Daily Blog

Riviera Village Parklets Slated to Open Fourth of July Weekend

July 1, 2020

Nobody could have predicted the situation that Redondo Beach businesses have found themselves in this summer. With Covid-19 cases still raging with no sign of abatement all over Los Angeles county, and renewed lock down orders from Governor Newsom prohibiting dine-in at local restaurants, businesses already compromised by less consumer activity during the coronavirus have had to adapt to these new safety restrictions imposed by the state, which severely limit occupancy and threaten their very existence.

At Redondo Beach city council meetings, the idea to shut down the streets in some of the busier retail areas had come up, but the Riviera Village Association (RVA), concerned over the safety elements of overcrowding, decided to be conservative and develop a more cautious, phased approach. RVA president Jeff Ginsburg, BeachLife Owner Allen Sanford, and Councilman Nils Nehrenheim came up instead with a phased program that enables outdoor seating areas on small parklets on the Redondo Beach streets, for both retail and restaurant use.

Moving quickly, Allen Sanford took the initiative to ask some of his employees at The BeachLife Festival, which has been forced to postpone also due to coronavirus concerns, to redirect their efforts and donate their time and resources towards helping these businesses build their parklets. The BeachLife team, along with help from city officials, is taking the lead on the creation of these parklets, which will be built to city specifications, and allows businesses to use all available space to help consumers practice safe social distancing, while enjoying the summer air and supporting their friends’ and neighbors’ businesses. Although there will be a nominal cost to the businesses, the RVA has subsidized the cost of building the parklets so that businesses can avoid steep upfront costs. Sanford commented, “BeachLife was never about a festival, and was always about a way of life. So when the businesses needed help with quick event-style planning and programming, our team did a great job of pivoting, given the urgent need of the community. Our festival will come back at some point – but for now, BeachLife will be helping our community get through this.”

Phase 1 of the parklet project will start on Catalina Avenue in Riviera Village, and will expand to the rest of the retail areas based on needs and permits. The Riviera Village parklets are slated to be open for the upcoming July 4th weekend, hopefully in time to offer some much needed respite during these hard times.


Pier Avenue Farmers’ Market Discontinued

July 1, 2020

As of June 30, the Pier Plaza Thursdays’ Farmer’s Market has been discontinued, according to Maureen Hunt, CEO & President of the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau. The market was suspended in March, due to closure of all L. A. County Farmer’s Markets due to the Pandemic. In addition, since that time, the current Hermosa market’s contract with the Chamber expired and the Chamber chose not to renew the agreement at this time.

“The Hermosa Beach Chamber hosted the Pier Plaza Farmer’s Market for the past five years, with the idea it would be extended if successful. It proved to be too expensive for both the Chamber and the Farmer’s Market management due to city limitations of what could be sold, new safety regulations and operational challenges with necessary parking requirements.”, said Hunt. The Chamber had several speculations on the situation: two weekly farmer’s markets held without enough local traffic in the small City of Hermosa, county restrictions on products sold and market selections, and stress on downtown parking for local businesses on lower Pier Avenue.

The Chamber was sorry to see the Market discontinued, but with the Corona-19 Virus situation, the closures in the county, and the uncertainty of when restrictions could be lifted, the Chamber came to a mutual agreement with the Farmer’s Market management to discontinue it at this time.

For any questions, contact the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce at 310.376.0951. The Office Is currently operating virtually due to the COVID-19 restrictions, but all calls are forwarded to the Chamber staff members.

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 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


Safe in the South Bay Launches in Four South Bay Cities

June 30, 2020

A new program in four South Bay cities will highlight businesses that are actively working to protect their employees and customers and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as Los Angeles County continues its Roadmap to Recovery. Los Angeles County indicated that over the weekends of May 30, June 6 and June 13, public health inspectors visited 3,751 establishments, and provided reopening assistance and information to 3,109 (83%) who were not in compliance with reopening
protocols. “Safe in the South Bay” is aimed at supporting and ensuring that businesses are aware of the proper protocols to reopen safely and contributing to the road to economic recovery.

The “Safe in the South Bay” program has been created for restaurants and businesses in El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. The Chambers of Commerce from those cities have partnered with Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) to provide health guidance and a selfcertification process related to Los Angeles County’s Safer at Work and in the Community Health Officer Order.

Businesses looking to participate in the Safe in the South Bay program should contact their city’s Chamber of Commerce. The Chambers are hosting COVID-19 Business Reopening Q&A: Safe in the South Bay Webinar tomorrow, July 1 from 3-4 p.m. Register here.

“Safe in the South Bay” is a collaborative effort by the four Chambers of Commerce and BCHD to keep our community healthy,” said Tom Bakaly, CEO of BCHD. “The actions of residents and our local businesses will determine how long COVID-19 will impact our community. My hope is this program will act as a reminder to businesses and consumers of the health actions necessary to allow these businesses to reopen while we’re still dealing with the pandemic.” The Safe in the South Bay program is open to all businesses in the four participating cities. To participate, businesses will need to self-certify that they are following the Los Angeles County reopening protocols, which include:

• Enforce use of face coverings for employees and customers
• Practice physical distancing of at least six feet
• Enact temperature/symptom checks for employees and customers
• Conduct regular cleanings and frequent disinfection
• Provide hand sanitizer for employees and customers
• Limit amount of contact required at point of purchase
• Post a copy of the Los Angeles County reopening protocol at the business’ entrance and distribute copies to employees

Each business must also fill out the Safe in the South Bay pledge. Businesses can access the Safe in the South Bay pledge at each Chamber’s website. They will fill out a pledge and can display the Safe in the South Bay seal at the entrance of their business. The Safe in the South Bay seal is a way for consumers to easily identify businesses who have, in good faith, completed the self-certification process to reopen. All businesses in the county need to plan, implement and post the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s reopening protocol in accordance with the Health Officer Order.

“Our local businesses want to do the right thing and the goal of Safe in the South Bay is to instill consumer confidence during this pandemic,” said Kelly Stroman, President and CEO of the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce. “These businesses are following all the rules to keep their employees and
customers as safe as possible as they reopen.”

“As our local economy reopens, we must remember that COVID-19 is still in our community,” said Maureen Hunt, President and CEO of the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce. “We are committed to supporting businesses through this reopening process and know that recovery is contingent upon customers feeling safe to come back. So, the Safe in the South Bay program reaffirms what businesses are required to do to reopen and promotes consumer confidence to employees and customers.”
“Businesses need to reopen. Our neighbors want to get out and support our local shops and restaurants, but it needs to be done responsibly,” said Dominik Knoll, President of the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce. “The Safe in the South Bay pledge is an acknowledgment by these business owners that they are working hard to protect their customers, workers and neighbors. Everyone will benefit as long as our shops stay open.”

“After three months of lockdown, our restaurants and retailers are anxious to reopen,” said Marsha Hansen, President and CEO of the El Segundo Chamber of Commerce. “The Safe in the South Bay program demonstrates our shared responsibility and commitment as businesses to support the safety of our community and slow the spread of COVID-19. Our goal is to provide easy access to the most up-todate information for businesses and to be a partner with local business to get our community back on its feet.”


LA County Department of Public Health Coronavirus Telebriefings

June 30, 2020

Music, Film and TV Production
Tuesday, 6/30 – 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Telephone Call-In: 844-291-6364
Access Code: 7118517

Ticketed Events and Large Attendance Venues
Tuesday, 6/30 – 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Telephone Call-In: 844-291-5491
Access Code: 9179253

Early Care Education
Wednesday, 7/1 – 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Telephone Call-In: 844-291-5494
Access Code: 6716156

SUDC, Interim Housing, Homeless Shelters
Wednesday, 7/2 – 11:30am to 12:30pm
Telephone Call-In: 877-692-8954
Access Code: 4292874

Faith-Based and Community-Based Organizations
Thursday, 7/2 – 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Telephone Call-In: 877-692-8954
Access Code: 646945

Restaurants, Businesses and Chambers of Commerce
Thursday, 7/2 – 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Telephone Call-In: 877-692-8954
Access Code: 3490670

LA Regional COVID Fund

June 30, 2020

As businesses and non-profits across the Los Angeles region continue to face challenges in response to the public health and economic crisis of COVID-19, partners across government and philanthropy have come together to deploy $3 million dollars in grants for small businesses, non-profits, and microentrepreneurs in a newly launched LA Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund.

The $3 million dollar Recovery Fund, established as a joint effort by the County of Los Angeles, who have contributed $2 million dollars, and the City of Los Angeles, who have contributed $1 million dollars, as well as additional support from philanthropic partners, aims to assist small businesses, nonprofits, and microentrepreneurs that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, providing $5,000 grants to microentrepreneurs, and $15,000 grants to non-profits and small businesses. To ensure equitable access to capital across various demographics throughout the region, grants will be distributed through an equitable lottery system.

REGISTER FOR AN UPCOMING WEBINAR

Wednesday, July 1, 5 p.m.: REGISTER HERE
Thursday, July 2, noon: REGISTER HERE

Click here for more details.

