COVID-19 Digest: Updates from Cal Wellness
This ongoing digest summarizes developments in policies and public-health guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on California. It began as an internal update to staff to inform our response efforts, and we’re sharing it as a resource to others. We hope it’s useful to you.
Friday, September 18
Though the COVID-19 death toll has risen this week, California’s battle with COVID-19 is showing improvements through several metrics including the seven-day positivity rate and number of new cases, total patients hospitalized, and patients in intensive care units, which have all been dropping for weeks. The downward trend in coronavirus cases could move Los Angeles County down to a less restrictive tier for reopening as early as October.
- This 5-minute podcast explores how the pandemic has delayed medical care for severe conditions for about 1 in every 5 households. In some cases, people were not able to find a doctor and in others, hospitals cancelled certain medical procedures to focus resources on COVID-19.
- In New York, taxi drivers have very few passengers amid the pandemic. Some estimates show that demand for for-hire rides dropped 84% compared to pre-pandemic levels. Many drivers are able to earn a living by participating in an emergency home food delivery program that serves the city’s low-income families.
- This op-ed urges colleges to not abandon the 1 in 5 college students who have children and have been stretched thin during the pandemic. Just 13% of childcare assistance goes to student parents, 53% of student parents face food insecurity and 66% experience housing insecurity.
- There have been 6,767,453 people infected with the coronavirus and at least 200,643 have died in the United States.
- California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) will develop emergency statewide standards with stricter precautions for workplaces against the “occupational health emergency” brought on by the pandemic. Through a fast-track process, the standards could be developed within a few months and Cal/OSHA will be hiring back retired inspectors to address understaffing.
- In light of the pandemic, disaster aid has had to evolve to respond to large-scale disasters such as wildfires. Precautions include health screenings, staggered mealtimes, no group dining halls, no in-person counseling, and more hotel rooms to shelter survivors.
- There have been 775,463 people infected with coronavirus and at least 14,810 have died in California.
- The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal to allocate nearly $13 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to close the digital divide and improve technology access for K-12 students. The funds will be used to purchase computers and internet connectivity for students in need.
- A new mandate in Santa Clara County that goes into effect on September 25 is threatening private health providers if they do not beef up coronavirus testing to meet demand. The new protocol requires the health providers to conspicuously advertise coronavirus testing both at facilities and on websites.
- Mayors from cities across the country are taking notes from Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs as they consider guaranteed minimum income programs to alleviate poverty. The Mayors for Guaranteed Income group has swelled as the coronavirus pandemic exposed the economic fragility of households, particularly among Black and Latino households.
- Face coverings have become fashion statements and some museums are selling masks with “masterpieces” from their collections.
Thursday, September 17
With just two weeks remaining in the counting period, the census response rate in California is now higher than the 2010 response rate even though coronavirus restrictions prevented door-to-door outreach and many wealthy Californians retreated to vacation homes. The response rate in Los Angeles trails far behind the statewide rate.
- Local and federal eviction moratoriums have kept millions of Americans housed during the pandemic-fueled economic crisis. However, the eviction bans threaten the livelihood of millions of independent property owners who still have mortgages on their properties. Landlord groups are now pushing for some form of direct assistance so that tenants can resume rent payments.
- Debates over face coverings continue, and in Ohio, a group of parents filed a lawsuit against the health director over the face mask requirement in schools. The lawsuit argues that the face mask requirement violates religious beliefs.
- The pandemic has fueled a massive shift towards online spending and e-commerce giant Amazon has announced a fourth hiring campaign this year alone. Amazon plans to hire 100,000 new part-time and full-time employees even as they have been criticized for unsafe working conditions and poor delivery standards.
- A top health official from the University of California stated that the Winter season is a concern and would derail plans to phase students back starting January. The health official announced on Wednesday that the university system will need to continue with reduced on-campus capacity and mostly virtual classes through September 2021.
- Wildfires ravaging communities in California and across the West Coast are putting pressure on regional budgets already strained by the pandemic. Small businesses that survived the initial punch of the pandemic-fueled recession had been looking forward to reopening but many were decimated in fires or face new challenges.
- This op-ed by a grocery worker who got sick with COVID-19 highlights a common thread among the 1,185 people in her union that have gotten sick since the pandemic erupted. Union workers are hoping for the establishment of worker-led public health councils that would allow them to express safety concerns without fear of retaliation from their employers.
- In Ventura County, 42 youth at a youth state prison have tested positive for COVID-19. Intakes at the facility were first paused in March but resumed in late May until they were temporarily blocked again following the recent outbreak.
- The city of Berkeley has joined the growing list of cities imposing fines for people who do not wear face coverings in public. The mask mandate requires people to wear a face covering when they are within 30 feet of another person.
- Structural issues with the Payment Protection Program left many small businesses – those predominantly owned by Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)– out of the federal loan program. Even as BIPOC small business owners continue to struggle to keep their businesses afloat, many are still finding ways to support their communities.
- Architects have long designed workplaces that support human health but which short-term fixes will stick? This article outlines how architects are redesigning the office for the next 100-year flu.
Wednesday, September 16
Today the CDC unveiled a broad plan for distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine to all Americans for free, when it becomes available. However, the CDC Director reported that the vaccine would not be widely available until next year; also noting that the single most powerful public health tool for prevention, currently available, is wearing a mask.
- Unemployment has skyrocketed during the pandemic and new data are showing that the impact on young workers has been significant. Even though young people make up less than a quarter of the labor force, they have accounted for about a third of the rise in the unemployment rate between February and April. There are also disparities by education and race, Black and Latino workers with lower levels of education have been hit harder compared to White and college-educated workers.
- Weddings have been linked to outbreaks over the last few months and a recent wedding in Maine illustrates how easily COVID-19 can spread. A wedding in Maine has now been linked to 160 coronavirus cases and five fatalities. Cases have occurred at nursing homes and jails, often introduced into those settings by staff who attended the wedding.
- As fires continue to rage across California, many people are experiencing problems with breathing and have symptoms such as a cough and a sore throat, that mirror the symptoms of COVID-19. Hospitals and clinics in the regions hardest hit by the wildfires are reporting an increase in patients with these types of symptoms which are most likely due to smoke inhalation. Many of these facilities are already strapped for COVID-19 supplies, but have to rule out coronavirus, as a first step.
- Today, during a weekly media briefing, the Director of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly warned that Halloween would look quite different and that trick or treating is not advised this year. Many counties throughout the state are putting county-specific guidelines in place, as well.
- Although the state is seeing a downward trend in coronavirus cases and fatalities, this past week has been the deadliest of the pandemic in the Bay Area. On Tuesday the region recorded a daily death record with 37 fatalities in the nine counties, Alameda County recorded a record setting 24 fatalities.
- Even though number of coronavirus cases are moving in a promising direction, officials in Los Angeles are warning against lifting COVID-19 restrictions until a review of Labor Day weekend data are available. This comes amid pressure from businesses and other officials to reopen businesses that have remain shuttered.
- A new study published by National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has found communities of color have been hit hardest financially by COVID-19; and 72% of Latino households are reporting serious financial strain to both incomes and savings.
- Not long ago the Scandinavian concept of Hygge-- creating home spaces and social situations that elicit comfort and coziness was trending. Now, some are turning attention to Norway and the concept of "friluftsliv," translated literally as “open air living.” This is a deeply ingrained cultural concept in Norway that means time spent outdoors is valued and enjoyed, regardless of the weather. Check out this article which explores this concept and how it might help us all manage the upcoming winter months amid the pandemic.
Tuesday, September 15
Earlier this year a number of European nations were hard hit by the coronavirus and endured lengthy lockdowns to manage outbreaks. Countries managed risks differently and new approaches to the pandemic are emerging including rather than shut down completely, learning to live with the coronavirus.
- Last year median household incomes in the U.S. grew by 6.8% to $68,700 and poverty declined to 10.5%, the lowest since in 1959, according to an annual report from the U.S. Census. The pandemic hit and tens of millions of people have lost work and unemployment reached the highest levels since the Great Depression. The report also indicates median household income rose for every racial group.
- The good signs surrounding COVID-19 continue with just over 3.5% of all COVID-19 tests in the state coming back positive. This is the lowest rate on record since the state started reporting this data in late March.
- Many parents fearing distance learning, are having their children opt out of kindergarten and in some cases, stay in preschool another year. Kindergarten is optional in California and a number of the larger school districts are reporting big drops in enrollment compared to previous years. For students who qualify for subsidized early childhood programs like Head Start another year of preschool is not an option and those children may instead be at home with family.
- San Diego County received $20 million in CARES Act funding to support small businesses and today the County Board of Supervisors will vote on how to allocate these resources. This will provide relief for thousands of San Diego businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses and nonprofits will be able to use the resources for things like rent, payroll and buying personal protective equipment.
- Once in-person school resumes Los Angeles Unified School District has announced a website that will provide detailed information about coronavirus outbreaks on individual school campuses and the classroom level This is part of the district’s previously announced testing and contact tracing program of students, staff and their families.
- Last Spring school districts across the country quickly pivoted to distance learning and as the pandemic has continued and negatively impacted state budgets, thousands of teachers have been laid off. This is occurring just as many districts have begun to hire more teachers of color. These lay-offs are hitting these teachers first as they often lack tenure, hurting the diversity of the teaching workforce.
- Has the pandemic got you worried about what ingredients the best hand sanitizers contain? Do you wonder about the different coronavirus tests out there? Do you think about using face shields instead of a mask? To get some of your questions answered, check out Viral Questions, which is updated regularly.
Monday, September 14
No one know exactly when the novel coronavirus was circulating in the US but, the pandemic “officially” began in the United States, in mid-March. Now, six months later, the United States continues to grapple with the impact and uncertainty of the pandemic, read more in Virus America, six months in: Disarray, dismay, disconnect.
- In spite of orders by the Governor of Nevada and in opposition to federal guidance, President Trump held a campaign rally indoors on Sunday. While masks were encouraged, few people wore them at the rally and participants did not observe social distancing guidelines.
- There are numerous concerns about the negative impact the pandemic is and will continue to have on education systems. A report released last week from the Economic Policy Institute identifies some of the educational opportunity gaps that have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and also provides recommendations to begin to address some of the adverse impacts COVID-19 has had on the education system. The report can be found here.
- There have been 6,565,500 people infected with the coronavirus and at least 194,200 have died in the United States.
- Disparities in school re-openings are becoming a concern in California as school campuses in more affluent areas with lower infection rates begin to reopen. Other districts that serve largely low-income Latino students have begun the school year remotely. Children in these districts are also less likely have needed devices and more likely to have limited or no Wi-Fi access.
- There have been 764,136 people infected with coronavirus and at least 14,435 have died in California.
- In a bit of promising news, daily hospitalizations due to coronavirus continued to decline over the weekend in Los Angeles County. Approximately 800 people were hospitalized with the virus countywide, 35% in the ICU a significant decline from previous weeks. The new numbers bring the numbers down to the pre-surge levels of the recent summer months.
- Many believe that pandemic has exacerbated the already existing inequalities in the U.S., including the extreme income inequality. A new working paper from RAND Corporation researchers estimates that over the last four decades there has been an upward distribution of $50 trillion that has not “lifted up all boats” in the United States. Check out this thought provoking Op-Ed which explores this new research, how a more equitable distribution might have improved the situation for many during the pandemic, and what should be done to move forward and address these inequalities.
- The pandemic has created a demand for Personal Protective Equipment worldwide and inventors are responding to the need. To learn more read Covid-19 Has Designers Reimagining Personal Protective Equipment.
Friday, September 11
Today, many in the country are remembering the events of September 11. In New York City they are commemorating 9/11 in the aftermath of last Spring’s COVID-19 outbreak and the continuing risks posed by the virus.
- Due to numerous questions about the integrity and independence of the vaccine process and approval of treatment protocols, a group of eight FDA career officials published an opinion column promising to uphold scientific integrity and following science to protect the public’s health during the pandemic.
- There have been 6,426,300 people infected with coronavirus and at least 191,800 have died in the United States.
- During the pandemic there have been serious concerns about the increase in hunger, particularly among vulnerable populations. As shelter-in-place orders went into effect last Spring, many seniors in California began receiving food boxes of non-perishables or dried food items. At that time the federal government waived the requirement to include cheese, and allowed the use private companies for delivery, rather than require seniors pick up the boxes. In July, the waiver ended and now tens of thousands needy seniors have been cut off and California has seen an immediate 30% drop in the number of seniors receiving their monthly food aid through the program.
- The largest COVID-19 fine imposed on a business by the State was issued to Overhill Farms, located in Vernon California. The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed penalties of over $400,000 to two companies associated with Overhill Farms, stating that both companies “failed to install barriers, ensure workers practiced physical distancing and train employees on the dangers of the virus”.
- There have been 751,523 people infected with coronavirus and at least 14,100 have died in California.
- This week Los Angeles County leaders together with the mayors of the cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Pasadena unveiled a new contact tracing app to fight coronavirus. The mobile app, called Citizen SafePass is capable of notifying residents when they have been exposed to the novel coronavirus. Leaders assured the public that personal information used for contact tracing will remain private and is encrypted.
- After some initial excitement that schools might be able to reopen sometime this Fall in Los Angeles, the county public health director announced yesterday that schools in LA County will not be allowed to fully reopen until at least November. However, the small in-person classes announced last week for English language learners and students with disabilities will still move forward as announced with an estimated 200,000 students back on school campuses.
- The wildfires throughout the state have been incredibly challenging and in some places the air quality has been so bad that counties are making adjustments to pandemic-related orders. In Butte County, an emergency OK has been given to restaurants to reopen on a temporary basis due to the poor air quality and pollution caused by the wildfires.
- This week the Committee for Greater LA, USC’s Equity Research Institute and UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs released No Going Back: Together for an Equitable and Inclusive Los Angeles. The report focuses on the myriad ways COVID-19 has impacted Los Angeles with a focus on communities of color. The report proposes 10 guiding principles that advance an agenda focused on greater racial equity to “reinvent Los Angeles”, post COVID-19.
- The pandemic has caused numerous conversations and debates about masks, and there is lots of contradictory information about mask-wearing. To help address some of the challenges, Berkeley Media Studies Group has developed a resource guide, check out: Tips for communicating about masks in the midst of misinformation.
Thursday, September 10
- A leader in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine has paused its standard review process while the company investigates a “potentially unexplained illness” in a patient. The announcement came on the same day nine drug-makers issued a pledge to uphold strict ethical and scientific standards in developing a coronavirus vaccine.
- The Sturgis motorcycle rally was attended by 500,000 people and has already been linked to one death and COVID-19 cases in at least twelve states. Now some economists are predicting that the rally could be responsible for 250,000 new COVID-19 cases.
- Meltblown textile, a raw material essential for personal protective equipment including face masks, is running out. This 3-minute video shows how the domestic production is necessary to maintain the supply chain.
- Varying financial resources and access to testing equipment is creating disparities in COVID-19 testing policies in California’s higher education institutions. Twelve of 23 Cal States do not have COVID-19 testing on campus meanwhile private universities such as USC are testing all undergraduates on campus weekly and Stanford will allow students to get tested twice a week.
