As more businesses reopen and protesters take to the streets, more San Diegans are asking: What would it take to force the county back into a lockdown?
VOSD’s Will Huntsberry reports that the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has created a set of 13 complicated triggers that will dictate when to start dialing up that renewed lockdown.
Three of those triggers – increased community outbreaks, a shortage of hospital intensive care beds and a shortage of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers – could give public health officials the authority to take wide-ranging steps to reverse reopenings.
But as Huntsberry explains, if two separate county categories are triggered, health officials could issue specific orders to address those.
Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said that the county is for now in good shape but she acknowledged this week that officials will be closely monitoring whether there are additional cases and outbreaks in the next couple weeks in the wake of recent protests.
Cities Preparing to Get Checks From the County
Most San Diego County cities didn’t get big CARES Act checks from the feds despite their struggles to grapple with both major budget hits and costly coronavirus responses.
Now, as Ashly McGlone reports, San Diego County is preparing to share some of its $334 million allotment with the 17 cities in the county that didn’t receive initial lump sums.
To get those funds, McGlone found the cities will need to sign contracts with the county promising they will only use the cash for eligible coronavirus response costs and share their spending plans. The money can’t be used to backfill tanking tax revenues that have hit cities’ budgets hard.
McGlone spoke with leaders in cities including Escondido, Chula Vista and El Cajon about how they plan to spend funds expected to soon come their way.
City Schools Leaders Now Eyeing Partial Reopening
San Diego Unified officials are now saying they can plan for at least a partial reopening of schools next year.
In the latest Learning Curve, Huntsberry reveals that state legislators’ proposal to restore schools to full funding plus a 2 percent cost-of-living increase has led San Diego Unified board vice president Richard Barrera to conclude a partial reopening is more feasible.
Barrera and Superintendent Cindy Marten had previously said that the governor’s proposal to cut school budgets by 10 percent would have kept schools from physically reopening.
But as Huntsberry notes, it’s unclear what the envisioned partial reopening could look like. It might mean students physically attend classes a few days a week or every other week. Schools with more low-income students might all have more physical school days than those with more affluent populations.
It’s also not clear how legislators will reconcile their competing budget plans.
- In an op-ed, 77th Assembly District candidate June Cutter argues San Diego County schools should fully reopen this fall to limit the damage to students’ education and well being.
- Inewsource reports that some San Diego veterans were rocked by the VA San Diego Healthcare System’s decision to stop covering treatments that had helped them stave off suicidal thoughts and depression. One veteran died by suicide after the decision.
- The Union-Tribune finds that domestic violence cases and calls for service have remained steady amid pandemic stay-at-home orders. But as experts told our Maya Srikrishnan in April, City Attorney Mara Elliott and others believe the situation has likely exacerbated challenges for survivors.
- The city is set to start reopening more park spaces and parking lots next week, including in Balboa Park and Fiesta Island, according to 10News.
- Sheriff Bill Gore said Thursday the 200 National Guard troops called to San Diego County will be stationed to guard “critical infrastructure” during protests, and to free up local officers, as the Union-Tribune reported. But their arrival comes days after the La Mesa City Council unsuccessfully attempted to bring them to town this weekend, when rioters damaged property in La Mesa, and after the San Diego Police Department reported that it made no arrests Wednesday night as protests remained peaceful.
- Pollution levels are climbing back up, after falling due to reduced car travel during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, especially in the region’s most at-risk communities. (KPBS)
- A large protest began at SDPD headquarters downtown Thursday, aiming to march to North Park through Hillcrest. (NBC San Diego)
- An MTS worker who witnessed the arrest of Amaurie Johnson in La Mesa last week, leading the city to become a focal point of police misconduct protests this weekend, says the LMPD officers did not handle the situation well, buttressing what was shown in footage from police-worn body cameras released Wednesday. (NBC San Diego)
The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.