Photo by Tony Pierce

Coronavirus: County Extends Stay-at-Home Order; Supplies Stolen at Naval Medical Center

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Friday, April 10, 2020

L.A. County health officials say ‘physical distancing is working’ to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

As health officials say that physical-distancing helped slow the spread of the coronavirus, the County’s stay-at-home order and business closures have been extended to May 15. “Physical distancing is working,” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, the county’s director of health services. ” … it is important that physical distancing remain in place … to reduce not just the strain on the hospital system but to reduce the number of infections.” — NBC 4 Los Angeles

Health officials say since yesterday 475 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 18 more have died. This brings the total of positive cases in Los Angeles County to 8,430 and the number of coronavirus-related deaths to 241. The mortality rate in the County has risen to 2.9%. — ABC 7

Employees from fast-food restaurants are protesting for safety gear, hazard pay and paid sick days after three employees at two L.A. area McDonald’s tested positive for COVID-19. Employees at both McDonald’s say management did not provide safety gear or inform them of their coworkers’ health status in a timely manner. — Eater Los Angeles

As California tries to slow the spread of COVID-19, at least eight counties in the state have temporarily banned the use of reusable shopping bags. So far, this group does not include L.A. County, but many individual grocery chains, like Trader Joe’s, have banned customers from bringing their own bags and are waving any fees associated with single-use bags. — O.C. Register

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state is sending 600 nurses trained in infectious diseases to nursing home and adult care facilities in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus and quarantine residents who test positive as quickly as possible. The Navy hospital ship Mercy will also take some healthy residents on board to help them avoid exposure to the virus. — L.A. Times

Supplies including face masks and hand sanitizer have gone missing at Naval Medical Center San Diego, according to Regena Kowitz, a Naval Medical Forces Pacific spokeswoman. The hospital is one of two military facilities in San Diego testing and treating service members for COVID-19. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Thursday, April 9, 2020

County Launches Delivery Service for Seniors, Disabled; COVID-19 Cases Near 8K

L.A. superstars do their part to get medical supplies to health care workers in need as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Nearly 8,000 people in Los Angeles County have tested positive for COVID-19. As of today, there have been 425 new cases and 25 additional deaths since yesterday. L.A. County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said the county’s death count now stands at 223. — Fox 11 Los Angeles

Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the criticism he received for lending 500 ventilators to other states. “Some people have expressed some concern about California’s willingness to extend a hand to New Jersey, New York, Illinois, D.C., to Maryland, to Nevada and to other states across this country by lending ventilators to deal with the crisis at hand in those states,” he said. “We thought it was the right thing to do, but I also want you to know it was the responsible thing to do as American citizens, from a moral and ethical imperative, to save lives.” — Sacramento Bee

L.A. retirees confined on a cruise ship finally return home. The original plan was to enjoy a South American leisure cruise sailing from Buenos Aires with stops in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. But when passengers came down with COVID-19 symptoms, they were instructed to lock down in their cabins and not come out. — L.A. Times

Gov. Newsom said California will provide hotel and airfare accommodations for health care workers battling the coronavirus pandemic. “We need to do more” for health care workers and their families, he said. “We need to be there for them.” — Fox 5 San Diego

Universal Studios and CityWalk will stay closed until at least May 31. Team members will be paid in full until April 19, however, starting April 20, nearly all team members will receive 80% of their pay. — Fox 11 Los Angeles

Santa Barbara high school kids are delivering food to seniors for free. Lovingly called Zoomers to Boomers, the idea was Daniel Goldberg’s, a San Marcos High junior and son of an ER doctor at Cottage Hospital. “Every senior we deliver to is super, super happy and grateful and beaming with joy when we show up,” Goldberg said. — Noozhawk

L.A. County is launching a temporary program to deliver groceries and other vital items to seniors and adults with disabilities who are now home-bound due to coronavirus restrictions. The Critical Delivery Service will make deliveries 24/7 and may be used up to four times per month or 40-miles per month, whichever comes first. — Daily News

Straight outta benevolence: Ice Cube’s “The Predator” was best known for the hit “It Was a Good Day.” However, it was the second single, “Check Yo Self,” that performed better than any of the tunes on the gangsta classic, topping the R&B/hip-hop and rap charts. Today, Cube is using that phrase on a new line of T-shirts benefiting COVID-19 medical professionals.

