Visitors at the Americana at Brand sit inside social-distancing circles on Dec. 23, 2020. Photo by Jose Tobar.

Fears Over COVID-19 Variant Drive Talks of New Restrictions

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Friday, January 15, 2021

Los Angeles County is likely to reach more than 1 million cases over the weekend.

County health officials confirmed 15,051 new cases of COVID-19 and 258 new deaths today. To date, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has verified 989,928 cases of COVID-19 and a total of 13,489 deaths. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

L.A. County health officials are considering issuing new health orders aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus as fears of the U.K. variant spreading in the region grow. Outdoor gyms and indoor malls could face further restrictions.KTLA

With more than 500 Californians dying from COVID-19 each day, state officials announced they are sending more refrigerated trucks to act as makeshift morgues for overburdened coroner’s offices. Currently, there are 98 of these trailers storing bodies in the state, according to Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Office of Emergency Services. — Associated Press

Mayor Eric Garcetti said he might make vaccination mandatory for L.A. firefighters as well as other city workers. The Los Angeles Fire Department has resorted to raffles for vaccinated firefighters to encourage more of them to get the shot. — Los Angeles Times

Dodger Stadium reopened today as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site. Once fully operational, 12,000 people will be able to receive a dose every day. — ABC Los Angeles

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Garcetti: Further Closures Possible if COVID-19 Numbers Surge Again

More than 13,000 people have died in Los Angeles County from complications due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

There were 17,323 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed today, as well as 287 new deaths, according to L.A. County health officials. There are 7,906 people currently hospitalized with the virus in the county. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Should there be an outbreak of the U.K. COVID-19 variant in Los Angeles, or should the city experience a surge similar to that in December, schools and outdoor gyms could face further closures, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti. “That is something we cannot sustain,” he said, “and most importantly, our hospitals cannot, and we would move into crisis mode there.” — Deadline

Sign up for this newsletter from the L.A. County Department of Public Health to find out who can get vaccinated and when. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Officials now estimate one in three L.A. County residents has been infected with the coronavirus — more than triple the number of cases confirmed by testing. — KTLA

What happens when a restaurant worker gets COVID-19?Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

California Expands COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility to Everyone 65 and Older — L.A. County Not Participating

Filming to return to Los Angeles as major studios push forward with productions this month.

In an effort to speed up vaccinations in the state, California will allow anyone 65 and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the discretion of each individual county. Due to a scarcity of doses and hundreds of thousands of frontline workers yet to be vaccinated, L.A. County health officials say vaccinating health care workers and nursing facility residents first is still a priority. Orange County residents 65 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. — KTLA, Los Angeles Times

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia announced the city’s convention center will transform into a vaccine distribution site. It will be the first of several vaccination distribution centers to come online in the coming weeks. Garcia said grocery and food distribution workers would be the first in line to receive the shots. — NBC Los Angeles

Following a short break, Disney, Warner Bros. Universal, CBS and Netflix will resume filming in Los Angeles in mid-January. — The Hollywood Reporter

COVID-19 outbreaks at workplaces are a sign of rising community transmission, according to L.A. County health officials, urging employers to keep in mind the safety of employees and customers. “We have a problem with Covid-19 transmission at worksites across the entire county,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “As the percentage of people who are positive with COVID-19 increases, there is simply a much larger pool of infected people walking around, often without symptoms, that now expose a greater and greater percentage of people to the virus.” — Deadline

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Essential Workers Advised to Wear a Mask at Home

LAUSD will require that students receive the COVID-19 vaccine before being allowed back on campus.

Public health officials confirmed 11,994 new cases of COVID-19 in L.A. County today, and 288 new deaths.Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Essential workers should wear a mask while at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus within their household, according to L.A. County health officials. This advice applies to people who leave their homes for work and those who run errands regularly. — CNN

Frontline workers who tried to get vaccinated at Southern California Hospital at Culver City say they were turned away in favor of hospital staff relatives. “It seemed to be less about what you did for a living and more of who you knew,” said Katie Brockert, a home health physical therapist who was denied the vaccine three times. The hospital received more COVID-19 vaccines than it needed for its employees and offered the extra doses to other physicians, as well as police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and public service employees, according to a hospital spokesperson. — Los Angeles Daily News

Starting Jan. 26, international travelers will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test before being allowed to fly into the U.S. The new rule requires that travelers get tested within three days before their flight and provide documentation of a negative result. — Los Angeles Times

L.A.-area students must have been vaccinated against COVID-19 before being allowed on campus, per Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner. In a pre-recorded briefing, he said a COVID-19 vaccine requirement would be similar to students and staff being tested for tuberculosis before coming on campus. — KTLA/Los Angeles Times

Ventura County is looking for volunteers to help administer coronavirus vaccinations. To be able to volunteer, you must be on California’s list of authorized vaccinators. — CBS Los Angeles

Monday, January 11, 2021

L.A. County Inching Toward 1 Million COVID-19 Cases

Dodger Stadium is set to become a COVID-19 vaccination site capable of inoculating 12,000 people per day.

L.A. County public health officials announced 12,617 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, as well as 137 new deaths. Currently, there are 7,910 people in the county hospitalized for the virus. To date, there have been 932,697 cases reported and 12,387 deaths. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

As L.A. County nears 1 million recorded cases of COVID-19, officials announced plans to expand vaccination efforts with five new sites capable of administering 5,000 doses daily.NBC Los Angeles

Dodger Stadium will transition from a COVID-19 testing center to a vaccination site by the end of the week. According to city officials, once fully operational, the new vaccination site will distribute up to 12,000 doses a day.ABC Los Angeles

The state must provide more funding before schools can safely reopen, according to the Los Angeles Unified School District and unions representing its teachers and staff. In a December proposal from Gov. Gavin Newsom, the state would spend $2 billion providing testing, ventilation and personal protective equipment for California schools. — CBS Los Angeles

Discharge planners at Southern California hospitals are struggling to free up beds for incoming patients, forcing many to wait for hours before being admitted. “We really need help. We need a release valve,” said Carmela Coyle, chief executive at the California Hospital Association. “We have ambulances continuing to flow into hospitals, dropping patients off in acute care need. And yet, we have challenges in discharging patients to other parts of the health care system when they are no longer in need of that acute care, and it is creating a bottleneck.” — Los Angeles Times

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