This Week In The News (03/16-03/20)

Coronavirus: US Navy Deploying Hospital Ships, Newsom Requests 1 at Port of LA

Thursday, March 19 (CBS Los Angeles) โ€“ In a Wednesday morning briefing, President Donald Trump ordered two Navy hospital ships to be deployed to help with the coronavirus pandemic. The USNS Comfort, based in Virginia, will be sent to New York City, and the USNS Mercy, based in San Diego, will be sent to the Port of Los Angeles and remain through September 1. The ships will assist with non-coronavirus medical care to free up hospitals caring for people affected by the virus, the United States Naval Institute said. The Navy plans to have the ships in place within a week.

Newsom: 56% of Californians Are Expected To Be Infected With COVID-19

Thursday, March 19 (ABC 7) โ€“ In a letter to President Donald Trump, California Governor Gavin Newsom cited predictions by health officials that 56% of the stateโ€™s population could be infected with coronavirus within eight weeks. Newsom also requested the USNS Mercy, the U.S. Navyโ€™s largest hospital ship, be deployed to California. The ship will add 1,000 beds to provide critical acute care, Newsom said. The governor is working with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to protect the homeless from the virus by providing beds at recreational centers. Hand-washing stations and mobile bathrooms are also being set up.

Trump Says FDA Will Fast-Track Anti-Viral Treatment for COVID-19 Patients

Thursday, March 19 (KTLA 5) โ€“ President Donald Trump announced he has urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to quickly make available an antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, to treat coronavirus. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn supported a more tempered approach to developing coronavirus treatments, in a statement released after the presidentโ€™s remarks. The drug is safe for most patients but can have side effects. A vaccine is in development, but the current trial is expected to take 12 months, according to Hahn.

County Health Officials Provide Update on Local Coronavirus Response

Thursday, March 19 (Fox 5 San Diego) โ€“ On Thursday, confirmed novel coronavirus infections rose to 105 in San Diego County, including a resident under age 20. Officials warned the situation will get worse. There were 25 newly recorded cases; the highest day-to-day growth so far, and 13 people have been hospitalized.

According to local officials, buses and trolleys will continue running, while tribal casinos in San Diego County announced a temporary closure starting Friday. The county clerkโ€™s office, all treasurer-tax collector offices, and other offices have temporarily suspended in-person services.ย  The Ramada hotel in Kearny Mesa will be used as a quarantine site, while Simon Property Group has closed local malls and outlets until March 29. San Diego State University and University of San Diego students were instructed to leave their dorms. In addition, several local Navy sailors and Marines have tested positive for COVID-19.

Your Complete Guide to SoCal School Closures: Reopening Dates, Free Meals, Online Learning Resources

Thursday, March 19 (NBC Los Angeles) โ€“ NBC Los Angeles released a complete list of all public school districts that have made changes. Covering Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura Counties, it indicates schools and districts that have put distance learning programs into place, that offer free meals, and how long each expects to be closed. The dates are subject to regular changes. A list of resources for access to learning has also been provided by the California Department of Education.

California Works to Lease Hotels for Homeless as Cities Offer Temporary Solutions

Thursday, March 19 (NBC Los Angeles) โ€“ The homeless population is the most susceptible during the COVID-19 outbreak. State and local officials are working to help individuals living in cramped, unsanitary conditions and who have underlying medical conditions. In an address on Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom said the state was negotiating with hotels statewide to house unsheltered individuals. Communities were also working to make available resources such as hand sanitizer and bathroom facilities.

OC DA, Other Officials Say Price Gougers Will Face Consequences During Coronavirus Outbreak

Thursday, March 19 (ABC 7) โ€“ Orange County officials warned that price gauging during the coronavirus outbreak would not be tolerated. According to Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, price gougers could be jailed for one year and fined $10,000, while Anaheim police said raising the price of an item more than 10% is illegal. A store in Santa Ana, which participates in the Woman Infants and Children federal program, was called out by police after they saw a gallon of milk being sold for $10.

COVID-19 Insurance Impacts

Thursday, March 19 (The National Law Review) โ€“ The National Law Review has listed insurance coverage options businesses can use to mitigate the fallout from COVID-19. These include business interruption coverage and off-premises business interruption coverage. For losses resulting from government or civil authority premises access restrictions, it recommends โ€œcivil authorityโ€ coverage. It also recommends general liability coverage for third-party claims and workers compensation coverage for businesses facing claims by employees who contracted COVID-19 in the course of employment. Directors and officers coverage can protect against suits related to disclosing the impacts of the disease on businesses, similar to the class action lawsuit filed against Norwegian Cruise line.