COVID-19 News Briefs for Tuesday, June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

 The FBI warned that that antibody testing scams are on the rise — fraudulent testers are trying to steal identity information, commit medical insurance fraud, or just get people to pay cash for fake tests

 Governors in the northeast, once considered the US epicenter of the coronavirus, are tightening restrictions in their states for travelers from areas of the country now seeing upward trends in positive coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut today expanded travel advisories requiring people arriving from 8 additional southern and mid-western states to quarantine for 14 days. The advisory applies to anyone coming from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average, which now includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. There are exemptions for essential workers. There are now more than 2.6 million reported Covid-19 cases nationwide and new cases in at least 36 states are trending upward compared to the previous week

 Dr. Fauci warned that the US may soon record as many as 100,000 new cases of Covid-19 a day if the current trajectory of the outbreak is not changed. The number of new cases is currently hovering around 40,000 per day  26 NHL players have tested positive for Covid-19 since Phase 2 of the Return to Play program began — more than double the total previously announced. In Phase 2, which began June 8, players are permitted to work out at the team facilities in small groups and on a voluntary basis after they get Covid-19 testing. Phase 3 will be marked by the opening of full training camps for the 24 teams scheduled to compete in postseason play tentatively scheduled to begin July 10

 4 key players on MLB teams have opted out of playing in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and forfeiting their prorated salaries because of personal health and safety concerns for themselves and their families because of Covid-19. Teams are scheduled to begin training camps in their home stadiums as coronavirus cases are surging in several states including Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California

 As the coronavirus pandemic keeps car buyers away from dealer showrooms and because of ongoing concerns about public transit’s lack of social distancing, online car sellers, including Shift, Vroom, and Carvana are seeing a big increase in business since March. Vroom raised $467 million in its IPO and Shift is about to go public this year

 Amazon is giving out more than $500 million as a “thank you bonus” to front-line workers who were with the company throughout the month of June, a move that comes after the e-commerce giant eliminated a $2 hourly wage bump and double overtime pay for frontline workers at the end of May. The 1-time bonus amounts vary
and will include full time employees of Amazon, Whole Foods, or drivers for delivery service partners. Amazon has seen soaring demand during the pandemic as people stay home and look to its products and services for household essentials. But it has also become the subject of increased scrutiny concerning the workplace conditions of its warehouses, which include 100 fulfillment centers across North America with 400,000 employees. The company has also been criticized for not providing enough information of the impact of the Covid-19 crisis among its workers — there have been at least 10 deaths among its warehouse employees who have tested positive for coronavirus

 California recorded a grim new milestone today — passing the threshold of 6,000 coronavirus-related deaths and 1 day after the state recorded its highest single-day count of Covid-19 cases. Monday’s tally of more than 8,000 infections broke the state’s daily record for the third time in 8 days

 A surge in coronavirus cases appears to have been fueled by re-openings, protests, and a launch in summer activities with Memorial Day paving the way. A LA Times analysis said that hospitalizations in California began accelerating about June 15 at a rate not seen since early April. Statewide, the daily number of people in hospitals with Covid-19 has jumped more than 50% from when it had been stable in mid-April, and several counties said hospitals are near capacity. And official said the worst is still yet to come as it can take 2 weeks for the virus to incubate in the body and an additional week or 2 after that to result in the hospitalization of severely ill people. Governor Newsom warned that the state will continue to pull back on reopening amid the growing coronavirus cases — a 45% increase in the last 7 days and the rate of positive tests is now at 5.5%

 1,059 of San Quentin’s inmates are now infected with Covid-19 and 1 death row inmate has died. An additional 103 correctional and medical staff at the California prison have also tested positive for the virus and San Quentin is now the most infected prison in the state. Unlike other prisons in California, San Quentin had escaped any coronavirus outbreak until early June, but 121 inmates were moved there from the Chino prison from the California Institution for Men in Chino which was an early hotbed of coronavirus cases in the prison system

 UCLA started the first phase of its 4-stage return to training plan Monday, welcoming football players and local Olympic fall sports athletes back for voluntary workouts and housing them in single-occupancy apartments and dorm rooms. USC following on Wednesday with local fall-sport student athletes, but no on-campus housing yet — USC’s second phase, with a target date of July 6, would welcome non-local student athletes in fall sports and provide on-campus housing. Both schools plan to do regular Covid-19 testing for players, coaches, and staff members

 LA County reported an additional 2,779 positive cases and 45 deaths. Total cases are 103,529 cases / 3,369 deaths. City Breakouts (Cases/Deaths): City of LA 45,151/1,638; Long Beach 3,799/130; Carson 665/28; El Segundo 54/0; Gardena 513/30; Hawthorne 735/22; Hermosa Beach 77/2; Inglewood 1,040/63; Lawndale
200/7; Lomita 81/6; Manhattan Beach 135/3; PV Estates 52/1; Rancho PV 139/12; Redondo Beach 211/9; Rolling Hills 2/0; Rolling Hills Estates 23/2; Torrance 582/51

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; 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