LA County Beaches Closed for 4th of July Weekend

June 29, 2020

An excerpt from today’s LA Times….

Los Angeles County will close its beaches Friday and ban fireworks displays in anticipation of the Fourth of July holiday, a move health officials say is necessary in light of an alarming spike in coronavirus cases.

Although it was a “difficult decision to make,” the closures are crucial because so many people gather to celebrate, “a recipe for increased transmission of COVID-19,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.

“We all need to take this virus more seriously and residents and business owners must do their part,” Ferrer said. “Physical distancing isn’t optional, wearing a face covering isn’t optional, spending time only with those you live with isn’t optional — these are requirements in the Health Officer Order and are the tools we have to protect each other, our families and those most vulnerable in our communities.”

All public beaches, piers, public beach parking lots, beach bike paths “that traverse that sanded portion of the beach” and beach access points will be closed from 12:01 a.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. The ban on fireworks displays applies only to the Fourth of July weekend. A new health officer order will be issued Monday evening, Ferrer said.

To read the entire article, visit https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-06-29/l-a-county-beaches-will-close-friday-after-coronavirus-spike


COVID-19 News Briefs for Monday, June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

 The United Nations World Food Program said that millions of people have been pushed into hunger by the coronavirus pandemic as it appealed for nearly $5 billion to help feed the growing numbers in poor and middleincome countries. The aim is to assist 138 million people in 83 countries to provide food to the most vulnerable and to support governments working to curb the spread of Covid-19. The UN children’s agency UNICEF also warned that millions of children in war-torn Yemen are at significant risk of starvation as the virus is spreading rapidly across the Arab’s world poorest country, killing about 25% of those who come down with Covid-19 — 5 times the global average

 A fresh Covid-19 cluster has forced Chinese authorities to impose a strict lockdown in a province near the capital Beijing which they describe as “severe and complicated.” Over 500,000 people have been put in lockdown with only 1 person from each family allowed to go out once a day to purchase necessities such as food and medicine. The move comes after another 14 cases of the virus were reported in the past 24 hours in Beijing, taking the total number of cases in the city of over 20 million to 311. After China appeared to have largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in neighboring Hebei province in recent weeks

 As the virus spreads in many countries in Africa, it is threatening to push as many as 58 million people in the region into extreme poverty, experts at the World Bank say. The pandemic is also impacting Africa’s growing middle class which has been pivotal to the educational, political, and economic development
across the continent — about 170 million of Africa’s 1.3 billion people are now classified as middle class. But about 8 million of them could be thrust into poverty because of the coronavirus and its economic fallout

 Reports from hospitals and researchers suggest that about two-thirds to three-quarters of coronavirus patients in ICUs experience hospital delirium, the phenomenon previously seen mostly in a subset of older patients, some of whom already had dementia. Now, the condition is bedeviling coronavirus patients of all ages with no previous cognitive impairment. Some patients have hyperactive delirium, paranoid hallucinations and agitation, or confusion that causes patients to become withdrawn and incommunicative. The experiences can be terrifying and disorienting and can have detrimental consequences long after it lifts, extending hospital stays, slowing recovery, and increasing people’s risk of developing depression or post-traumatic stress. Researchers also found that previously healthy older patients with delirium can develop dementia sooner than they otherwise would have and can die earlier

 At the beginning of the pandemic, the coronavirus looked to be another respiratory illness. But the virus has turned out to affect not just the lungs, but the kidneys, the heart, and the circulatory system — even, somehow, our senses of smell and taste. Now researchers have discovered yet another unpleasant surprise — in many patients hospitalized, the immune system is threatened by a depletion of certain essential disease-fighting T cells, suggesting eerie parallels with H.I.V. and hints that a cocktail of antiviral drugs may be needed to bring the coronavirus under control. Growing research points to very complex immunological signatures of the virus

 Over half of American states have seen young people become seriously ill from a virus-related inflammatory syndrome (called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children), most of them previously healthy, according to the first national report on such cases. Nearly 90% of the 186 patients were hospitalized, and most of those needed intensive care. 1 in 5 of the patients, who were all under 21, because so sick that they required ventilators, and 4 children died. MIS-C appears to arise 2 to 4 weeks after children become infected. Most seem to have no or very few of the initial respiratory symptoms that are a hallmark of the virus in adults, suggesting that their bodies were able to fight off the first strike of the infection

 After weeks of donating the antiviral drug remdesivir to hospitals with severely ill Covid-19 patients, the drug’s maker, Gilead Sciences, announced today that it settle on a price of $390 per vial, which works out to $2,340 per treatment course. Gilead also said it would charge more to private insurers in the US. Until recently, remdesivir was the only drug shown to help severely ill covid-19 patients, but the benefits were modest, and the drug did not improve survival in those patients

 During the pandemic, the US Postal Service lost $4.5 billion in the budget year’s second quarter, and Congress approved a $10 billion line of credit as part of an economic rescue plan. More than 3,420 of the Postal Service’s 630,000 employees have tested positive for Covid-19 and some have died. While package delivers have increased as Americans stay home, mail volumes plummeted as much as 30%. And the agency’s responsibilities are mounting with a dramatic shift in many states to voting by mail to protect voters from spreading the virus, but has already made more work for post offices and contributed to delays in determining post election winners

 Broadway theaters have extended their shutdown until early January because of the coronavirus pandemic — refunds or exchanges for tickets for shows will be extended

 The new California budget goes beyond providing $70.5 billion in funding for K-12 schools — it sets fundamental accountability rules for a new era of distance learning by requiring teachers to take online attendance and document student learning. The budget bill, which Governor Newsom is expected to sign, anticipates that schools will continue to rely heavily on online instruction when campuses reopen in the fall. It also acknowledges the deep learning losses of the last semester, especially among student from low-income families. The new directives establish minimum teaching parameters for distance learning while protecting teachers against immediate layoffs

 After more than 3 months of relaxed enforcement during the Covid-19 pandemic, Los Angeles parking officers will resume ticketing drivers on street-sweeping days starting July 6

 LA County will close it beaches Friday and ban fireworks displays in anticipation of the Fourth of July holiday, a move health officials say is necessary in light of an alarming spike in coronavirus cases. All public beaches, piers, public beach parking lots, beach bike paths that traverse the sanded portion of the beach, and beach access points will be closed from 12:01am Friday to 5:00am on Monday. The ban on fireworks displays applies only to the Fourth of July weekend and a modified health officer order will be issued Monday evening

 LA County confirmed 22 additional coronavirus-related deaths and 2,903 new cases Monday, the largest singleday number of new infections the county has reported since the pandemic hit the US. The daily tally brings the total number of coronavirus cases in LA County to 100,772 and total deaths are 3,326. Public Health Director Dr. Ferrer said that community transmission has definitely increased as the positivity rate of infection nears 9%, and that 1 in 140 residents are likely unknowingly infected with the virus, a huge increase since last week’s projection of 1 in 400. City Breakouts (Cases/Deaths): City of LA 44,189/1,620; Long Beach N/A; Carson 655/28; El Segundo 51/0; Gardena 502/30; Hawthorne 720/22; Hermosa Beach 74/2; Inglewood 1,010/63; Lawndale 196/7; Lomita 80/6; Manhattan Beach 131/3; PV Estates 50/1; Rancho PV 137/12; Redondo Beach 207/9; Rolling Hills 2/0; Rolling Hills Estates 22/2; Torrance 564/50

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


COVID-19 News Briefs for Sunday, June 28, 2020

June 28, 2020

 The world surpassed 2 sobering coronavirus milestones today — 500,000 confirmed deaths, 1 in 4 in the US, and 10 million global confirmed cases. It also hit another high mark for daily new infections as governments attempt to reopen

 Interviews with doctors and public health officials in more than a dozen countries show that for 2 crucial months, and in the face of mounting genetic evidence, Western health officials and political leaders played down or denied the risk of symptomless spreading. Leading health agencies including the WHO and European
Center for Disease Prevention and Control provided contradictory and sometimes misleading advice. A crucial public health discussion devolved into a semantic debate over what to call infected people without clear symptoms. The 2-month delay was a product of faulty scientific assumptions, academic rivalries, and perhaps
most important, a reluctance to accept that containing the virus would take drastic measures. The resistance to emerging evidence was one part of the world’s sluggish response to the virus. It is impossible to calculate the human toll of that delay, but models suggest that earlier, aggressive action might have saved tens of thousands of lives. Countries like Singapore and Australia, which used testing and contact-tracing and moved swiftly to quarantine seemingly healthy travelers, fared far better than those that did not

 The number of new coronavirus cases in the US is surging to levels not ever seen in the course of the pandemic. Infections nationwide have risen 65% of the past 2 weeks, including in several states that were among the first to reopen. By Saturday evening, more than 41,000 cases of the coronavirus had been announced across the US, including single-day records in Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida

