COVID-19 News Briefs for Thursday, June 25, 2020

June 25, 2020

 The International Monetary Fund has slashed its global economic forecasts for 2020, saying the coronavirus pandemic is causing a much steeper recession and a slower recovery than initially expected. The IMF revised its forecast saying the global GDP will contract by 4.9% this year, downgrading its estimate from April, when output was forecast to shrink by 3%

 The US reported a single day 36,000+ new Covid-19 infections yesterday, an all time high. Because of this surge, some states, including North Carolina, Oregon, Louisiana, and Kansas are pausing their reopening plans. New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have issued a travel advisory that requires people arriving from states with high Covid-19 cases to quarantine for 14 days, and stocks tumbled over worries that rising infections could hamper an economic recovery. Across the South, some officials are raising alarm about an increased number of younger people testing positive for the virus. In Texas, the governor said that people under 30 made up a majority of new coronavirus cases in several counties, and in Florida the reported infection shift is going toward populations in their 20s and 30s

 The number of laid-off workers who applied for unemployment benefits declined slightly to 1.48 million last week, the 12th straight drop and a sign that layoffs are slowing but are still at a painfully high level. Yet, this coincides with a sudden resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the US that is threatening to derail a potential economic rebound

 More than a million Americans who had died received Covid-19 stimulus payments totaling $1.4 billion, a government watchdog said in a report to Congress released yesterday. The finding is part of a sweeping review of the federal government’s response to the pandemic by the Government Accountability Office, an
independent nonpartisan congressional agency

 While people are buying more alcoholic beverages from grocers and liquor stores to drink at home, this hasn’t been enough to fill to gaping hole created by declines in shipments to restaurants, bars, and sporting venues that were closed to slow the virus. Global alcohol consumption isn’t expected to return to pre-coronavirus levels until 2024, and the US recovery will take longer, according to researchers. This is especially troubling for brands in the US , where even before the pandemic, a growing number of Americans led by 20-somethings, increasingly strived to be healthier

 The National Women’s Soccer League is the first US professional sports league to return to play amid the Covid19 pandemic and this past Saturday’s game televised on CBS was the first women’s club game to be shown live on a national broadcast network. However, one of the teams was forced to withdraw from the Challenge Cup tournament Monday after 6 players and 4 staff members tested positive for coronavirus

 According to an NBC News poll of 11,000 people, at least 50% said that the coronavirus has negatively impacted their love life due to many factors including mental and financial stress and the toll of being in quarantine

 4 Southern Californian counties — Ventura, Orange County, San Bernardino, and Riverside — are among those primarily responsible for a dangerous rise in the state’s coronavirus hospitalizations which began right after Memorial Day as officials were rapidly opening the economy. California has seen a 29% increase in confirmed Covid-19 hospitalizations over the past 14 days and an 18% increase in ICUs. The rate at which coronavirus tests are showing up positive over the past 14 days is now 5.1%; 2 weeks ago it was 4.6%. In LA County, there is a troubling sign that hospitalizations are starting to rise again after weeks of decline. Also, 2 weeks ago, only 5.8% of coronavirus tests were coming back positive over the previous week in LA County — on Monday, that percentage has increased to 8.4%

 As California sees a worrisome rise in the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Governor Newsom threatened to withhold up to $2.5 billion in the upcoming state budget from local governments that fail to comply with state mandates on wearing masks, testing, and other measures meant to slow the spread of the
virus.

 The reopening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure is being delayed and no new reopening date has yet been confirmed. The resort was set to open on July 17 after being close for months because of the coronavirus crisis. The State of California had indicated it would not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4 and Disney said it would take more time to bring thousands of employees back and restart the business. Disney must also negotiate with its unions before the parks can be reopened

 LA County reported an additional 2,012 cases and 42 deaths. Totals are now 91,467 cases / 3,247 deaths. City Breakouts (Cases/Deaths): City of LA 40,574/1,581; Long Beach 3,405/122; Carson 610/27; El Segundo 47/0; Gardena 459/29; Hawthorne 650/22; Hermosa Beach 63/2; Inglewood 916/61; Lawndale 185/7; Lomita 73/6;
Manhattan Beach 110/3; PV Estates 49/1; Rancho 124/12; Redondo Beach 183/8; Rolling Hills 2/0; Rolling Hills Estates 21/2; Torrance 528/50

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