Health

Riverside University Health System

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One in eight women will get breast cancer in their lifetime, yet fewer women are going in to get screened for the disease during the COVID-19 pandemic. KVCR’s Benjamin Purper spoke to Riverside University Health System radiologist Lisa Mahoney about the importance of early screening for breast cancer and some of the precautions RUHS is taking to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus during screenings. 

lamayor.org

Ontario International Airport’s freight and passenger numbers are growing, reflecting a “gradual recovery” for the airport amid the pandemic. 

Commercial freight volume at the airport increased more than 20% in September while the number of air travelers rose to almost 200,000.

According to a press release, Ontario Airport representatives say these numbers reflect a “gradual recovery” for the airport in recent months.

Passenger volume there reached a low point in April due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s grown every month between May and September.

Esri

The race is on to develop a coronavirus vaccine, but once it’s created, how do we ensure it’s distributed equitably? Este Geraghty is the Chief Medical Officer and Health Solutions Director at Esri, a Redlands-based geographic information systems company. KVCR’s Benjamin Purper interviewed Geraghty about the logistical and planning challenges involved in distributing a potential vaccine and the role GIS mapping technology plays in doing so.

The first case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, has been detected in western Riverside County, and a second probable case has been detected in the Coachella Valley. KVCR’s Benjamin Purper spoke with Dr. Chad Vercio, Pediatrics Chair at Riverside University Health System, about MIS-C and what parents need to know. 

Monday through Thursday at lunchtime, Empire KVCR News has your daily news rundown. Stories highlighted today include:

1) Flu season may be the last thing on people’s minds as the COVID-19 pandemic continues but it’s time to start preparing

2) The California legislative session ended Tuesday morning - and it was one for the ages.

3) A review of some of the COVID-19 numbers in the Inland Empire.

state.gov

 Riverside County has changed the way it calculates coronavirus recoveries, and is now reporting more than 12,000 newly confirmed patient recoveries. 

The number of people who have recovered from the virus now stands at 40,769, compared to 28,407 on Tuesday.

That huge jump is because the Riverside University Health System is now including all cases that it’s been unable to reach after 45 days of follow-up, which happens as a result of missing or changed contact information, or when the patient doesn’t answer or call back.

Benjamin Purper / KVCR

Healthcare workers rallied in 11 cities across California on Tuesday to call for more personal protective equipment, or PPE, as well as the passage of SB 275, which would ensure healthcare providers in the state have a stockpile of PPE for future emergencies. One of the rallies was in Riverside.

Rabid Bats Confirmed in SB County

Jul 30, 2020
Northern Long-eared Bat
National Park Service/United States Fish and Wildlife Service

On Thursday it was confirmed that rabid bats in San Bernardino County including four within the past two weeks had been identified in in the communities of Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana and Apple Valley. Confirmation is determined based on testing that's done at the public health lab. San Bernardino County Public Health is urging the public to protect themselves and their pets from interactions with unfamiliar, stray or wild animals.

The coming trend of automation has been looming over the logistics industry for a while, especially in places likes the Inland Empire, as more and more jobs are becoming automated. University of Redlands economist Johannes Moenius says COVID-19 could accelerate that trend, transforming the job market in the Inland Empire quicker than expected. 

Activists Rally Outside Adelanto ICE Processing Center

May 29, 2020
Benjamin Purper / KVCR

Protesters rallied outside the Adelanto ICE Processing Center yesterday to denounce what they say are poor conditions for immigrants detained in the center. ICE denies this and says it’s taking the necessary steps to combat COVID-19 in the facility. 

Protesters gathered in front of the ICE Processing Center in Adelanto to denounce the conditions inside the facility, which they say are substandard.

The FDA has given emergency authorization to a Fontana-based company to produce and manufacture “Patient Isolation Transportation Units” for use with COVID-19 patients. 

The Patient Isolation Transportation Unit, or PITU, is an enclosure that makes it safer to work with patients with highly contagious diseases.

It’s what’s called a negative pressure isolation enclosure.

The California Employment Development Department today released the state’s unemployment rates for last month, including those of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. 

The state’s unemployment rate was at a record 15.5 percent in April as the state’s employers lost more than 2 million non-farm payroll jobs.

San Bernardino County’s unemployment rate jumped to 13.4 percent, and Riverside’s went up to 15.3 percent.

The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in April was 14.4%, up from only 5.2% in March.

KVCR has been interviewing local elected officials about the coronavirus. Now, we have an interview with 5th District Supervisor for Riverside County, Jeff Hewitt. Supervisor Hewitt discusses his reasoning for voting to rescind most of the coronavirus restrictions put in place by Riverside County Health Officer Cameron Kaiser. 

Editor's note: The CDC in its guidelines recommends wearing face masks in public. Neighboring Los Angeles County requires masks in public, but it is no longer mandated in Riverside or San Bernardino Counties.

May is Mental Health Month, and we have a series of stories about mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we have an interview with Dr. David Puder of Loma Linda University Health, who is worried about a potential increase in depression and suicide as a result of the pandemic and its economic fallout. As a warning, this story does talk extensively about suicide. Here’s KVCR’s Benjamin Purper in conversation with Dr. Puder.

