Photo by Tony Pierce

Coronavirus: L.A. Beaches Close; Free Bus Rides for Some of L.A. County

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Local COVID-19 cases rise to 257, a moratorium on rent evictions and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson return to L.A.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 257 Friday. The county also saw five more deaths, bringing the grim total to 26. L.A.’s total number of cases is now 1,481, with nearly half of those reported over the last 48 hours. More than 100,000 Americans have contracted the disease. — L.A. Times

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order mandating a 60-day moratorium on rent evictions. The order requires tenants to communicate to their landlords in writing that they cannot pay all or part of their rent because of COVID-19 within seven days of their rental due date. — Daily Breeze

There go your weekend beach plans. Blame the stupid (yes, we said it) coronavirus for the temporary closing of all L.A. County beaches. Government officials don’t want to risk sun-seeking crowds at the shore. — KTLA

L.A. is on a three-week streak of clear skies. “We’re seeing very clean air all around California,” says Bill Magavern, policy director with the Coalition for Clean Air. “This time of year we usually have better air, especially with the rain, but the drop-off in traffic has definitely reduced emissions.” — Curbed LA

A group of restauranteurs gave free meals to recently-unemployed food service workers in Huntington Park. — ABC7

Hallelujah! We’ve got some good news for granny. The city recently passed an ordinance that will require convenience and grocery stores to dedicate an hour of shopping time to the elderly, caretakers and the disabled. The next step is for the measure to be signed off by the mayor. — L.A. Times

Bus agencies in Southern California, including a few in L.A. County, are offering free rides to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “We are trying to maintain social distancing for the bus operators,” says Felicia Friesema, spokesperson for Foothill Transit. L.A. Metro has yet to offer rides gratis, but the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Antelope Valley Transit Authority and Omnitrans in San Bernardino County are allowing passengers to ride without collecting a fare. — San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Our current pandemic is serving as a spark of inspiration for L.A. street artists. Several are hitting the streets to create works that include figures in gas masks, hands held in prayer next to soap and a smuggler holding open his coat to reveal rolls of toilet paper. Their art is meant to inspire political action, levity or both. — LAist

The “happiest place on Earth” may lose its title for several more weeks. The temporary closures at Disneyland have been extended until further notice, Disney officials announced. The culprit? Starts with a “c” and ends with “oronavirus.” — Daily News

Big Man Bakes, Bludso’s BBQ, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, Mom’s BBQ House and many more black-owned restaurants up and down L.A. are open and accepting takeout offers (and requests for extra hot sauce). — The Los Angeles Beat

Recently, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said that Americans didn’t really need to disinfect packages to kill the COVID-19 virus. But after a Ring doorbell camera caught a (now-fired) Amazon delivery man spitting on boxes in Hancock Park, perhaps we should go back to spraying down our mail. — TMZ

Bird, the Santa Monica-based electric scooter rental service, laid off about 30% of its workforce “due to the financial and operational impact” of the pandemic, according to a memo from Chief Executive Travis VanderZanden. The move comes after Bird and main competitor Lime suspended services across the U.S. and Europe earlier this month in response to COVID-19. — TechCrunch

If you see royalty at the In-N-Out drive-thru or at Trader Joe’s one day, you’re not hallucinating. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said bonjour to Canada and quietly moved to L.A. last week right before the border was closed. Word is they’re here permanently. — The Sun

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