 Nearly 6 months after the first case of coronavirus reached the US, a majority of registered voters say they are anxious, exhausted, and angry, according to a poll by the NY Times and Siena College. Yet even as they brace themselves for months of challenges from the virus, many remain optimistic about the country’s future, viewing this moment of pandemic, economic devastation, and social unrest as an opportunity for progress — one they can help shape

 The IRS has reopened the general taxpayer helpline that was closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, and it has added thousands of phone reps to a special hotline to deal with stimulus payment problems — it is (800) 919-9835

 VP Pence called off campaign events in Florida and Arizona this week as the states experienced a surge of new coronavirus cases. He will still travel to these states saying he will meet with governors and their health teams

 The same problems that have plagued the US service and entertainment industry businesses in recent months have affected zoos and aquariums, their staffs, and the contractors. Deprived of a public that pays admission and buys food and drinks, zoos collectively lost tens of millions of dollars of revenue during the pandemic. One exception is the LA Zoo, which unlike most zoos, is a city department versus a private nonprofit. Nonetheless, city workers may have their pay cut and the zoo is cutting back its conservation grants to other organizations

 Nursing homes accounted for 43% of all fatalities in California and a LA Times review found the failure of inspections to identify problems indicated how the industry and regulators were unprepared for coronavirus and failed to act quickly to slow its spread. Nursing homes lacked basic supplies like protective masks and gloves, and regulators failed to require universal testing of residents and staff. The California health department said that inspectors were instructed to focus on providing support to the beleaguered facilities rather than enforcement resulting in a failure to contain the virus. Elder care advocates said a lack of enforcement shows that the state regulators abdicated their primary responsibility to police nursing homes at a critical moment. California’s nursing homes, like most states, have suffered a heavy toll from Covid-19 — as of Tuesday, 2,441 employees and residents of the state’s skilled nursing facilities have died, not including staff and residents at assisted living centers, which are not regulated by the health department and also have been hard hit

 Early in the coronavirus pandemic in March, at least 3 flights carrying infected passengers arrive at LAX and attempts at contact tracing proved insufficient, with public health officials failing to notify other passengers of the risk. On the third flight from Germany, the infected person was not displaying symptoms but since that time, the risk from asymptomatic people has become more clear. Air travel, with people sharing close quarters for sustained periods, poses a heightened risk of transmission, and the CDC has said it is crucial to track those exposed on planes and to move quickly to prevent new cases

 Citing the rapid pace of coronavirus spread in some part of the state, Governor Newsom on Sunday ordered 7 counties including Los Angeles, Fresno, Kern, San Joaquin, Tulare, Kings, and Imperial Counties, to immediately close any bars and nightspots that are open and recommended another 8 counties take action on their own to close those businesses

 LA County health officials warned that residents are entering a “critical moment” and that some of the easing of stay-at-home orders is in jeopardy unless the increasing trend of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations is reversed. Many other parts of California are also seeing big Covid-19 surges in recent weeks where statewide cases surpassed 210,000

 LA County officials are receiving reports of bogus mask exemption cards that depict a government seal with threatening language. They said the information is false, and everyone except children younger than 2 should wear a face covering any time they leave the house

 LA County reported an additional 2,542 cases and 20 deaths. Totals are now 97,894 cases / 3,305 deaths. City Breakouts (Cases/Deaths): City of LA 42,968/1,610; Long Beach 3,643/125; Carson 646/28; El Segundo 51/0; Gardena 495/30; Hawthorne 706/22; Hermosa Beach 72/2; Inglewood 982/62; Lawndale 193/7; Lomita 78/6;
Manhattan Beach 124/3; PV Estates 50/1; Rancho PV 134/12; Redondo Beach 197/8; Rolling Hills 2/0; Rolling Hills Estates 22/0; Torrance 555/50

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


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


COVID-19 News Briefs for Friday, June 26, 2020

June 26, 2020

 In those Western European countries hardest hit by the coronavirus, calls are growing louder for leaders and officials to explain their actions — and inaction — as Covid-19, the illness caused by the virus, has swept through Britain, France, Spain, and Italy. By and large, it is bereaved individuals and grass-roots groups that are raising the greatest outcry asking for investigations and inquiries, prosecution and penalties in the belief that lives were lost unnecessarily and that the same mistakes must not be made again

 Several airports, including ones in Anchorage, Vienna, and Reykjavik, Iceland, have begun offering Covid-19 tests as travel starts to revive. The 14-day quarantine period can be avoided if the travelers land, get tested, and receive a quick negative result. Starting August 1, anyone who shows proof they’ve tested negative for Covid-19 will be allowed to skip the mandatory 2-week confinement period when traveling to Hawaii

 The CDC on Thursday broadened its warning about who is at risk of developing severe disease from Covid-19 infections, suggesting even younger people who are obese or have other health conditions can become severely ill if they contract the virus. Cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, COPD, obesity, an immunesuppressing condition, sickle cell disease, a history of an organ transplant, and type 2 diabetes are classified as having strong evidence of increasing the risk of Covid-19 infection. Conditions that are considered ones that might increase the risk of severe illness are chronic lung diseases including asthma, cystic fibrosis, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, neurologic conditions such as dementia, a history of stroke, liver diseases, and pregnancy. The new advice frames the risk as rising with age, overriding earlier warnings that mainly those over 65 faced higher risk. Also, it puts greater emphasis on the risk presented by a number of health conditions, including having a body mass index of 30 or over — the previous warning related to people who had a BMI of 40 or over

 In response to concerns if air conditioning is facilitating the spread of Covid-19, the CDC said there was little evidence. Rather, the risk more likely comes from the longer amount of time spent indoors in close proximity to others. With proper ventilation, coronavirus transmission should not be an issue

 The list of symptoms for Covid-19 has exploded and has been found to have a diversity of effects on so many organs including: the gut (diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain); kidney (78% of those in ICU develop acute kidney injury); smell (41% of patients had lost their sense of taste or smell or both); lungs (inflammatory response that can explode into acute respiratory distress syndrome); pancreas (17% with severe Covid-19 had pancreas damage); heart (high incidence of cardiac arrests and arrhythmias); gallbladder (damage which causes digestive symptoms)

 The CDC is also warning that being pregnant may increase a woman’s risk of being hospitalized and having a severe bout of the illness, based on a study of more than 8,000 pregnant women in the US who were diagnosed with Covid-19. The study found that pregnant women were 50% more likely to be hospitalized with Covid-19
than infected women who weren’t pregnant and had a 70% great chance of needing mechanical ventilation than non-pregnant women with the infection. However, the study did not find an increase risk of death among pregnant women

 A new survey reveals a wide range of serious psychiatric and neurological complications tied to Covid-19 — including stroke, psychosis, and a dementia-like syndrome. The study underscores how aggressively the coronavirus can attack beyond the lungs, and the risk the disease can pose to younger adults

 The WHO and key partners unveiled a plan today to purchase 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines for the highest-risk populations of the world. The plan anticipates that by the end of 2021, the doses could be delivered to countries to vaccinate high risk individuals, likely including health care workers, people over 65, and other adults who suffer from conditions like diabetes

 As criticism mounts that the White House is not doing enough to combat the worsening coronavirus surges in the South and West, VP Pence headed the coronavirus task force public briefing today to tout what he said have been successful administration initiatives to minimize the damage of the virus and celebrate that all states were in the process of safely and responsibly reopening. He and health officials stressed that individual decisions to keep distance from people, wear masks, and wash their hands could make a difference in transmission

 The NBA which will tentatively restart its season on July 30, is hoping that a futuristic titanium ring will help mitigate the spread of coronavirus. In addition to a number of safety protocols including daily testing, players and staff will have an option to wear a $300 ring made by Finnish company Oura that measures temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, and other physiological data that could theoretically be helpful for detecting whether someone has Covid-19, even before they start exhibiting symptoms. However, the FDA has yet to approve any wearables for sensing Covid-19, and privacy concerns have been voiced

 In a major reversal, the governors of Florida and Texas rolled back their states’ aggressive re-openings Friday and ordered bars to close and restaurants to reduce capacity as coronavirus infections surged. North Carolina paused further re-openings for 3 weeks and ordered residents to wear face masks in public. The latest developments call into question any suggestion that the worst of the pandemic has passed in the US, as rising outbreaks in the South and West threaten to upend months of social distancing meant to help keep the virus at bay

 The surge in new coronavirus cases in California has alarmed health officials and put renewed strain on hospitals and appears to be driven at least in part by younger people. As of Wednesday, 56% of people diagnosed with Covid-19 were 18-49 years old, though they account for only 43.5% of the state’s population. That figure has risen consistently throughout the outbreak but surged sharply in recent weeks. Meanwhile, people older than 65, who used to make up nearly a quarter of those testing positive, now account for few than 15% of positive coronavirus tests, roughly in line with their proportion of the population. The increasingly young demographics of coronavirus infections are being seen in LA County where 40% of cases are occurring among those 18-40 years old. That matches the experience in Japan where a study published by the US CDC found that the people probably spreading the coronavirus in more than 60 clusters were mostly young adults, ages 20 to 39. Most did not show symptoms when they transmitted the virus, and almost none had a cough

