County Supervisors Propose ‘Equitable Response To COVID-19'

Rather than allocate funds equally, the proposal suggests giving coronavirus relief funds in an equitable way to ensure the hardest-hit communities have enough resources to respond to the pandemic

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San Diego County supervisors are proposing a new COVID-19 resolution to respond to hard-hit communities in the South Bay.

The resolution is titled "A Collaborative, Data-Driven, And Equitable Response To Covid-19" in San Diego County and is pitched as a science-based and equitable approach that will allocate federal, state and local funding to communities experiencing the greatest disparities associated with the pandemic.  

“It’s overdue,” said Dennis Quinn, from Bonita.  

“We’re kind of a backwater, literally. It’s always been that way, too, since I can remember,” said Jerry McCann, of Chula Vista.

Data shows case rates for communities in the South Bay are significantly higher than the rest of the county, and it’s only gotten worse in recent weeks.

Some locals told NBC 7 they attribute positive case increases to multigenerational homes, essential workers who are more likely to be exposed to the virus, those with no, or limited, access to health care and a lack of information about resources.

The disparities have been on local leaders' radars for months.

“The Latino community is 30 percent of the San Diego population but 65 percent of the COVID cases and we know they’re not getting tested enough,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher.

SANDAG and San Diego public health leaders will meet Friday to discuss ways to speed up the coronavirus vaccine rollout in San Diego. NBC 7's Nicole Gomez reports.

He and Vice Chair Nora Vargas, who represents communities in the South Bay, are expected to introduce the resolution to the rest of the board Tuesday.

“Our funding needs to align to the impact. So last year when we allocated CARES Act money to cities, I said it needs to go proportional to the cases, which means South Bay communities would’ve received more money because they have more impact. My colleagues wouldn’t support that, and it went equally to every city. Those are the types of policies that need to change,” said Fletcher.

Critics of the proposal say equally distributing funding allows cities to decide how the money is spent, according to their individual needs.

The board is expected to vote on the resolution Tuesday.

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