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Friday, March 19, 2021
MTA officials say the agency aims to restore service to pre-pandemic levels by fall thanks to an infusion of federal funds from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
L.A. County public health officials reported 756 new cases of COVID-19 and 60 new deaths Friday. To date, the L.A. County Department of Public Health has identified 1,213,288 cases across the county and a total of 22,722 deaths. There are currently 861 people hospitalized with the virus; 28% of them are receiving intensive care. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
California lawmakers approved a bill reinstating emergency paid sick leave for workers who are recovering from COVID-19 or who are in quarantine after exposure to the virus. The bill also calls for paid time off for workers who need time off to get a vaccine or who are caring for someone with COVID-19 or a child who is distance learning from home. The bill now awaits a signature from Gov. Gavin Newsom. — CBS Los Angeles
A significant portion of the $1.6 billion earmarked for SoCal transit agencies through the American Rescue Plan will go to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as the agency aims to restore service to pre-pandemic levels by this fall. This is welcome news, as riders currently experience longer waits and fuller busses, which make social distancing difficult. — Los Angeles Times
Legoland California announced plans to reopen April 1, with access to select rides and attractions for a priority group of visitors, including Legoland hotel guests, annual pass holders and ticket holders who were impacted when the park closed last year due to the pandemic. The park has plans to reopen to the general public on April 15. — Los Angeles Times
Thursday, March 18, 2021
Students 16 and Older to Qualify for COVID-19 Vaccines Starting May 1
Residents in Southeast Los Angeles will have the option to get vaccinated at the Bell Community Center starting Monday.
Los Angeles County public health officials reported 933 new cases of COVID-19 and 88 new deaths Thursday. There are currently 861 people hospitalized with the virus, and 26% are receiving intensive care. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Starting May 1, all students 16 and older will become eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, per L.A. County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. Currently, teachers and school staff in the region are eligible for shots. According to the Los Angeles Unified School District, early education centers and elementary schools are set to reopen mid-April, with middle schools and high schools following suit a few weeks later. — Deadline
A new COVID-19 vaccination site will open next week at the Bell Community Center for residents in communities across Southeast Los Angeles, including Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Maywood, South Gate, Walnut Park and Vernon. — CBS Los Angeles
Six Flags Magic Mountain will reopen April 1, the first day that theme parks are allowed to do so under state rules. The theme park will welcome members and pass holders on April 1 and 2 and will open to the general public on April 3, according to park officials. Only California residents will be allowed to purchase tickets or make reservations. — Patch
Despite what you may have heard, theme park visitors will likely not be barred from screaming while riding on roller coasters, according to Erin Guerrero, executive director of the California Attractions and Parks Association. “Parks have got it covered. If people are wearing masks, they’re shouting into a mask that will contain the droplets,” Guerrero said. “The parks have been preparing to open since the closures started, and they have had best practices in place from other parks around the world that have been able to reopen.” — LA Weekly
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Disneyland to Reopen April 30 — with Restrictions
Los Angeles County will receive more than $300 million to fund COVID-19 testing programs in schools, per the Department of Health and Human Services.
Los Angeles County health officials confirmed 897 new cases of COVID-19 and 75 related deaths Wednesday. There are 857 people currently hospitalized with the virus across the region. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
California is set to receive nearly $888 million in federal funds to expand coronavirus testing programs in schools, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Los Angeles County will receive its own allotment totaling $302,372,980. The money will come from the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that President Joe Biden signed last week. — NPR
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park will once again welcome visitors starting April 30, nearly a year after shutting down due to the pandemic. Guests will be required to obtain a reservation in advance, and tickets will be limited to California residents until further notice. The theme parks will operate at 15% capacity, per state rules. — NBC Los Angeles
To convince more residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine, California is launching a $40 million publicity campaign featuring social media outreach as well as TV and radio ads in various languages. As part of the campaign, doctors, nurses and other health professionals will speak on the safety of the vaccines. Social media influencers will also be brought on board to target communities with high levels of vaccine resistance. — Patch
According to Contra Costa Health Services, the coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom has been detected in Contra Costa County for the first time. Officials at the health agency say the variant is more contagious and possibly more deadly than others. “This is a reminder that even though COVID numbers are falling, we need to continue using all our tools to prevent another surge: wear masks in public, continue to physically distance, avoid both indoor and large gatherings, and get vaccinated when it’s your turn,” County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said in a statement. — NBC Los Angeles
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Ventura, Riverside Counties Leave California’s Restrictive ‘Purple Tier’
As L.A. County businesses resume indoor operations, the Board of Supervisors approved new guidance for health inspectors, advising them to focus on the worst and repeat offenders.