 Governor Newsom on Thursday declared a state budget emergency, citing California’s $54.3 billion budget deficit, clearing the way for more funds to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The move ensures the availability of funding for personal protective equipment, medical equipment, and other expenditures necessary to support a recent spike in Covid-19 cases and the potential for a hospital surge as well as necessary services to vulnerable populations. As of Thursday, the state reported 195,571 coronavirus cases and 5,733 deaths

 A group of about 50 farm workers went on strike Thursday at a Central California pistachio farm demanding face coverings, gloves, and information from the farm’s owner after they learned from the media that dozens of the coworkers tested positive for Covid-19

 Some Dodgers employees have tested positive for Covid-19 and the club has joined a growing list of teams that have acknowledged positive cases in recent days, including the Angels, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, and Colorado Rockies

 LA County reported an additional 1,809 cases and 25 deaths. Totals are now 93,232 cases / 3,267 deaths. The positive Covid-19 cases are spiking among county residents who are between the ages of 18 – 40 (up 44% in the last 16 days). City Breakouts (Cases/Deaths): City of LA 41,328/1,592; Long Beach 3,509/123; Carson 619/28; El Segundo 48/0; Gardena 468/30; Hawthorne 63/2; Inglewood 939/61; Lawndale 186/7; Lomita 75/6; Manhattan Beach 112/3; PV Estates 49/1; Rancho PV 126/12; Redondo Beach 184/8; Rolling Hills 2/0; Rolling Hills Estates 22/2; Torrance 532/50

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


Redondo Beach Cancels All Fourth of July Events

June 26, 2020

I’ve been saying for months that all South Bay Fourth of July events would be cancelled, but this is the first official word I’ve received from the Redondo Beach Police Department.

“Due to the continuing risk of community spread of COVID-19, July 4th will be different this year in Redondo Beach. There will be no fireworks display on July 4th and no permits have been issued for neighborhood block parties. Everyone is being asked to do their part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing and by following State and County public health requirements.”

New Parklet Program in DTMB Offers Outdoor Dining

June 26, 2020

The Rockefeller in Manhattan Beach sent me these photos of the new Parklet Program offering outdoor seating for DTMB restaurants!

Enjoy this outdoor space while also observing social distancing. Time to get out and enjoy the summer sun!

Roundhouse Aquarium Phased Re-Opening

June 26, 2020

The Oceanographic Teaching Stations, Inc. board of directors and staff are pleased to announce that the Roundhouse Aquarium is reopening after 15 weeks of temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting on July 1, 2020, the Roundhouse Aquarium will reopen to the general public and guests will once again have the opportunity to visit the aquarium to explore its marine life exhibits and learn about southern California’s tidelands, beaches and ocean.

To ensure an enjoyable and safe guest visit at the Roundhouse Aquarium, OTS is implementing a phased approach to reopening which includes a reservation process, increased hygiene and sanitation practices, physical distancing and other safety measures.
• In order to visit the aquarium, guests and visitors are requested to make a reservation. Reservations may be made at Roundhouse Aquarium website.
• There is no charge for a reservation, although we encourage donations from visitors.
• Each reservation will be for a 30-minute period.
• The number of guests and visitors allowed in the Roundhouse Aquarium will be limited based on government guidelines.
• All aquarium staff and volunteers must go through health screening, including a contactless temperature check prior to entering the building. Any guest exhibiting a fever of 100.4 or higher, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or any other sign of COVID-19 infection will be requested to visit another day.
· Appropriate masks must be worn by all staff, volunteers and guests over the age of 2. Masks will be available to guests who might need one for a donation.
· Hand sanitizers will be available at the entrance and exit of the aquarium and should be used prior to entering and upon leaving the aquarium.
· Physical distancing of six feet between guests (other than household members), staff, and volunteers will be required during guest visits.
· High touch areas such as handrails, push buttons and handles will be cleaned and sanitized frequently. Animals and specimens will be for viewing only.
· No strollers, luggage larger than overhead compartment size, food or drinks will be allowed in the aquarium.
· Dogs may be carried if a support animal or allowed in the aquarium if a service dog.

Initial hours will be 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., every day of the week. Guests without reservations will be asked to secure a time slot online for a future visit. OTS hopes to expand the Roundhouse Aquarium’s hours in the future. The Roundhouse will be closed on July 4, 2020.

“We are excited to welcome our guests and patrons back to the Roundhouse Aquarium,” said John Roberts, PhD, OTS’ president and chairman of the board. “We are looking forward to showcasing the incredible marine life at the Roundhouse that we are so fortunate to teach about and share with our guests.”

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


Ten Thousand Villages in Redondo Beach has Reopened

June 25, 2020

Ten Thousand Villages has reopened!

Ten Thousand Villages Redondo Beach is open for shopping once again. Friday through Monday from 11 am to 4 pm you can shop in store or visit the online store at https://tenthousandvillagesredondo.square.site to shop curbside pick up or book a VIP shopping experience everyday!

They’re also celebrating six years of igniting social change and working to break the cycle of generational poverty around the world. Ten Thousand Villages is more than a business, they’re a maker to market movement directly impacting the lives of our artisan partners in developing countries. They’re excited about SIXcessfully putting people and planet first!

Come celebrate and shop this refreshed, renewed, reopened store!

Ten Thousand Villages is located at 1907 Catalina Avenue in Redondo Beach.

Outdoor Dining On Historic Richmond Street

June 25, 2020

El Segundo’s vibrant downtown has fully activated its outdoor Dining Pilot Program, marking the beginning of the city’s move to transform Richmond Street into a space for outdoor dining. The street will remain closed through September 8th. The program also allows for restaurants citywide to expand outdoor seating into sidewalks and parking areas in various locations throughout El Segundo. Come and discover all of the outdoor dining options from the ever-growing list of restaurants.

“From the onset of COVID-19, the El Segundo City Council directed city staff to clear the hurdles for our businesses, knowing that the new environment would be challenging enough. Reinventing the street space, as well as parking areas, and sidewalks areas, helps our businesses survive, and hopefully thrive, by giving them additional dining capacity, while adhering to the County’s health and safety requirements,” said El Segundo Mayor Drew Boyles. “We look forward to welcoming visitors and locals back to enjoy a new dining experience in our charming downtown.”

For additional information, visit the website at https://www.destinationelsegundo.com/food-drinks/all-restaurants.

COVID-19 News Briefs for Wednesday, June 24, 2020

June 24, 2020

 Worldwide, more than 9.2 million people have been reported to be infected with Covid-19, and more than 476,000 have died. The WHO said the epidemic is now moving toward a peak in a number of large countries including South Africa, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Colombia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and including the US which
leads the world with 2.3 million cases and more than 121,000 deaths  The US reported more than 36,000 new infections today, surpassing the previous single-day record set on April 25. Texas, Florida, and California led the way, with all 3 states reporting more than 5,000 new cases apiece. Even as case numbers climb, reports circulated that the federal government is poised to stop providing federal aid to testing sites in some hard-hit states, including Texas

 A state-owned Chinese biotech firm will carry out large-scale human trials for a coronavirus vaccine in the United Arab Emirates. None of the experimental vaccines being tested around the world have so far passed these vital “Phase 3” trials. Meanwhile, South Africa will launch the continent’s first vaccine pilot this week

 Top-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic said he and his wife tested positive for Covid-19 after he played in a series of exhibition matches in Serbia and Croatia with no social distancing. Raising questions about the fullfledged return of tennis, including the US Open planned for August, Djokovic is the fourth player to come down with coronavirus after participating in matches

 The IRS is calling people back to work following the coronavirus shutdown, but employees are confronting an almost incomprehensible backlog of paperwork and requests for help. Millions of paper returns are sitting in trailers, waiting to be entered in the IRS computers, and no one has been available to process electronic returns that were flagged because of problems

 Major League Baseball players signed off on health and safety protocols and agreed to report to training camps at their home stadiums by July 1 in preparation for a pandemic-shortened regular season of 60 games

 New York Governor Cuomo, in conjunction with New Jersey and Connecticut governors, announced that travelers to the tri-state area from states seeing Covid-19 outbreaks will have to self-quarantine for 14 days, effective at midnight. The threshold for a state requiring its travelers to quarantine will be either a 10%
infection rate for Covid-19 testing, or 10 new cases per 100,000 people on a 7-day rolling average. States immediately affected include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah, and Texas

 UCLA economists said California is unlikely to recover its pre-coronavirus prosperity over the next 3 years, even as the state slowly rebuilds from a catastrophic economic lockdown. Even that forecast of a gradual return to normal activity is based on a somewhat optimistic scenario — that the Covid-19 pandemic will subside avoiding a pause in the recovery or another wave of shutdowns

