Local News

Filipino Advocates Want More Detailed COVID Data — Voice of San Diego

JoAnn Fields, a Filipino community advocate, helps volunteers at the I Am My Brother’s Keeper food distribution event in Encanto. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

There’s evidence to suggest Filipinos have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. But you wouldn’t necessarily know that looking at public health data.

Most datasets group dozens of nationalities under the “Asian” category and Filipino leaders in San Diego argue that this type of aggregation hides the true impact on their communities, preventing a fair distribution of resources where they’re needed most.

Maya Srikrishnan reports that many Filipinos work in the health care sector and other essential industries, and some of the most-affected ZIP codes are also where Filipinos live in large numbers.

It’s not just San Diego. There’s research to suggest that Filipinos in other parts of California represent a disproportionately high number of covid-related deaths. Hawaii has been disaggregating the data and found that the state’s Filipino community had the second worst disparity in the state.

One cardiologist argued that the lack of specificity at home can also feed into misinformation about the pandemic and the vaccine. “As doctors,” he said, “it would be easier to get the community on board if we had data that showed that Filipino people were dying in San Diego.”

Weber Sworn in as Secretary of State

Shirley Weber was sworn in Friday as California’s first Black secretary of state, taking control of the largest elections system in the country. The former San Diego assemblywoman’s nomination sailed through the confirmation process with plenty of praise and one notable deviation: Senate Republicans sat out the vote but did not technically vote against her.

The crew talked about Weber’s ascent and the vacuum it’s created in the 79th Assembly District on the podcast. They also explained how coronavirus vaccines are complicating plans to reopen schools this year.

In the Sacramento Report, Sara Libby reports on a major showdown between teachers and the governor. Both want to see reductions in community spread before returning to the physical classroom but disagree on what the metrics should look like. Technically, local school boards make those decisions, while the state provides resources and guidance.

Other highlights from the state Capitol: VOSD contributor Kelly Davis writes in the Sacramento Report that state Sen. Pat Bates has introduced a bill — with the support of San Diego’s district attorney — forbidding a judge from holding closed-door hearings on the civil commitment of people designated as sexually violent predators.

The Latest on Vaccinations

Some people who don’t yet qualify to receive the coronavirus vaccine have found a loophole: They wait hours outside of Petco Park for the off chance the vaccination superstation will have a few leftover doses it needs to use up. Sometimes, it works, the Union-Tribune reports..

The U-T also reports that firefighters have been fanning out to senior care facilities large and small across San Diego to administer vaccines.

Another vaccine superstation is now online in North County, this one at CSU San Marcos.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.