- As school superintendents across the state debate how and when to reopen schools for in-person instruction, each region faces its own unique challenges. Fresno Unified has developed 19 different plans while the San Bernardino City Unified School District’s biggest challenge is transportation and other districts such as Oakland Unified and Calaveras Unified face an uphill battle with teachers that are hesitant to return to the classroom.
- The California Supreme Court denied the Orange County Board of Education’s bid to reopen schools for in-person instruction. Elementary schools in the county can continue to apply for waivers that would allow them to reopen.
- The Acting State Health Officer is urging people who attended a religious concert in Sacramento to quarantine and closely monitor for coronavirus symptoms. Over 3,000 concertgoers attended the outdoor event and few appeared to wear masks.
- The city of San Pablo, located in Contra Costa County, has a high Latino population has the highest coronavirus cases in the county. Many of the residents work in essential jobs such as food service, construction, and landscaping and 23% live in overcrowded conditions compared to 6% of households across the county.
- A new survey shows that nearly half of U.S. households are facing financial problems during the pandemic. The financial struggles are more acute among Black and Latino households where depending on the city, 50 – 80% reported serious financial problems such as inability to pay rent.
- Many parents share that helping their children with Common Core math methods is more daunting than providing them with Zoom tech support during distance learning. The standardized teaching method rolled out in 2010 and parents are teaching their children the way they were taught or teaching themselves first via YouTube videos.
Wednesday, September 9
Orange, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Placer, and Amador counties were reclassified into a tier that allows for more businesses to ease restrictions and open in a limited capacity. Counties in the “substantial” tier can reopen indoor dining and movie theatres at 25% capacity, fitness centers at 10% capacity, and retail at 50% capacity. There are now fourteen counties in the “substantial” tier.
- New research shows that only 15% of students who qualify for free or reduced meals are getting the meals. With more parents returning to work, the most common problem is that students cannot get to the meal distribution centers when districts do offer the meals. The troubling research is worrisome as the lack of access to meals can lead to increased childhood hunger.
- The first ten minutes of this podcast explores the dangers of relaxing safety standards and approving a COVD-19 vaccine too rapidly. The World Health Organization has warned that a vaccine that is only moderately effective could worsen the pandemic.
- Advancements in contact tracing technology face a fundamental dilemma when it comes to protecting user privacy. Most contact tracing apps use location tracking technology and in countries where privacy is highly valued people are less likely to use the technology, making it less effective. Contact tracing apps have yet to be rolled out in a large scale in the U.S.
- California’s statewide coronavirus infection rate and hospitalizations are showing a promising decline. Seven counties are on track to be reclassified to a less restrictive tier next week if low infection rates are maintained.
- An evolving federal timeline for the massive rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available is revealing the unique logistical challenges of diverse and large states such as California.
- The on campus coronavirus infection at San Diego State University reached 400 on Tuesday. San Diego County is struggling to remain on the “substantial” tier of the state’s reopening list.
- Beloved Halloween activities have been cancelled in Los Angeles County according to new public health guidelines. Instead of trick-or-treating, the new health order suggests car parades, online parties, and drive-in movies as activities that will help keep coronavirus cases down during the holiday.
- Latinos are seeing the slowest pandemic economic recovery and still face a high unemployment rate. The industries where Latinos are overrepresented, such as hospitality and retail, have taken the longest to recover from shutdowns.
- Are you still wiping down groceries after every shopping trip or takeout containers from every delivery? Evolving COVID-19 research shows that the risk of contracting the virus from surfaces is exceedingly small. To date, no reported cases have been linked to surface spread.
Tuesday, September 8
Even though many leaders urged Americans to avoid parties and large crowds over the Labor Day weekend, the end of summer nevertheless has many health officials worried about post-holiday outbreaks of coronavirus.
- As colleges and universities have begun reopening, a new wave of activism has emerged as many workers fight a return to campus due to COVID-related safety concerns. Employees have taken actions including filing lawsuits and engaging in protests to challenge decisions to reopen.
- There are increasing concerns about the potential collision of COVID-19 with this year’s flu season. The CDC has taken steps to provide more and purchased 9 million flu shots this year to provide to states, in typical years the number is 900,000.
- There have been 6,323,900 people infected with coronavirus and at least 189,900 have died in the United States.
- With fires raging across the state and the ongoing COVID-19 struggles continuing, yesterday the state began sending out an extra $900 to those unemployed due to the pandemic. However, many of the unemployed will not receive the resources immediately and still others, don’t qualify at all for these resources.
- Meatpacking has long been considered an extremely dangerous job, where workers in the sector are 9.5 times more likely to die on the job and amputations happen on average two times per week. The pandemic has made the job worse for many workers, as worksites have often not adequately provided protective equipment or sufficient distancing between workers.
- There have been 740,512 people infected with coronavirus and at least 13,763 have died in California.
- As more comes to light about the conditions giving rise to the COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin, dental services are a focus of attention. Dentists working at the prison facility now say their pleas to reduce risk of COVID-19 spread were ignored. Shortly after the state’s shutdowns last spring, the California Dental Association ordered all dentists to suspend non-essential non-emergency procedures. However, dentists at San Quentin were ordered to continue routine screenings of inmates being transferred from jail; putting both inmates and dental staff at risk.
- Check out the latest Racial Data dashboard from the COVID Tracking Project. The dashboard includes topline data from the project’s race and ethnicity dataset, by state and territory, and is updated twice weekly.
- There are lots of questions about COVID-19 and one of the most common involves if having it provides future immunity. Because it is so new it has been unclear if reinfection could occur and how the body might respond. Recently there have been at least two documented cases of reinfection that differed in impact on each individual. Check out this article to see what questions researchers are trying to answer about reinfection.
- Some experts have heightened concerns about the confluence of potential problems emerging this fall resulting from COVID-19, seasonal flu, other vaccine preventable illnesses and natural disasters. Check out this Op-Ed which provides some ideas for how the country can effectively plan for these potential challenges.
Friday, September 4
The unemployment rate fell in August in the U.S. to 8.4%, this is down from the previous month’s 10.2%. However, the economy has only recovered about half of the 22 million jobs that disappeared at the outset of the pandemic in early Spring.
- As the pandemic continues companies that employ office workers are rethinking how and where employees work, this is contributing to a meltdown of the service economy which is having the greatest impact on low wage workers.
- Gunfire is typically the highest cause of death while on the job for those in law enforcement, but this year, death due to coronavirus infection contracted while on the job is higher. Coronavirus has led to a confirmed 100 police officer fatalities and is on track to surpass the 9/11 attacks as the single largest incident cause of death for law enforcement.
- There have been 6,173,3000 people infected with the coronavirus and at least 186,800 have died in the United States.
- A new analysis from the California Policy Lab reports that nearly 200,0000 unemployed Californians are missing out on the $300 benefit from the Administration’s Lost Wages Assistance Program. This is largely due to eligibility rules requiring unemployed workers receive at least $100 to qualify for the extra resources and many workers are receiving less than that. The workers that do quality, are receiving $575 per week, which in California, is categorized as poverty-level benefits as the threshold for being very poor is $828.50 per week.
- With Labor Day weekend upon us concerns are heightened that a spike in new coronavirus outbreaks in California will follow. The outbreaks over the summer occurred following Memorial Day and the Fourth of July holidays. Health officials are hoping that these recent experiences will serve as reminders to Californians to be cautious over the long weekend.
- There have been 726,420 people infected with coronavirus and at least 13,499 have died in California.
- Currently San Diego has coronavirus cases that are low enough to meet the state’s guidelines for reopening theatres, museums and indoor dining. This has put San Diego in a class by itself among California’s 58 counties where most remain in the highest tier of the state’s new color-coded system for reopening.
- The California Division of Occupational Health and Safety has ordered the dental clinic at San Quentin Prison closed citing unsafe practices that are increasing risk for COVID-19 for workers at the facility. More than 2,200 inmates as well as 300 employees have been infected by coronavirus and 26 inmates have died.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has brought issues of health and racial equity to the forefront. Check out this round-up of initiatives in different parts of the country, where health care, government and community organizations are working to dismantle racist systems and improve patient trust in health care systems.
- As we move towards Autumn more and more of our time is likely to be spent indoors. Check out this video that offers tips for how to protect yourself and minimize risk of contracting coronavirus.
Thursday, September 3
Vaccines seem to be the topic of the day with one vaccine trial is showing early promising results around safety and efficacy and the CDC instructing public health departments to prepare for distribution as soon as late October. However, there are concerns about this timeline. Health officials worry the nation is not ready for a COVID-19 vaccine, and public health departments cite a lack of resources, personnel and tools to inform people effectively and distribute the vaccine successfully.
- During the pandemic hunger has increased significantly and more and more Americans are food insecure. Take a look at this moving photo essay from the New York Times exploring food insecurity among Americans across the United States.
- The pandemic induced recession and a surge in borrowing by the government has now put the U.S. on a debt path not seen since World War II. In spite of this, economists continue to encourage borrowing by the government to help fuel the economy.
- The current wildfires in California simultaneously occurring during the pandemic have brought to light the state’s reliance on prison labor to fight fires. Check out these remarkable stories shared with The Marshall Project from some former prisoners who have been fighting wildfires.
- Yesterday as Governor Newsom unveiled the new plan for reopening he mentioned that the state may be considering “equity” as a reopening requirement. Secretary of Health and Human Services Mark Ghaly further stated the health equity benchmarks would be made public soon.
- Earlier this week a plant in the Central Valley town of Livingston was closed down after a COVID-19 outbreak resulted in 392 workers testing positive and 8 deaths. However, there are concerns because the plant does not appear to have closed and the United Farm Workers, the union representing poultry workers at the plant, have issued demands for worker safety and threatened a strike.
- Los Angeles is moving towards reopening on multiple fronts. Schools in the county can open small in-person classes for students with disabilities and English language learners. Additionally, under newly released plans, hair salons can now open for indoor services in LA County but malls and shops cannot.
- COVID-19 is impacting communities of color in myriad ways –everything from rates of infection to school resources to access and participation in vaccine trials. Take 10 minutes to listen to Dr. Uche Blackstock break down racial disparities and COVID-19 here.
- Due to the pandemic, this year’s election is posing challenges. Some states have gone the route of almost entirely mail-in processes and some states will continue with traditional in person elections or hybrid models. In most cases there will continue to be a need for poll workers and several states are facing shortages. To help with the situation Old Navy has announced that it will pay store employees to work election polls in November.
Wednesday, September 2
State and local municipalities have taken steps to stop evictions during the pandemic and now, the CDC has announced a temporary halt to evictions nationwide through December, for people who have become unemployed as a result of the pandemic.
- Coronavirus spread across the Sun Belt over the last two months has caused more than 35,000 deaths. Even though cases are decreasing, concerns are emerging that infections could heat up again following Labor Day with school and colleges reopening and possibly, sports resuming. Experts are also warning the fall could be more bleak, suggesting families plan for Thanksgiving by Zoom.
- Testing for coronavirus has been done in most cases via nasal swab, an uncomfortable experience for most people. But alternatives are starting to emerge and two new studies have found that saliva tests can detect coronavirus infection. This will likely expand testing options as these tests could be administered more easily and wouldn’t need to be administered at a testing center.
- As schools begin to reopen, some parents are making different choices for their children about schools. An increasing number of parents are opting to move kids to private schools during the pandemic, this could cause public schools to struggle even more and exacerbate educational inequalities.
- Following significant data challenges in the state which caused a distortion of test results, the state is planning to unveil a new COVID-19 reporting system in October. The state believes the new system will help close some of the current demographic information gaps.
- As California ventures into a new tiered system of reopening, the state is facing backlash by critics who believe the new system doesn’t take into account businesses that could operate safely even in counties with high numbers of cases.
- There are many concerns about how to successfully hold an election during a pandemic. Orange County is going to try something new: drive-thru voting at the Honda Center arena in Anaheim. The arena will serve as a one-stop voting center allowing residents to drop off ballots, vote inside or from their vehicles
- A recent study is underscoring the scale of racial inequalities in mortality and life expectancy in the United States. The study, is showing that racial inequality may be as deadly as COVID-19, finding that an additional 1 million White Americans would have to die this year in order for their life expectancy to fall to the best-ever levels recorded for Black Americans.
- Check out Harvard University’s effort to document the impact of COVID-19 on Black America, including an Instagram profile: Black COVID Tales .
- A new study out from the Journal of American Medicine has found that almost a quarter of people in the United States are experiencing symptoms of depression, nearly three times more than before the pandemic began. People with low-incomes or who have lost jobs or have lost a loved one are more likely to be exhibiting symptoms. To learn more, check out Pandemic’s Emotional Hammer Hits Hard.
Tuesday, September 1
Governor Newsom signed a bill banning evictions for tenants that did not pay rent as a result of the pandemic between March and August, but does not forgive missed payments. The bill also protects tenants from evictions through January 2021 if they pay 25% of the rent they owe.
- Airlines are permanently dropping some fees as they attempt to lure customers back to air travel after seeing severe drops in revenue from the pandemic. Flight change fees can cost customers up to $200 and Delta and United have both pledged to drop the costly fee.
- Uber has required riders to wear face masks since May, but they will now be enforcing the policy more strictly. If a driver reports that a rider was not wearing a facemask during a trip, the rider will be required to submit a selfie wearing a face mask before they can take another trip.
- With many elderly people dropping out as poll workers over fears of contracting COVID-19, recruitment campaigns are working to recruit a new cohort of young poll workers, including many from college campuses. In some cities, flocks of people are voluntarily applying for the opportunity.
- On the last day of the legislative session, a California assembly member brought her one-month old newborn to the Assembly floor after not qualifying for a high-risk coronavirus waiver which would have allowed her to vote remotely. Senate members were allowed to vote remotely.
- In San Diego, indoor businesses began to reopen on Monday but new public health orders require business to keep logs of everyone they serve to facilitate future contact tracing. Some residents and local government officials believe the uneven nature of restrictions, which are based on risk-level, will hurt many businesses.
- UC Santa Barbara has scaled back its reopening plans this fall following outbreaks in colleges and universities across the country. UC Santa Barbara will not offer any in-person courses except for lab classes and on-campus housing will only be available to students with special circumstances.
- Kindergarten enrollment is down 14% in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The district superintendent cites that the largest drop in enrollment is in the lowest income households, signaling that the families may lack the ability to provide full-time support to young learners.
- Learning hubs are emerging as an alternative to remote learning; the hubs offer free childcare, Wi-Fi and help with schoolwork. This 8-minute podcast explores how students of color and low-income are mostly learning at home and are unable to access these types of options.
- A picture of two young girls from Salinas Valley doing school work while sitting at a Taco Bell parking lot went viral last week; the image depicted the digital divide faced by low-income families across the country. Local school district officials have confirmed that the two students now have hotspots to access the coursework from home.
Monday, Aug. 31
On Friday, Governor Newsom unveiled a new plan to reopen the economy that scraps the state’s county watchlist. In its place is a color-coded tier system that offers guidance on business reopenings based on the number of new cases and positivity rates in each county.
- Consumer spending, a major driver in the U.S. economy, bounced back in July with a 1.9% increase from June. Economists warn that consumer spending may have dropped the gain during August when supplemental unemployment benefits expired.
- Federal lawmakers are urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide guidelines on safe community activities during Halloween amid the pandemic. Lawmakers anticipate that people will engage in unsafe activities without guidance.
