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San Diego County Reports Second COVID-19 Death, Two Infant Cases
– 8:31 p.m., March 24, 2020
San Diego County officials announced Tuesday that another person has died from COVID-19.
The person who died was a 76-year-old man with underlying health issues, according to Public Health Office Dr. Wilma Wooten. The county also reported two cases of coronavirus disease in infants, a 6-week-old boy and a 4-month-old girl. Both are currently isolated in their homes.
Wooten said cases are increasing daily and that she doesn’t expect things to get better anytime soon.
“Things are likely to get worse before they get better. We do not believe that the local wave of COVID-19 cases has yet crested,” said Wooten. “It’s incumbent upon on all of us to do our part to flatten the curve.”
County officials reiterated the importance of continuing social distancing and isolation as a way to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus.
Separately, officials also commented on the county’s policy towards retail gun stores.
Sheriff Bill Gore stated they can remain in operation for now, but that walk-in customers are prohibited. Customers will need to make appointments with retailers in advance to purchase firearms or ammunition. Gore said this is in accordance with the county’s health order on social distancing to prevent groups or gatherings.
Gore said that the sheriff’s department wants people to engage in voluntary social distancing versus the department having to enforce it on the public. However, if necessary, the department is prepared to issue citations, such as fines up to $1,000 or jail time up to 6 months.
“While we must be mindful of the governor’s executive order we also need to ensure that we do not create further public safety risks by driving firearms into an underground or off books black market,” Gore said.
So far, no citations have been issued, according to Gore.
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher also reiterated the county’s efforts to support local business and residents by imposing a moratorium on evictions for renters. He also said that the county has received its first shipment of medical supplies from the state.
Also, Fletcher said that about $950,000 has been granted out from the county emergency fund to individuals who are in need of financial assistance. — Chris Underwood, web producer
San Diego Unified To Close Schools Indefinitely, Launch Online Learning
– 7:30 p.m., March 24, 2020
San Diego Unified School District announced late Tuesday that school facilities will remain indefinitely closed during the coronavirus pandemic until public health officials determine it is safe for students to return to school.
It also announced a “soft launch” of online instruction on April 6, when schools were originally planned to reopen. Teachers will begin online instruction and determine which of its more than 100,000 students are unable to participate.
On April 27, the district will officially move to formal instruction and grading but schools will remain closed.
San Diego Unified, in a joint decision with Los Angeles Unified, closed all of its more than 200 schools on March 16. Other school districts across the county followed suit. have. — Joe Hong, Education Reporter.
City Of San Diego Gives Update On COVID-19 Outbreak
– 4:30 P.M., March 24, 2020
Watch the news conference below:
San Diego Mayor Faulconer announced Tuesday the city has moved homeless families who had been staying at Golden Hall into hotel rooms to make room for single homeless women from the city’s bridge shelters.
Also, Faulconer said that the city is moving towards passing a moratorium on evictions in the city of San Diego, similar to a county ordinance announced the same day. In addition, the city is working to prepare an economic relief package for businesses and residents financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
– 1:51 p.m., March 24, 2020
The county Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a moratorium on evictions for both residents and small businesses located in the unincorporated area in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The policy, which was put forward in a resolution sponsored by Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Kristin Gaspar, will give authority to the county’s chief administrative officer to work with financial institutions to halt foreclosures and foreclosure-related evictions; and allow the county Housing Authority to extend the deadline for recipients, including those who receive Section 8 support.
The protections are provided retroactively to March 4, when Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency over the pandemic.
Fletcher said the resolution “is a prudent step to protect folks in a period of economic distress.”
– City News Service
– 11:50 a.m., March 24
UC San Diego Health along with three other UC Health medical centers are launching clinical trials for antiviral drug treatment for COVID-19, the university announced Tuesday.
“Physician-scientists at four University of California Health medical centers — UC San Diego Health, UC San Francisco, UC Irvine Health and UC Davis Health — have begun recruiting participants for a Phase II clinical trial to investigate the safety and efficacy of treating adult patients with COVID-19 with remdesivir, an antiviral drug that has shown activity in animal models and human clinical trials of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, Ebola, Marburg and other viruses,” UCSD said in a statement.
The drug, remdesivir, has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment, but it’s undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of multiple viral diseases, including COVID-19.
The trials are set to begin with small groups of participants, all of whom will be patients hospitalized and diagnosed with COVID-19. They also have to be patients in the UC Health system.
“Due to the evolving, fluid nature of this research and what we’re learning daily about the virus and about improving treatment, the trial is designed to be adaptive, to shift investigation to the most promising avenues,” said co-principal investigator Dr. Constance Benson, professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine and an infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego Health.
The trial will run through April 1, 2023, and will involve an estimated 440 participants. — Chris Underwood, web producer
San Diego Hospitals Launching Drives For Personal Protective Equipment
– 10:40 a.m., March 24
UC San Diego Health launched a donation website Tuesday to help those on the front lines in the fight against novel coronavirus, joining other hospitals and health organizations as they manage limited supplies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has strained daily life across communities, countries and continents, but has particularly impacted the health care industry, according to a UC San Diego Health statement. County health officials have acknowledged some shortfalls on supplies, while other supplies have a deep reservoir from which to draw.
– 4:30 p.m., Monday, March 23
Mayor Kevin Faulconer ordered Monday the closure of all city-owned beaches, parks and trails, citing a lack of physical distance among city residents over the weekend.
“I have directed the City of SanDiego to move forward with closing all city-owned parks, beaches and trails. There were far too many ignoring physical distancing rules this weekend. The actions of a few can cost the lives of many. Please stay at home, San Diego,” he wrote in a Twitter posting.
The announcement came not long after San Diego County health officials said that if cities cannot maintain safe social distancing procedures at their parks and beaches, the county will close them to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The city of Carlsbad also closed its beaches Monday. — Chris Underwood, web producer
– 3:30 p.m., Monday, March 23
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday he would close parking lots at dozens of beaches and state parks to prevent the spread of coronavirus after large groups flocked to the coast and mountains to get outdoors on the first weekend since the state’s stay-at-home order took effect.
Newsom reaffirmed he would like to use social pressure to get people to maintain a buffer around each other and is not inclined…