San Diego leaders and local organizations announced Monday the creation of a fund to support non-profit organizations that are helping those most in need as the county responds to a novel coronavirus outbreak, which has been declared a global pandemic.
Contributors are pledging $1.3 million to San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund. Grants will go towards non-profit organizations that provide services to those with food insecurity, rental and utility assistance needs and income replacement or gap funding needs.
Some organizations that will benefit include United Way, Meals on Wheels and Senior Meals, the group of leaders announced Monday.
The fund was created with donations from San Diego Gas & Electric and The San Diego Foundation. SDG&E donated $1 million and The San Diego Foundation donated $300,000. United Way and County Board of Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council are also partners.
Mark Stuart, President and CEO of the San Diego Foundation, called on others to help those hit hardest, as well.
"It's been said that a significant portion of the San Diego population are one flu away from homelessness," Stuart said. "That flu has hit and we have to do everything we can to safeguard these families to keep them in place, keep them whole and make sure they weather this storm -- whether it's weeks or months."
"If not us, then who? If not now, then when? It's time for everyone to step forward and help."
Organizers hope the $1.3 million fund is just a start and that other organizations will contribute to helping those with financial and food insecurity during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those interested in donating or who are hoping to be considered as a grantee can visit the group's website, sdfoundation.org.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first appeared in Wuhan, China in 2019, has spread across the globe, officially being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11.
At least 39 cases have been reported by San Diego County health officials as of Sunday evening, with the numbers expected to grow as the virus spreads through the community, county leaders said at a press conference last week.
Worldwide, the new coronavirus has infected nearly 180,000 people and caused more than 7,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization's numbers on Monday.
People infected with COVID-19 show signs of fever, cough and shortness of breath, which typically appear two to 14 days after infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Anyone showing symptoms should call their doctor immediately and avoid going out in public, the CDC said.
Those with moderate symptoms should self-isolate. Those with emergency symptoms -- such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face -- should seek immediate medical attention.
For the latest information, visit the CDC website here.