Coronavirus: Fountains of Wayne Co-founder Dies; Covered California Extension

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues, companies are stepping up. Google will give California students laptops and free Wi-Fi and Walmart will ensure sick employees are not allowed to work.

Eleven more people have died from COVID-19 illness in L.A. County, bringing the total number of fatalities in the area to 65. The county now has 3,518 positive coronavirus cases. “Every day reporting these numbers is devastating and I know it’s more devastating for families and friends who have experienced this tremendous loss,” says Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health. — The Hollywood Reporter

L.A. City Councilmember David Ryu sent a letter to House Financial Services Committee chair Rep. Maxine Waters requesting a temporary suspension and forgiveness of mortgage payments and a “suspension and forgiveness of rent, full or partial, for all renters or, at least, those impacted by the coronavirus.” — CBS Los Angeles

Fountains of Wayne co-founder Adam Schlesinger dies of coronavirus.

Fountains of Wayne co-founder Adam Schlesinger died today of coronavirus. The musician and Emmy-winning songwriter for TV’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” was 52. In 1997, he earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing the theme song for the Tom Hanks-directed film “That Thing You Do!” In December, we had a discussion about great Power Pop and the first example was Fountains of Wayne. — Variety

Some of Los Angeles’s richest enclaves — Bel Air, Beverly Crest and the Hollywood Hills — have COVID-19 infection rates over 100 per 100,000 residents. Likewise, Hancock Park’s rate is over 200. Why are wealthy neighborhoods so full of the Rona?Crosstown

A 60-year-old La Cañada Flintridge woman died in her sleep from complications due to the novel coronavirus after telehealth doctors allegedly refused to visit her. “You’re thinking it’s the doctor,” her partner says. “You pick it up and it’s a recording that says the doctor has decided not to visit with you at this time.” — CBS Los Angeles

Nearly a dozen Los Angeles farmers markets have been authorized to reopen after they submitted new social distancing plans required by the mayor earlier this week. — CBS Los Angeles

Mayor Eric Garcetti says he is calling on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to shut off services to non-essential businesses that refuse to close. — KTLA

Eduardo Moreno, a San Pedro engineer based at the Port of Los Angeles, admitted in two separate interviews with law enforcement that he intentionally crashed a train near the USNS Mercy because he was suspicious of the hospital ship’s purpose. He says it might actually be part of a “government takeover,” the Department of Justice said. — Daily Breeze

Talent agencies are in trouble, especially huge ones like WME who today announced that it will cut much of its staff’s pay between 5%-30%. Those making less than $65K would not be affected. — LAist

To ensure that all students have access to online learning, Gov. Newsom announced that he had reached an agreement with Google to install at least 100,000 Wi-Fi access points across the state. Google will also give out thousands of free Google Chromebooks to students. Access to the Wi-Fi will be available for free for a minimum of three months. — CBS Los Angeles

A mural on a storefront in the Eastside of L.A.
A mural on a storefront in the Eastside of L.A. Photo by Tony Pierce.

Sean Penn and his non-profit, CORE, have partnered with the city to help run a coronavirus testing center in East L.A.The Hollywood Reporter

East Hollywood’s Sqirl will transition into a temporary relief center for restaurant workers. Every night starting Saturday, Sqirl will provide free to-go dinners along with staples and household essentials for restaurant workers who have been laid off or who have had a significant reduction in hours and/or pay. — L.A. Times

No need to worry about food causing illnesses via coronavirus. The CDC and other experts note that the virus is still being studied, but they say there’s no evidence yet that COVID-19 infects people through their digestive systems, even though the virus has been detected in the feces of infected people. — NBC Los Angeles

Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, UC schools will lower some entry requirements.
UCLA’s Royce Hall. Image courtesy of UCLA.

Prospective students looking to enroll at a University of California campus for fall 2020 will see a relaxation of the usual admission requirements. The UC Office of the President said they will eliminate the letter grade requirement for A-G courses taken in the 2020 school year, as well as the standardized testing requirement for students applying for fall 2021. — Daily Nexus

Add Sirius satellite radio to the ever-growing list of freebies being given to Americans as we hunker down in our homes. None other than Howard Stern made the announcement yesterday allowing anyone in North America to have access to all of the channels via the company’s app through May 15. — CNet

Uninsured? Freaked out because of this health crisis? Covered California is expanding its special enrollment period through June 30. “The goal is to have as many people covered as possible to ensure they have access to vitally needed health care,” says Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California.— KUSI

Walmart will begin taking the temperatures of its employees before they are allowed to work. If the employee registers a fever of over 100 degrees, they will be paid for the day and asked to seek medical treatment. The giant retailer is also allowing their associates the option to wear gloves and masks. — Yahoo News

Today, Mayor Garcetti said people going out for essential reasons should wear a cloth mask to help curb the spread of the virus. He asked that Angelenos not utilize N-95 masks or other medical-grade masks. Give those to the pros. We love Liz, but the mayor didn’t say “must.” It’s great that she’s ready though. L.A. needs her.

The New York Times compared two L.A. hospitals, the state-of-the-art Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and South L.A.’s Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital to see how they are preparing for the onslaught of COVID-19 patients. Why compare these two very different operations in very different parts of the county? Because: NY Times. — New York Times

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