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April 3, 2020
Los Angeles County officials on Friday confirmed an additional 11 deaths and 521 cases, bringing the county's death toll to 89 and case total to 4,566.
County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said seven of the individuals who died were over the age of 65, all of which had underlying health conditions. Three people were between 41 and 65 years old, and one person between the ages of 18 and 40, highlighting the fact that virus does not discriminate based on age.
The county is investigating coronavirus outbreaks at more than 67 institutional settings, including nursing homes, assisted-living centers, shelters, treatment centers, supported-living facilities, jails and prisons.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the latest coronavirus numbers for California, with 10,710 cases, 2,188 hospitalized and 901 people in ICU -- a 10.4% increase from the previous day. Cases in California are expected to peak in the beginning to middle of May, according to Newsom.
Following the state's pledge of $150 million in homeless aid, Newsom said 7,000 hotel rooms have been secured to house the homeless in California, with the goal of 15,000 rooms.
Chef Jose Andres and World Central Kitchen will provide meals for homeless individuals amid the coronavirus pandemic, Newsom said.
He added that Californians who looking to volunteer, including to donate blood, can go do so by signing up here.
Additionally, Newsom said 38 million N95 masks have been distributed in the state so far.
Los Angeles County opened three more drive-up coronavirus testing sites Friday, while planning continues for at least three more.
The new sites are at the Pomona Fairplex, the South Bay Galleria and the Antelope Valley Mall. Testing is by appointment only. Walk-up appointments are not available.
Additional sites in Northridge, Long Beach, Lancaster and Pasadena are in the planning stages, and sites in Lancaster and Glendale are already operating.
The county's COVID-19 testing is limited to the most vulnerable residents -- those who are age 65 and older and/or have underlying health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, chronic lung disease, or moderate to severe asthma.
Testing is also limited to those who are immunocompromised, including as a result of cancer treatment, and/or have been subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period because they have been exposed to an individual with a confirmed case of coronavirus and have more than seven days of the two-week quarantine period remaining.
Anyone interested in getting tested must first register on the screening website, coronavirus.lacity.org/testing.
April 2, 2020
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore says officers are going to start wearing surgical masks or non-medical face coverings in public. "This is for our safety, and for your safety," Moore tweeted. Mayor Eric Garcetti has already recommended that all Angelenos wear a face covering when in public.
Officials in Los Angeles County on Thursday confirmed an additional 13 deaths and 534 cases, bringing the county's death toll to 78 and case total to 4,045.
Twelve of the individuals who died were over the age of 65, 11 of which had underlying health conditions, according to county public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer. One person was between 41 and 65 years old, prompting her to reiterate that the virus does not discriminate based on age.
"All people who get infected with COVID-19 at any age can have very serious illness, and that could mean that they're required to have a hospitalization," she said.
Two-thirds of those hospitalized have no underlying health conditions and span all aged. Five individuals in intensive care are under the age of 35, some of which also don't have preexisting health conditions.
More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a report from the Labor Department showed. The figure for last week is much higher than the previous record of 3.3 million reported for the previous week.
The U.S. government has ramped up security for Dr. Anthony Fauci, as the nation's top medical expert on the coronavirus pandemic faces threats to his personal safety. Upon recommendation of the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Department of Justice in recent days approved a special deputization request from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for more than half a dozen special agents to provide protective services to Fauci, a Justice Department official told ABC News
April 1, 2020
Ventura County, a region that has not been as hard hit by the virus as its neighboring counties, is taking steps to protect farm workers who are considered essential during the statewide order to stay home.
Officials on Wednesday announced that each farm worker will receive an card to identify them as such. Farm workers have also been practicing physical distancing, working the fields on every other row, and have also been given longer lunch breaks.
As of Wednesday evening, the county has confirmed 160 total COVID-19 cases, most in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Camarillo and Oxnard. The region has seen a total of 5 coronavirus-related deaths.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is recommending that Angelenos wear non-medical face coverings or masks while in public for essential reasons.
During a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Garcetti said physical distancing guidelines will remain in place, even if you wear a mask or cover your face.
"This is not an excuse to get closer," he said.
Medical-grade masks, such as N95 masks, should be reserved for medical professions on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis in order to avoid any shortage.
Additionally, Garcetti announced that he is instructing the L.A. Department of Water and Power to shut off service to any non-essential businesses that have violated the "Safer at Home" order. He said eight city businesses have been referred to the city attorney for misdemeanor charges.
Health officials reported 11 additional coronavirus-related deaths and 513 new cases in Los Angeles County, bringing the region's death toll to 65 and case total to 3,518.
County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer also announced that five of the new cases are individuals experiencing homelessness who tested positive for COVID-19.
Nine of the deaths were in people over the age of 65, seven of which had underlying health conditions. The other two were under the age of 65 but also had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday confirmed that schools in California won't reopen after state Superintendent Tony Thurmond said students may not be able to return to campus for the remainder of the school year - but classes would remain in session, he said.
Even though a school's campus is closed, that does not mean school is closed for the rest of the year. There is still distance learning going on from home, according to Thurmond.
Limited access to home internet for countless of students has cropped up as a major concern among parents and education officials under the statewide closure of schools.
Newsom announced a partnership with Google to provide 100,000 access points to internet across the state, as well as thousands of Chromebooks to "substantially" mitigate that digital divide.
He said the tech company committed to provide a minimum of three months access to broadband connectivity. Still, more will need to be done, Newsom added.
"We still have a little more coverage that we're going to need in remote parts of the state," he added.
A worker at the Union Rescue Mission tested positive for COVID-19.
The employee is being treated at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and was placed on a ventilator but is improving, officials say.
The mission's executive director said 95 residents and several employees are being quarantined on the 3rd floor. The worker's recent contacts are also being tracked down.
The rent or mortgage is due for most people on April 1, and many whose jobs have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis are concerned about payments. However, several protections have been put in place to ensure residents don't face immediate eviction or foreclosure.
Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an order allowing local governments to limit evictions and foreclosures through May 31 for people who can't make their payments.
Both Los Angeles city and county leaders have implemented temporary moratoriums. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an ordinance putting a moratorium on evictions in the city for the remainder of the coronavirus crisis.
It also allows renters up to 12 months to repay back rent and businesses up to three months.
In addition, he announced landlords would not be able to increase rents for thousands of apartments in the city while the coronavirus pandemic continues.
The order applies to residential units covered under the city's Rent Stabilization Ordinance, which includes approximately 624,000 units, according to a statement.
The moratoriums do not mean tenants and home owners will not need to eventually make payments as all rent and mortgages will need to be paid back in full.
For Southern California coronavirus updates from the month of March and earlier, see story here.