 Coronavirus cases in California continued a troubling surge this week — Tuesday marked a second consecutive day the state had a daily record for new cases, with more than 6,600 infections were reported. The positivity rate over the previous 14 days increased to 4.8% from 4.5%, and the number of hospitalizations of patients with confirmed infections jumped by 16% over the last 2 weeks. In LA County, the daily 7-day average positivity rate jumped to 8.8% and there are 1,515 people hospitalized, 27% of them in intensive care. This data is raising questions about whether the reopening process is moving too fast. Officials are tying the increase in hospitalizations to the resurgence of social gatherings as well as the lack of universal mask-wearing. LA County health director Dr. Ferrer also said it was highly likely that the overall increase is related to the recent protests as well as gatherings in restaurants and private parties, and Governor Newsom said that the state might have to reverse course on reopening if case counts keep climbing

 California’s Yosemite National Park is reversing course 2 weeks after reopening and now says it will hold off on reopening some campgrounds through July because of social distancing concerns. There have not been any confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the park, but California as a whole has seen a spike in infections

 A LA surgeon’s invention to kill germs in airplane cabins with UV light has been acquired by Honeywell to build the UV invention and distribute it to the world’s airlines. The company plans to build more than 100 units by the end of July with production increasing the following months. The invention, which looks like a beverage cart with 2 mechanical arms, can disinfect a cabin in about 10 minutes at a cost of $10

 In the weeks since the George Floyd protests, LA County residents say they have struggled to secure testing appointments, even as officials report a troubling surge in people infected with Covid-19. On Tuesday, LA County officials confirmed that there were no appointments available at more than 40 sites run by the city, county, and state. They added that the testing shortfall was in part because of the paring down of sites and slots, a move they had been discussing for weeks because of a large number of unfilled appointments. Any drop in testing would probably complicate efforts to combat a recent rise in Covid-19 cases in California and LA County

 A Covid-19 $100 million rent relief program was passed by the LA City Council to help families hurt by the economic and health fallout from the pandemic. The money would provide up to $2,000 in rental assistance for low-income households in LA who have lost work, fallen ill, or had to assist sick family members during the crisis.

 Santa Anita Racetrack reported 17 positive cases of Covid-19, said to be for the entire 6-month race meeting, and counted people who list Santa Anita as their work place. The health department closed down racing on March 27 but did allow training. There are about 750 people who live near the stable area and 300 more who
come in from offsite

 USC student athletes will begin a multiphase return to campus for voluntary workouts beginning today. 6 teams — football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s water polo — will be included in the first phases of return with only those who live locally

 Coronavirus infection among LA police officers spiked in recent weeks, reflecting a broader increase in cases regionally and raising fresh questions about the role of protests in the spread. Police officials have said that officers were exposed on skirmish lines as they worked to disperse screaming crowds. Protesters say officers recklessly arrested people en masse without wearing masks, exposing not just themselves but others. In the last week, positive cases within the LAPD workforce jumped from 170 to 206, according to Chief Moore

 LA County reported an additional 1,260 cases and 34 deaths. Totals are now 89,490 cases / 3,205 deaths. City Breakouts (Cases/Deaths): City of LA 39,841/1,560; Long Beach 3,273/121; Carson 600/27; El Segundo 44/0; Gardena 445/29; Hawthorne 639/22; Hermosa Beach 62/2; Inglewood 906/60; Lawndale 184/7; Lomita 71/6;
Manhattan Beach 105/3; PV Estates 48/1; Rancho PV 125/12; Redondo Beach 182/8; Rolling Hills 2/0; Rolling Hills Estates 21/2; Torrance 521/50

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


68% Drop in Obesity Among Redondo Beach Students (Finally, some great news!)

June 23, 2020

Redondo Beach Unified School District (RBUSD), after teaming with Beach Cities Health District (BCHD), has witnessed a dramatic drop in childhood obesity among its students following the implementation of nutrition and exercise programs that started in 2007. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) has taken notice and is publishing a Community Health Report detailing RBUSD’s success and hoping to inspire other school districts to combat obesity and improve health among their students.

The report, titled “Recent Trends in Childhood Obesity Prevalence in the Redondo Beach Unified School District: A Case Study,” notes data that showed one in five RBUSD elementary school students were obese – higher than the national average – leading BCHD to partner with RBUSD to launch the LiveWell Kids program in Redondo Beach schools in 2007. Within four years, the obesity rate in the school district fell from 20% to 15% and has continued to drop steadily since, to 6.4% today. This equates to a 68% drop in obesity from 2007-19 in RBUSD, while the national average has risen from 16% to 18% over the same period.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines obesity as “a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile,” based on standardized growth charts. The CDC calls childhood obesity “a serious problem in the U.S., putting children and adolescents at risk for poor health.”

“Obesity-related chronic diseases are among the leading causes of premature death in Los Angeles County, including coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colorectal cancer and high blood pressure,” said Paul Simon, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Science Officer for the LACDPH. “Stopping obesity among our young people is a critical step and these findings are particularly impressive because they were sustained and observed across all public elementary schools, grade levels and demographic groups.”

“The predominantly positive results coincided with an intensive school-based wellness intervention (LiveWell Kids) and a community-wide wellness initiative (Blue Zones Project® by Healthways, now Sharecare),” said Simon. Both programs were introduced by BCHD. “While neither program was branded as an “obesity prevention” initiative, both included a strong focus on improving nutrition and increasing physical activity, which has clearly helped lower the childhood obesity rate in this area.”

Further evidence of RBUSD’s success is that a similar decline in child obesity prevalence was not observed in neighboring cities or the county overall based on data from the California Physical Fitness Testing Program.

“For the past 10 years, RBUSD has been at the forefront of the ‘whole child’ movement. These numbers are a testament to our strong partnership with Beach Cities Health District, as their leadership and programs are key components of our success,” said Dr. Steven Keller, RBUSD Superintendent. “When we partnered with BCHD and instituted their LiveWell Kids program, we all had lofty goals. Staff, parents, kids, the board of education as well as BCHD have all contributed to a program that continues to exceed those goals.”

“Redondo Beach Unified was an early adopter of the concept of the ‘whole child’ – making sure each student has the opportunity to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged during their academic pursuits. Because of this, they were a willing partner to address childhood obesity,” said Tom Bakaly, BCHD CEO. “The LiveWell Kids program has been a success because RBUSD was open to all ideas to improve the health of their students. From the superintendent, to staff, to the thousands of program volunteers who have been involved, there has been true collaboration that’s made a big impact.”

“Several years later, our work with the Blue Zones Project specifically addressed the health needs of the adult population, utilizing permanent, evidence-based environmental and policy changes in schools, workplaces, restaurants, businesses and city governments. These changes have also positively impacted students by making the healthy choice the easy choice for residents of all ages in our community,” Bakaly said.

The analysis by LACDPH covered the period from the 2008-2009 school year to 2018-2019, using BMI data calculated for each RBUSD student based on their measured height and weight.

The LiveWell Kids curriculum is delivered in classrooms and school gardens by 500 trained parent docents. It blends in-class nutrition lessons, mindfulness practices and garden education to introduce and instill healthy habits at an early age. In addition to LiveWell Kids, BCHD supports nutrition and exercise in RBUSD schools through 8-Minute Morning Exercises, School Wellness Councils, Walking School Bus, Walking Wednesdays and Youth Bicycle and Pedestrian Education. International Walk to School Day, held the first Wednesday in October, saw 1,723 RBUSD students participate in 2019.

In spring 2020, as schools shifted to distance learning due to COVID-19, BCHD was able to adapt components of the LiveWell Kids program to a virtual format. Additionally, at-home exercise and mindfulness programs were also provided to families.

COVID-19 News Briefs for Tuesday, June 23, 2020

June 23, 2020

 The European Union is opening their borders July 1 but said they may bar Americans from traveling this summer to its member states, due to the US’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Visitors from Russian and Brazil would also be barred. The EU’s primary benchmark for considering a country is “safe” is the average number of new infections per 100,000 people over the past 2 weeks. For the EU, that number is 16. The US’s current average number is 107, Brazil’s is 190, and Russia’s is 80. The US has seen more than 2.3 million Covid-19 cases and 120,000 deaths

 In many parts of the developing world, coronavirus lockdowns have sparked concern about increased illegal hunting that’s fueled by food shortages and a decline in law enforcement in some wildlife protection areas with people living in rural areas resorting to poaching wild bush-meat animals for food. At the same time, border closures and travel restrictions slowed illegal trade in certain high-value species, such as the endangered pangolin in Africa and Asia, and ivory from rhinos in Southeast Asia

 Saudi Arabia said that because of coronavirus, only very limited numbers of people will be allowed to perform the haji, the annual pilgrimage that traditionally draws 2 million Muslims to Mecca from around the world. The haji is one of the world’s biggest gatherings with pilgrims staying in close confines and walking and praying shoulder-to-shoulder. It has never been cancelled in the 90 years since the country was founded, and normally generates about $6 billion in revenue. The Ministry of Haji said only people of various nationalities already residing in the country would be allowed to perform the pilgrimage at the end of July. Saudi Arabia has one of the highest rates of coronavirus in the Middle East, with more than 161,000 confirmed cases and 1,307 deaths

