COVID-19 News Briefs for Sunday, June 21, 2020

June 21, 2020

 As the race intensifies for a vaccine against coronavirus, rich countries are rushing to place advance orders for the inevitably limited supply to guarantee their citizens get immunized first — leaving significant questions about whether developing countries will get any vaccines in time to save lives before the pandemic ends. The UN, Red Cross, and others have said it is a “moral imperative” that everyone have access to a “people’s vaccine” but declarations are unenforceable, and without a detailed strategy, the allocation of vaccines could be inequitable and extremely messy, according to health experts

 There is a growing consensus from scientists that it is not common to contract Covid-19 from a contaminated surface, and fleeting encounters with people outdoors are unlikely to spread coronavirus. Instead, the major culprit is close-up, person-to-person interactions for extended periods. Crowded events, poorly ventilated areas and places where people are talking loudly or singing, maximize the risk. Reopening strategies should include tactics like installing plexiglass barriers, requiring people to wear masks in stores and other venues, using good ventilations systems, and keeping windows open when possible

 China halted poultry imports from top meat processor Tyson Foods on Sunday after hundreds of Tyson workers in the US tested positive for coronavirus. Tyson released a statement on Friday saying a total of 693 workers tested positive, with nearly 95% of them asymptomatic. This is in addition to 212 positive cases among team members identified by the Department of Health or when seeking care through their own health providers. China said imports of frozen chicken have been temporarily suspended as they deal with a second wave of Covid-19 traced to Beijing’s Xinfadi market

 A cluster of mysterious deaths, some involving infants and children, is under scrutiny by families, doctors, and health experts amid questions of whether Covid-19 was present in California before it was first detected in March. Checking for missed cases of coronavirus requires examining preserved tissue, a test available only through the CDC. However, the CDC is limiting California to just 8-10 cases a week and by the end of May, the state health department has forwarded only 2 cases to the CDC while 40 other deaths remain under state review before being forwarded

 Even as coronavirus test results grow, sports franchises remain positive they are going to play, including the NBA, NFL, NHL, and NCAA. Heightened safety protocols are being promoted for players and staff who will be competing with no in-person fans in the stands

 Florida’s governor said that new coronavirus cases in the state are shifting toward populations of people in their 20s and 30s. On Saturday, Florida reported the highest single day of positive cases ever of 4,049, according to their health department

 Across California, summer camp provides many working families with a primary function of childcare. However, state and local compliance guidelines have been ever-evolving and frustrating for camp operators, particularly in LA County where reopening has been tempered by ongoing deaths and a rise in new coronavirus cases. And despite demand, many families remain deeply divided about whether to send kids to camp

 150 seasonal employees hired to work at a salmon cannery in Alaska are being forced to quarantine without pay at a hotel near LAX after 3 of them tested positive for Covid-19. The workers, most of them from Mexico and Southern California, have been held and prohibited from leaving their rooms since June 10. A lawsuit was filed against North Pacific Seafoods and the Crowne Plaza LAX alleging false imprisonment, nonpayment of wages, failure to pay minimum wages and overtime, negligence, and unlawful business practices

 LA County reported an additional 1,784 cases and 11 deaths. The totals are now 83,397 cases / 3,120 deaths. City Breakouts (Cases/Deaths): City of LA 37,488/1,516; Long Beach 2,982/120; Carson 575/27; El Segundo 42/0; Gardena 408/29; Hawthorne 608/22; Hermosa Beach 56/2; Inglewood 839/60; Lawndale 173/6; Lomita 66/6; Manhattan Beach 98/3; PV Estates 48/1; Rancho PV 122/12; Redondo Beach 170/8; Rolling Hills 2/0; Rolling Hills Estates 18/1; Torrance 492/50

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