“As a global community, we all need to come together to fight against this coronavirus,” he said. “Every citizen needs to step up. Hopefully, people can buy the shirts, and help us get supplies directly into the hands of the frontline health care workers that need it the most.” — NBCLA

Verbal abuse, assault, shunning: Coronavirus ‘Hate’ tracker now includes more than 1,400 reports of anti-Asian racism. — LAist

The head of the International Monetary Fund said the coronavirus pandemic will push the global economy into the deepest recession since the Great Depression. — ABC News

Some Instacart customers are luring the delivery people with big tips — and then changing them to zero. While Instacart is benefiting from a surge in customer orders in recent weeks, workers have criticized the company for not doing enough to ensure they’re adequately protected and paid during the pandemic. — KTLA

Animal shelters in Riverside County have run out of adoptable pets, as stay-at-home orders increase demand for animal companionship. — KTLA

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, not Michael Jordan, is the NBA points leader. This week, the Laker great earned brownie points after he gave 900 safety goggles to UCLA, his alma mater. — ESPN

Who could forget when Mayor Eric Garcetti donned a cloth face mask as he recommended Angelenos follow suit and do their part to help stop the spread? Today, the FLOTUS followed his lead and sported a simple white mask in a tweet.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Coronavirus: State Prisons Enter Soft Lockdown; Produce Piles Up as Restaurants Shutter

Essential workers continue to bear the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic as outbreaks in prisons and assisted living facilities escalate.

California reported 68 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, raising the total in the state to 442, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom. “Sadly, we had one of our highest death rates in the state so far, and that was 68 individuals that passed away over the last 24 hours,” he said. The state is approaching 17K positive cases of COVID-19, 16% of them involving patients who needed to be hospitalized. Of the 2,714 patients in hospitals, about 42% are in intensive care units. — KTLA

The governor announced yesterday that he has agreed to pay close to a half-billion dollars so the state can begin receiving 200 million masks per month. — CBS Los Angeles

KPCC in Pasadena asked Randy Newman to cut a PSA for them about social distancing. The Grammy and Oscar-winning maestro wrote a song instead. In an interview with the L.A. Times, the “I Love L.A.” singer talked about his current following the stay at home mandate. “In sort of a slothful way, I collapse into each day,” the 76-year-old told critic Randall Roberts. “One thing about it is there’s no rush for anything. If I want to take 20 minutes to tie my shoes, I can do it. At some point after getting up and having breakfast, I’ll go in a room where there’s a piano, a television and a CD player, and do one or the other. Or read. I hit a massive groove with these books I’m reading. — L.A. Times

A janitorial wholesaler in Anaheim opened its doors to the public and its success was so overwhelming it had to shift to curbside pickup for customers desperate for toilet paper and cleaning supplies. “They flooded to the showroom in droves,” said owner David Bergman. “The first few days that we opened the showroom, we were serving between 800 to 1,000 customers a day, which is absolutely insane for a janitorial store.” — ABC 7

Legendary L.A. DJ Nic Harcourt today announced #TogetherTunes, an invitation for artists to make and record a song and send it to him at [email protected]. “Reach out to one or more friends, collaborate to come up with an original idea (a shared chorus or refrain), assign each individual to write their own verse accordingly. Film yourself performing your part; then pick one of you to comp it together into a video of the full song that we can share,” Harcourt instructed. — Buzzbands.LA

Heads up for all of you still flying in or out of the Bob Hope Hollywood Burbank airport:

AMC Theaters may file for bankruptcy. But fear not, that may help keep it alive. — Deadline

California sure has been doing a number of things correctly. Here’s a timeline of all of the good decisions the state has made during the pandemic. — KTLA

The Golden State has launched a 14-day statewide soft lockdown in its prisons and told exhausted prison nurses that if they’re ordered to work 16-hour shifts, they must comply or face reprisal. — L.A. Times

Eighty-four patients from Magnolia Rehabilitation and Nursing Center were evacuated after employees did not show up for work during an outbreak of coronavirus infections. The patients have been moved to other care centers around Riverside County. — NBCLA

Twenty-five L.A. County sheriff’s employees have tested positive for coronavirus. As of today, 405 employees had been quarantined, with 150 having returned to work. In the jail system, 372 inmates have been quarantined, and 14 others put in isolation for having a temperature of 100.4 or higher with symptoms of an upper respiratory infection. — City News