 A new study suggests that as many as 8.7 million Americans came down with coronavirus in March, but more than 80% of them were never diagnosed. A team of researchers looked at the number of people who went to doctors or clinics with influenza-like illnesses that were never diagnosed as coronavirus, influenza or any of the other viruses that usually circulate in winter. There was a giant spike in these cases in March — only 100,000 cases were officially reported during that time period, and the US still reports only 2.3 million cases as of Monday. But there was a shortage of coronavirus testing kits at the time

 After months of lockdown in which outbreaks of the coronavirus often centered in nursing homes, prisons, and meatpacking plants, the US is entering a new and uncertain state of the pandemic — new Covid-19 clusters have been found in a Pentecostal church in Oregon, a strip club in Wisconsin, Tigerland nightlife district in Louisiana, Christian summer camp in Colorado, and casinos, restaurants, and hotels in Las Vegas. These clusters of cases, ranging from a handful to hundreds, are being seen in large and small cities and experts say are likely to persist as states reopen economies and Americans venture back into public. New known virus cases are on the rise in 23 states, and hospitalizations for coronavirus reached their highest levels yet in the pandemic in Arizona and
Texas, with Missouri reporting its highest single-day case totals over this past weekend

 Experts at the Brookings Institution and nonprofit March of Dimes predict the coronavirus pandemic will likely lead to a baby bust in the US — possibly leaving the nation with about half a million fewer births than otherwise would be expected. They examined previous economic studies on fertility during the recession of 2007-2009 as well as the 1918 influenza pandemic and other factors such as job losses

 Several industry officials said they had received indications over the last week from the White House that lifting the national emergency declaration for coronavirus was being considered. Healthcare leaders confirmed that the administration is unwillingly to publicly commit to an extension of the emergency declaration which enable loosened rules on hospitals and other medical providers to route badly needed money to states to quickly hire more hospital staff, add more beds, and expand tele-health visits if needed

 US health officials are recommending expanding mail voting because of the coronavirus crisis to allow people to stay away from crowded voting polls — 5 states already use vote-by-mail exclusively and all states allow this to some extent. However, political and financial concerns have complicated the shift, with the White House claiming it will lead to increased fraud, and that the cost to get 50 states to all vote by mail by the November election would be substantial and unrealistic

 Cruises won’t restart at US ports until at least September 15 because more time is needed to fine-tune safety procedures, according to the world’s largest cruise industry trade association. If your cruise is cancelled, you may be eligible for a refund or value-added cruise voucher

 Because of the pandemic, Apple’s next iPhone operating system will include an option to put a face mask on a personalized emoji, and upgraded software for the Apple Watch will also detect when wearers wash their hands

 Unable to forge an agreement between owners and players on compensation, Major League Baseball’s commissioner exercised his authority to impose a pandemic-shortened regular season — expected to be 60 games — without fans in the stadiums, starting around July 24, provided a health and safety protocol can be
finalized this week

 California shattered a daily record for new coronavirus cases with more than 6,000 infections reported Monday – – the largest single day count in the state since the pandemic hit the US. In LA County, officials reported more than 2,000 new cases for the third time in the last week. In San Diego county, officials reported more than 300 new cases for the second day in a row after breaking a record with more than 310 cases Sunday. Officials warn that they expect transmission rates to increase as more businesses reopen and people resume normal activities after months-long orders to stay at home. Hospitalizations in the state are also beginning to rise — up 16% over the last 2 weeks

 Hoping to make flying safer, LAX will today begin a 12-week period of testing thermal cameras to identify passengers with high body temperatures as a way of slowing the spread of coronavirus. The cameras will scan streams of passengers arriving and department from the Tom Bradley International Terminal to detect anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher. Travelers will also be required to wear face masks and maintain physical distancing when possible and LAX has installed 250 hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the terminal. Under the LAX program, department passengers with a high temperature will be pulled aside and tested again — if the high temperature is confirmed, the passenger will be advised, but not prevented, from travel. For arriving international travelers, anyone with a high temperature will be directed to CDC staff for possible quarantine

 LA County’s Project Roomkey has secured 3,601 rooms for medically vulnerable homeless people — about a fourth of the number needed to house all those who are eligible. The goal of the project is to provide private hotel or motel rooms to homeless people considered most likely to need hospitalization or die if infected with Covid-19. Officials are now changing course, saying they will continue to work to find permanent housing for all those eligible

 LA County reported an additional 2,364 cases and 34 deaths. Totals are now 88,262 cases / 3,171 deaths. City Breakouts (Cases/Deaths): City of LA 39,416/1,548; Long Beach 3,042/120; Carson 591/27; El Segundo 44/0; Gardena 433/29; Hawthorne 633/22; Hermosa Beach 61/2; Inglewood 887/60; Lawndale 181/7; Lomita 69/6;
Manhattan Beach 103/3; PV Estates 48/1; Rancho PV 124/12; Redondo Beach 179/8; Rolling Hills 2/0; Rolling Hills Estates 21/1; Torrance 514/50

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


COVID-19 News Briefs for Monday, June 22, 2020

June 22, 2020

 On Sunday, the World Health Organization reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases, with more than 183,000 new cases globally. Brazil lead the way with 54,771 cases, followed by the US at 36,617. Overall in the pandemic, the WHO reported 8,708,008 cases — 183,020 in the last 24 hours — with 461,715
deaths worldwide, a daily increase of 4,743. More than two-thirds of those new deaths were reported in the Americas

 The UN released a report expressing concerns over deliberate attacks against healthcare workers and facilities in Afghanistan during the Covid-19 pandemic. 12 acts of violence were documented and the UN said 8 were carried out by Taliban insurgents and 3 by Afghan security forces

 The WHO called for increased production and distribution of dexamethasone, a decades-old steroid that a British clinical trial recently found helped some severely sick patients recover from Covid-19. Demand has already surged and the UN said that governments must work together to prioritize distribution in countries where there are large number of critically ill patients, and that supplies remain available to treat other diseases for which it is needed, including rheumatoid arthritis

 An unprecedented expansion of federal aid has prevented the rise in poverty that experts predicted when the coronavirus sent unemployment to the highest level since the Great Depression, 2 new studies suggest. The assistance could even cause official measures of poverty to fall. However, the studies also warn that many
Americans have suffered hunger or other hardships amid long delays in receiving the assistance, and much of the aid is scheduled to expire next month. Also, millions of people have been excluded from receiving any help, especially undocumented migrants, who often have American children. Still, the evidence suggests that the programs Congress authorized in March have done much to protect the needy, a finding likely to shape the debate over next steps at a time when 13.3% of Americans remain unemployed

 The White House issued an executive order today barring many categories of foreign workers and curbing immigration visas through the end of the year, moves the administration characterized as necessary to protect US workers following steep job losses amid the coronavirus pandemic

 The US Food and Drug Administration is warning the public to stop using 9 hand sanitizer products that may contain a substance that can be potentially toxic. The hand sanitizers manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico were found to potentially contain methanol (wood alcohol) which can be toxic when ingested or
absorbed through the skin. The products manufactured by Esk Biochem are marketed under the following names: All-Clean Hand Sanitizer, Esk Biochem Hand Sanitzer, CleanCare No Germ Advanced Hand Sanitizer, Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer, The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer, and Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer. The FDA says to dispose of any of these products immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers and do not flush or pour them down the drain

 Infectious disease experts expressed alarm on Sunday over the pace of new coronavirus infections in several states in the South and Southwest. The US is now reporting a quarter of the world’s coronavirus cases, and daily new-infection counts exceeding 30,000 nationwide on a least 2 recent days. In California, much of the increase does appear to be the result of more testing, officials say. However, in some of the most affected states, such as Florida and Arizona, larger proportions of tests are coming back positive and more of the afflicted are also becoming sicker, including increased hospitalizations. Although death rates in the US from Covid-19 have declined after the peak hit in New York in April, hospitalizations climbed sharply in several states, and health officials fear that deaths could start rising again soon

 While other business sectors remained closed for months, Southern California’s apparel manufacturers, which employ thousands, pivoted quickly to produce masks and other critically needed personal protective equipment. This nimbleness allowed local businesses to compete with low-cost overseas suppliers, but it also exposed employees to possible infection and reignited allegations that its low-income, largely immigrant workforce was being exploited

 In LA County, health officials said that total new cases of coronavirus is not the best measure of community spread because of aggressive new levels of testing. They point to other metrics that show that the local outbreak has stabilized even though the number of new cases increased by 20,000 in the last 2 weeks and by
more than 3,600 just over the weekend. 2 key indicators — the positivity rate and average number of daily hospitalizations — have continued to remain relatively steady, while the average daily deaths have declined. Officials say they are monitoring the metrics closely and could impose new restrictions if needed

 The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened hardships for junior-college students, many of whom were homeless or food-insecure before the Covid-19 crisis. With 9 colleges and an annual 200,000 enrollment, the LA Community College District serves some of the most vulnerable students in the state’s system of public higher education. Students’ struggles with academics has been compounded with online classes and a lack of support services, including counseling, tutoring, and basic access to computers, books and food

