Masked shoppers make their way through Glendale Galleria on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020.
Masked shoppers make their way through Glendale Galleria on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020. Photo by Jose Tobar.

Reopening Efforts Advance in 13 Counties, Including Los Angeles, as California Administers 2 Million Vaccines in High-Risk Communities

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Friday, March 12, 2021

Health officials expand vaccine eligibility to include all homeless Angelenos as researchers find homeless residents with COVID-19 are 50% more likely to die than their housed counterparts.

Los Angeles County health officials reported 947 new cases of COVID-19 and 101 new deaths Friday. County officials have confirmed 1,208,913 infections and 22,404 deaths since the start of the pandemic. There are 1,015 people currently hospitalized with the virus. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

L.A. County will move into the red tier of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy after officials announced Friday that the state had administered 2 million COVID-19 vaccines throughout its hardest-hit communities. With this equity metric met, L.A. County officials announced changes to local restrictions will kick in Monday, March 15 at 12:01 a.m. Amador, Colusa, Contra Costa, Mendocino, Mono, Orange, Placer, San Benito, San Bernardino, Siskiyou, Sonoma and Tuolumne counties join Los Angeles in moving to the red tier this weekend. — Deadline

AMC announced the Burbank 16 and Century City 15 multiplexes willl reopen Monday. The chain’s remaining 23 locations in L.A. County — and nearly all of its California multiplexes — are scheduled to reopen by March 19. — KTLA

Any person experiencing homelessness in L.A. County will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday, per the Department of Public Health. According to UCLA researchers, homeless people across the nation who contracted COVID-19 were 30% more likely to die than infected people in the general population. In L.A. County, homeless COVID-19 patients were 50% more likely to die. — Los Angeles Times

Thursday, March 11, 2021

LAUSD Board Approves Deal with Teachers Union to Bring Back In-Person Learning

L.A. County health officials released new guidelines for businesses, schools and private gatherings in anticipation of the county moving into the red tier of California’s reopening plan.

Los Angeles County health officials reported 1,378 new cases of COVID-19 and 101 deaths Thursday. Current hospitalizations number 1,056. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Following nearly two hours of discussion, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education approved a tentative deal with United Teachers Los Angeles that would see students back in school by mid-April. UTLA’s membership still needs to ratify the deal, with voting expected next week. As part of the agreement, elementary students will attend school in person in three-hour blocks, either in the morning or afternoon. Secondary students would continue taking part in online instruction, with the option to return to campus for “peer interaction, social-emotional learning and lessons for college and career exploration.” — Patch

The Department of Public Health released new guidelines for restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses as L.A. County inches toward the red tier in California’s reopening plan. The new rules detail capacity, seating and masking requirements and allow for private gatherings with up to three separate households, with masking and distancing required. — NBC Los Angeles

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Kroger to Close 3 More Stores Following L.A. City Council Hazard Pay Mandate

Schools inch toward reopening under a tentative deal between LAUSD and the teachers’ union that would see students taking part in online and in-person lessons.

Health officials confirmed 1,514 new cases and 119 deaths today — one year after the first COVID-19 death in Los Angeles County. To date, local health officials have recorded 1,206,713 cases and 22,213 deaths across the county. There are 1,079 people currently hospitalized with the virus in L.A. County, and 30% of them are receiving intensive care. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

L.A. County will leave the most restrictive tier in California’s reopening roadmap by Friday, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom, allowing county officials to roll back restrictions banning indoor dining and loosen capacity limits at retail stores and shopping malls. County health officials plan to release local guidelines Thursday, as the debate continues over how far Los Angeles should reopen. — Patch

Kroger, the Cincinnati-based grocery giant, announced the closure of three Los Angeles stores Wednesday — a Food4Less in Hollywood and two Ralphs locations, one in Pico – Robertson and the other in Hyde Park. The move comes after the L.A. City Council voted on March 3 to require large grocery and pharmacy retailers to pay employees an additional $5 per hour in hazard pay for 120 days. Kroger also chose to close a Ralphs and Food4Less in Long Beach after the city enacted a similar $4 “hero pay” mandate. — NBC Los Angeles

