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Nursing facilities aren’t required to notify health care workers of possible or confirmed COVID-19 cases. Disclosure policies vary across the industry as a result.
That’s led to a series of problems in San Diego, as Jared Whitlock reports in a new story. In one case, a geriatrician learned on his own that an employee of a Poway facility had tested positive, and the facility had not notified him even though he had been in the facility during the time that the employee was likely contagious. There are also significant gaps in data published on the number of coronavirus cases in the senior facilities, contributing to issues with administering tests to people who might be sick.
Whitlock investigated the problem facing the industry, which owes to federal regulations that do not explicitly require the facilities to notify employees or contractors about positive tests, which they’re required to do for residents and family members.
Will Schools’ Online Behavior Policies Go Out the Window?
School districts across the county adopted sweeping policies over the past year limiting the ways in which educators can interact with students online. The goal was to restrict the types of communications that can be precursors to sexual abuse.
But now, as schools transition to online learning, law enforcement officials and advocates worry those policies will be ignored. Kayla Jimenez reports that districts are now scrambling to get teachers up to speed with online platforms, while reminding them that there are restrictions on how they can communicate with students.
In case you missed it: Our team has been investigating teacher misconduct in San Diego’s public schools for more than two years now. Hundreds of pages of district and legal records show inappropriate contact between teachers and students often was fueled by interactions over text, email and social media.
We’re Tracking the Testing Numbers
Local and state officials have repeatedly said that widespread testing is the most important factor in re-opening society. And yet, San Diego hospitals are testing far below their current daily capacity.
“When we first started tracking testing capacity on March 22, hospitals were only testing at roughly 28 percent of their capacity,” reports Will Huntsberry.
So, to help everyone keep track, we’ve created a dashboard that will be updated each day providing a running analysis of whether officials are finding ways to maximize that capacity.
As of Tuesday, San Diego’s seven-day average was 1,912 tests performed daily. Our current daily capacity, however, is 4,500. Gov. Gavin Newsom has estimated 152 tests per 100,000 residents is appropriate, which means San Diego may need to perform about 5,074 tests per day to safely end its lockdown.
Homeless Numbers Drop in Latest Point-in-Time Count
San Diego County saw a 6 percent year-over-year drop in homelessness from 2019 to 2020, according to the Regional Task Force on the Homeless’ latest annual census.
The point-in-time count, conducted over three days in late January, also documented a 12 percent decrease in street homelessness in the city.
This year’s census tallied 7,619 homeless San Diegans. Just over half were found living on the street, in canyons or in vehicles.
Regional Task Force CEO Tamera Kohler has emphasized that the annual census represents a snapshot of the region’s homeless population.
Task Force data shows about 25,000 people accessed homeless services last year, more than triple the number counted during this year’s homeless census.
In Other News
- Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that California schools could re-open as soon as July. (Associated Press) UCSD, meanwhile, is preparing to offer a mix of in-person and online classes for its fall semester. (Union-Tribune)
- Palomar Health is laying off 317 employees due to plummeting revenue from the Coronavirus pandemic, City News Service reports. We reported Monday that health care providers across the county are bleeding money as would-be patients have heeded the call from local officials to delay or cancel elective procedures, which are profitable for those systems.
- Jerry Sanders, CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, spoke to KPBS about how local businesses are preparing for eventually reopening.
- SDPD has sent the city attorney’s office a second misdemeanor case against the organizer of recent protests against the state’s stay-home order. The city attorney’s office hasn’t made a decision yet to bring charges in either case. (Union-Tribune)
The Morning Report was written by Megan Wood and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.