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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.
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.
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.
The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.