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March 19, 2020 (San Diego) -- East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego's inland regions, published in other media.  This week's round-up stories include:  



For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.


By the Numbers: SD’s Hospital Bed Count Too Low for Number of Potential Coronavirus Patients (NBC 7)

… Out of the 55 positive coronavirus patients announced Monday by county officials, 8 have been hospitalized. That's a hospitalization rate of 15 percent. If that rate continues, roughly 150,000 San Diegans could get so sick they will need to go to a hospital. But our county hospitals only have enough beds for a fraction of them. It's possible local coronavirus cases could outnumber hospital beds by 30 to one.

2 more San Diego companies get emergency approval to produce coronavirus tests -- Hologic and Quidel Corp. join Thermo Fisher in winning FDA authorization to make molecular tests for COVID-19; GenMark Diagnostics seeking federal approval.

Coronavirus Live Updates: COVID-19 Prompts Closure Of Fashion Valley, Premium Outlets (KPBS)

The Fashion Valley shopping mall, Carlsbad Premium Outlets and Las Americas Premium Outlets will be closed through March 29 as part of a nationwide closure of all Simon-owned properties in an attempt to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The closures came after what Simon described as "extensive discussions with federal, state and local officials."

2 health workers at UCSD health test positive for COVID-19 (NBC 7)

Two health workers at UC San Diego Health have tested positive for COVID-19, due to exposure and infection in the community, according to UC San Diego.

Chula Vista Councilmember reports positive test for COVID-19 (NBC 7)

Chula Vista City Council Member Steve Padilla has tested positive for COVID-19, he announced Saturday. This is the first reported case among government representatives in San Diego County.


Could coronavirus collide with wildfire season? California is preparing for it (San Francisco Chronicle)

Northern California may still be grappling with the novel coronavirus outbreak when it begins to face the more familiar threat of dangerous wildfires, and emergency officials are already contemplating that possibility.

Sen. Kamala Harris ‘very concerned’ about coronavirus and wildfires (San Francisco Chronicle)

In an interview with The Chronicle on Wednesday, the junior Democratic senator from California said she had recently raised the issue with Peter Gaynor, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Harris wanted to know how FEMA would respond if the new virus remained a major public health threat when another potential emergency, including a California wildfire or earthquake, arises.

California to spend $50 million to protect homeless from coronavirus (KPBS)

…California has more than 150,000 homeless people, the most in the nation, and there's concern that as the rest of the state's residents are being told to stay apart and to frequently wash their hands, the homeless are living just as they did before the outbreak...Two-thirds of the money will go directly to local governments to spend on homeless services and $50 million will be used by the state to purchase 1,300 travel trailers and lease hotel rooms for emergency housing.

Gov. Newsom puts National Guard on alert due to pandemic (USA Today)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has directed the National Guard to be on alert and ready to step in, if needed, to help communities across state grapple with the fast-moving spread of the coronavirus… Typically, the National Guard reports to the governors of the states they are stationed in, but during a press briefing on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark Esper told reporters the federal government is also considering activating the National Guard and Reserve units across the country, centralizing command under the president. 

Trump says states should find their own respirators; countries turn to drastic measures as new coronavirus infections rise outside China  (Washington Post)

President Trump told governors Monday that states should work on getting respirators and ventilators, and not wait for the federal government to provide them.

Proposal Would End California Cap On Freelancer Assignments (KPBS)

… Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, said she will seek to remove a 35-submission limit on the number of articles, photos and other assignments freelance media workers can produce for an employer. But two freelancer groups suing over the law on free speech grounds will continue their legal case in federal court in Los Angeles, where they are asking for immediate relief from the law's restrictions.

To battle virus, 7 California counties order everyone to stay home (New York Times)

… On Monday, seven counties around Silicon Valley, one of the hardest-hit areas in the nation, announced a shelter-at-home order that begins Tuesday, which Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose said was the strongest directive yet in the United States. Residents, including those living in San Francisco, were told not to go out for three weeks except to meet “essential needs.”

Students may not return to school before summer, Newsom says (10 News)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is warning families not to plan for their students to return to school before the summer due to the coronavirus.

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