- Connecticut has extended its COVID-19 emergency declaration until February 2021. The declaration will allow the state to use emergency powers to swiftly respond to outbreaks.
- Data and metrics drive the experience of Instacart’s workforce and some employees predict that “reliability incidents” may be leading to the 5 – 20% of firings happening weekly. COVID-19 heightened the demand for grocery delivery and the popular app recorded its first profit in April.
- There have been 6,081,372 people infected with coronavirus and at least 185,870 have died in the United States.
- Many businesses were allowed to reopen starting Monday, including barbershops and hair salons, at a reduced capacity. As public health officials review the governors new reopening guidelines, some counties are choosing to keep some businesses closed.
- Though California is steadily reducing coronavirus infection and hospitalization rates, August was the deadliest month since the pandemic began.
- There have been 707,858 people infected with coronavirus and at least 12,975 have died in California.
- A poultry processing plant in Merced County will temporarily close so that the facility can be deep cleaned and employees can be tested for coronavirus. Nearly 400 employees tested positive for COVID-19 following a large outbreak and at least eight employees have died.
- California State University, Chico has cancelled all in-person courses and ordered students living in student housing to vacate by September 6. Thirty coronavirus cases were linked to the campus and influenced the decision by the university president.
- An op-ed in the California Health Report presents that a national strategy is necessary to help communities of color get through the pandemic, including access to health care, access to personal protective equipment and a national testing and tracing effort.
- Runners will participate in this year’s Boston Marathon via an interactive mobile app. Registered runners will be encouraged to run the 26.2 miles on their own and share their finish time experience on the app.
Friday, Aug. 28
On Wednesday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a rapid COVID-19 testing device that provides a generated readout similar to pregnancy tests. The sensitivity of the test is below the gold standard of COVID-19 tests, but the upside is that the new test is repeatable and can deliver results in minutes. The test will need to be administered by a doctor, nurse or occupational health professional.
- Most principals are now responsible for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of new novice educators: parents and caregivers. While some students have parents at home that are helping them for an average of thirteen hours a week, some students have parents that are essential workers or face barriers in helping with assignments or technology.
- The Department of Justice has carried out its first federal executions since 2003. The department’s decision to carry out executions this summer is striking considering the global pandemic and the potential for the executions, which brings together hundreds of people, to be super spreader events.
- Officials in Texas and Louisiana are grappling with the Hurricane Laura evacuations. COVID-19 limited the use of congregate shelters and evacuees found hotels at capacity. In some cases, hotels are facing staffing shortages and are not able to accommodate more evacuees.
- There have been 5,945,031 people infected with coronavirus and at least 182,923 have died in the United States.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture will now only reimburse school districts for meals given to students who qualify for free or reduced meals. At the start of school closures in March, many districts were able to provide meals to all students and some districts gave meals to adults. Reduced USDA funding complicates meal distribution and puts food security at risk for low-income families.
- The summer surge in COVID-19 cases is starting to decline, including deaths and hospitalizations. On Friday, Governor Newsom is expected to release an outline on reopening the economy further but health officials are preparing to see a rise in cases among young people and low-wage essential workers.
- There have been 692,805 people infected with coronavirus and at least 12,695 have died in California.
- The city of Sacramento has allocated nearly all its federal coronavirus relief funds. The largest chunk of the funding was allocated for small business assistance and the second round of outreach pooled a more diverse base of business owners and business types.
- On Wednesday, Los Angeles County reported its first COVID-19 cases in newborns. Over 1,200 pregnant women and girls from the county have tested positive for COVID-19. Little is known about how COVID-19 is transmitted from mother to newborn.
- Students in some rural schools already had their educations disrupted by the pandemic, and then the wildfires ravaged their communities. In rural Santa Cruz, wildfires forced schools to pause distance learning and halted plans to distribute technology and supplies to students.
- Terence Layne, bus operator for over 20 years and shop steward, shares his story of how bus operators helped New York survive the coronavirus epidemic. At the height of the pandemic, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) employees were dying at a higher rate than other New Yorkers. Blacks and Latinos make up two thirds of Local 100’s MTA employees.
- Office furniture is now on the list of COVID-19 fueled shortages. With a majority of students now doing distance learning, demand for office furniture has soared and parents have had to get creative with their classroom setups at home.
Thursday, Aug. 27
The labor department reported today another 1 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance benefits last week. There has only been one week so far since the pandemic begin in March, where there have been fewer than a million claims.
- There are widespread concerns as a result of the pandemic there will be shortages of poll workers in states where in-person voting will be an option. Even in states where there is an expansion of vote-by mail there are concerns about the number of people who will still opt to go to polling places. To help address these challenges basketball star LeBron James is leading a multi-million effort to recruit poll workers for the 2020 elections.
- Since the start of the pandemic employers have had to make adjustments to operations and many have been attacked on numerous fronts--everything from not enforcing social distancing or requiring masks, to not provide protective equipment to workers. Businesses fear being blamed for spread and potential litigation when infections do occur. To learn more, check out: Workers and customers are catching COVID-19. Should businesses escape blame?
- On Wednesday Governor Newsom announced a new state testing plan where California could see a quarter-million coronavirus tests a day. This will double the number of tests that can be processed and will provide results within two days, and increase the ability of local public health officials to isolate those that test positive and engage in follow up with those exposed. Yesterday, California also publicly opposed the CDC over looser coronavirus testing and travel protocols.
- Due to challenges in managing federal funds effectively in the past, and outdated technological programs, the California State Auditor designated the State’s management of federal COVID-19 funding as a high-risk issue. As a result, 18 agencies responsible for managing a portion of the more than $71 billion federal coronavirus funds will be monitored.
- In San Bernardino, five elementary schools received their waiver to have in-person classes but have not yet reopened. San Bernardino County remains on the state watchlist so local middle schools and high schools remain closed for in-person instruction.
- Contra Costa County and seven of the nine Bay Area counties continue to be on the state’s COVID-19 watch list. However, on Wednesday, gyms, massage studios in Contra Costa County got clearance to do business outside. The new order also includes nail salons, and other small businesses that were shut down due to COVID-19.
- Back in June the Morehouse School of Medicine received significant funding to take up the fight against COVID-19 with comprehensive approaches in the hardest hit communities. To learn more about this three-year effort, check out this article and interviewwith Daniel E. Dawes, director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse.
- Future forecasting and scenarios about the pandemic continue, and what is clear is this: the coronavirus is here and is part of our future. To learn more about what scientists are predicting for the next few months and years, take 11 minutes to read: How the pandemic might play out in 2021 and beyond.
Wednesday, Aug. 26
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its coronavirus testing guidelines and states that asymptomatic people who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 do not necessarily have to be tested. The new guidelines have left doctors puzzled, given that the agency estimates that 50% of COVID-19 transmission occurs before symptoms appear.
- Coronavirus outbreaks are happening in college campuses around the country. Though seen as reckless by many, a deep dive at psychological development shows that young college students depend on social connections to build their identities and are wired to be higher risk takers, which may explain why students continue to socialize amid the pandemic.
- The pandemic has the potential to worsen child poverty and a generation of low-income children may bear the brunt of the economic crisis and chronic stress for decades. Child allowances may be one way to support the future of the coronavirus generation.
- With Hurricane Laura making its way towards Texas and Louisiana, many residents are being ordered to evacuate immediately and seek shelter. Testing teams will be deployed to shelters and evacuees will be provided with personal protective equipment. An increased number of hotels will be used for shelter because of the pandemic.
- COVID-19 cases from people that attended the 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally have been confirmed in eight states. The event attracted hundreds of thousands of people from across the country.
- With just a few days left in the legislative year, on Wednesday the California Senate cancelled its floor session following the announcement of a COVID-19 case in an unnamed person. The Assembly will proceed with hearings on floor sessions as planned.
- Over 35,000 Californians have filed a COVID-19 workers’ compensation claim since the pandemic began and the families of at least 140 workers have applied for death benefits. Imperial County has the highest rate of claims and across the state, health care workers comprised about 40% of the compensation claims.
- In San Diego, elementary schools with approved waivers have started to reopen. See how one private elementary school, which paid $40,000 for plexiglass desk barriers, is handling their reopening this week. Middle schools and high schools in the county may begin to reopen on September 1 if they stay off the governor’s watchlist.
- Coronavirus cases are dropping steadily in Los Angeles County, and with the rate below 200 per 100,000 cases, elementary schools are preparing for when waiver applications are made available to reopen for in-person instruction.
- Some Bay Area companies site that their inability to predict future reopening guidelines by state and local governments has led them to switch from furloughs to layoffs for large numbers of employees.
- During the pandemic, Black and Hispanic homeowners were significantly more likely to miss or defer mortgage payments than white households. According to the Household Pulse Survey, 1 in 5 Black and Hispanic homeowners missed or deferred their June mortgage payment.
- Have you been eating a lot of pizza lately? You’re not alone. While many restaurants have suffered during the pandemic, many pizza chains are seeing growth and increased revenue.
Tuesday, Aug. 25
After weeks of surges in different parts of the country, the tide is turning a bit on COVID-19, providing some hopeful news: new coronavirus diagnoses are on the decline in the U.S. However, there continues to be 1,000 deaths each day in the United States.
- On Monday, as many schools began remote learning nationwide, outages hit Zoom causing technical issues across the U.S. with the greatest number of reports coming from the East Coast.
- After an early summer surge hit much of the United States it now appears to be slowing, but officials warn of troubling Covid-19 signs across the heartland of the United States. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed concerns about this region getting “stuck” while other parts of the country begin to improve.
- As some White House officials have spoken about the possibility of an early release of COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Anthony has warned against premature authorization of a coronavirus vaccine. Dr. Fauci expressed concerns about the impact this could have efficacy and on the development of other vaccines.
- Data from recent weekly surveys conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau from April through July are showing the toll the pandemic is taking on the mental health of the Californians. The data show that by late July more than 44% of adult respondents reported levels of anxiety and gloom typically associated with anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder. To learn more, check out: Feeling Anxious and Depressed? You’re Right at Home in California.
- There are growing concerns about the declining availability of childcare in California. With less money and more risk, waves of child-care providers have quit. Since the original shutdowns earlier this year, some 9,300 licensed child-care providers, nearly 1 in 4, have been forced to close in California.
- Governor Newsom delivered some better news on the coronavirus front on Monday, reporting that more counties are moving off the state’s watchlist. However, California counties are stuck in limbo as they wait for Newsom’s reopening rules.
- As students head back to school, many are beginning the year in a remote classroom. However, in a rural California town, schools try something extraordinary and risky: Classrooms with children.
- New data that came out yesterday is showing there are hundreds more COVID-19 cases in Fresno County, but hospitalizations are showing a downward trend. The county’s total is now at 23,414 cases and 226 deaths.
- Even in unemployment disparities persist. National survey data from the University of Chicago is showing that during the pandemic Black workers are more likely to be unemployed but less likely to get unemployment benefits. This inequity is more damaging because Black workers are more likely not be working in the current downturn and in past recessions.
- Earlier this year there were reports about a hospital in New Mexico that was racially profiling Native American mothers and their babies by separating the mothers and testing them for coronavirus without appropriate consent. A federal investigation has now found the hospital violated patients’ rights.
- So many people are struggling economically during the pandemic, however many continue to lead with empathy and support for one another. One example occurred this past weekend in Long Beach, community members bought out the entire paleta (popsicle) inventory from a deaf Long Beach street vendor who could not continue working as a result of the pandemic.
Monday, Aug. 24
The pandemic has been full of surprises and the recent surge in cases caught many off guard and now, cases and deaths from COVID-19 are trending downward. Even though infection rates continue to be some of the highest in the world, people are wondering why cases are decreasing; experts say restrictions are working.
- After last week’s announcement that the FDA had put blood plasma treatment on hold due to limited proven data, yesterday the President announced plasma treatment was authorized for COVID-19. A Chief Scientist at the FDA said, “COVID-19 convalescent plasma should not be considered a new standard of care for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. Additional data will be forthcoming from other analyses and ongoing, well-controlled clinical trials in the coming months.”
- A new study out from UC Davis is bringing to light that social distancing varies by income and leads to another coronavirus inequity: those who can afford to stay in place and those who must move to get to jobs to sustain their livelihoods.
- There have been 5,721,900 people infected with coronavirus and at least 176,8000 have died in the United States.
- There have been a number of coronavirus outbreaks at state prisons in California. Managing the spread of infection has been of concern for months and now California prisons are overwhelmed by COVID outbreaks and approaching fires. There are reports of heavy smoke and ash near multiple state prisons making breathing difficult and increasing pleas from many for evacuation.
- Some Californians who are unemployed as a result of COVID-19 will receive an additional $300 weekly. This new funding came after FEMA approved the state’s application on Saturday. California will receive $4.5 billion under the Lost Wages Assistance program.
- There have been 670,716 people infected with coronavirus and at least 12,172 people have died in California.
- Californians, particularly people with serious health conditions, are caught in a collision of crises: fires are generating dangerous smoke amid a heatwave, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. This collision of crisesis impacting the Central Valley, with many reluctant to leave home and escape the smoky air.
- On Sunday, Orange County was removed from the State’s coronavirus watchlist. Now the county plans to work towards keeping state metrics to acceptable levels for the next two weeks and if able to do so, it is possible K-12 students could return to socially distanced classrooms after Labor Day.
- Many people have been organizing and mobilizing to increase access to parks and outdoor recreation opportunities in Black and Latino neighborhoods across the country. The pandemic is shining a light on the challenges many community members face in both accessing recreation activities and having adequate space to socially distance. Learn more about park inequities and health impacts in this article.
- Today is Kobe Bryant Day in Los Angeles. A fan who was home during the mandated lockdowns created a website and Instagram account for those wanting to see the murals that have popped up over the city and beyond but are unable to venture out due to the pandemic. To learn more about this effort check out this article; and to see the murals go to kobebryant.com.
Friday, Aug. 21
As wildfires continue to rage in parts of California, there are increasing concerns about the potential for transmission of the virus at shelters for those forced to evacuate. In non-pandemic times those facing evacuation would go to the homes of friends or family but now, to minimize risk of exposure, many are choosing to shelter in cars.
- On Thursday the federal government the numbers of people applying for unemployment climbed back up over 1 million last week. This rise is reflecting a still-struggling US economy and that employers are likely continuing to cut jobs even as reopening begins.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended for some time that every school have a nurse on site. As the new school year begins amid the ongoing pandemic, school nurses are finding themselves in demand on the virus front lines.
- According to a report released earlier this week, 1 In 5 child care jobs were lost since pandemic started, and women are affected most. Women account for 95% of the child care workforce and they are 2 ½ times more likely than in the overall workforce to be either Black or Latina.
- There have been 5,599,400 people infected with coronavirus and at least 174,300 have died in the United States.
- The last few weeks have been difficult California in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. Most notably California’s data failures have stymied efforts to curb the virus. This has impacted the more heavily populated counties which have relied on statewide electronic systems to help guide pandemic responses. Without knowing where the coronavirus was spreading tracing and tracking efforts were made more difficult.
- California’s incarcerated population has plunged to a new low during COVID-19. In an effort to limit infections, more than 6,000 inmates have been released and by the end of July there were 33,5000 fewer people incarcerated, an 18% decline. Most prisons remain far above the 50% level recommended by public health experts during the recent San Quentin outbreak.
