As the coronavirus quarantine drags on, LAUSD and teachers’ union lock horns over online learning procedures and the FDA drops ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men.
Since yesterday, another 13 people have died in Los Angeles County due to COVID-19, marking the fourth consecutive day that the number of new confirmed deaths has been higher than the day before. This brings the total to 78 deaths in the county. L.A. has seen 4,045 individuals test positive — including 534 new cases — out of more than 23,300 people who have been tested so far. — L.A. Daily News
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a “bridge loan” of up to $50,000 for small businesses in California, with a 12-month reprieve of state sales tax. In addition, Newsom announced the Paycheck Protection Program — which will reimburse businesses up to $10 million as long as they commit to paying employees. — ABC7
Deputy Terrell Young, a 15-year member of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and father of four children has died after contracting coronavirus and suffering with symptoms for a week. “It is with a heavy heart and much sadness that I must announce the passing of one of our RSO family members,” Sheriff Chad Bianco tweeted. — NBC Los Angeles
United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl said that teaching via live video-conferencing should be non-mandatory and that administrators should not join Zoom or other live classes, among other demands outlined in a letter to the district. “Our members need to be left alone to do their work with students and families. We are not going to stand for ridiculous micromanagement, onerous directives and time-wasting regimes that principals or local district personnel come up with,” Caputo-Pearl said. — L.A. Daily News
An employee at the Amazon warehouse in Glassell Park has tested positive for COVID-19. — NBC Los Angeles
The LAUSD announced a mental health hotline will begin operating today to help students and families coping with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. The hotline, which can be reached at (213) 241-3840, will be staffed by bilingual counselors and mental health professionals from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. — City News
It is getting better. Gay and bisexual men, you may now donate your blood. “We have concluded that the current policies regarding the eligibility of certain donors can be modified without compromising the safety of the blood supply,” read the statement from the FDA. “The policy changes that we are announcing for immediate implementation are set out in three guidance documents and are expected to remain in place after the COVID-19 public health emergency ends.” — GLAAD
Burbank-based entertainment giant Disney, which employs 223,000 people, will begin furloughing employees in the middle of April. “Disney employees have received full pay and benefits during this time, and we’ve committed to paying them through April 18, for a total of five additional weeks of compensation. However, with no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses, we’re forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time,” Disney said in a statement. — The Wrap
A foundation controlled by L.A. Times owner, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, is seeking to buy an empty hospital in Historic Filipinotown and turn it into a sprawling campus for COVID-19 patients and coronavirus research. The foundation is offering to purchase St. Vincent Medical Center out of bankruptcy for $135 million. “That’s what every city should have done, they should have established a central command,” Soon-Shiong said, adding that “we are in a war zone now.” — L.A. Times
People were told to stay inside. Companies instructed employees to work from home. Despite airlines being open, LAX is reporting a 90% decline in passenger volume. — LAist
Rents have dropped in L.A. for the first time since 2010. Not by a lot. But they have dropped due to the Rona. They’re still too damn high, but … — Curbed L.A.
The global pandemic is truly just that. One million people around the planet have tested positive for the disease. — BBC
Are all the parks and trails closed? Nope. Here’s a list of where you can go if you really, really, really, really have to leave the house — even though you know it’s better if you stay home like the rest of us. — L.A. Times