 LA County’s top health official Dr. Ferrer shared her concern over violent threats that she and others in her field have received as they bring forth safety measures to keep Covid-19 from spreading in their communities. The LA County health team has been receiving attacks via emails, public postings, and letters since March and she has received death threats in May. Earlier in June, the Orange County health officer stepped down after receiving threats over a countywide order to wear face coverings and at least 6 other senior health officials have resigned in California since the pandemic started

 LA County reported an additional 2,571 positive cases and 18 deaths from Covid-19. Totals are now 85,942 cases / 3,137 deaths. City Breakouts (Cases/Deaths): City of LA 38,580/1,521; Long Beach 2,982/120; Carson 583/27; El Segundo 42/0; Gardena 419/29; Hawthorne 621/22; Hermosa Beach 56/2; Inglewood 865/60;
Lawndale 179/7; Lomita 68/6; Manhattan Beach 99/3; PV Estates 48/1; Rancho PV 123/12; Redondo Beach 173/8; Rolling Hills 2/0; Rolling Hills Estates 19/1; Torrance 499/50

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


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


COVID-19 News Briefs for Saturday, June 20, 2020

June 20, 2020

 According to Johns Hopkins University, the worldwide coronavirus tally is: 8,750,272 positive cases recorded and 462,088 deaths. In the US, there have been 2,250,240 confirmed cases and 119,645 deaths, with 617,460 people recovering from the virus

 The White House administration has abruptly dropped its insistence on secrecy for a $600 billion coronavirus aid program for small businesses and said it will publicly disclose names, amounts received, and demographic data on the businesses which received the taxpayer-funded loans. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), this program has to date lent more than $512 billion to 4.8 million small businesses, including $67 billion in California

 27,000 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients work in healthcare, and many spent the last few months attending to patients with Covid-19. A majority of these medical workers live in Arizona, California, or Texas where the rates of new infections are accelerating. They are among 700,000 so-called “Dreamers” who came to the US as children, grew up without legal status, and were allowed to stay under the DACA policy. The US Supreme Court rejected the White House plan to repeal the protections, saying it did not provide adequate justification. Separately, a federal judge ruled Wednesday that the US Department of Education could not place eligibility restrictions on California community college students to receive emergency coronavirus financial aid. Those restrictions prevented undocumented students and those in the DACA program from receiving the aid in the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act

 The US Navy has upheld the firing of the aircraft carrier Captain Crozier, who had urged faster action to protect his crew from a coronavirus outbreak on the Theodore Roosevelt deployment in the Pacific in March. More than 1,000 crew were infected and 1 sailor died. A Navy investigation said that poor decisions were made to stem the outbreak and properly communicate the escalating crisis to senior commanders

 California’s jobless rate rose to 16.3% in May, as employers continued to shed jobs despite the gradual reopening of businesses across the state. The latest tally is up from 15.5%. In contrast, the US jobless rate fell slightly last month to 13.3%, from 14.7%. California’s unemployment and jobs statistics were expected to trail the nation’s rebound, largely because of the mix of its industries. In LA County, May unemployment rose to
20.9% from a revised 20.8% in April

 State and local officials are trying to carefully balance the needs of the economy with public health to be able to resume normal life, but the recent announcements have left many confused about what is and isn’t dangerous — and whom they can trust. Medical experts emphasize that nothing about the virus has changed and it is still deadly and circulating in the community. Public health policies driven by economics and politics, though sometimes necessary, can muddle that message and also erode trust in the government, both major problems during a pandemic, experts say

 California launched the “Great Plates Delivered” program in May to bring meals from local restaurants to help elderly people at severe risk from the coronavirus. However, some seniors were told they were too needy to qualify — income had to fall between $25,000 and $75,000 for a household of 1. State officials said that it is because the program is meant for seniors who are not accessing other nutrition programs including CalFresh, the California program for food stamps. But some local officials and advocates have argued that the poorest seniors aren’t necessarily enrolled in other nutrition programs, and the Great Plates program is also meant to serve as an economic stimulus for local restaurants struggling to survive. The program has been extended through July 10, and LA is extending Great Plates and other Covid-related senior programs through August

 LA County reported 2,056 additional cases and 48 deaths. Totals are now 81,636 cases and 3,110 deaths. City Breakouts (Cases/Deaths): City of LA 36,919/1,513; Long Beach 2,934/118; Carson 571/27; El Segundo 42/0; Gardena 399/29; Hawthorne 596/22; Hermosa Beach 53/2; Inglewood 820/59; Lawndale 172/6; Lomita 63/6;
Manhattan Beach 95/3; PV Estates 48/1; Rancho PV 120/12; Redondo Beach 169/8; Rolling Hills 2/0; Rolling Hills Estates 18/1; Torrance 487/50

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

Covid-19 News Briefs for Friday, June 19, 2020

June 19, 2020

 The WHO issued a dire warning today that the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, and noted that Thursday was a record day for new cases — more than 150,000 globally. Earlier, the outbreak was defined by a series of shifting epicenters but it is now defined by its wide and expanding scope. 81 nations have seen a growth in new cases over the past 2 weeks, while 36 countries have seen declines. More than half of the new cases reported on Thursday come from the Americas with large numbers also being reported from Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East

 More than 130 candidates for a Covid-19 vaccine are under development around the world, but only 10 of them have entered clinical trials — half of those are Chinese. A US-China vaccine competition has emerged amid incendiary rhetoric over the virus with the White House blaming China for the spread of the disease. China’s fast-tracking vaccine development has led to ramping up production capacity while allowing unconventional practices, and the vaccine development in the US and Europe are taking similar shortcuts, despite scientists’ warnings against compromise of safety standards. The WHO added that competition also hurts global efforts to coordinate vaccine development and ensure distribution goes to those who need it most

 A new study suggests that gene variants in 2 regions of the human genome are associated with severe Covid-19 illness and carry a greater risk of related death. The findings suggest that people with blood type A face a 50% greater risk of needing oxygen support or a ventilator should they become infected. In contract, people with blood type O appear to have about a 50% reduced risk of severe Covid-19

 After China and Japan, Germany is the latest major nation to witness fresh outbreaks of Covid-19 after relaxing lockdowns, in Berlin and Lower Saxony, forcing it to re-impose local quarantine measures  Coronavirus cases are shooting up in multiple states, but deaths are declining. Recent research suggests that
improved testing is now capturing more cases of patients who are asymptomatic or have mild cases and the real death rate might be closer to 1% rather than the initial estimates of 4%

 San Francisco’s health officer warned that N95 masks with a vent on them are actually bad to wear for public health during the Covid-19 pandemic. Any mask with a 1-way valve designed to facilitate easy exhaling allows droplets to be released from the mask, putting others nearly at risk

 The number of homes sold across Southern California fell sharply in May as the coronavirus outbreak put a freeze on the region’s housing market. Closed sales plunged 45% from a year earlier while the region’s median home price rose 2.7%

 Disneyland plans to reopen July 17, after a nearly 4-month shutdown due to the coronavirus crisis. Park goers will need reservations, masks, and abide by new social distancing rules. However, a dozen unions that represent about 17,000 Disneyland employees wrote a letter to Governor Newsom Thursday, saying it is still unsafe to reopen the park. In addition, a petition on change.org calls for a delay to reopening until the number of coronavirus infections drop — it has been signed by more than 40,000 people, including some Disneyland employees, their family members, and annual pass holders

 LA County health officials opened a probe in the rising Covid-19 cases among construction workers at SoFi Stadium — at least 18 workers have contracted the virus at the $5 billion project in Inglewood where the Rams and Chargers are scheduled to play their first games in 2 months

 Facing a court order over health risks, including the spread of Covid-19, the city and county of LA announced an agreement to create 5,300 beds for homeless people over the next 10 months. The order requires providing space in shelters or alternative housing for the 6,000 to 7,000 county residents living near freeway overpasses, underpasses, or ramps. To assist in funding, the county will pay the city $53 million this year, and $60 million a year for the following 4 years which is separate from the hundreds of millions of dollars being allocated by the county to homelessness through Measure H

 LA County reports an additional 1,414 cases and 38 deaths. Totals are now 79,609 cases / 3,063 deaths. City Breakouts (Cases/Deaths): City of LA 36,107/1,494; Long Beach 2,888/116; Carson 565/27; El Segundo 41/0; Gardena 384/28; Hawthorne 578/21; Hermosa Beach 49/2; Inglewood 801/59; Lawndale 168/6; Lomita 61/6;
Manhattan Beach 93/3; PV Estates 46/1; Rancho PV 116/11; Redondo Beach 167/7; Rolling Hills 2/0; Rolling Hills Estates 18/0; Torrance 479/50

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


Downtown Torrance Al Fresco Dining Street Closures

June 18, 2020

On Tuesday, the Torrance City Council voted unanimously to support a Pilot Program for a series of weekend street closures to create a pedestrian area which will allow restaurants to have outdoor dining from July to September.