- There have been 653,841 people infected with coronavirus and at least 11,860 people have died in California.
- As counties begin to exit the state’s COVID-19 watchlist, counties are beginning to make plans to receive waivers for reopening of schools to provide in person schooling. Orange County could exit the watch list on Saturday, which would start the countdown for in-person schooling. In Riverside County, officials could start accepting school reopening waivers next week. Even though San Bernardino is still on the state’s watchlist, 18 elementary or schools have already applied for waivers.
- The racial disparities in COVID-19 are complex and as more data become available summaries can be useful in understanding these complexities. To learn more about what is currently understood, check out: Racial Disparities in COVID-19: Key Findings from Available Data and Analysis from KFF.
- We are experiencing unprecedented challenges with COVID-19, remote work and school, heatwaves and fires. Stress is at an all–time high. Check out this helpful resource: California Surgeon General’s Playbook: Stress Relief during COVID-19, from the office of California’s Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris.
Thursday, Aug. 20
It seems like things couldn’t get more challenging in 2020, but this week California's wildfire and Covid-19 disasters have collided with almost 400 wildfires breaking out throughout the state and tens of thousands of people evacuated across Northern California.
- Meatpacking factories nationwide have experienced numerous outbreaks of coronavirus. Many companies claim that there is no way that companies could have prepared for COVID-19 but a new investigation has now brought to light that many meatpacking companies dismissed years of warnings from emergency planning experts for the food and agriculture sector at the Department of Homeland Security.
- On any given night more than half a million people are experiencing homelessness in the United States. Even though there are well-understood risks and documented outbreaks of coronavirus in jail settings, ‘over-enforcement’ during the pandemic has driven more homeless into jails.
- A strange thing has happened as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a shortage of coins that his hit retailers, laundromats, and the tooth fairy. The U.S. Mint and the treasury secretary have urged Americans to use coins or turn them into banks; unfortunately many retailers are not providing change and urging shoppers to use cards.
- The coronavirus outbreak at Folsom State Prison continues and has spread through 10% of inmates in two weeks. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 223 inmates with active COVID-19 infections and at least 15 prison employees have tested positive for the virus.
- On Wednesday Governor Gavin Newson announced California is asking the Trump administration for new $300-a-week jobless benefit. The Governor said the administration is in talks with federal officials about providing a $300 weekly supplement for the unemployed; seven other states have had similar requests approved.
- On Wednesday some promising metrics were announced as L.A. County is finally seeing declines in Latino, Black coronavirus mortality rates. Public officials reported that the county is seeing a “narrowing of the gap among victims of varying racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds”.
- With San Diego County coming off the State’s watchlist earlier this week, officials from the state and county are working on a strategy for reopening. The details of the strategy will be released next week.
- Eight months into the pandemic, there is more data available about who is being impacted and the picture is becoming even more clear— Blacks, Latinos and Native American people are nearly three times as likely to be infected with COVID-19 than their White counterparts. People of color are also more likely to die from the virus. Check out this article exploring which variables affect whether you will live, die or get help during the pandemic.
- The pandemic is seemingly changing people’s transit choices. This is being driven in part by concerns about the potential for infection in public transit systems. People are looking at options like scooters, and bicycles and in some places, cars as alternatives. Take three minutes to listen to, or read The Pandemic Is Changing How People Get Around.
Wednesday, Aug. 19
- In an effort to prevent vaccination rates from falling during the pandemic, the head of the Department of Health and Human Services announced today that pharmacists can give childhood vaccinations in all 50 states. The step was taken using emergency powers granted during the coronavirus pandemic, which was declared a public health emergency.
- People who have survived coronavirus have been donating plasma to different research sites nationally to explore if the antibodies can be used as a treatment for those infected; the data are still emerging and clinical trials have not proven whether it can help people fighting the coronavirus. As a result, the F.D.A.’s emergency approval of blood plasma has now been put on hold.
- Florida has been hit hard hit by the pandemic and is expected to meet the 10,000 COVID-19 death mark this week. Even though there are some school officials at the local level trying to delay reopenings, the Governor’s approach has been to liken reopening to a military operation, raising concerns about the effectiveness of this approach.
- Recent cell phone data shows how Las Vegas is “gambling with lives” across the country. Researchers found that over a four-day period about 26,000 devices were identified on the Las Vegas Strip and some of the same smartphones showed up in every state on the mainland except for Maine, during the same span of days. Experts believe this is one reason the virus continues to spread in the U.S.
- The Central Valley has been hard hit by the pandemic as California farming country buckles under COVID-19. Recently Governor Newsom has identified the Valley as his biggest area of concern and has dispatched “strike teams” to help local officials managing the crisis.
- In California Latinos make up 39% of the state’s population but are now account for 59% of coronavirus infections and 47% of COVID-19 deaths. This has taken a toll on Latinos and funeral homes across the state.
- There has been a statewide mask order for some time, however there is no statewide penalty for not wearing one. Many local municipalities have instituted fines for violations however, mask fines vary widely throughout California and many critics are concerned that enforcement will disproportionately impact people of color.
- Many parts of California have been challenged in implementing testing programs for COVID-19. In Sacramento County cases began to surge in late July and as people began to seek testing, key bottlenecks scrambled COVID-19 testing, which reduced capacity and slowed down results.
- The Color of Coronavirus project is tracking COVID-19 mortality and its disproportionate impact on communities of color. Check out the most recent data update of The Color of Coronavirus: COVID-19 Deaths by Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.
- A paycheck guarantee program, which is an economic relief strategy that has been effective in places like Germany, Denmark, Australia and France is now gaining attention as a way to rescue the economy and help Black workers at the same time.
- As many children face the new school year and begin the transition back to virtual classrooms and increased screen time, there are questions about how to care for the health of children’s eyes. For some useful tips, check out How to Protect Children’s Eyes During Remote Learning.
Tuesday, August 18
- As the school year begins some colleges and universities are welcoming students back for in-person classes, however, quick adjustment are being made in some places as universities are scrambling to deal with virus outbreaks. In some cases, outbreaks have been connected to congregate student housing, off-campus fraternities parties and bars.
- The water crisis in Flint Michigan has continued unaddressed for six years. The coronavirus pandemic has now exacerbated this situation and further challenged community residents. To learn and see more, check out this photo essay from the New York Times.
- A report from the American Health Care Association, the main trade association for nursing homes, announced nursing home cases are up nearly 80% in COVID-19 rebound. Long-term care facilities account for less than 1% of the U.S. population but account for more than 40% of deaths from COVID-19.
- In a sign that California might be stabilizing, community spread appears to be falling and deaths hit a low for the month. As California, is inching towards “turning the corner” Governor Newsom nears pivotal decision about reopening businesses such as gyms, churches and malls.
- The State’s Office of the Inspector General issued a report on Monday saying that faulty thermometers and untrained screeners may have let COVID-19 into prisons. The report, which focuses on screening of prison staff and “essential visitors” (e.g. attorneys) also criticizes officials from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, for withholding key COVId-19 tracking data for months.
- As of Sunday, Kern County had the second-highest per capita coronavirus infection rate in California—coming in at 723 cases per 100,0000 people in the last two weeks; by comparison, LA County had 27 cases per 100,000 people during that same period. Kern County has had 26,570 confirmed cases and 204 deaths from COVID-19. A major challenge in this county has been increasing tensions between state and local elected officials creating political battles, and confusion.
- Even though there are state health orders in place some Southern California barbers, and salon owners have defied state health orders and opened indoors. Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles remain on the state’s watch list and salon owners in the region now face stiff fines and other consequences for deciding to open doors to customers.
- On Sunday Los Angeles Unified School district announced a massive COVID-19 testing and tracing initiative for all students and staff. The district aims to create a path to safe reopening of campuses. If it proceeds as planned it will be the most sizable in the country to date, involving 500,000 students and 75,000 staff members and will cost roughly $300 per student over one year, totaling close to $150 million. UCLA, Stanford, Johns Hopkins University, Microsoft, Anthem Blue Cross and Health Net are some of the collaborative partners for this effort.
- The pandemic-induced recession has brought to light the economic fragility of many in the United States. We are now learning that the COVID-19 public health and economic crises are leaving vulnerable populations exposed, and already existing disparities are intensified among Blacks and Latinos in the U.S.
- Summertime is often a time to enjoy live music at beautiful outdoor venues. The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, a historic venue, had to cancel its 2020 season due to COVID-19. However, the LA Philharmonic Association and KCRW, a local NPR affiliate, just announced on-air broadcasts of iconic Hollywood Bowl performances, from its annual World Festival series. The broadcasts will run on Sundays between August 23 and October 11 and can be found at on KCRW 89.9 and kcrw.com.
Monday, Aug. 17
State officials froze the COVID-19 watchlist for two weeks as it dealt with a massive testing backlog. On Monday, four rural counties were added to the monitoring list and will be required to close gyms, hair salons and other businesses. Santa Cruz County was removed from the watchlist and San Diego County may be removed later this week.
- Interest in a guaranteed minimum income is growing following the economic hardship brought on by the pandemic. A group of 17 mayors, including mayors from Los Angeles and Oakland, have formed a coalition to support bringing a guaranteed minimum income to their communities.
- State and city contact tracing programs vary widely but New York City is considered a bright spot, where contact tracing appears to have already prevented thousands of coronavirus cases. There are an estimated 41,000 contact tracers across the country and the CDC estimates that 100,000 contact tracers are needed to tackle the pandemic.
- At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, public health officials and advocates feared that the virus would devastate homeless populations. Months later, the number of cases and deaths among the unhoused have remained lower than expected.
- There are 5,382,125 confirmed cases and there have been 169,986 deaths in the United States.
- Sweltering heat hit much of the Southwest and forced intermittent power shut offs over the weekend. The pandemic is exacerbating the crisis because Californians have few options to keep cool and the closure of businesses due to the coronavirus is threatening critical resources for the most vulnerable populations.
- California school districts will be allowed to bring small groups of students with disabilities or “acute needs” back to school for in-person instruction. The California Department of Public Health is expected to issue guidelines for districts in the coming week.
- There are 628,155 confirmed cases and there have been 11,277 deaths in California.
- Though the South Bay in Santa Clara County remained largely locked down due to the coronavirus, it is among the top ten metro areas with the fewest jobs lost since March. The other top-ranked communities for regaining jobs lost due to the pandemic are in the Sun Belt but they reopened businesses much sooner than the South Bay.
- Another massive house party in the Hollywood Hills was reported over the weekend. The home where the gathering took place had already received a warning for disturbing the peace. It is unclear whether law enforcement followed the mayor’s new directive to shut off utility services at homes that host large parties during the pandemic.
- Prior to COVID-19, Black families had fewer buffers to absorb economic shocks and faced severe health disparities such as higher rates of preexisting conditions like lung disease. A report from the Brookings Institute shows that these economic and health disparities have contributed to the high COVID-19 mortality rates for Black Americans.
- Everyone seems to hold New Zealand up as a model for how a country dealt with COVID-19 effectively. What measures did leaders take to be able to tackle coronavirus? To learn more about what that country did and what comes next, read: New Zealand has ‘effectively eliminated’ coronavirus. Here is what they did right.
Friday, Aug. 14
As the pandemic wears on and state and local municipalities continue to experience limited revenue and growing costs to pay for unemployment and health services concerns are growing. Economists are now warning the long-term risk of state and local budget pain could prove to be even more damaging than the recession of 2007-09.
- Contact tracing capacity has been in the news lately as states attempt to adequately follow up with contacts of those testing positive for COVID-19. National Public Radio in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security has surveyed health departments in every state on three different occasions since April. The most recent survey asked about what information is being collected and what is being made public. Check out what’s been learned so far in: 14 States Make Contact Tracing Data Public. Here's What They're Learning.
- Native Americans have been hit hard by COVID-19 and in eastern Arizona, the Apache nation has been infected more than 10 times the rate of people in the state overall. However, deaths from COVID-19 have been much lower and epidemiologists theorize that that intensive contact tracing is saving lives. The approach, which might offer a new strategy for addressing COVID in communities disproportionately impacted, is laid out by doctors from the Indian Health Service here.
- There are 5,270,900 confirmed cases and there have been 167,300 deaths in the United States.
- Even as evidence mounts that the spike in cases that began in May is beginning to slow down. California becomes the first state to pass 600,000 coronavirus cases.
- Recent COVID data failures are creating new momentum and interest in modernizing the nation’s outdated public health data system. In California, Sutter Health and UC Davis Health as well as 30 other provider organizations nationally, have launched a collaborative effort to improve data sharing on COVID-19 cases with public health departments.
- There are 603,396 confirmed cases and there have been 11,022 deaths in California.
- In spite well documented outbreaks in jails and prisons, Sacramento’s sheriff is refusing to share COVID-19 case information with the state oversight board in charge of monitoring jails in the state. This refusal is leaving public officials in the dark about how the virus has spread among inmates and staff in Sacramento jails.
- The Los Angeles Times recently surveyed 45 school districts in Southern California and has found that online learning cheats poor students, and shortchanges students of color, which could result in “potentially lasting harm” to a generation of children.
- People of color have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic in myriad ways. As the race for a vaccine for COVID-19 moves quickly forward, concerns are emerging about how to ensure access for those most impacted. To learn more, check out this opinion piece: COVID-19 Vaccine Countdown is a Wake-up call. Will Black and Brown Americans be left behind?
- Will we all remember the pandemic? For a thought-provoking exploration of collective memory, check out: The 1918 Flu Faded in Our Collective Memory: We Might ‘Forget’ the Coronavirus, Too.
Thursday, Aug. 13
A new analysis from the New York is estimating that the current data about deaths from COVID-19 have been incorrect and the true coronavirus toll in the U.S. has already surpassed 200,000.
- The pandemic has impacted everyone in countless ways but the ramifications for Black Latino, Indigenous and immigrant households has been profound and for families with children even more so. Check out this new data source, Tracking the COVID-19 Recession’s Effects on Food, Housing, and Employment Hardships, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
- Health care workers have been at increased risk of contracting to coronavirus for a few reasons, including: proximity to sick patients, repeated exposure, and shortages of PPE. Of the thousands of people who have died in the United States from coronavirus, over 900 were health care workers, and 62% were people of color. To learn more, check out: Over 900 health care workers have died from coronavirus. A new database tells their stories.
- Even though the pandemic death toll is now more than 10,000 California officials are expressing cautious optimism that coronavirus cases are moving in a downward direction, and California is ‘turning the corner’ on the second surge of the pandemic. Hospitalization rates are down 2% and ICU admissions are down over 14% in the past 14 days.
- Many families have struggled to organize around remote learning and for some families with kids that have special needs the challenges have been multifold. This has resulted in young kids with special needs missing out on services and additional supports to access the curriculum.
- There are numerous analyses are emerging about why some places have had such a serious resurgence of coronavirus cases. Los Angeles was viewed as a “model” in its response to the pandemic and as the curve flattened in early May, officials began to loosen restrictions. Staff from the LA Times have built a timeline and analysis of Los Angeles’ response to COVID-19, to learn more, read How a rush to reopen drove Los Angeles County into a health crisis.
- A recent research study reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic will exacerbate the already existing housing crisis in Kern County. To learn more about the findings, check out the Evicted in Kern handbook from Faith in the Valley.