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly said that it will limit the out-of-pocket cost of insulin to $35 per month to offset financial hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Too many people in the U.S. have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 crisis, and we want to make sure no one goes without their Lilly insulin,” Lilly Diabetes President Mike Mason said in a statement. — The Hill

Employees at restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, drug stores and other essential businesses must start wearing protective face masks beginning April 10. Those in restaurants must wash their hands every 30 minutes. — EaterLA

Fresh produce is piling up in the warehouses and loading docks of DTLA wholesalers due to restaurant shutdowns. — CBS Los Angeles

Interested in supporting local restaurants but would also like to make Joaquin Phoenix smile? Here are 13 restaurants serving plant-based takeout and delivery meals in L.A. — EaterLA

The Americana at Brand in Glendale is still open (sorta), and its fountain has not stopped doing its dance. — L.A. Times

Meanwhile, photos documenting the destruction of several LACMA structures to make way for a remodel has inspired some critical responses online:

Coronavirus or no, the oldest profession in the world is alive and well, allegedly, in unincorporated L.A. County. “A FOX 11 undercover photographer approached a female employee at a nearby taco stand and played the part of an interested client. The woman said the spa offers ‘final feliz,’ which is the sexual favor at the end of a massage known as a happy ending. She also said employees work under the table and customers have to knock on the front door before paying a cover inside.” — Fox 11

Warm weather is unlikely to diminish the spread of coronavirus, according to a panel convened at the National Academies of Sciences — Washington Post

KISS performing at the Forum in 2014. KISS frontman Gene Simmons implored people to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
KISS at the Forum in 2014. Photo by Tony Pierce.

From his L.A. mansion, KISS frontman Gene Simmons implored people to stay home. “While you’re busy eating your pizzas and your burgers and all that stuff, there are people who are risking their lives to bring food to you at home,” Simmons said. “What are we complaining about? You get to stay at home and do nothing while people are risking their lives to make your life better. This will get better. I promise you.”

Then, he added that those who are going to church need to knock it off. “You’re not listening to the same God I am. God is saying STAY HOME,” he shouted. “Don’t go to church!” — Classic Rockers

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

USC Volunteers 3D-Print Masks, Face Shields; MLB Pitching Return

Drag queens and music legends are helping Angelenos pass the time as the coronavirus keeps us sequestered at home.

Officials confirmed 22 more deaths linked to the coronavirus, bringing the total in L.A. County to 169, as the number of people testing positive for the illness reaches 6,910. Orange County has 882 cases and 14 deaths. Riverside County is at 946 cases and 25 deaths. San Bernardino County has 530 cases and 16 deaths. — ABC 7

Four residents at a Redondo Beach senior home died after testing positive for COVID-19. The 120-bed facility reports 22 confirmed-positive cases, including residents and staff. — Long Beach Press-Telegram

Julia Wick, L.A. Times reporter and former LAist editor, has tested positive for coronavirus. She suspected the diagnosis after losing her sense of smell. In writing about her experience for the L.A. Times, she talks about asking her parents to place medicine and a thermometer on their lawn for her to pick up. Once there, she begged them to stay away. “And then I broke down in tears, standing a few yards away in front of my car, and told them over and over again how much I love them. I am 30 years old.” — L.A. Times

Punk rock legend Henry Rollins is expanding his weekly KCRW radio show into a four-hour online epic called “The Cool Quarantine.” The former Black Flag frontman said in a statement that the program, whose first episode is already up, is “kind of like the show we do on Sundays but without time constraints or worrying about FCC compliance. It’s an extra slice of pizza. It will be completely indulgent.” — L.A. Times

Earlier this year, Rollins was recruited by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board to act as a city spokesman. Harken back to the halcyon days of January, when LAX was bustling, crowded and these tips held value:

MTA bus drivers say service should stop because the only people they see riding the bus are either homeless or sick. “If you don’t have a solid plan to keep us safe, not only us but the public, then yes, definitely shut it down,” one driver said. — CBS Los Angeles

L.A. has seen a 23% drop in crime in the past month as locals have been complying with the state’s stay at home order. “People staying home in their neighborhoods, watching out for each other, and exercising social distancing is allowing us to have a safer city,” said LAPD Chief Michel Moore. — CNN