Students will return to campus next month as part of a tentative deal between the Los Angeles Unified School District and the local teachers’ union. The agreement allows for the reopening of schools when L.A. County is in the red tier of the state’s reopening plan and requires that all staff have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Students will participate in a “hybrid model” combining online and in-person lessons. — Patch

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

9 California Counties Enter a Less Restrictive Tier in State’s Reopening Roadmap

Thirty-four counties in the state, including Los Angeles, remain in the purple tier — the one with the most restrictions.

Los Angeles County health officials recorded 1,337 new cases of COVID-19 and 70 deaths Tuesday. There are 1,119 people currently hospitalized with the virus in the region. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

After showing a reduced positivity rate between 5% and 8% for two weeks in a row, Alameda, Butte, Calaveras, Imperial, Santa Cruz and Solano counties got the green light Tuesday to ease restrictions and move into the less prohibitive red tier in the state’s reopening roadmap. Meanwhile, Mariposa and Plumas counties are allowed to start rolling back restrictions further and move out of the red tier and into the orange tier, which denotes a moderate risk of COVID-19 in the region. Alpine County also moved into the yellow tier, which allows for most businesses to resume indoor operations with some modifications. — Patch

Some people report experiencing a red and sometimes bumpy rash on the arm after receiving a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Doctors say the rash is treatable and that people shouldn’t forgo getting a vaccine over fears of getting it. “So the bottom line is this is a normal reaction that we see. This does not mean you shouldn’t get your COVID vaccine,” said Dr. Shirley Chi, a board-certified dermatologist. “You should get it as soon as you can, and if you have any kind of reaction like this, talk to your doctor about it and we can treat it.” — ABC Los Angeles

A new, city-run vaccination site opened Tuesday at USC’s University Park campus, located near the Expo Park Metro Station. Uber has pledged to provide South L.A. residents 15,000 free rides to get inoculated at USC, and an additional 20,000 rides will be available half-off. — NBC Los Angeles

Monday, March 8, 2021

L.A. County Could Ease COVID-19 Restrictions This Week

Counties across the state are showing reluctance to participate in Blue Shield’s centralized vaccination program.

Los Angeles County health officials confirmed 880 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 related deaths Monday. There are 1,132 people in the county currently hospitalized for the virus. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Los Angeles County could soon be allowed to ease COVID-19 restrictions following changes to California’s reopening roadmap announced last week. After California administers 2 million vaccines throughout its most disadvantaged communities — something that could happen this week — counties with an adjusted daily coronavirus case rate of up to 10 new cases per day per 100,000 people would become eligible to move out of the purple tier — the most restrictive tier in the state’s reopening plan. — Los Angeles Times

CVS expanded its vaccination program across 272 locations in California, as the retail giant has begun receiving shipments of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments are required.Patch

Long Beach residents 16 and older who have a medical condition or developmental disability that makes them more susceptible to COVID-19 can get a vaccine starting today. Appointments are not required, but you will need to prove Long Beach residency and provide documentation of a qualifying medical condition. Vaccines will be administered at the Long Beach Convention Center Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. — LAist

State lawmakers are set to vote on whether to reinstate a two-week paid leave requirement for workers recovering from COVID-19 or quarantining following exposure to the virus. Currently, employers are only obligated to offer workers three days of sick leave for any illness. — Los Angeles Times

As California gets ready to hand over vaccine distribution to insurance giant Blue Shield, more and more counties are asking to opt-out of the program — many citing concerns over the state’s vaccine sign-up system. In a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors said the insurer’s officials “have not demonstrated they have adequate understanding of the unique needs and features of Los Angeles County, its diverse population, and where our residents go for health care.” — The Associated Press

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