- A newly released study exploring the impact of COVID-19 on housing in California is showing that Black, and Latino renters are far more likely to be facing housing displacement during the pandemic. The study from the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge and Ong & Associates can be found here.
- Take 26 minutes to listen to Darren Walker from the Ford Foundation explore race, economics and COVID-19 in the podcast The Economist Asks: Can Philanthropy Help save the American Dream?
- Are you trying to prepare your children for the new school year and need some answers? Take a look at: Back to school in a pandemic: Resources and news for parents.
Wednesday, Aug. 12
Today U.S. coronavirus deaths once again topped 1,000 a day, as Florida, Georgia hit records, suggesting that the four-digit single day death tolls will continue for a fourth week. In California new numbers are showing that weekly coronavirus deaths have doubled, with rural areas and suburbs hit hard, shifting the geography of this most recent outbreak.
- With much invested worldwide in the development of a vaccine for COVID-19, today it was announced that Moderna reached a deal with the U.S. for 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses. The experimental vaccine is one of a number of supply agreements that the United States has reached to stockpile vaccines that are currently being tested.
- After the lockdowns that began in the spring, many across the country were itching to get “back to” enjoyable activities such as eating out. However, emerging data is telling a story that illustrates the challenges associated with restaurant dining. Read more in The Nation Wanted to Eat Out Again. Everyone Has Paid the Price.
- A newly released study is showing that California paid a price for mask shortage in dollars and lives. An estimated 15,8000 essential workers would not have been infected with COVID-19 if the state had stockpiled a sufficient number of mask and protective equipment. The study, from the UC Berkley Labor Center can be found here.
- The significant challenges California has experienced with managing outbreaks in prison settings have been of great concern and there are challenges and lessons emerging. San Quentin’s coronavirus outbreak shows why ‘herd immunity’ could mean disaster and as California begins the process of early release for more than 11,000 largely non-violent offenders, including many with coronavirus, many are pushing for better re-entry supports.
- On Tuesday, San Bernardino reported a record 1,243 new coronavirus cases, a one-day record. The spike is believed to be due in part to technical issues with the state database.
- Two reports in the last few weeks show San Diego’s Black and Latino neighborhoods have been hit with a COVID-19 triple whammy: high infection rates, hard hit by unemployment and significant gaps in testing.
- As many families statewide begin to prepare for the new school year, numerous counties on the state’s watch list will have to begin school online. This is proving challenging in some places as rural districts still lack devices, internet access.
- It is now more widely understood that COVID-19 has, and continues to disproportionately impact communities of in the United States. Of particular concern has been the impact on the Native American community who are at risk because of limited health access, poor housing, water supplies and infrastructure. These structural issues are rooted in history and the U.S. government’s failures in complying with treaty obligations such as providing basic services in exchange for tribal land. Learn more about the challenges and some early successes and innovations in managing COVID-19 among Native Americans here.
- Are you wondering what ‘airborne coronavirus’ means, and how to protect yourself? Check out this recent modeling effort that estimates the risk of different activities measuring one potential route: those tiny particles known as aerosols. Check it out here.
Tuesday, Aug. 11
California’s test data problems started making headlines last week amid reports that coronavirus cases were declining across the state. On Sunday, the state Director of Public Health announced that she was resigning and the Governor has hinted that her departure may be due to the testing issue. On Monday, the secretary of health and human services announced that the records backlog has been resolved.
- Though deaths are still rare, over the last four weeks there has been a 90% increase in coronavirus cases among children. Severe symptoms are also still rare among children.
- Drop boxes are gaining popularity as a voting option during the pandemic. With many voters afraid to vote in-person and concerned over mail delays, more states are considering drop boxes where voters can physically submit their absentee ballots. This voting option is also drawing criticism over fraud concerns.
- Safer at home orders appear to be driving some businesses, such as gyms, underground. In this “prohibition-era” of gyms, fitness environments are likely to be less regulated and are more likely to spread coronavirus. With the end of summer looming, gym enthusiasts with less fitness options may be more likely to turn to speakeasy gyms.
- Amid the testing backlog, retroactive data will be sent to county dashboards and that data will determine which counties remain or get added to the state’s coronavirus watchlist. As the backlog of tests get processed, school districts may be able to apply for waivers to reopen elementary schools for in-person instruction.
- The pandemic is endangering an aging population already threatened by climate change. California oversees some 10,000 long-term care facilities and wildfire is a hazard for 35% of them. Few care facilities have emergency preparedness protocols in place and COVID-19 is complicating disaster planning even more.
- The Inland Empire is seeing a drop in hospitalizations for COVID-19. The drop may be due to the reinstatement of safer at home orders, more control in high-risk settings such as nursing homes and the spread of the coronavirus among younger people, which tend to show milder symptoms.
- Mayor Eric Garcetti is clashing with a police union over his directive to shut off the water and power at homes known to host large parties and are defying public health orders to curb COVID-19. A union spokesperson clarified that officers could respond to large gatherings with citations but officers fear that further involvement could spark further tension with residents.
- Rent in Los Angeles luxury buildings appears to be dropping amid the economic downturn of COVID-19. Though rents at the low end of the marketplace also seem to be dropping, the largest discounts are in the top end of the marketplace.
- Researchers continue to study the efficacy of face masks against the airborne coronavirus. A study from Duke University rated the effectiveness of various types of masks and determined that one popular face covering may be worse than wearing no mask at all.
Monday, Aug. 10
With talks of the next federal relief package at a standstill, President Trump announced four executive orders on Saturday to address the fragile economy amid the pandemic. On Sunday, the White House and congressional Democrats indicated that they would like to resume negotiations.
- The ripple effects of grief from COVID-19 loss may linger for years. The sudden deaths, inability to be around for loved one’s final moments and even untraditional burial services, complicate and exacerbate grief. In addition to grief, many families are losing vital sources of financial, social and caregiving support.
- Last week, an image of students walking in a packed hallway during their first week back in school went viral. Now the Georgia high school plans to pause in-person classes following confirmed COVID-19 cases among several students and staff.
- City leaders in Sturgis, South Dakota approved a motorcycle rally that typically draws in hundreds of thousands of people even though 60% of residents were against the event. Health officials are closely monitoring this “super spreader” event which can lead to infections in the host city and other parts of the country when tourists return home.
- Coronavirus cases are on the rise among young people in Michigan. Graduation parties, unofficial proms and other social gatherings where young people are letting their guard down are thought to be contributing to the rise in cases.
- There are 5,064,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and there have been 162,600 deaths in the United States.
- With an expired federal $600 weekly boost, unemployed Californians are struggling to make ends meet. From liquidating 401(k)s, forgiving landlords and side hustles, see how people are surviving while the federal government debates the next stimulus plan.
- The Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery has a roster of high-profile business titans yet little is known about the groups’ recommendations. Governor Newsom’s chief of staff says that Californians will see “concrete initiatives” form the group soon.
- There are 561,379 confirmed COVID-19 cases and there have been 10,379 deaths in California.
- An economic impact report of Riverside County shows that over 100,000 jobs have been lost in the area during the pandemic. The cancellation of two large music festivals alone cost the region $450 million in economic activity.
- A program that launched in April has distributed nearly $150,000 to undocumented families in the San Luis Obispo region. Though the families were eligible for the state’s Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants, many were unable to access the funding.
- Presidents from “Big Ten” colleges have reportedly voted to postpone Fall sports including football. Presidents from the Pac-12 universities, which include colleges from the West, are expected to vote on Fall sports on Tuesday.
Friday, Aug. 7
A bipartisan group of California legislators sent a letter to Governor Newsom demanding an overhaul of the Employment Development Department that oversees unemployment insurance. The legislators also demand that the governor commits to an earlier date to address the backlog of 1 million unemployment claims.
- During a required protocol before meeting with President Trump, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine tested positive for coronavirus early Thursday. In a second test taken later the same day, the governor tested negative. The two tests were different, and the discrepancy shows the problems and merits of both types of tests.
- This 16-minute podcast from MDRC explores how subsidized jobs can help disadvantaged workers recover from the coronavirus recession. Subsidized employment programs have been used to address mass joblessness since the Great Depression.
- Scam calls are on the rise and now many involve COVID-19. From robocalls about student loan relief to online phishing scams, there has been an unprecedented rise in scams during the pandemic and some 9% of U.S. consumers have been victims of fraud in the first wave of CPVOD-19.
- A Florida man was arrested for harassing and spitting on the face of a child who was wearing a mask at a restaurant and refused to take it off.
- There are 4,889,747 confirmed COVID-19 cases and there have been 159,623 deaths in the United States.
- On Thursday Governor Newsom signed a law allowing counties to consolidate polling places for the upcoming election if they open polling sites earlier and extend operating hours. The state has had difficulty identifying polling locations that would allow for social distancing.
- Once hailed a leader in addressing the pandemic, California is now the third state to surpass 10,000 coronavirus deaths.
- There are 541,695 confirmed COVID-19 cases and there have been 10,029 deaths in California.
- San Mateo County and Santa Clara County are the two counties in the Bay Area closest to being removed from Governor Newsom’s COVID-19 watchlist.
- Alameda County is considering offering a stipend to people in high-risk communities who test positive for COVID-19 and do not have access to unemployment insurance or sick leave.
- Casinos in Northern California remain open in counties on Governor Newsom’s COVID-19 watchlist. State officials cannot force casinos on sovereign tribal lands to close and casino officials reassure the public that they adhering to public health guidance.
- In California, the pandemic is exacerbating the lack of access to high-quality preschool for Black and Latino children. Leaders of public preschools fear that even when classrooms reopen, anywhere from half to two-thirds of children will be left out of in-person instruction.
- Respiratory droplets that people spray when they talk, cough or sneeze may also spread through secondhand smoke from cigarettes or vaping. Smokers infected with coronavirus may blow droplets carrying COVID-19 when they exhale.
Thursday, Aug. 6
Last week, fewer Californians filed unemployment claims for the first time since the beginning of safer at home orders. Though first-time unemployment claims have been declining for the past two weeks, the nearly 230,000 unemployment claims from last week are five times higher than the unemployment average from January and February of this year.
- The U.S. State Department lifted a travel advisory restricting U.S. citizens from traveling abroad. American travelers will staff face challenges with international travel as many countries, including all in the European Union, have blocked entry from U.S. citizens.
- Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has had to get security detail following death threats and harassment of his family. Dr. Fauci has frequently made statements in direct opposition to the federal administration.
- People who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus may soon be permanently replaced by artificial intelligence and robots. Technology has made hundreds of thousands of jobs obsolete throughout the years but the push to introduce automation in order to protect employees and customers from coronavirus may be accelerating. Low-wage workers are expected to be hit hardest in the wave of artificial intelligence.
- California is releasing inmates to curtail the spread of coronavirus in facilities where social distancing is nearly impossible. A federal judge recently announced a plan to release 17,600 inmates, 70% more than originally planned. Though advocates have been pushing for the release of prisoners, they are now left scrambling to find transportation, clothing and temporary housing for newly released inmates.
- In between fighting fires, California firefighters are responding to calls related to COVID-19. Stress among firefighters is at an all-time high and that stress can lead to increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With wildfire season approaching, captains are looking for ways to have open dialogues with their teams and create more opportunities for connectedness.
- Though California has flexible voting options that allow voting by mail, election officials are scrambling to identify new polling places and provide a safe in-person voting experience to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
- Some school districts in more sparsely populated counties are reopening schools for in-person instruction this Fall. The only schools that may reopen are those not on the state’s COVID-19 watch list; some 164,000 students live in the 20 counties not currently on the watch list.
- Southeast Los Angeles, home to a large working-class Latino population, has emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot in Los Angeles County, with 19% of new infections and only 12% of the county population.
- A device commonly used for at-home care of COVID-19 patients may be providing inaccurate readings to nonwhite patients. Pulse oximeters report oxygen saturation based on the color of blood it “sees” in patients and studies have found that pulse oximeters overestimate saturation levels in darkly pigmented skin.
In the age of COVID-19, the allure of the outdoors is booming. Whether you are thinking about camping for the first time or you are a veteran camper, National Geographic has some tips on how to safely sleep under the stars.
Wednesday, Aug. 5
Test lab information may not be reaching county and state public health departments and the technical issues may be causing underreporting of COVID-19 testing in California. As a result, the reduced positivity rate reported on Monday may be inaccurate.
- State eviction moratoriums expired at the end of May in about thirty states and the federal eviction moratorium expired at the end of July. With the expiration of supplemental $600 unemployment benefits last Friday, some 23 million Americans are at risk of being evicted.
- As public health experts continue to urge Americans to wash their hands regularly to control the spread of coronavirus, two million Americans lack access to safe and clean running water. Even when water and sanitation services are available, millions are unable to pay their water bills. Prior to the pandemic, nearly 14 million U.S. households struggled to pay for water.
- An assessment from the RAND Corporation ranked California as one of the states with “flexible voting policies” that will allow voters to minimize their exposure to the coronavirus. The assessment shows that 25 million Americans live in twelve states with few alternate voting methods for the upcoming presidential election.
- Mississippi is on track to be the new COVID-19 hotspot. While Florida appears to be slowing down, Mississippi has the second highest number of cases per capita than any other state.
- In Georgia, a second grader tested positive after the first day of school, forcing his teacher and classmate to quarantine at home for two weeks. Pictures taken at a nearby high school shows that students are crammed in packed hallways and few are wearing masks. School districts across the state are handling the reopening of schools through different models.
- The 1.5 million Californians on Covered California will see the smallest increase yet to their insurance premiums. The 0.6% average increase has been attributed to coronavirus-driven sign-ups and delays in elective procedures.
- The California Nurses Association will stage demonstrations at seventy locations to protest staffing below state-mandated nurse-to-patient ratios. In an executive order, Governor Newsom issued a waiver that reduced the enforcement of the state mandate so that hospitals could respond to the pandemic.
- With few options, people are flocking to parks for social and recreational activities. In San Francisco, city staff drew large circles at a popular park to encourage social distancing. Now experts believe the circles may be a health hazard as the boundaries encourage groups of friends to sit close together and many forgo masks when outdoors.
- With bars and nightclubs closed, people are turning to private social gatherings. In recent weeks, the Los Angeles Police Department has responded to nearly 25% more house party calls in the Hollywood Hills. The Los Angeles City Council will consider a motion to increase penalties for property owners who defy building safety laws and ordinances.
- A study has found that COVID-19 rates are higher among Black and Hispanic children than their white counterparts. In the study of 1,000 children, 30% of Black children, 46.4% of Hispanic children and 7.3% of white children tested positive for COVID-19.
- In this podcast episode from The Atlantic, an immunologist discusses how the immune system works and helps decipher COVID-19 and antibody test results.
Tuesday, Aug. 4
Though California leads the country with coronavirus cases, the state just recorded the lowest new confirmed cases within a seven-day period in the past twelve weeks.
- The deadline for the 2020 census was initially extended to October 31 as a response to the pandemic. On Monday the U.S. Census Bureau announced that it will end field data collection by September 30, one month shorter than expected. About 6 out of 10 U.S. households have been counted so far.
- Though face masks are an ongoing point of debate across the country, a poll by NPR shows that 76% of people surveyed support state laws requiring that masks be worn in public at all times. A majority of those polled also support federal funding for COVID-19 testing and free vaccines, once they are available.