They are also exploring ways to allow retail and service businesses to participate and have a presence in the pedestrian area.


New Guidance Requiring Californians to Wear Face Coverings in Most Settings Outside the Home

June 18, 2020

The California Department of Public Health today released updated guidance that requires Californians to wear a face covering in high-risk settings. A growing body of scientific research has shown that people with no or few symptoms of COVID-19 can still spread the disease and that the use of face coverings, combined with physical distancing and frequent hand washing, will reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“Science shows that face coverings and masks work,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy.”

Governor Newsom also addressed why he took this action now. “Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered – putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease. California’s strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if people act safely and follow health recommendations. That means wearing a face covering, washing your hands and practicing physical distancing.”
“As Californians venture into our communities more, wearing face coverings is another important way we can help protect one another,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health. “Combined with physical distancing and frequent hand washing, wearing cloth face coverings when we are with others outside of our household will reduce the spread of COVID-19, which is still a very real threat across our state.”

Today’s guidance mandates the use of cloth face coverings by the general public statewide when outside the home, with limited exceptions.

Californians must wear face coverings when they are in the situations listed below:
• Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space;
• Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank;
• Waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;
• Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when:
o Interacting in-person with any member of the public;
o Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time;
o Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others;
o Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;
o In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance.
• Driving or operating any public transportation or paratransit vehicle, taxi, or private car service or ride-sharing vehicle when passengers are present. When no passengers are present, face coverings are strongly recommended.
• While outdoors in public spaces when maintaining a physical distance of six feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.
The following individuals are exempt from wearing a face covering:
• Children aged two and under;
• Persons with a medical, mental health, or developmental disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
• Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
• Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
• Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service;
• Persons who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, while they are eating or drinking, provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence;
• Persons who are engaged in outdoor work or recreation such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others;
• Persons who are incarcerated. Prisons and jails, as part of their mitigation plans, will have specific guidance on the wearing of face coverings of masks for both inmates and staff.
More information about the state’s COVID-19 guidance is on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance web page.
More information about reopening California and what individuals can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California.

City of Torrance Fourth of July Celebration Officially Cancelled

June 18, 2020

Due to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, and resulting budget cuts, the City of Torrance 4th of July Celebration has been cancelled.

FRIENDLY REMINDER: FIREWORKS ARE ILLEGAL IN TORRANCE

In anticipation of the holiday, the City of Torrance reminds everyone that it is against the law to possess, store, offer for sale, expose for sale, sell at retail, give, furnish, use or explode any fireworks in the City of Torrance, including those fireworks defined in the California Health and Safety Code as safe and sane fireworks.

Fines Associated with Fireworks in the City of Torrance
1st Offense: $100
2nd Offense: $150
3rd Offense: $200

Redondo Pier Businesses Now Open

June 18, 2020

The Redondo Pier Association is thrilled to announce the Redondo Pier and International Boardwalk businesses are now open!

Please safely support Redondo Pier businesses by wearing a face covering and maintaining six feet social distancing during your visit.

Restaurants will continue to offer take-out and to-go options, with some offering limited indoor and outdoor dining.

Revised LA County Health Order: Re-Opening

June 18, 2020

As of June 19, 2020, the following businesses can reopen…..

-Bars, Winery, Brewery Tasting Rooms

-Personal Care Establishments including nail salons

-Cardrooms, satellite wagering facilities and racetrack onsite wagering facilities

Click the following link for Revised Health Order and Appendices: https://files.constantcontact.com/cf2e37f6001/31dc6549-fe32-494e-aae7-62e513977433.pdf


COVID-19 News Briefs for Thursday, June 18, 2020

June 18, 2020

 The number of coronavirus cases continues to grow globally, with 2 of the highest tallies in the history of the pandemic recorded this week, driven by outbreaks in the Latin America, Africa, South Asia, and the US, which still posts some of the highest counts of new cases. 77 nations have seen a growth in new cases over the past 2 weeks, while only 43 have seen declines

 At a meeting in Hawaii with a top Chinese diplomat, US Secretary of State Pompeo urged China to reveal all it knows about the Covid-19 pandemic. He stressed the need for full transparency and information sharing to combat the pandemic and prevent future outbreaks. The White House administration had criticized China’s
response to the outbreak, including giving credence to a theory that the virus may have emerged from a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan. The WHO last month bowed to calls from most of its member states to investigate how it managed the response to the virus, but the evaluation would stop short of looking into the origins of the virus. China maintains that controlling the virus’s spread should be given priority

 Health experts agree that coronavirus false negative tests are a concern. Early research out of China stipulated the false negative rate of around 30%, however, a study on the Abbott 15-minute test was found to have a false negative rate of about 15%. If testing is done at the optimal moment — not too early or late after exposure — the false negative rate goes down. Generally speaking, viral load peaks around 2-4 days after symptom onset and many experts are encouraging people to get tested around 3-6 days after they think they may have been exposed to Covid-19. However, if you get a negative test result and are feeling sick, health experts say to continue to self-quarantine for 7-10 days after all symptoms go away

 Antibodies to Covid-19 may last only 2-3 months in the body, especially in people who never showed symptoms while they were infected, according to a new study published in Nature Medicine. The study only looked at 37 people but it is the first to offer a characterization of the immune response in such people. It suggests that asymptomatic people mount a weaker response to the virus than people who develop symptoms. And within weeks, antibody levels fall to undetectable levels in 40% of asymptomatic people and 13% of symptomatic people. If levels of immunity decrease so soon after illness, the authors suggest that people who have had the infection once might fall ill a second time

 US employers are still shedding jobs at a heavy rate, a trend that points to a slow and prolonged recovery. The number of laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits barely fell last week to 1.5 million — that was down from a peak of nearly 7 million in March, and it marked an 11th straight weekly drop. But the number is still more than twice the record high that existed before the pandemic. And the total number of people receiving jobless aid remains 20.5 million. The figures disappointed analysts who had expected far fewer people to seek unemployment aid as states increasingly reopen their economies and businesses recall some laid-off people back to work. The data also raised concerns that some recent layoffs may reflect permanent losses as companies restructure their businesses
 Online for-profit colleges have seen an opportunity to increase enrollment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Their flexible programs may be newly attractive to unemployed workers, to those seeking to change careers, or to college campuses whose campuses are closed. However, few of the largest for-profit colleges operating primarily online have track records to justify their advertising claims — some have put students deep in debt while posting dismal graduation rates amid a history of investigations by state and federal agencies, including many that have led to substantial financial settlements, according to The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit newsroom

 The pandemic has disrupted coin circulation and the US Mint’s production of coin also decreased because of measures put in place to protect its employees. Bank coin orders have increased as states reopen, causing the coin inventory, which the Mint prints but the Fed manages, to dip below normal levels

 Businesses across the US have begun intensive Covid-19 disinfection regimens, exposing returning workers and consumers to some chemicals that are largely untested for human health, a development that’s alarming health and environmental safety experts

 Rapid increases in coronavirus cases are being reported in states including Florida, Arizona, and Texas and the governors there say they are not considering another shutdown. Dr. Fauci said that these surges in cases are still part of the “first wave” and states must continue to follow safety standards or risk further outbreaks

 Protests over mask orders and reopening strategies have been held across the country, including in Orange County where the county health officer had resigned last week. For months, the anti-mask protesters have been joined by anti-vaccine activists against restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19, and this alliance is taking direct aim at country health officials. Threats and intimidation tactics have included protesting at officials’ homes, disclosing personal information, and issuing threats to cause harm to their families. Hot off the press: Governor Newsom just ordered all Californians to wear face coverings while in public, including shopping, taking public transit, or seeking medical care, amid growing concerns that coronavirus cases have increased because residents have failed to take that precaution voluntarily

 Cinemark, one of the nation’s largest cinema operators, will start reopening its door Friday at 3 Dallas locations amid enhanced safety protocols. LA theaters expect to be reopened in mid-July  Despite a temporary moratorium of rental evictions because of the coronavirus outbreak in mid-March, LAPD data showed the police responded to more than 290 instances of potential illegal lockouts and utility shutoffs, and the largest share of the calls were in predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods in South LA which represent some of the county’s highest rates of infection

 LA County has given the green-light for several more businesses to reopen Friday. The list includes bars, wineries, breweries, and tasting rooms, personal care services, and card rooms, satellite wagering facilities, and racetracks without spectators. All are subject to implementing the county’s requirements regarding reopening

 LA County reported an additional 1,051 cases and 36 deaths. Totals are now 78,227 cases / 3,027 deaths. City Breakouts (Cases/Deaths): City of LA 35,494/1,481; Long Beach 2,783/116; Carson 558/27; El Segundo 41/0; Gardena 375/28; Hawthorne 570/21; Hermosa Beach 48/2; Inglewood 790/58; Lawndale 166/6; Lomita 61/6;
Manhattan Beach 93/3; PV Estates 47/1; Rancho PV 116/11; Rolling Hills 2/0; Rolling Hills Estates 18/0; Torrance 471/50

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