Yesterday, L.A. had the cleanest air in the world. Yay? — CBS Los Angeles

In-N-Out, Lowe’s, Target, Costco, Sprouts and Sam’s Club will be closed on Sunday, giving their workers a break to celebrate Easter from the safety of their homes. Walmart employees aren’t so lucky. — CBS Los Angeles

Print on! USC’s architecture school has a volunteer network of about 200 people and 198 3-D printers strong who have already printed 1,061 “pseudo N95” masks and 481 face shields. — L.A. Times

Lede of the day: While we are all cooped up at home, one Long Beach queen is making life a bit less of a drag. “I’ve been in Long Beach for over 20 years entertaining the entire city,” said Jewels, a self-proclaimed triple-threat: entertainer, philanthropist and drag queen extraordinaire. — ABC 7

Will Dodger Stadium remain empty as the team plays its first dozen games in the Phoenix area? Photo by Tony Pierce.

As determined as the Dodgers are to win a World Series this year, so it appears is MLB to get the season underway. The idea is to have all 30 teams play games at empty stadiums in the Phoenix area. Players, coaching staff and other essential personnel would be sequestered at local hotels in relative isolation and travel only to and from the stadium. The CDC and other officials have been supportive of a plan that would adhere to strict isolation, promote social distancing and allow MLB to become the first professional sport to return.

MLB issued a statement Tuesday admitting that the ambitious Arizona plan has been discussed, but “we have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan.” — ESPN

Swingers on Beverly in Hollywood is now closed permanently after 27 years. — EaterLA

Monday, April 6, 2020

City Officials Say ‘Skip Shopping;’ McDonald’s Workers Strike

The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the local economy as workers deal with layoffs and unsafe work environments.

Officials urge L.A. residents to skip grocery shopping and stay home this week. “If you have enough supplies in your home, this would be the week to skip shopping altogether,” said public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer. L.A. County reported 420 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 additional deaths. Totaling 6,360 confirmed cases and 147 deaths in the county. — ABC7

The St. Vincent Medical Center will reopen as the Los Angeles Surge Hospital on April 13 to increase the number of hospital beds in the region and expand intensive care unit capacity for patients who have contracted the novel coronavirus, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom. — CBS Los Angeles

Because a tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for coronavirus, the Los Angeles Zoo and the Big Cat Sanctuary in San Diego are taking additional safety measures to protect the health of their animals and workers. The L.A. Zoo said they are not testing any of their big cats because none of them have symptoms. — ABC 7

Now that a second employee at the Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar tested positive for coronavirus, 22 asymptomatic youths have been quarantined, according to the county Probation Department. — CBS Los Angeles

A Silver Lake restauranteur pays rent for mother facing eviction. “It seemed like she’s a person who really needed help at the time, or still does. And I kind of had the feeling that, you know, you see these articles often on the internet, and you never really know what happens to the person,” said Shawn Nee, owner of Burgers Never Say Die. — ABC 7

Workers at a McDonald’s on Crenshaw Boulevard strike after one of their coworkers tested positive for coronavirus. They are asking for two weeks of paid leave. “We’ve been pleading for protective equipment for more than a month now, but McDonald’s is putting its profits ahead of our health,” said Bartolome Perez, who has been working for the company for 30 years. “We don’t want to die for McDonald’s burgers and fries.” — NBC News

Blaming plummeting advertising revenue as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the Southern California News Group has furloughed about 50 employees and laid off several others. The group includes the Orange County RegisterLos Angeles Daily NewsSan Bernardino Sun and the Press-Enterprise in Riverside. “Everyone is livid. Some of our entertainment staff feel discarded. They did as much work, if not more, than the rest of the newsroom over the last month. They had to cover the total collapse of the entertainment industry … And then management turns around and does this to them. It sucks,” said one SCNG employee. — LAist

A company claiming to have a $40 at-home test for COVID-19 has been sued by the City of L.A. The company relented and settled with authorities, agreeing to stop marketing or selling the test kits unless they receive FDA approval. They also agreed to offer refunds. — NPR

The empty polo fields in Indio where the world-famous Coachella festival normally takes place. Photo by Tony Pierce.

The concert industry could lose $9 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic. If touring resumes in late August, the projected drop in revenue would total around $5.2 billion. If venues could somehow reopen in late May — an increasingly remote possibility — that figure would drop to $2.3 billion. — L.A. Times

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