- Getting a COVID-19 test can be complicated for the uninsured and the insured alike. For the insured, out-of-network testing can lead to hidden or inflated fees that create billing challenges. The billing puts patients in the middle of negotiations between insurance companies and testing providers.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to urge Americans to avoid using and ingesting hand sanitizer with the toxic methanol ingredient. Applying methanol-based sanitizer to the skin can create methanol poisoning that produces severe symptoms.
- With college sports at risk of being put on hold due to COVID-19, local businesses in small college towns may not recover without fall sports. Universities with large athletic departments will also see a major loss of revenue without broadcasting contracts and apparel deals.
- California Department of Public Health officials announced on Friday that the first Californian between the ages of 12 and 17 died of coronavirus complications. Reports from recent outbreaks show that people under the age of 18 are susceptible to the virus and play a role in community transmission.
- The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced a waiver system that may allow some elementary schools to reopen for in-person instruction. Though some elementary schools may be able to meet the guidelines for students to return to the classroom, CDPH also released guidelines on youth sports that prohibit gatherings that “promote congregating.”
- A Superior Court judge has upheld an eviction moratorium in San Francisco for renters that are unable to pay rent due to COVID-19. The ordinance prohibits late fees, but renters may have to pay the rent back in the future if landlords pursue back rent in small claims court.
- While it appears that the Bay Area is seeing less unemployment overall, workers in some key industries are continuing to experience layoffs. Airline workers have been hit especially hard; American Airlines will cease operations at the Oakland airport in October and will be cutting 756 jobs including some at the San Francisco airport.
- Biotech and life science companies in San Diego raised a record amount of venture capital between April and June. The nearly $1.3 billion raised in the second quarter marks the highest quarter of venture funding in the region since 2014. Outside of biotech and life science, the only other tech firms that continue to be well funded are those that have benefitted from COVID-19 behavioral shifts.
- An Alabama principal made a catchy cover of a popular MC Hammer song that encourages students from his high school to practice social distancing, follow sanitizing protocols and wear masks.
Monday, Aug. 3
The pandemic has created unprecedented multiyear budget crises for nearly every state. The CARES Act provided relief to local and state governments, but the funds were for coronavirus-related expenses only. With revenue down for 46 states, many state lawmakers are hoping the next federal stimulus bill includes financial aid they can use to plug holes in state budgets.
- Recruitment of poll workers has slowed amid the pandemic. Senior citizens typically make up the majority of the volunteer force but vacancies from this vulnerable population has left states scrambling. The lack of volunteers may lead to the consolidation of polling places.
- The pandemic has shed light on gruesome animal cruelty at American slaughterhouses. As COVID-19 outbreaks forced closures of factory farms, reports of mass killings of pigs and chickens emerged. Though meat shortages drove Americans to purchase plant-based alternatives, pandemic trends are unlikely to lead to fundamental change in food production.
- Florida reported a decline in new COVID-19 cases on Monday. Since testing sites have been closed since Thursday due to a tropical storm, the decline may be a result of low testing.
- New York City officers arrested party promoters and a boat captain for hosting a large party on a cruise. Partygoers did not practice social distancing or wear face masks while on board.
- There are 4,649,102 confirmed COVID-19 cases and there have been 154,471 deaths in the United States.
- With average daily COVID-19 cases doubling from 4,006 in June to 8,669 in July, California became the first state to surpass 500,000 coronavirus cases.
- California’s unemployment department has come under fire for leaving claims in limbo and for a backlog that is impacting an estimated 1 million applicants. Governor Newsom has deployed a strike team to investigate the department and provide improvement recommendations.
- There are 512,849 confirmed COVID-19 cases and there have been 9,400 deaths in California.
- The Los Angeles Unified School District and teachers have reached a tentative agreement on distance learning. According to the agreement, students will have more structured school days than they had in March when schools first closed. The deal still needs to be approved by the United Teachers Los Angeles union and the Board of Education.
- From haircuts and manicures in Manhattan Beach to a Skid Row shelter recovering from an outbreak that left 100 residents and staff sick, this article captures life in Los Angeles amid the pandemic. The coronavirus has hit pockets of the city in starkly different ways; an analysis shows that someone living in Pico-Union is seven times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than someone living in Agoura Hills.
- A popular hiking trail in Ventura County has been temporarily closed due to coronavirus concerns. The new restriction is a response to increased foot traffic making social distancing almost impossible.
- The CARES Act provided relief aid to colleges and universities based on the number of full-time students enrolled at each institution. Advocacy groups warn that this distribution method disproportionately impacted students of color and low-income students because they are more likely to be enrolled on a part-time basis at community colleges.
· “Good Morning Zoom,” a parody of the popular children’s book by Margaret Wise Brown, will be released in October. Book proceeds will be donated to COVID-19 relief charities.
Friday, July 31
Coronavirus deaths continue to mount in the United States and many believe this second U.S. coronavirus surge has hit a plateau, scientists are not celebrating as cases are rising in 30 states overall.
- Earlier today Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed cautious optimism that a COVID-19 vaccine will be widely available over a period of time in 2021. Dr. Fauci appeared before a House panel investigating the U.S. response to the pandemic; he also reported that more than 25,000 people have signed up for vaccine trials and urged others to sign up at coronaviruspreventionnetwork.org.
- Contact Tracing has been a key strategy for public health when responding to disease prevention and mitigation. However, coronavirus contact tracing is failing in many states. This is being attributed to major lags in testing and increasing community spread in many places.
- This week health professionals from across the country released an open letter imploring decisionmakers to respond to the pandemic and “Shut it down, Start over, Do it right”.
- There are 4,502,500 confirmed cases and there have been 152,4000 deaths in the United States.
- As state officials work to slow outbreaks across the state, California passed 9,000 coronavirus-related deaths after 2 days of record-setting fatalities.
- Over the last few months the Public Policy Institute of California has been surveying the public about various aspects of the pandemic. PPIC’s most recent survey shows widespread worry, and distrust of government posing challenges for public support for policy solutions.
- There have been 493,396 confirmed cases and 9,018 deaths in California.
- There is a statewide mask order in effect and even though the majority of Californians are following the rules, California local leaders are taking a harder line on pandemic order violations.
- In Los Angeles where cases continues to spike, coronavirus deaths among L.A. County food processing workers bring dire plea from health officials. Deadly outbreaks at food processing and other businesses are causing health officials to stress that businesses must comply with county health orders including reporting outbreaks of three or more cases and alerting all workers who have been exposed to a person with a known case.
- Even before the pandemic, Black women have had a maternal mortality rate that is three time higher than white women and now coronavirus is increasing risk for pregnant Black women, to learn more check out: Three Ways COVID-19 is Further Jeopardizing Black Maternal Health.
- There research happening across the country studying the antibodies of those who have survived coronavirus. Now harvested antibodies are being tested as a prevention tool against COVID-19 to see if an infusion of these antibodies can protect someone who has been exposed and is at risk for of infection.
Thursday, July 30
The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) shrunk nearly 33% between April and June during the peak of the first wave of the coronavirus. This drop in GDP is nearly three times the previous largest drop in a single quarter.
- Following the announcement that Texas Representative Louie Gohmert tested positive for COVID-19, Capitol officials issued new mask mandates that went into effect Thursday. Representative Gohmert is now the 10th member of Congress that has tested positive for COVID-19.
- With districts across the country announcing that schools will not reopen in the fall, a coalition of advocates is calling on the federal government to address food insecurity among schoolchildren and their families. To date, waivers provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture allowed for schools and community groups to offer free meals through federal nutrition programs.
- Oportun, Inc., a personal loan lender, announced that it will cap interest rates and drop thousands of lawsuits on borrowers that fell behind on payments during the pandemic. Oportun’s clients are predominantly Latino immigrants.
- Though coronavirus cases continue to rise across the state, California’s testing task force is severely diminished with volunteer terms ending. Members of the task force believe private industry players were critical in the early work of the task force and the departure of many of those volunteers means a loss of creative problem solving. Former members believe that the task force is not adequately preparing for testing in the Fall.
- The scope of contact tracing in California appears to vary by county. While most counties attempt to reach everyone that may have been exposed to a person who tests positive for the coronavirus, some only notify high-risk people and one only notifies employers and health care providers.
- Since the start of the pandemic the California National Guard has deployed “rapid medical strike teams” across the state to help with coronavirus surges. National Guard soldiers are assisting with everything from nursing home care to pop-up testing sites. With violent National Guard presence at protests across the country, some nursing homes are reporting that soldiers make things more “intense” and residents are put “on edge.”
- A San Diego gym that had been ordered to close by public health officials remained open and is now linked to a coronavirus outbreak. The outbreak may help county staff make a case to the Board of Supervisors for more staff to improve enforcement efforts and contact tracing.
- Modoc County confirmed its first cases of coronavirus on Tuesday. With two new cases confirmed, there are now coronavirus cases in each California county.
- With virtual health care becoming the new normal during the pandemic, the digital divide is disproportionately impacting people of color and those with limited English proficiency. Health care providers are discovering that digital literacy and web-enabled devices are requisite for high-quality care.
- There are psychological benefits to planning future travel and forward-looking travelers are already planning their next big overseas trips. According to the American Society of Travel Advisors, the average traveler booked a trip six months in advance before the pandemic but now some are planning for longer and more elaborate trips in 2022.
- The first dog to test positive for coronavirus in the U.S. was euthanized in early July. Veterinarians who examined Buddy indicated that he had lymphoma and the cancer is likely to have taken his life. Buddy started showing COVID-19 symptoms in April and tested positive in May.
Wednesday, July 29
With the expansion of federal unemployment benefits ending at the end of July, state legislative leaders unveiled a plan on Monday to extend benefits to Californians if the federal government cuts or does not renew the benefits in its new stimulus plan. The expansion of the benefits would extend to January 2021 and is part of a $100 million stimulus plan.
- Children with developmental challenges have seen their struggles exacerbated by having to attend school at home due to COVID-19. The shift to school from home has taken a toll on the parents and caregivers who now must provide structure for children whose anxiety over major changes can tend to create sleeping and eating problems, among other challenges.
- A charity benefit concert made headlines over the weekend for its egregious social distancing violations. The drive-in concert took place in New York even though non-essential gatherings of more than 50 people are still banned in the state.
- An impending storm in Florida is forcing the state to close coronavirus testing sites beginning Thursday evening. The Florida Department of Health announced that testing sites would reopen next Tuesday, at the earliest, but expect some sites to remain closed for longer.
- California has once again broken its single-day record for coronavirus deaths. The new record from Tuesday is 5.7% higher than the previous record of 158 deaths.
- The California Department of Public Health has released regulations that will require health agencies to ask sexual orientation and gender identity information from COVID-19 patients. Advocates have been pushing the state to collect the data so that they can better track how the pandemic may be disproportionately impacting the LGBTQ community.
- The surge of coronavirus cases in the Central Valley shows the value of collecting occupational data from COVID-19 patients. Most of the coronavirus outbreaks in the Central Valley have taken place at workplaces such as packing plants and agriculture. More information at the occupation or industry level may prove critical to protect employees as more businesses reopen.
- Following the announcement that the state will provide additional funding to combat the coronavirus in the Central Valley, Governor Newsom will be withholding funding from two cities in the region that are defying the state’s public health orders.
- Street vending in Los Angeles was decriminalized in 2017 but during the pandemic, unlicensed vendors face misdemeanor charges and fines up to $1,000. Most street vendors were not eligible for federal relief programs due to citizenship status, and as a result are forced to vend to survive economically. Since the pandemic began there have been increased acts of violence against vendors and community members are now arming vendors with pepper spray for protection.
- A poll by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that Latinos are more worried than other demographic groups that they or someone from their family will become infected with the coronavirus. Latinos also reported more worry about the financial impact of the pandemic than other groups.
- Frontline will be hosting a free virtual event featuring the filmmakers of “COVID’s Hidden Toll” which highlights the cost that the pandemic has on immigrants and undocumented workers.
- As the pandemic has forced everyone to reduce social gatherings, this 14-minute podcast explores the concept of solitude and how it may actually help regulate our moods.
Tuesday, July 28
Interhouse tensions between California lawmakers have been swelling during the pandemic. The pandemic has driven lawmakers to work under a compressed timeline which has forced them to limit the number of bills they bring forward. The tension culminated on Monday when Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced that Tuesday hearings would be cancelled to address the "imbalance of bills yet to be considered in each house."
- Higher education is experiencing a “coronavirus swirl” leading to the highest rates of student movement between two and four year institutions. Surveys show that many recent high school graduates are opting to attend community college in the Fall as a cost saving measure and to stay closer to home.
- Robert O’Brien, President Trump’s national security adviser, has tested positive for coronavirus. O’Brien, who is currently self-isolating, is the highest-ranking White House official who has tested positive for the virus.
- Though Florida has had less than 10,000 new coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day, hospitalizations are on the rise and the state reported its highest one-day death count on Tuesday.
- Arkansas has reported their one-day record in COVID-19 deaths. Twenty of the new cases are from folks in corrections facilities; currently, over 10% of active COVID-19 cases in the state are from people in prisons.
- With the highest average of new cases per day and average death rates rising, Governor Newsom implored Californians to begin taking the pandemic more seriously. The governor’s watchlist of counties with concerning coronavirus trends now includes 37 of California’s 58 counties.
- Coronavirus outbreaks in prisons across the country have resulted in many deaths among inmates, including 19 at the San Quentin State Prison. Demonstrators calling for mass inmate releases chained themselves to Governor Newsom’s home fence on Monday.
- The eight-county region that makes up the Central Valley has a coronavirus positivity rate that is well above the state average. As a response, the Governor has committed $52 million in federal funding to the region to support with testing and contact tracing and will dispatch strike teams to help curb the spread of the virus.
- An analysis of the middle class shows that even with economic rebounds from May and June, Black-owned small businesses are down 19% compared to white-owned small businesses. Similarly, while white college graduates have made gains, jobs for Black college graduates are down 12%. These losses threaten the gains that have been made by the Black middle class.
- Tonight, 20/20 will be premiering a special on the coronavirus and why the United States was so unprepared for the public health crisis.
Monday, July 27
Many who lost work due to the pandemic were able to manage because of supplemental checks provided as part of congressional stimulus package. This weekly support is set to end in just a few days. There are currently efforts at the federal level to continue financial support for those who remain out of work; but there are questions about whether or not agreement will be reached. To learn about what is being considered check out, Here’s How Congress Might Replace the Extra $600 Weekly Jobless Benefit.
- Even though some experts believe, pinning hopes on a vaccine is not the right coronavirus strategy, right now there are many working on these efforts. There are more than 176 in development and 27 are already in human trials, including the final test of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, with 30,000 volunteers. There are an infinite number of questions about the path towards a vaccine and once developed, what it will take to inoculate nearly 330 million Americans and 7.6 billion people worldwide. To get some answers, check out: Coronavirus vaccines: What looks promising and who will be the first to get one?
- As it becomes clear that voting in the November election will likely be a mail-in affair in many parts of the country, there are efforts to get clinicians to encourage patients to exercise their right to vote. To learn more about one effort check out: In Era of Sickness, Doctors Prescribe Unusual Cure: Voting.
- There have been 4,273,400 confirmed cases and 147,000 deaths in the United States.
- Early on in the pandemic California was seen as a leader in its management of COVID-19, however July has been rough for the state. Things seem to be improving and California is desperate for signs of a turnaround after stunning coronavirus setbacks.
