The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration announced on Friday a $5.5 million grant awarded to the City of Lodi as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act.
The FTA said Lodi will use the funds to maintain transit service during the pandemic, which includes providing personal protective equipment, cleaning and maintenance supplies and other administrative expenses.
City Manager Steve Schwabauer said he filed the grant application on Thursday. The funding was not unexpected, he said, as the GrapeLine bus service is funded through sate and federal grants.
“This will allow us to put plastic around our drivers and implement other safety protocols on the buses,” he said. “It will also help make up for lost revenue associated with people not using public transportation during the pandemic.”
Lodi’s award is part of a $25 billion grant to be allocated to transportation systems across the country, the FTA said.
“We know many of our nation’s public transportation systems are facing extraordinary challenges and these funds will go a long way to assisting our transit industry partners in battling COVID-19,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “These federal funds will support operating assistance to transit agencies of all sizes providing essential travel and supporting transit workers across the country who are unable to work because of the public health emergency.”
County including symptomatic patients in COVID-19 recovered data
In another update to its COVID-19 dashboard, San Joaquin County Public Health Services has modified its definition of the term “recovered.”
County public health is now reporting 10,172 “recovered” COVID-19 patients. However, in the widget giving recovery data, there is an asterisk alluding to a new definition in the “Dashboard Details” section of the website.
“Standardized definition does not exist and is based on an estimation instead of interviews, which is a common practice,” the Dashboard Details widget explains.
The widget notes that symptomatic patients, in which at least 14 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and asymptomatic patients, in which 14 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, are considered “recovered.” However, this number may include patients who continue to suffer symptoms of COVID-19.
“Recovered” does not include cases in which people died or are still hospitalized with the virus, the widget definition explains.
“We are forecasting recovery, which means that they may or may not be recovered,” County Public Health said in an email to the News-Sentinel. “High incidence counties use forecasting for this measure.”
Orange County, which has reported 36,196 cases, counts its recovered patient totals as “estimated.” In its COVID-19 dashboard glossary, the county explains that “Recovered (Estimated)” is “An estimate of the number of recovered cases by taking the difference between the cumulative number of cases 28 days ago and current day mortality to determine the current day recovered total.”
As of Friday, San Joaquin County reported 11,483 cases and 168 deaths, an increase of 141 and 17, respectively, in 24 hours.
The county reported 834 cases in Lodi’s 95240 ZIP code, and 270 in the 95242 ZIP code.
San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services and San Joaquin County Emergency Medical Services Agency reported that intensive care units at hospitals were operating at 149% capacity Friday, with total hospital capacity at 76%.
“Today is the highest hospital ICU occupancy rate since the beginning of the pandemic,” EMS administrator Dan Burch said. “All of us can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and relieve the strain on our hospitals by taking the simple actions of wearing a mask, washing hands, and above all avoiding social gatherings.”
County EMS reported that 97 hospital beds were in use at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial, with 34 patients being treated for COVID-19. In addition, 17 intensive care unit beds were in use at the hospital, with 13 COVID-19 patients being treated.
Of the 748 hospital beds in use throughout the county, 225 were occupied by COVID-19 patients. A total of 148 ICU beds were in use throughout the county, with 79 occupied by COVID-19 patients.