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Mayor Faulconer Directs All Vacant City Property To Support Expected COVID-19 Patient Surge

Mayor Faulconer on Wednesday announced he is directing all vacant city property to be used to support an expected surge in COVID-19 patients.

“Hospitals will need all the help our community can offer,” he said. “We need all hands on deck.”

The properties involved could include city recreation centers, libraries, which are all closed, and even city parking lots, he said. They could be used as field hospitals, space to conduct tests, and anything the state, county or hospitals need, Faulconer said.

An example of this is the SDCCU Stadium parking lot being used by the county Health and Human Services as a mobile testing center, the mayor said.

Earlier Wednesday, the Convention Center opened as a Press Release Distribution Services In San Diego shelter for people experiencing homelessness. Some 400 people have moved there from the city’s downtown bridge shelters. The next step is to move more homeless individuals downtown from other bridge shelters, Faulconer said.

The mayor said he was in talks with state and federal officials, including Sen. Kamala Harris, about getting funding to move people into permanent housing once the pandemic is over.

He was also in talks with Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Govs. Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger about easing some regulations to help with the recovery effort for people affected financially by the pandemic.

Driving home the point that people need to stay home and only go out when necessary, Faulconer said, “Complacency is the enemy.”

If people ignore the shelter at home and social distancing orders, it could crash the hospital system because of the expected surge in cases in the coming weeks, he said.

“Everyone has the power to help stop this from happening,” Faulconer said.

The mayor also announced one San Diego police officer has recovered from COVID-19. To date, seven public safety officers have contracted the disease, including four city lifeguards, two police officers and one firefighter. — Alexander Nguyen, web producer

County Health Officials Announce Five More COVID-19 Deaths, Bringing Total To 15

- 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, 2020

San Diego County officials Wednesday said five additional people died from coronavirus while another 115 tested positive for the illness. That brings the county’s total to 849 cases with 15 deaths, which includes a fatality that was previously identified as “probable,” officials said.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher urged San Diegans to follow public health orders and slow the spread of infection, especially during April. He said the community’s actions over the next 30 days will decide whether the county’s health care system becomes overwhelmed like in New York and Italy.

“We absolutely and unequivocally believe that the month of April is the month that will determine our trajectory as a region,” he said.

Fletcher said that depends on the public staying home, practicing social distancing and not gathering in large groups. However, he said not all residents are adhering to those directives.

“For these San Diegans we plead with you and we ask you that the month of April is the time in which we must all come together; we must all make an absolutely unequivocal commitment that we will shoulder our share of the load,” he said.

The county is talking with police to step up enforcement of public health orders, such as ensuring the closures of nonessential businesses, and may also make recommendations about wearing masks in public, he said.

The residents who died include a 90-year-old woman, an 83-year-old man, a 74-year-old man, a 73-year-old man and a 71-year-old man. – Tarryn Mento, KPBS health reporter

Students Applying To UC Schools For The 2021-22 School Year Will Not Have to Submit SAT Scores

– 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The University of California system announced Wednesday that it will not require students applying for admission for the 2021-22 school year to submit SAT scores and is also relaxing other admission requirements amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Students, for example, can take college preparatory classes, also San Diego News known as A-G courses, as pass/fail through the summer of 2020. Additionally, students transferring from community colleges no longer have a cap on how many classes they can take as pass/fail.

“The COVID-19 outbreak is a disaster of historic proportions disrupting every aspect of our lives, including education for high school students, among others,” said University of California President Janet Napolitano in a statement on Wednesday. “The University’s flexibility at this crucial time will ensure prospective students aiming for UC get a full and fair shot — no matter their current challenges.”

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