- As the pandemic wears on students in many parts of the state are facing a new school year with remote learning as the primary mode of instruction. Concerns are growing about increasing levels of depression and anxiety among California’s children. In an attempt to prepare, even as the state faces budget challenges schools want to hire more counselors, to better meet the needs of students.
- There have been 453,036 confirmed cases and 8,455 deaths in California.
- The cities of Anaheim and Santa Ana have the most coronavirus cases in all of Orange County. In an effort to slow the spread, Orange County community members are undergoing training to conduct contact tracing in COVID hotspots.
- Even with incomplete data, L.A. County records 1,703 new coronavirus cases and 10 related deaths, however, there is some room for optimism as cases in L.A. County are near the state’s safety threshold for positive coronavirus infections.
- Late last week the Centers for Disease Control issued a strategy document pledging steps to reduce COVID-19 racial disparities and achieving health equity. Included is a focus on contact tracing, isolation options and preventive care. In addition, the CDC is vowing to expand program and practice activities to ensure the safety of healthcare workers and work to build a diverse public health workforce that is reflective of the U.S. population. The strategy document can be found here.
- Since the pandemic began with shelter-in-place orders and guidelines on distancing and mask wearing, memes making light of our current reality have popped up everywhere. On many topics including the lack of travel to group chats to social distancing. Turns out those living through the flu pandemic of 1918 had jokes too. To read some of them (and test them out) check out the essay: Quarantine Won’t Be Forever, But Pandemic Humor is Timeless.
Saturday/Sunday, July 25-26
Coronavirus infections continue to grow worldwide with more than 16 million cases and 645,195 deaths. Parts of Europe are experiencing jumps in cases, with French infections on the rise, and Spain cracking down on nightclubs. Brazil has the second highest death toll in the world, and the Amazon and the indigenous communities living alongside it are being devastated by the pandemic. Read more in: The Amazon, Giver of Life, Unleashes the Pandemic
- While the cases of coronavirus are on the rise nationally, the surge has been greatest in primarily four states. On Friday, the White House coronavirus response coordinator said California, other states ‘are essentially three New Yorks’.
- Coronavirus has moved the country into what is being referred to as a “pandemic-induced” recession. This has hit businesses of all types and sizes; but less attention has focused on the nonprofit sector, which is the third-largest private employer in the country, and employs approximately 12.5 million people. A new analysis is suggesting that tens of thousands of nonprofits are likely to close without any relief, causing many to believe if there is going to be a pandemic safety net, nonprofits need their own.
- Many have questioned the effectiveness of the numerous stay-at-home orders many states, counties and cities put in place at the outset of the pandemic. However new data suggests the more we stay home, the less the coronavirus spreads. Here’s the evidence.
- The pandemic is causing the economic divide to grow and some believe potentially also fueling the spread of coronavirus. To learn more, check out: How COVID-19 is deepening California’s Income Inequality in 5 charts.
- When cases began to spike again in California, the Governor ordered religious institutions closed for services and even though outdoor services are allowed, those participating are supposed to be wearing face coverings and observe distancing guidelines. However, across the state outdoor religious gatherings draw warnings and rebukes from health officials.
- There are 52 counties in California and 36 of those counties are on the State’s watchlist. Some counties have been reluctant to implement restrictions and have managed to stay off the watchlist. However, with cases increasing, counties like El Dorado face a coronavirus reckoning this week.
- In the last two weeks, Imperial County has had the highest mortality rate in the state and has been averaging 900 infections per 100,0000 people, by comparison LA County has averaged 371 per 100,000. To meet the high demand and not overwhelm to two health care facilities in the region, medical air teams work around the clock to move COVID-19 patients.
- The federal response to the pandemic included relief through increased unemployment benefits and protection from evictions. According to a new U.S. Census Bureau survey, 24 million Americans fear missing next rent payment as benefits dry up. The survey also indicates that a disproportionate share of those households in danger are Blacks and Latinos, two of the groups hit hardest by the health and economic impacts of COVID-19.
- There is so much information floating around about COVID-19 and there have been many concerned about the likelihood of reinfection; however, as more is being understood, the thinking is changing. To learn how, check out: Can You Get Covid-19 Again? It’s Very Unlikely, Experts Say
Friday, July 24
The tide is turning on mask wearing, according to a new AP-NORC poll: 3 in 4 Americans back requiring wearing masks.
- Daily coronavirus cases are growing so quickly across the country it is sometimes hard to keep track of it all. To see where cases are growing or decreasing, check out Tracking The Pandemic: Are Coronavirus Cases Rising Or Falling In Your State?
- In recent weeks Florida has been hit hard by the pandemic with more than 237,000 people testing positive and over 2000 deaths in July. Even though those over 65 account for 13% of the cases so far, they have made up 82% of the fatalities. With a COVID-19 death in Florida every 8 minutes, this community fears who will be next.
- As a result of the pandemic, public health is more clearly understood by many. Public health systems have been leading the fight against COVID-19, now the virus is hitting frontline workers in taxed public health system.
- There have been 4,086,900 confirmed cases and 144,800 deaths in the United States.
- In June the number of coronavirus cases slowly began to increase just as the state began to ease up restrictions. With coronavirus surging, California workplaces come under greater scrutiny, and concerns about community spread are increasing as workers come home sick and infect others in their homes.
- Four prisons in California have experienced major outbreaks of COVID-19. Since the onset of the pandemic more than 7,200 inmates have tested positive and 42 have died. Now California prisons must set aside space for COVID-19 patients, judge orders.
- Housing affordability has been a problem statewide for some time, particularly when comparing housing costs and incomes. Not surprisingly, people of color, immigrants and those with the lowest incomes have been most affected and are also some of the same populations hardest hit by the pandemic. To learn more, check out Staying Home During California’s Housing Affordability Crisis, a new report from the California Budget and Policy Center.
- There have been 431,290 confirmed cases and 8,208 deaths in California.
- As cases continue to rise, some regions are becoming more vigilant and threatening to crack down on violations of public orders. Some regions, like the Bay Area, are moving to enforce coronavirus rules.
- Some large employers responded to the initial shut down orders by providing paid leave, flexible work schedules and stipends for child care. Now as many schools are opting for remote learning, working parents face a child-care crisis. Here’s how L.A. employers are handling it.
- Wonder what it’s like to be a contact tracer? Check out this this story and short video: COVID contact tracers: Inside the work of California’s disease detectives.
- Many questions are emerging about how the economy might recover from the pandemic and some are pushing to rebuild an economy that is focused on racial equity. To learn more about some policy ideas check out this overview: Rebuild Better: A framework to support an equitable recovery from COVID-19 and nine concrete ideas in the whole series: Actionable Ideas for Economic Recovery in American Cities.
- The questions swirling around schools reopening are numerous and the decisions institutions and families will have to make are complex. Much of the research offers unclear and somewhat unsatisfying answers. To learn about what is understood, check out What Scientists Know About How Children Spread COVID-19.
Thursday, July 23
Confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States have officially surpassed 4 million. The total number of deaths (~144,000) has already surpassed one research model projection that predicts the U.S. is still in the first wave of the pandemic. Worldwide coronavirus cases jumped about five million in the span of one month. The United States, Brazil and India are the only countries reporting over 1 million cases. Unemployment rates in California continue to trend upwards while the nationwide average appears to be leveling off. Last week, nearly 300,000 Californians filed for unemployment insurance.
- Problems with COVID-19 testing reveals that the system requires a systemic overhaul. People are frequently turned away from testing centers and when they do get tested, they often face a severe lag in obtaining results. People that get tested just for reassurance can help by only seeking tests when they have symptoms or know they have been exposed to the virus.
- Twelve cities, including San Jose, California, are on the federal coronavirus task force’s watch list for a disturbing rise in cases.
- After spending several weeks planning for the Fall semester, many colleges and universities across the U.S. have made the decision to reverse their plans and go fully virtual. Other schools are charging ahead with their plans to host in-person classes and some 300 schools have yet to notify students about their plans for the Fall.
- Workers across the country are grappling with the new reality of working from home. A survey of tech workers from San Francisco shows that two thirds would leave the city if they continue to have the option to work remotely. The real estate market in rural New York is booming due to city-dwellers’ new freedom to work from home and increasing desire to leave the crowded city.
- Governor Newsom signed a contract to purchase 420 million masks with a plan to stockpile most of them for future use. Despite the new contract, health care workers report that they do not have enough masks and California has distributed 17 million masks to other states.
- Preliminary data shows that COVID-19 is on track to be a leading cause of death in Los Angeles County between January and June of this year. Coronavirus is now second only to coronary heart disease in leading cause of death.
- San Diego will be launching a “Safe Reopening Compliance Team” to better respond to egregious health order violations and to update businesses on ever-evolving operating regulations. The compliance team is one strategy the region is using to get off the Governor’s COVID-19 watch list that would allow the reopening of several businesses.
- The food vendors in San Francisco’s legendary Ferry Building had been struggling with low foot traffic prior to the pandemic. Now with frequent changes to public health orders, businesses have adapted but many have already closed their doors. After the pandemic the Ferry Building may shift from a retail space to an event space where the public can engage with chefs, nonprofit leaders and food policy activists.
- Public transit ridership has declined sharply during the pandemic. While not known for its extensive public transportation network, Metro in Los Angeles is seeing one of the smallest ridership declines; Metro is at about 36% of ridership while other cities are seeing a ridership of 10% of regular levels.
- The federal government distributed economic impact payments to millions of Americans beginning in April. Almost 74% of non-Hispanic whites received their payment by mid to late May while only 68.6% of non-Hispanic Black adults and 63.7% of Hispanic adults received their payments in the same time frame.
- Musician Dave Grohl, whose mother was a public school teacher, weighed in on the debate to reopen schools in the Fall. In his account, Dave shares the concerns that his now retired mother has for children, their teachers and faculty should they be forced to return to school in the Fall.
Wednesday, July 22
As the pandemic continues across the country concerns are mounting about the imminent loss of financial support, those unemployed due to the pandemic, have been receiving. As the coronavirus continues to hold the country in economic limbo a big question has emerged: What happens to the U.S. economy if the $600 federal unemployment benefit ends?
- At the national level some leaders have pointed to an increase in testing as the cause of the growing number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. However, a new analysis from the NY Times is showing the rise in testing is not driving the rise in U.S. virus cases.
- Everyone is trying to figure out ways to return to “normal” but the coronavirus poses some particular challenges in terms of managing the spread and increasingly, as more is understood the silent spread of the virus keeps scientists grasping for clues.
- There has been some analyses of the larger loans distributed to the nonprofit sector as part of federal stimulus Paycheck Protection Program. However there has been less attention to the overall PPP loan universe as a whole and the impact on the sector. Check out what was learned here about how nonprofits fared under the program, and how the PPP has impacted employment in the nonprofit sector.
- It’s now confirmed, California has the most COVID-19 cases in U.S., surpassing New York. As of this morning, California had approximately 1,100 more cases than New York, where numbers are now on the decline. California is trending in the opposite direction now topping 400,000 coronavirus cases; state health leader says could be ‘4-5 weeks’ before decline.
- As nearly 3 million Californians became unemployed due to the pandemic there were many concerns about people losing their employment-linked health care coverage. The state projected increases in public health benefits and there were concerned about overwhelming the Medi-Cal system. However, so far that hasn’t happened and many are asking why.
- There is an emerging critique about the lack of a coordinated response at the national and state level to the pandemic. This approach has left some regions unable to respond effectively to this current rise in cases. Early on in the pandemic, Santa Clara County was seen as a leader in responding; now its top health official laments ‘uncertainty,’ piecemeal reopening approach.
- The pandemic caused 60 percent of child care programs to shut down and according to data from the Labor Department, 93 percent of child care workers are women and 45 percent are Black, Asian or Latino. Black and Latina mothers are more likely to be family breadwinners, have low-paying jobs and struggle accessing childcare. To learn more about the current and impending challenges related to child care, check out 'Crashing down’: How the child care crisis is magnifying racial disparities.
- In spite of the weeks of controversy, there are now mask mandates in 29 states and increasingly there are efforts to improve both the quality and utility of masks. To address previous shortages of appropriate masks for healthcare and frontline workers, MIT engineers have designed an affordable, reusable face mask that’s as effective as an N95, and there have been quite a few efforts to develop masks for those who are deaf and hard of hearing including one effort to create homemade masks by a California teen.
- As masks become part of everyone’s new reality it can be helpful to learn how to manage any stress or anxiety wearing one might produce. To learn one way, check out A Mindfulness Practice for Wearing a Mask featuring a pulmonologist who shares her masking practice.
Tuesday, July 21
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) studied antibody tests from 10 cities and determined that reported cases are underestimating the prevalence of infections. The CDC predicts that coronavirus infections in the U.S. are likely ten times higher than the number of reported cases which currently stands at nearly 4 million.
- As school districts across the country debate the reopening of schools, very little is known about transmission between children and from children to adults. Data from across the globe seems to suggest that transmission among older children is higher than among younger children. Early reports indicate that countries that reopened schools saw low transmission among school-age children.
- As school closures seem imminent across the country, Latino families are concerned about access to technology and Wi-Fi. The digital divide has driven low-income Latino students to seek out public hot spots at local libraries and restaurants and in some cases, children have completed assignments on their parent’s cell phones.
- With the $600 weekly unemployment benefit boost set to expire by the end of the month, economists warn that the absence of additional support could have devastating effects on the economy for years to come.
- According to a poll conducted by the California Health Care Foundation, 76% of nursing home staff in California have worked at facilities with suspected or known COVID-19 cases among staff, and 60% have worked at facilities with suspected or known COVID-19 cases among residents. The rates of suspected or known COVID-19 cases are higher in facilities with a large proportion of Black and Latino residents.
- Many state employees have been reassigned from their usual jobs to become COVID-19 “contact tracers” and the state met its goal of training 10,000 tracers by July 1. While several counties are saying that they do not have enough tracers, many state employees who have been trained have yet to be assigned a tracing role.
- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that the city may be put under a second stay-at-home order if coronavirus cases and deaths continue to rise. No other city in the country has reimposed an order after reopening.
- Though the Bay Area reported zero coronavirus deaths on Sunday, California still had its deadliest weekend since the beginning of the pandemic. Sunday marked the first day in over a month without a coronavirus death in the area.
- Black workers have been hit especially hard by unemployment during the pandemic. The unemployment rate for young Black workers before the pandemic was 16%, which is higher than the national unemployment rate that triggered a $2 trillion federal stimulus.
- NBA players, staff and media have been inside their Florida “bubble” for two weeks. From “proximity monitors” to “approved fun,” take a look at how the NBA is navigating the remainder of the season. One of the challenges for those inside the bubble will be mental health but some teams have brought on an on-site mental health provider and the NBA is providing a clinical sports psychologist to all players.
Monday, July 20
As states continue to battle the pandemic an exclusive White House document shows 18 states in coronavirus red zone. The document, dated July 14 and prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force but not made public, advised these states revert to more stringent measures including limiting gatherings, closing bars and gyms and having residents wear masks. This information was originally obtained and made public by the Center for Public Integrity.
