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Hospital and public health department officials are providing mixed messages about the supply of equipment like masks, gloves and gowns in San Diego’s regional hospitals.
Some hospitals have indicated they are short on supplies that can help slow the spread of coronavirus among health care workers, such as gloves and gowns, reports VOSD’s Will Huntsberry.
As of Wednesday, county public health officials maintained there was no shortage of basic protective equipment like gloves and gowns. On Thursday, after our story published, the county’s public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten admitted, “There is a shortage of supply with gloves, gowns and goggles.” She would not say just how low the county’s supply is running.
The state told Huntsberry that for now, it has been able to fulfill any supply requests. But a county official later said the state is only fulfilling orders on “a priority basis.” It is unclear how much protective gear the state has or is providing to the county and local hospitals.
- NBC 7 talked to a local nurse being tested for coronavirus, who said the health care system isn’t doing enough to protect workers and patients.
Chula Vista Councilman’s Condition Worsens
The daughter of Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Padilla, sent an update late Thursday with the news that his struggle with the coronavirus has gotten harder. He has been admitted to an intensive care unit and has been connected to a respirator.
He is also the chairman of the California Coastal Commission.
Padilla, 53, talked to us earlier in the week about how hard the illness has been. “My body is fighting like hell,” he said.
Residents of Correctional Program Worry About Coronavirus
Several residents of privately run correctional program told VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan that their living conditions make them vulnerable to coronavirus and that they could be putting others in the community at risk, too.
The Ocean View Work Furlough and Residential Re-Entry Center Facility, operated by private prison company CoreCivic, contracts with both the Federal Bureau of Prisons and San Diego County to house individuals with alternative sentences that allow them to leave for work release or to search for jobs while in custody.
Several residents told VOSD that the unsanitary conditions in the facility will leave them vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus, and since they go out to work during the day, they could then spread it to other community members. They said dozens of them signed a request form to get hand sanitizer last week, which they have yet to receive a response to.
CoreCivic said it has taken extra measures to prevent the spread of the virus in its facilities since the coronavirus was first detected in the United States and that the company has had no cases so far in its facilities.
San Diego County officials said they inspected their portion of the facility Wednesday and have increased cleaning protocol to respond to the pandemic. The Federal Bureau of Prisons did not respond to requests about the complaints before publication.
San Diego’s Coronavirus Response, in Photos
So many things have been changing around the county in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Schools have closed, testing “cabanas” have been set up outside hospitals.
VOSD’s Adriana Heldiz and Megan Wood have been documenting the changes throughout the county and put together some of the photos that best capture how the community is responding to the pandemic.
More Coronavirus Updates
- Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all Californians to stay home, except for essential needs.
- San Diego now has 105 confirmed positive coronavirus cases.
- San Diego County has secured more than 1,300 hotel rooms to house homeless people who come down with the coronavirus, in an effort spearheaded by County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher. (Union-Tribune)
- In a letter to the federal government, Gov. Gavin Newsom warned that half of California’s population could contract the novel coronavirus within the next two months and asked for $1 billion to support the state’s response. (Los Angeles Times)
- The North County Transit District has temporarily reduced COASTER commuter train service as the coronavirus pandemic has caused a decrease in ridership. We reported Wednesday that the Metropolitan Transit Service has also experienced significant decreases in trolley and bus ridership.
- The Union-Tribune examined how South Bay city councils are conducting public meetings with all the social distancing guidelines.
- Mesa Biotech Inc., a San Diego molecular diagnostic company, has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund the development of its coronavirus diagnostic test, which the company says would provide results in about 30 minutes. (City News Service)
- San Diego Navy bases suspended non-essential and recreational operations to protect sailors, civilians and their families from coronavirus. (Union-Tribune)
- On Tuesday, seven San Diego homeless shelters stopped accepting new people, in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus, inewsource reported late Wednesday. But by Thursday morning, some shelters had begun admitting homeless people again, after the San Diego Housing Commission inspected facilities to insure their beds were three to six feet apart, to help slow transmission.
In Other News
- Escondido City Council members have 60 days to decide whether to hold a special election or appoint a replacement for City Councilman John Masson, who passed away last week. (Union-Tribune)
- A Navy veteran from Imperial beach was among two Americans imprisoned in the Middle East who were released. (Associated Press)
- Fallbrook and Rainbow water districts have filed applications to separate from the San Diego County Water Authority. (Union-Tribune)
The Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.