You can hear more of Dr. Puder’s work on the Psychiatry & Psychotherapy Podcast.

MEGAN JAMERSON/KVCR

Public comments on budget cuts to a centuries old public institution stretched a Redland’s City Council meeting to nearly eight hours. The council met to discuss a proposed budget to handle revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facing a fifteen point seven-million-dollar shortfall for next year’s budget, Mayor Paul Foster led a virtual city council meeting on Tuesday morning. Broadcast online, with city council members calling in remotely, the tone was somber.

On Friday, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors rescinded all but one of their own public health officer’s coronavirus orders, effectively loosening restrictions on mandates such as the requirement to wear face masks in public and practice social distancing. KVCR’s Benjamin Purper spoke with Riverside City Councilmember and small business owner Ronaldo Fierro about the Board’s decision and what it means for the city of Riverside. 

Before last week’s vote, the Riverside City Council voted to send a letter to the Board asking them to delay it.

Monday through Thursday at lunchtime, Empire KVCR News has your daily news rundown. Stories highlighted today include:

The city of Fontana is out $6.8 million in revenue thanks to the coronavirus. It’s also the city with the second-most coronavirus cases in San Bernardino County, as of Tuesday. KVCR’s Benjamin Purper spoke with the mayor of Fontana, Acquanetta Warren, about the revenue loss and what it means for the city.

Coronavirus Interview: Congressman Pete Aguilar

May 1, 2020
aguilar.house.gov

As part of our series of interviews with local elected officials about the coronavirus, we now have a conversation with Congressman Pete Aguilar, whose district includes San Bernardino and Redlands among other San Bernardino County cities. Aguilar discusses a recent town hall he held with Small Business Administration experts, what's next for legislative coronavirus relief, and the state of testing for COVID-19 in the Inland Empire. 

Now we have a conversation with Sarah McKinnon, Vice President of Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care, about how hospice care workers are grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care has an office in San Bernardino.

Andrew Caravella / KVCR News

The Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County held a drive-thru food distribution event at San Bernardino Valley College today. KVCR’s Andrew Caravella interviewed the CEO of the organization, Patricia Nickols-Butler.

More information is available at capsbc.org.

Lillian Vasquez has a conversation with John Chapman, Interim President and CEO of San Antonio Regional Hospital, about the equipment used by front-line medical staff designed to keep themselves and their patients safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Then KVCR’s Rick Dulock speaks with John Longville, San Bernardino Community College District Trustee, about how they are helping local health care providers to combat the spread of the virus.

To learn more about the San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland, visit SARH.org

Monday through Thursday at lunchtime, Empire KVCR News has your daily news rundown. Stories highlighted today include:

Now we continue our series of talking to local elected officials about the coronavirus through an interview with Curt Hagman, Fourth District Supervisor of San Bernardino County and Chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. 

You can hear the full interview on an upcoming segment of Inland Edition. 

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has named a new chairman, Ken Ramirez. KVCR’s Benjamin Purper spoke with Ramirez about the tribe and what it’s doing during this time of pandemic.

Monday through Thursday at lunchtime, Empire KVCR News has your daily news rundown. Stories highlighted today include:

  1. Public health officials release new modeling indicating that preventative measures appear to be slowing down the spread of the virus.
  2. The state is preparing for the possibility of a wildfire that would prompt evacuees during the pandemic.
  3. Springtime means work for cattle ranchers, but it also means another way the coronavirus could spread.

Redlands Community Hospital, American Cancer Society

Lillian speaks with Randy Bevilacqua, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Redlands Community Hospital. He shares how the hospital has been preparing for an influx of Covid-19 patients. Also on the show is Kristen Strauch from the local branch of the American Cancer Society. She discusses their hotline and how they’ve been advising cancer patients in these challenging times.

For more information about Redlands Community Hospital, visit RedlandsHospital.org

Tad Worku

Musician and trauma nurse Tad Worku's latest release, "Love Is All," seeks to offer some hope amid a global pandemic.

"It feels like the entire world has been thrown into an emergency department," says Tad Worku, a musician-turned-E.R.-nurse whose day job at the Loma Linda University Health emergency room has gotten tangled up with his music in this time of pandemic.

Worku is the son of Ethiopian immigrants to the United States. He got his start in music playing trumpet, but quickly moved on to guitar and piano.

Children's Fund, UCR

Lillian Vasquez speaks with Dr. Cid Pinedo, President and CEO of the Children’s Fund. He shares what his non-profit is doing for families in the community during this pandemic. Also on the show, KVCR’s Benjamin Purper has a conversation with Karthick Ramakrishnan, Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of UC Riverside’s School of Public Policy. He's also the Director of UCR's Center for Social Innovation. They discuss local data and tracking related to the pandemic and how organizations and philanthropists are collaborating to help.

The University of California, Riverside’s Center for Social Innovation has released new resources to help track and fight COVID-19, as well as a new report on the state of nonprofits in the Inland Empire. 

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