Full coverage: A person stops for a photo while wearing a face covering, sunglasses and a hat. Photo by Afonso Salcedo.

Troops Heading to California to Help with Vaccine Distribution

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Friday, February 5, 2021

The number of people admitted to hospitals due to COVID-19 dropped in the weeks following the implementation of mask mandates, according to a CDC study.

Health officials recorded 4,761 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 226 new deaths today. There are 4,796 people currently hospitalized for the virus in L.A. County. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

White House officials announced the Defense Department will deploy more than 1,000 active-duty troops to support vaccination efforts nationwide, with 200 expected to arrive in California in the coming days. President Joe Biden will also invoke the Defense Production Act to boost the production of coronavirus tests, with the goal of producing 61 million tests by summer. — Politico

San Quentin State Prison was handed a $421,880 fine after a June inspection found the penitentiary failed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the facility, leading to 2,200 confirmed cases and the deaths of 28 inmates and one correctional officer. — Los Angeles Times

Mask mandates lead to a drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations — by almost 5% more than three weeks after implementation, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. — The Hill

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Johnson & Johnson Seeks Emergency Authorization for Single-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine

Public health officials warn another surge may follow if Angelenos gather to watch the Super Bowl this weekend.

L.A. County public health officials reported 5,028 new cases of COVID-19 and 239 new deaths today, bringing the totals to 1,134,338 cases and 17,539 deaths to date, respectively. There are currently 4,990 people in L.A. County, including Long Beach and Pasadena, hospitalized for the virus. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Johnson & Johnson applied Thursday for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine. Now a Food and Drug Administration panel will review the evidence presented, which could happen in as little as two weeks. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be much easier to distribute than its Moderna and Pfizer counterparts, as it only requires one dose to be effective and is easier to store. — The Hill

Are you experiencing arm soreness, fever, headaches or muscle aches after getting a COVID-19 vaccine? Experts say don’t reach for painkillers — unless you take them routinely for a medical condition. Those symptoms signify the vaccine is doing its job in prompting an immune response, and some painkillers could lessen its efficacy. — Los Angeles Times

L.A. County public health officials warn of an incoming surge should Angelenos gather to watch the Super Bowl, whether at a private residence or business. “COVID-19 transmission can just as easily occur at house parties as at businesses not following the straight-forward safety measures,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director. “Do not attend or host a Super Bowl party this weekend. Restaurant, winery and brewery establishments must do their part, as required, keeping TVs off and following the requirements in the L.A. County Health Officer Order. We all must work together to defend against another surge.” — CBS Los Angeles

Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino testified before the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Thursday, asking the federal government for further assistance in protecting and vaccinating essential workers, drawing attention to those in the national supply chain. “Unfortunately, far too many have fallen ill or lost their lives … our dock workers may be essential, but shouldn’t be sacrificial,” he said. — Patch

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Cal State L.A. to Become Vaccination Site Under Biden Plan

Gov. Gavin Newsom says schools can reopen even if teachers are not vaccinated against COVID-19.

L.A. County health officials recorded 5,189 new cases of COVID-19 and 256 related deaths today. Current hospitalizations number 5,165. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Preparations are underway to open a community vaccination site at Cal State Los Angeles and the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum as part of a federal program to establish 100 vaccination sites nationwide in President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office. Officials say the sites are expected to open to eligible Californians beginning Feb. 16. — NBC Los Angeles

Gov. Gavin Newsom said he believes schools can reopen even if teachers are yet not vaccinated against COVID-19 — as long as safety measures are in place. On the other hand, some teachers’ unions say vaccinations for staff are necessary before in-person instruction can resume. “Vaccinating school staff will help get school classrooms opened sooner,” L.A. Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner said this week. — Los Angeles Times

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer detailed plans to get eligible seniors who face a greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19 vaccinated — those with underlying health conditions, the homeless and those who work in places that could expose them to the virus. “We’re going to be opening more community vaccination sites in hard-hit communities,” Ferrer said at an online news conference. “We’re going to have our mobile teams go out to where people who are older may be residing and have limited ability to get to appointments at some of the other sites.” — ABC Los Angeles

Eligible California residents will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a CVS pharmacy as soon as next week. Participating locations will be located in Agoura Hills, Chula Vista, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Los Angeles, Modesto, Newport Beach, San Diego, Ventura. — KTLA

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

L.A. City Council Moves to Bring Hazard Pay to Grocery, Pharmacy Workers

January was the deadliest month of the pandemic so far, as COVID-19 killed 6,411 people across L.A. County during the first month of the year.

Los Angeles County health officials reported 3,763 new cases of COVID-19 and 205 new deaths. Current hospitalizations number 5,259. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

COVID-19 killed 6,411 people across L.A. County in January — making it the deadliest month of the pandemic, according to data gathered by the L.A. Times. To date, nearly 17,000 have died of the disease in the county. The trend continues statewide, as California reported its largest number of deaths in January as well. — KTLA

Fluvoxamine, a commonly prescribed medicine for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, is showing promise as a treatment to prevent people infected with COVID-19 from developing serious symptoms. “What we observed was that all the patients who received Fluvoxamine, none of them had a severe COVID infection that affected their lungs or their respiratory status,” said Dr. Caline Mattar, an infectious disease researcher at Washington University in St. Louis who helped conduct an initial trial of the drug last fall. — NBC Los Angeles

L.A. City Council members voted unanimously today in support of a plan to raise grocery and drugstore workers’ pay by $5 an hour for 120 days. City attorneys will now draft an ordinance for the City Council to approve that would require larger grocery and pharmacy retailers to raise wages for all hourly nonmanagerial staff. Larger stores that sell groceries, like Walmart and Target, would also be included in the ordinance.Patch, Los Angeles Times

Nearly half of the Los Angeles Fire Department’s frontline personnel have not received a COVID-19 vaccine. According to the LAFD, 54% of the city’s firefighters have received the vaccine. — Patch

Monday, February 1, 2021

Long Beach Ralphs, Food 4 Less Closing Over ‘Hero Pay’ Mandate

LAUSD schools will not resume in-person classes until teachers are vaccinated, per Superintendent Austin Beutner.

Los Angeles County health officials today reported 4,223 new cases of COVID-19 and 85 new deaths. Current hospitalizations number 5,398. To date, there have been 1,120,895 confirmed infections and 16,854 deaths. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Lessons will continue online until teachers are vaccinated and infection rates drop significantly, according to L.A. Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner. The 2021-2022 school year will likely have to be extended as a result. — Patch

Kroger-owned grocery chains Ralphs and Food 4 Less announced plans to permanently close two stores in Long Beach following a vote by local officials boosting grocery workers’ pay. The city’s new policy will last for 120 days, giving workers a temporary $4-per-hour raise in recognition of the risk they have faced as COVID-19 surged in Southern California. — LAist

People who live or work in Riverside County will now be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a newly launched mass vaccination site in a parking lot north of the Riverside Convention Center. — Los Angeles Times

L.A. Gay Bars Are Being Devastated By the Pandemic. Here’s How You Can Help Save Them — them.

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