to have a washer and dryer at home. We have to go to a laundromat.” Ortega has partnered with mobile shower trailers to bring the mobile laundry to events for people in need. The laundry trailer will be in Carlsbad every Tuesday and in Oceanside every Wednesday. Ortega hopes to build more laundry trailers and park them in low income communities and community colleges for people to use. *** Coming up… More on what it means now that a federal judge in Texas has approved a request by a group of states to end an Obama-era program that shielded young immigrants from deportation. That’s right after a quick break. MIDROLL 2 President Biden says his administration plans to appeal a federal judge's ruling that the DACA program is illegal. The deferred action for childhood arrivals program allows young people brought to this country as children to receive protection from deportation and permission to work and attend school in the US.. But a lawsuit brought by Texas and several other states argued that DACA was an overreach of executive authority by president Obama. The federal judges ruling on Friday allows 600,000 present recipients to remain on DACA, but restricts new applicants and invalidates the program. Dulce Garcia, the executive director of border angels, and a recipient of DACA joined KPBS Midday Edition’s Maureen Cavanaugh to talk about the future of the program. Speaker 1: 00:49 Judge Andrew Hannon's ruling actually do to the DACA program? What Speaker 2: 00:54 This decision means to us, aside from the legal aspect is that we're being told again, that our lives are still in limbo. There's still litigation where the state of Texas and others want to see us deported. They don't want us to miss country. And we're being told once more, what we need is a path to citizenship. Otherwise we're going to be here yet again in the future where we're fighting for our stay here in this country. What it means legally for a lot of people is they're going to have to wait to submit their applications and you're going to have to wait even longer. And Speaker 1: 01:32 What well, not being able to apply and be accepted for DACA. Stop those young people from doing. I remember Speaker 2: 01:39 When I was in high school. And I remember when I was undocumented, trying to figure out the rest of my life, trying to figure out where to go to school and try to figure out whether I could apply for a job. Now, here fast-forward many years later, these young kids are put in the same position where they remain undocumented and have to question what their future is going to be like. Now that the DACA program has been yet again, it's hacked the 60,000 plus applications that are now going to have to be set aside. We're talking about children that are trying to figure out the rest of their lives. Speaker 1: 02:12 And what did the judge say that DACA is illegal? What does it mean? President Obama overreached his executive authority from day Speaker 2: 02:20 One. The prior administration had attacked the backup program and said that Obama should not have started the program in the first place that it needed to have a process where public comment would be submitted. The president always had the authority to exercise discretion in cases, such as ours and say, we're not going to put resources to deporting this population. And so the DACA program has always been lawful. What this judge is saying is that the way that the Obama administration went about creating a program was unlawful Joe in the last lawsuit, uh, that we took to the Supreme court. It became evident that the way that the rescission of the DACA program went about violated the APA, the administrative procedures act. Now with this lawsuit, they're saying the creation of the DACA program violated that same act. Uh, of course, uh, for us, that benefit from DACA. We continue to say that what we need is a path to citizenship. DACA was never the end. All of it. We wanted a path to citizenship and DACA was a way to keep us in the U S while we continue fighting for that path to citizenship. Speaker 1: 03:30 As you say, president Biden is basically saying this same thing that you just said about the fact that Congress should provide a path to citizenship while his administration plans on defending DACA. He says the larger issue, is it a permanent solution for the young dreamers helped by DACA, but is there any legislation in the works that would make that possible? Speaker 2: 03:53 Well, there is a budget of conservation process right now that is being discussed in DC. We are urging and advocates are pushing for pass to citizenship to be included in, in those negotiations. Unfortunately, as DACA recipients, we have been politicized from day one and we saw how we were being used as political bargaining chips. And we're in this position again, where we have to defend our livelihoods in this country and prove once more, that we are good economically for this country, that we have so many contributions to this country. And we want to continue contributing to this country fully by being a part of the society as a us citizen, Speaker 1: 04:33 The U S economy and supporters of DACA are saying that this ruling couldn't have come at a worst time for the U S economy because new DACA recipients could fill jobs in the service industries that are hurting for workers right now. Do you see that as one of the results of this leak, full opinion? Speaker 2: 04:52 Yes. We saw it during the pandemic over 200,000 DACA recipients were on the front lines as essential workers. And more than that, 250,000 DACA recipients have already us citizen children here in the us. And so we're talking about not just the potential removal of those of us who are undocumented in this country, but the removal of so many contributions in our communities, Speaker 1: 05:15 Do you believe the Biden administration will find a permanent solution for the dreamers? Speaker 2: 05:20 The banana ministration has to find a permanent solution for dreamers. It was something that the prior administrations had promised to us. We've been waiting for decades. This is long overdue in the bottom administration has to do its best to negotiate something for us. And it was one of the promises that the current president made to us a lot of time ago. But I understand that there's a long list of things that the administration is working on, but finding a permanent solution for DACA recipients should be at the top of the list, because that was one of the promises made during the campaign. And that was Border Angels executive director and DACA recipient Dulce Garcia talking with KPBS Midday Edition’s Maureen Cavanaugh. For more in-depth conversations about the stories that matter most to San Diego...find and follow KPBS Midday Edition wherever you listen to podcasts. That’s the show. I’ll see you again tomorrow.

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Cases of COVID-19 are rising, a trend that is likely due to the Delta variant, which is now the dominant strain in California. And health officials are beginning to take notice. Plus: San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria unveiled a plan he calls “Housing For All Of Us,” a San Diego DACA recipient discusses the federal judge's ruling that the program is illegal and more of the local news you need.