COVID-19 News Briefs for Saturday, June 27, 2020

June 27, 2020

Skyrocketing coronavirus cases are causing a surge in hospitalizations in Arizona, Florida, and Texas. This is threatening their healthcare systems forcing hospitals to bring in extra staff, converting space into dedicated coronavirus units, and moving some sick patients hundreds of miles for available beds. California is also beginning to experience its own crush with the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients surging 32% in the last 2 weeks. The US reported more than 40,000 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, its biggest daily jump yet. And more than half of all states are seeing a rise in cases

 Infections among Latinos have far outpaced the rest of the nation, a testament to the makeup of the nation’s essential work force as the American epidemic has surged yet again — in the last 2 weeks, counties across the country where at least a quarter of the population is Latino have recorded an increase of 32% in new cases, compared to a 15% increase for all other counties, a LA Times analysis shows. The analysis affirms broad national tallies by the CDC which shows Latinos making up 34% of cases nationwide, a much higher proportionthan the group’s 18% share of the population. The disparity is particularly stark in populous states like California, Florida, and Texas, but it also has sprung up elsewhere

 Upper income US households pulled back sharply on spending when the pandemic first hit, and they have been slow to ramp back up, new research shows. Service sector lower-wage workers were hit first and hardest, including millions in previously booming restaurants, airline, entertainment, and personal service businesses, and hiring so far has been slower to return. Many of California’s newly jobless still can’t get their unemployment claims approved, prompting lawmakers to demand an audit, and the White House administration has asked the Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act which hundreds of thousands of laid-off Americans have turned to for health insurance during the pandemic

 A federal judge on Friday ordered the release of children held with their parents in US immigration jails and denounced the White House administration’s prolonged detention of families during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ruling applies to children held for more than 20 days at 3 family detention centers in Texas and
Pennsylvania, where some have been detained since last year, citing the recent spread of coronavirus. More than 2,500 people in ICE custody have tested positive for Covid-19 and the agency said it has released at least 900 people considered to have heightened medical risk and has already reduced the population at its 3 family detention centers

 American Airlines plans to sell flights to capacity starting July 1, abandoning caps on passenger loads that were designed to promote social distancing amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Customers still will be notified when they’re booked on crowded flights and can move their reservations at no cost. Starting Tuesday, American also will ask customers to certify that they have been free of Covid-19 symptoms for the previous 14 days. United Airlines has not promised to block seats, however, Delta has said it would keep middle seats open through September 30, and Southwest has committed to blocking middle seats unless customers are traveling together

 16 NBA players have tested positive for coronavirus, news that came the same day that the league and its players announced they were moving forward with a comprehensive plan to restart the season near Orlando, FL, even as positive cases of the virus that shut down the season surges

 As of Friday, 5.7% of coronavirus tests came back positive in California over the preceding 7 days, a rate not seen since early May. A week earlier, the rate was 4.7% which was largely stable for June. Health officials expressed worry and expressed this indicated that the virus is beginning to spread in communities as more counties in the state had eased their stay-at-home orders

 Amid the surge in new cases, San Francisco paused its reopening Friday, and state officials recommended that Imperial County, which has been overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases, re-impose a strict stay-at-home order. Governor Newsom has also paused issuing any new guidelines to let counties accelerate reopening their
economies and easing restrictions. The state continues to report a surge in new infections that officials say cannot be explained by increased testing alone

 The number of coronavirus infections at San Quentin State Prison in Marin County continues to soar with more than 500 inmates infected, officials said. 16 inmates had tested positive on June 14, but 489 have been diagnosed since. The outbreak at San Quentin occurred after 121 inmates from the California Institution for Men in Chino were transferred late in May, none of whom had been tested prior to the transfer

 LA County reported an additional 2,169 cases and 23 deaths. Totals are now 95,371 cases / 3,285 deaths. City Breakouts (Cases/Deaths): City of LA 42,047/1,603; Long Beach 3,643/125; Carson 633/28; El Segundo 49/0; Gardena 480/30; Hawthorne 681/22; Hermosa Beach 69/2; Inglewood 961/61; Lawndale 190/7; Lomita 76/6;
Manhattan Beach 121/3; PV Estates 50/1; Rancho PV 129/12; Redondo Beach 190/8; Rolling Hills 2/0; Rolling Hills Estates 23/2; Torrance 542/50

Compiled by Charlene Nishimura

Media Sources: Los Angeles Times; New York Times; Washington Post; Wall Street Journal; Forbes Magazine; Business Insider; USA Today; CBS News; CNN; KTLA; OZY; ABC World News Tonight; Spectrum News 1; The Hill.com; WebMD; AP, Politico, Newsweek, Reuters, televised briefings from the White House, Governor Newsom, LA County Health Department, Mayor Garcetti; City of Torrance press releases; Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce press releases