A family in the South L.A. neighborhood of West Adams out for a walk while wearing face masks. Photo by Ande Richards.

Orange County Launches COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program

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Friday, January 29, 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci says children will ‘hopefully’ start receiving a COVID-19 vaccine by summer.

L.A. County health officials confirmed 7,112 new cases of COVID-19 and 228 new deaths today. That brings the total of confirmed cases in the county to 1,104,393 and the number of deaths to 16,332 deaths. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

While there are no COVID-19 vaccines approved for children in the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is hopeful one will be ready by late spring or early summer. Children make up about 25% of the population. To reach herd immunity, the U.S. needs to vaccinate 70% to 80% of the population. “Children tend to not become as severely ill as adults [from COVID-19], but they can still become ill, and some have tragically died,” Dr. Leana Wen, a public health expert, told The Associated Press. “Children can also be vectors of transmission, and getting children vaccinated is important.” — The Guardian

Starting Monday, Orange County residents will be able to apply for monetary assistance through a new program announced by Board of Supervisors Chairman Andrew Do. The program is open to residents who can demonstrate they face a risk of homelessness without assistance and have a combined income at or below 80% of area median income. — NBC Los Angeles

Starting today, outdoor dining returns to restaurants, wineries and breweries in L.A. County as long as they follow some very specific rules, like seating no more than six people per table — all of whom must be from the same household — and making sure all tables remain at least 8 feet apart. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Sgt. Patricia Guillen became the fifth officer with the Los Angeles Police Department to die from COVID-19. The 23-year veteran of the force was assigned to the 77th Division. — Patch

Thursday, January 28, 2021

State Legislators Vote to Extend COVID-19 Protections for Renters Through June

Blue Shield of California will handle the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the state. Kaiser Permanente to assist through its network of health providers.

L.A. County public health officials confirmed 6,592 new cases of COVID-19 and 213 new deaths today. To date, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed 1,097,941 cases of COVID-19 and 16,107 related deaths. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

State officials have handed over the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to health insurance provider Blue Shield of California, who will create and manage a statewide network to deliver doses direct to health care providers. Kaiser Permanente will also take part by distributing vaccines to its network of providers. — CBS Los Angeles

State legislators approved an emergency bill protecting renters facing financial hardship due to the pandemic from eviction through June as long as they pay 25% of their rent during that period. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said he will sign the bill Friday morning. — Los Angeles Times

News spread that Mayor Eric Garcetti got his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 21, even though he does not meet the state’s eligibility guidelines because of his age. Critics argue it’s not fair for the 49-year-old to skip ahead of seniors and other groups prioritized for vaccination. On the other hand, his supporters say he needs protection as mayor and as he spends time “assisting on the frontline of the vaccination effort.” — Patch

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

New Study Reveals Job With Greatest Risk of COVID-19 Death: Restaurant Cook

Elementary schools in L.A. County could reopen in weeks if the rate of infection continues to drop.

County health officials confirmed 6,917 new cases of COVID-19 and 307 new deaths today. There are 6,213 people hospitalized with the virus, and 25% of them are receiving treatment in an intensive care unit. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

L.A. County will open six vaccination sites in South Los Angeles after demographic data released by the Department of Public Health revealed low vaccination numbers among health care workers living in the region. — Los Angeles Times/KTLA

Restaurant cooks face the highest risk of death due to COVID-19 in California, according to a new study from UC San Francisco. Three of the top five jobs with the highest risk involve food: agricultural workers, cooks and bakers. Head chefs and bartenders also ranked high on the list. — Eater Los Angeles

L.A. County elementary schools could reopen in two to three weeks if infection rates continue to drop, according to Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the county Department of Public Health. Even if the county reaches those low infection levels, schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District may not immediately reopen, as the teachers union and district officials negotiate protocols for a return to campus. — Los Angeles Times

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has launched a recovery program for the growing number of COVID-19 patients who report experiencing symptoms weeks and months after being declared virus-free. The program gives patients access to medical experts, including cardiologists, neurologists and psychiatrists. — NBC Los Angeles

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

City, County Vaccination Sites Fully Booked This Week

Gov. Gavin Newsom says California will switch to an age-based eligibility system to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to the remainder of the population after individuals in the priority groups receive their doses.

By answering a few questions on myturn.ca.gov, Los Angeles and San Diego residents can check their eligibility to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and — if they fit the criteria — search for nearby vaccination sites to schedule an appointment. Currently, the COVID-19 shot is being distributed to health care workers, long-term care facility staff and residents and people who are 65 and older. — Los Angeles Times

Vaccination centers run by L.A. County are booked through Friday, but, according to Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health, officials are working to add appointments on Saturday and Sunday. All five city-run centers are booked through Saturday. “Once we know that we’ll have more doses, we’ll open up more appointments,” said Andrea Garcia, a press secretary for Mayor Eric Garcetti. — KTLA

After individuals in the priority vaccination group — which includes health care workers, food and agriculture workers, teachers, emergency personnel and seniors 65 and older — receive their doses, California will switch to an age-based eligibility system, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom. — The Associated Press

President Joe Biden announced that his administration will boost vaccine distribution to 10 million doses each week for the next three weeks, up from 8.6 million. The federal government will also purchase 200 million additional doses — half from Moderna and half from Pfizer — which will be delivered this summer, according to the president. Since each person needs to receive two doses of the vaccine to be fully inoculated, the additional doses will be enough for 100 million people. — Los Angeles Times

The annual California Strawberry Festival has been canceled for the second year in a row due to concerns over the ongoing pandemic. Also, this year’s L.A. Marathon has been rescheduled for sometime this fall. — Los Angeles Times, Fox Los Angeles

Monday, January 25, 2021

California Rolls Back COVID-19 Restrictions, L.A. County Follows Suit

Vaccination sites throughout L.A. County will offer fewer appointments this week, as a majority of the doses available are reserved for people receiving their second shot.

L.A. County health officials confirmed 6,642 new cases of COVID-19 and 43 new deaths today. The totals reflect a reporting lag from over the weekend. To date, the county health department has identified 1,079,396 cases and 15,303 deaths. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Almost immediately after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state was lifting all regional stay-at-home orders, L.A. County officials began rolling back local restrictions on outdoor dining and indoor personal care businesses like salons and barbershops. Outdoor dining could resume as early as Friday. The state’s regional stay-at-home order took effect on Dec. 6 as intensive care unit capacity in the Southern California region fell below 15%. Even though the region’s current ICU capacity clocks in at 0%, state officials said four-week projections indicate it will rise above the 15% threshold.NBC Los Angeles, Patch

Which businesses will be allowed to resume operations, and at what capacity?Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner is advocating for the use of public schools as COVID-19 vaccination sites. “There are an average of two Los Angeles Unified schools every square mile — within an easy walk, bike ride or drive for millions of people from San Fernando to San Pedro,” he said during a weekly video address today. “Unlike a stadium parking lot, school campuses are built to care for large numbers of people. We have restrooms and space for them to spread out so vaccine recipients can be monitored for adverse reactions.” — LAist

Several vaccination sites in L.A. County will have fewer slots available for new patients as 89,000 of the 137,000 doses the county is expecting to be able to distribute this week are reserved for people who need their second shot. “Our biggest problem, our biggest challenge, is just scarcity of vaccine,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health. — CBS Los Angeles

Eight more children in L.A. County have developed a rare but serious inflammatory condition related to the coronavirus. Children are reportedly less vulnerable to the virus and usually remain symptom-free following infection. The inflammatory reaction usually develops two to four weeks after exposure to the virus. — Los Angeles Times

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