Los Angeles County health officials confirmed 318 new cases of COVID-19 and 52 new deaths Tuesday. There are currently 865 people currently hospitalized with the virus across the county. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Ventura and Riverside counties officially moved into the red tier of California’s reopening plan Tuesday, allowing them to roll back restrictions on indoor dining, movie theaters, gyms and other businesses. Under revised guidelines, counties are allowed to transition out of the state’s most restrictive tier when their average rate of daily new COVID-19 cases reaches 10 per 100,000 residents. Riverside reached an adjusted case rate of 6.1 per 100,000 residents, while Ventura County reached 6.5, according to the California Department of Public Health. — CBS Los Angeles
As more businesses open for indoor operations, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve new guidance for health inspectors, advising them to focus on penalizing only the worst violators of COVID-19 health guidelines. NBC Los Angeles
Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday that the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles received more than $72 million in donations, which funded direct financial assistance and services to 225,000 Angelenos since the start of the pandemic. “We’ve seen such incredible generosity, Garcetti said. “We can put a figure on that — more than 12,500 donations and $72 million that you’ve given to your fellow Angelenos, going directly to those most in need through the Mayor’s Fund. It’s been a lifeline for 255,000 people here in the city of Los Angeles.” — NBC Los Angeles
Monday, March 15, 2021
Low-Income Renters Impacted by COVID-19 Can Apply for City’s Rental Assistance Program Starting March 30
Officials say a San Bernardino County man tested positive for a coronavirus variant from Brazil thought to be more contagious than the common strain of the virus.
Los Angeles County health officials recorded 422 new cases of COVID-19 and six new deaths Monday; these figures may reflect a reporting delay from over the weekend. To date, the Department of Public Health has identified 1,210,663 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 22,475 deaths. — Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
A San Bernardino County resident recently became the first person in California to test positive for a coronavirus variant from Brazil known as P.1. Officials say the variant appears to be more contagious than the common strain of the virus. This comes as several Southern California counties are starting to reopen sectors of their economy. — Los Angeles Times
L.A. renters in need of assistance due to the pandemic can apply for the 2021 Emergency Rental Assistance Program starting March 30. The city will provide a total of $235.5 million in state and federal funds to assist renters and rental property owners who have been impacted by the pandemic. The program is open to all low-income renters, regardless of immigration status. People who applied for last year’s rental subsidy program but did not receive assistance will be considered for this round of funds on March 15, two weeks before the program accepts new applicants. — NBC Los Angeles
CVS Health announced it will expand its vaccination program in California by converting an additional 119 locations into inoculation centers. This brings the number of CVS Pharmacy locations offering the COVID-19 vaccine in California to 286, according to the company. — Patch
After closing its doors to the public for a year, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced plans to reopen on April 1. All visitors must purchase or reserve timed-entry tickets in advance and follow guidelines issued by the L.A. County Department of Public Health, which include wearing a mask at all times and maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others. — CBS Los Angeles
Hinting at a possible return to some degree of normalcy, L.A. County started recruiting lifeguards for the coming season. Candidates must be strong swimmers who can maintain a safe environment and teach swimming classes. — City News Service