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San Diego public health officials say that aggressive social distancing measures put in place over the past few weeks appear to be working, but they also caution that more data is needed to understand the true trajectory of the outbreak.
“The data suggests we may be getting a handle on things,” said Dr. Mark Sawyer, an infectious disease specialist at Rady Children’s Hospital. He emphasized that social distancing measures would need to stay in place for weeks or else “it would all come roaring back and be worse.”
VOSD’s Will Huntsberry reports that so much depends on how quickly new cases double .
San Diego’s current doubling rate is anywhere between eight and 11 days, depending on how it’s calculated. That’s a slower doubling rate than previous weeks, Huntsberry reports, but a doubling rate of eight days could still put the health care system in serious jeopardy.
- County officials announced 98 additional positive COVID-19 cases Thursday. That brings San Diego’s total confirmed cases to 1,628. They’re also now adding a requirement that employees at banks and those who work in public transportation wear a facemask starting Monday at midnight. This includes rideshare employees and taxis.
- The county also released an interactive dashboard  that shows total confirmed cases, reported tests, hospitalizations and deaths.
Advocates Scramble to Replace Food Handouts They Hated
Homeless service providers have long made a habit of discouraging the sorts of semi-organized operations in which church groups descend on East Village to pass out sandwiches to homeless people. Those, and even restaurants and individuals passing out leftovers on the streets, have been derided as well-meaning but counter-productive.
Now, though, the coronavirus pandemic has ended them all at once, and homeless people are going hungry. Replacing them, it turns out, isn’t that simple , Lisa Halverstadt reports.
The San Diego Food Bank and Feeding San Diego, for instance, said they’re considering changing their services or bolstering them to meet the sudden need. Other groups have ramped up their offerings to bring prepared food directly to homeless people.
Those ramped-up efforts though, so far, aren’t enough to meet the need. One service provider suggested a corps of volunteers, working with all the assorted nonprofits in town, might be needed to address the problem.
- Homeless people aren’t the only ones struggling for adequate food during the unprecedented economic hit. Here’s an overhead look of cars lining up at SDCCU Stadium for drive-thru emergency food distribution .
The Reality of Distance Learning
The San Diego Unified School District began rolling out online learning this week, but, as many predicted, a majority of parents report feeling unequipped to guide their children’s education.
A new survey conducted by Education Trust – West found 71 percent of San Diego parents reported not having the resources or supplies to keep their children on track.
Huntsberry breaks down all of the findings  — like how many parents reported a lack of sufficient devices at home to access online learning and how many families have been contacted by their child’s teacher — in his latest Learning Curve newsletter.
In Other News
- Political, economic and bureaucratic forces have converged to drive up the cost of a 10-unit affordable housing project in Solana Beach. At $1.1 million per apartment , the Pearl is the priciest affordable housing project in the state, reports the Los Angeles Times.
- As tenants discussed joining nascent rent strikes in the region, one landlord told them “nobody has a legitimate reason not to pay rent.” (Union-Tribune)
- The wave of layoffs that have hit the economy since it was brought to a practical halt by social distancing mandates aren’t finished, according to a Thursday announcement by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.The group surveyed 681 local businesses on their plans, and found that 379 still planned to eliminate more than 14,000 jobs . (Times of San Diego)
- Fox News has turned its attention on San Diego , after one homeless advocate said the city’s decision to house people in the Convention Center during the pandemic would be “involuntary manslaughter” if someone in the facility catches the virus and dies.
The Morning Report was written by Megan Wood and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.