Pedestrians walk the Echo Park Lake trail counter-clockwise to adhere to current safety guidelines. Photo by Afonso Salcedo.

More Los Angeles Apparel Employees Test Positive, Orange County Outdoes L.A.’s COVID-19 Rates

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Friday, July 17, 2020

COVID-19 continues to be a force to be reckoned with this week, an especially bad one for California.

This week, everyone seems to be asking what happened to California. Once a guiding light on how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, now seeing a surge in cases. We’re a cautionary tale of what it looks like to ramp up reopening before contact-tracing and adequate testing is enacted. — L.A. Times

More employees at Dov Charney’s Los Angeles Apparel factory are testing positive. — CBS L.A.

Resuming production for film and television is hitting snags as production companies wrestle with how to safely operate a set. “A lot of people imagined that this was going to be like flipping a light switch and everything was just going to turn back on, and it’s proving not to be quite like that,” said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s chief operating officer and general counsel. — L.A. Times

Threads unfurl as federal authorities continue to look into bad actors taking advantage of coronavirus relief funds. L.A. resident Andrew Marnell was arrested yesterday for allegedly using the Paycheck Protection Program to fraudulently receive $8.5 million in funds. — Newsweek

Lyft is offering its most frequent drivers free partitions to put in their vehicles, while others will pay $50 for the kit from Lyft’s online store. — CNet

Is anyone surprised? Cases of COVID-19 are rising faster in Orange County than they are in L.A. County. Perhaps those Huntington Beach residents should have taken those free masks. — L.A. Times

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is planning to house 15,000 homeless residents in response to a federal court order. — ABC 7

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Officials Report 4,592 New Cases of the Coronavirus in L.A. County

COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in workplaces that are not enforcing physical distancing among employees or implementing infection control procedures, like proper use of face coverings and frequent sanitation, according to county health officials.

COVID-19 in California by the numbers: 7,929 new cases (362,974 total cases); 96 deaths (7,470 total deaths). — L.A. Times

L.A. County health officials reported a surge in the spread of the coronavirus at workplaces in the region, with the highest number of cases occurring in food processing and distribution facilities “We’re not seeing the compliance that we need with the public health directives being in place to keep people’s health and livelihoods safe,” said L.A. County Health Officer Muntu Davis. — L.A. Times

Health officials announced Wednesday plans to expand COVID-19 testing in underserved “hot spot” areas, including Montebello, South Gate, Panorama City, Downey, Norwalk and Compton. Testing sites in Bellflower, Pomona, El Monte and East L.A. are also included in the county’s plan to increase testing by 65%. — LAist

Things are “ramping up” in the entertainment industry, according to Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, noting that current safety protocols are likely to become a regular part of production. — Deadline

“I’m an apolitical person,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told InStyle magazine. “I don’t like to be pitted against the president. It’s pretty tough walking a tightrope while trying to get your message out and people are trying to pit you against the president. It’s very stressful.” — InStyle

Yesterday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp explicitly forbade cities and counties from setting their own mandates requiring masks in public spaces. Several mayors plan to keep local mandates in direct opposition. — AP

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

COVID-19 Hospitalizations at an All-Time High in L.A. County

“We are in an alarming and dangerous phase in this pandemic here in L.A. County,” said County Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

There are 2,193 people infected with the coronavirus who are being hospitalized, the highest number since the pandemic began, according to County Health Director Barbara Ferrer. In response to the rise in hospitalizations and number of cases, she said “we should probably expect to see an increase in deaths in the coming days and weeks.” — KTLA

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said California campuses should be prepared to offer distance learning instead of in-person instruction. “I do think that, if school had to open tomorrow, most of our districts would open in distance learning,” he said during a briefing. “And that is a decision that I think is a good decision if conditions don’t change.” — L.A. Times

Hospitals are now required to report COVID-19 data directly to the Department of Health and Human Services, bypassing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This data includes information on patients, the number of beds and ventilators available and staffing shortages. Unlike the CDC, the HHS database will not be immediately available to the public, raising concerns over transparency. — CBS News

Several U.S. retailers will now require that customers wear masks while shopping, including Walmart, Sam’s Club, Kroger and Kohl’s. Walmart says “health ambassadors” stationed near store entrances will help enforce the new policy. — CNN

Looks like we’ve all learned our lesson. In spite of another looming shutdown, toilet paper and other necessities are still well-stocked in grocery stores. — CBS 2

Some good news: Clinical trial results from a candidate vaccine prompted the production of coronavirus antibodies in human testers. “It’s first step, but it is an exciting first step,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University and the medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. — L.A. Times

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

L.A. Inches Toward a Second Shutdown

Even as infections, hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 continue to rise throughout the state, the Orange County Board of Education voted to resume on-campus instruction, sans masks or distancing.

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Los Angeles continue to rise, Mayor Eric Garcetti warns the city is inching closer to another shutdown. “While the city of Los Angeles’s COVID-19 threat level remains at orange, we are on the border of going to red. … Red is when everything shuts down again to our strictest level. I do want to warn people that we’re close to that,” Garcetti said. — L.A. Times

COVID-19 in California by the numbers: 7,663 new cases (342,966 total) and 120 deaths (7,219 total). — L.A. Times

At least one employee at a Whole Foods store in Silver Lake has contracted the coronavirus and is in quarantine, according to a spokesperson for the supermarket chain. Whole Foods says they have implemented several safety procedures at their stores, including temperature checks and face masks for all employees, along with new daily cleaning and disinfection protocols. The store remains open. — CBS Los Angeles

An inmate from Avenal State Prison in Central California died Monday from what appears to be complications related to the coronavirus, according to corrections officials. There have been 35 COVID-19 related deaths in the state’s prison system, according to state figures. More than 2,400 inmates and 755 employees are listed as having the infection. — AP

Except for one dissenting vote, the Orange County Board of Education voted in favor of returning to on-campus instruction, without masks or social distancing. The board has no power to compel any of Orange County’s 27 school districts to follow its guidelines, which are in direct opposition to those issued by the Orange County Department of Education, as well as state public health officials. — The Orange County Register

A new site capable of testing up to 260 people a day is opening at Orange County Great Park in Irvine. Testing is open and free for anyone regardless of symptoms. — CBS Los Angeles

Monday, July 13, 2020

Newsom: Indoor Operations to Close for Non-Critical Businesses

Indoor business operations will pause for 30 counties statewide, an outbreak at the Los Angeles Apparel facility leads to a shutdown and rent relief applications begin today for L.A. tenants.

Applications begin today for coronavirus rent relief. The $103 million fund is the largest of its kind in the country. — ABC 7

Indoor operations for 30 counties are now ordered to close per Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Over 300 workers at the Los Angeles Apparel factory have tested positive for the coronavirus, and four have passed away, leading the Los Angeles Department of Public Health to order a shutdown of the facility. Inspectors found “flagrant violations,” which contributed to the spread. Back in April, Los Angeleno spoke with founder Dov Charney about the company’s pivot to manufacturing masks. “Ideally, I don’t want one COVID case in here,” Charney said. — WWD

LAUSD will not be reopening campuses on the previously planned Aug. 13 start date due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. — L.A. Times

The current rate of positive tests in California: 8.3% as of Sunday. Officials across the state are taking measures to scale back reopenings. — L.A. Times

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