- As cases in Florida continue to spike, its largest teachers’ union filed suit against state over school reopenings. The lawsuit names several defendants including Florida’s governor, the state’s education commissioner, the department of education and the board of education. On Monday, Florida reported 10,000 new coronavirus cases.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic more than six million people have enrolled in the food stamp program. The growth from February to May was about three times faster than the previous three months and thirty states have experienced double-digit growth showing amid a deadly virus and crippled economy, one form of aid has proved reliable: food stamps.
- Some researchers now believe that the current reported cases are an undercounting of the actual number of infections, and believe testing backlogs may be clouding the true spread of the coronavirus.
- Some businesses including meatpacking plants, warehouses and retail have experienced an elevated number of outbreaks and some companies are seemingly keeping this information from employees. Grassroots efforts have emerged among workers as they turn into amateur sleuths to track virus cases.
- There have been 3,814,000 confirmed cases and 140,600 deaths in the United States.
- On Friday military teams were sent to five California hospitals amid coronavirus staffing shortages. The 100 healthcare professionals were sent to address severe staff shortages at hospitals in Lodi, Fresno, Rancho Mirage and Visalia.
- Latinos currently make up 55% of the state’s coronavirus cases and there are concerns that rising hospitalizations could exacerbate disparities for Latinos. To learn more about the outsized impact coronavirus is having on California’s Latino communities check out this conversation with Christian Arana, policy director at the Latino Community Foundation.
- Today there have been 389,230 confirmed cases and there have been 7,720 deaths in California.
- It was another record breaking day as L.A. County reported a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations. Monday was the sixth consecutive day that hospitalizations surpassed 2,100 and public health officials reported 31,160 new cases and nine additional deaths. LA County has had more than 155,000 people infected. In Orange County almost 500 people have died of COVID-19 as cases approach 30,000. The number of infections in Orange County has grown in the last month. Finally, check out this slideshow focused on how the coronavirus is changing Riverside County.
- Garment workers are often receive very low pay, few benefits and little to no recourse when confronted with unsafe working conditions. New information is emerging about the conditions over the last several months at one LA factory where 300 workers have tested positive and four have died from COVID-19. Read more in Workers vanished as coronavirus swept through L.A. Apparel. Colleagues struggled for answers.
- For many essential workers, racial injustice has been a daily reality and COVID-19 has put them at increased risk for health and safety. Earlier today, across the country, essential workers went on strike for Black lives. Those who couldn’t strike the whole day walked off the job for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time a white officer kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck, before he died.
- A recent study has found that Kimchi, may protect against COVID-19! Kimchi a staple of Korean cuisine, consists of salted and fermented vegetables including cabbage and radish. To learn more about the study and its findings, check out Kimchi protects against COVID-19, a study says.
Saturday/Sunday, July 18-19
On Saturday the World Health Organization reported 260,000 new coronavirus cases, a record number. Global coronavirus deaths have surpassed 600,000, with the U.S. accounting for nearly a quarter. Currently the U.S. is reporting approximately 5,000 deaths each week.
- The lockdowns across the country have had an impact on public transit with ridership plummeting as much as 90 percent on some of the largest transit systems in the country. There are rising concerns about reduced revenues and public transit officials fear virus could send systems into ‘death spiral’.
- A panel of the House of Representatives eager to hear testimony from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the safety of reopening schools during the pandemic, will not have this opportunity. On Friday the panel was informed the White House is blocking CDC director from testifying before House panel on reopening schools.
- As more and more places reopened in the state, cases have also increased and now coronavirus cases are spiking in California child care facilities. This is of concern because child care workers are primarily women and the majority are Black and Latina, and they more often than not receive low wages with little to no health care benefits. Childcare facilities are now reporting five times as many cases this past week as a little over a month ago; however, the number of cases remain small overall.
- Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California’s Surgeon General has focused her career on the well-being of children and families of color. Check out this conversation with her to learn about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), how they impact education, what schools can do to lessen toxic stress, and how the pandemic is affecting student well-being.
- In an appearance on CNN on Sunday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says the economy reopened too quickly, and warned of new stay-at-home order. Los Angeles County reported a record number of COVID-19 patients this past week.
- As the coronavirus surge worsened, on Friday Mayor London Breed announced San Francisco was now on the state watchlist. She also said the city’s reopening has been put on hold indefinitely.
- In LA County Pacific Islanders have suffered the highest coronavirus infection rate of any racial or ethnic group—six times higher than white people, five times higher than Blacks and three times higher than Latinos. To learn more about how the pandemic is affecting this community read ‘I was naive to think this couldn’t touch my family’: Pacific Islanders hit hard by the coronavirus.
- There are growing concerns about the ability of businesses owned by people of color to survive the pandemic and data is now indicating that more than half of Black-owned businesses may not survive COVID-19. New research at UC Santa Cruz and a report by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 41 percent of Black owned businesses have been closed due to the pandemic compared to just 17% of white-owned businesses.
- As the conversation continues about the safety of reopening schools, a large new study of nearly 65,000 people in South Korea is offering some insight and showing that older children spread the coronavirus just as much as adults.
Friday, July 17
More than 75,000 new coronavirus cases were reported on Thursday, the most in a single day, prompting drastic measures as death tolls set records. Texas reported 10,000 new cases for a third day in a row and Florida reported nearly 14,000 new cases.
- Masks have been contentious nationwide and as mask rules expand across the U.S. clashes over the mandates intensify. Masks will now be required at some retailers including Walmart, Target and CVS.
- With ongoing debates about the susceptibility of children to COVID-19 there are concerns about the safety of opening up schools in the fall. Check out this article to get a closer look at what scientists know about children and COVID-19 and what can be currently understood about the potential risk of sending kids back to school.
- There are 3,626,000 confirmed cases and 138,700 deaths in the United States.
- Today the Governor announced that schools will remain closed in the 32 counties on the COVID-19 monitoring list, which means school classrooms in most California counties won’t open due to coronavirus surge. The plan also requires all staff and students in grades 3-12 to wear masks, with younger students encouraged to wear them.
- Contact tracing has been cited as an important tool in helping to control the spread of COVID-19, however as coronavirus patients skew younger, tracing task seems all but impossible. Those under 50 now make up 73% of people testing positive for the virus in California.
- As the pandemic continues in the state and nation many are growing increasingly concerned and pondering, after more coronavirus closures, how deep will California’s recession go?
- There have been 365,125 confirmed cases and 7,491 deaths in California.
- County-level contact tracing is key to managing spread of infection however, some counties have become quickly overwhelmed with the task. At least one county has stopped its contact tracing, even though as a condition of reopening, counties have signed an agreement with the state to perform investigations to carry out contact tracing. To learn more, read Without a trace: This California county has stopped contact tracing as coronavirus surges.
- For some time, Los Angeles has been viewed as the epicenter of coronavirus in California, but, coronavirus is now spreading faster in suburbs like Orange County than in L.A. County. Orange County Riverside and San Bernardino counties are now reporting worse case rates per capita.
- More is now being understood about how chronic stress can wear on the body and increase risk for other health problems like depression, diabetes and hypertension. The pandemic has brought to the forefront the elevated levels of some pre-existing conditions among communities of color that has increased risk for COVID-19; but there’s more to the story. To learn more check out, How the stress of racism can harm your health—and what that has to do with Covid-19.
- As many families begin to face the reality of more distance learning for their kids there is much frustration and lots of opinions. For a thoughtful take, check out, There Are Literally No Good Options for Educating Our Kids This Fall.
Thursday, July 16
There are now more than 13 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, and there have been over 580,000 deaths. Confirmed US virus cases have risen amid new global restrictions, including new lockdowns and virus checks at border checkpoints.
- Last week thenumber of laid-off workers seeking jobless aid remained stuck at 1.3 million. This is a historically high level and in states where coronavirus cases are rising, applications for assistance are also rising.
- Because no national plan for confronting the coronavirus crisis has been put forth, there is now a dangerous new chapter of the outbreak: every state for itself.
- As cases have escalated across the country the conversation about masks has shifted and mask mandates have caught on as states, businesses try to bypass a toxic debate.
- The pandemic was first detected in the United States in WashingtonState back in After a quick lockdown, the state seemed to beat back Covid-19. Now It’s rising again.
- Even though California was a leader in responding to coronavirus, things have changed and thousands are currently hospitalized and sick. To hear from some Californians about how they are coping and responding to the pandemic, take about 10 minutes to watch California virus cases are soaring how 1 mayor is responding to the increase.
- California reached a series of grim milestones this week including breaking its one-day record for new cases and jumps in infection rates and hospitalizations. Many are wondering, Can California contain the coronavirus surge? The next two weeks will be critical.
- Over the last few months Californians have expressed anger at everyone from local and state elected officials, to public health authorities to county health officials. Now Californians are turning on each other as coronavirus shuts down the state for a second time.
- The state schools chief announced California campuses likely to remain closed amid coronavirus spike.
- San Diego County is also experiencing a rise in cases, and about 44% of those who have died have been Latino. These deaths are forcing San Diego families to grapple with mistakes, slow testing and poor care.
- Many people have lost income due to COVID-19 but more and more we are understanding that these losses are not spread evenly. The COVID-19 Resilience Poll found that coronavirus-related income loss has been higher in Sacramento-area communities of color.
- In a new report by the Los Angeles Unified School District examining student engagement during school closures has found that L.A. Latino, and Black students suffered deep disparities in online learning. More than 50,000 Black and Latino middle and high school students in the district did not regularly participate; and English learners, students with disabilities, homeless students and those in the foster care system had even lower rates of online participation.
- Racism has caused immense economic disadvantages for Blacks in the U.S. These have been exacerbated by COVID-19. Check out The economics behind racial coronavirus disparities from the PBS News Hour.
- Tuesday’s update included the story of Grace who was sent to juvenile hall for not completing homework during remote learning. Now, check out what’s happening: Thousands Demand That Michigan #FreeGrace After the Teenager Was Incarcerated for Not Doing Her Schoolwork
- Even though there have been claims that COVID-19 deaths are not rising, the COVID Tracking Project is seeing something very different happening over the last few weeks. Read this somber article about the predictability of the pandemic, the confusion about the numbers and the need to look at data honestly.
Wednesday, July 15
On Tuesday afternoon it was announced that the administration had stripped the C.D.C. of control of coronavirus data. Beginning today, hospitals have been instructed to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and send all COVID-19 information directly to a central database in Washington. Concerns have emerged about accessibility of the data for research, media and the public. In an Op-Ed in the Washington Post also on Tuesday, four former CDC directors issued a critique of the administration for "sowing confusion" amid the pandemic.
- After many states took steps towards reopening, a resurgence of the virus, and lockdowns, now threatens economic recovery. There are growing concerns the failure to contain the virus could cause far reaching and irreparable damage to both workers and businesses.
- As the debate continues over reopening schools, a committee of the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine is citing educational risks, and urging that schools reopen. The group contends that for younger children and those with special needs online learning is ineffective.
- In a bit of good news, the first coronavirus vaccine tested in humans shows early promise. The vaccine has been tested on a small number of individuals and is showing a “promising immune response” and appears safe. The next phase of development begins at the end of July and involves 30,000 people.
- On Tuesday, California recorded 11,142 coronavirus cases in one day, shattering the previous record. The state now has reported at least 9,000 new cases in a day, five times since July 7, and there are more than 6,7000 patients hospitalized.
- Latinos continue to be hard hit by coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Latinos make up about 39% of California’s population but 55% of COVID-19 cases. Some attribute the elevated number of cases among Latinos to being more likely to live in dense neighborhoods and be employed as essential workers, others believe California is failing to protect Latino workers.
- Orange County which was facing ongoing shortages of coronavirus testing and contact tracing is now opening new COVID-19 testing sites, but appointments are hard to get.
- The rate of transmission continues to climb in the Bay Area as San Francisco moved into the coronavirus ‘red zone,’ and freezes reopenings.
- The pandemic has created greater health and human service needs and spurred new ways to meet those needs. Community refrigerators is one new way gaining popularity to address food insecurity. Read more about these efforts in: Oakland’s Town Fridge is creating food access, one refrigerator at a time and Community fridges show up in L.A. neighborhoods to feed those in need.
- As the pandemic continues to expose health gaps more and more people are acknowledging the significant role racism plays in health and wellness. To learn more read Too Many Black Americans Are Dying from COVID-19 from the editors of Scientific American.
- Is the pandemic making you feel overwhelmed and disillusioned about the future? Check out what Dr. Manuel Pastor has to say in Reimagine a Post Covid Future from Podship
Tuesday, July 14
There are jumps in coronavirus cases in many parts of the country but Florida, Texas and California are fueling the surge of new COVID-19 infections. There are concerns about upcoming events including NBA basketball, and the Republican National Convention. To learn more about what’s happening in Florida, listen to today’s episode of the CNN podcast, Coronavirus: Fact v. Fiction.
- Just as the cases are growing again nationally, ‘Hero’ pay raises are disappearing for many essential workers. Amazon, Kroger and Albertson’s have ended pandemic-related pay raises, though some continue to provide bonuses. Many retail workers also now have to enforce mask and social distancing orders which has in some cases, increased risk of confrontations.
- Check out this feature story (with audio) from the NY Times magazine looking at how chronic underfunding of public health is putting the U.S. response to the pandemic on track to be the “worst response in the developed world”.
- As the demand for testing surges, California state health officials issued new guidelines today, setting new priorities for who is tested for coronavirus.
- Increasingly hospitals throughout the state are reporting beds are filling up, staff are tired, and supplies are sometimes running low. The strain is unprecedented for some, to learn more check out: ‘We’re just overwhelmed’: The view from inside hospitals as coronavirus surge hits.
- Two months ago, California was leading the way in responding to COVID-19 and it seemed as if California might avoid the cases and deaths other cities experienced. In the last six weeks however, cases have spiked and many are wondering how California went from a rapid reopening to a second closing in one month.
- Following a warning on Monday night that the City of Los Angeles was on the verge of shutting down again, conditions have worsened today as L.A. County set a record for COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations.
- The San Joaquin Valley is seeing an increase in cases with the Fresno region passing 20,000 coronavirus cases. Fresno County has changed its reporting method and is now reporting twice weekly, rather than daily.
- When making plans for the new school year, officials are working to balance the needs of students, the health and safety of teachers, staff and students, and guidance from authorities. Districts are struggling with school reopening plans amid the growing pandemic in California. In the Central Valley, Fresno schools ‘discussing’ online-only classes for fall semester; the Department of Public Health in LA County, has offered guidelines for schools that decide to reopen; and following a vote to reopen in Orange County, education leaders want schools to reopen without masks or social distancing.
- COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color directly and the antecedent conditions for many communities have made them more vulnerable or have created additional challenges during the pandemic. For two examples, check out, Housing segregation left Black Americans more vulnerable to Covid-19 and A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention.
- The pandemic has caused 40 million Americans to lose jobs and the CARES Act provided an opportunity, perhaps imperfect, to see how providing cash might be a powerful way to support those who are unemployed during this public health crisis. According to some preliminary data, the pandemic has proved that cash payments work.
Monday, July 13
Nationally many states are turning back orders and re-instituting regulations. With California averaging more than 8,000 new cases per day as of Sunday, the Governor has ordered statewide re-closure of indoor dining, limits on church services, salons. Governor Newsom also ordered thirty counties to close gyms, churches, hair salons, offices for non-critical sectors and malls.
- On Sunday, Florida reported the largest, single-day increase in COVID cases in any state since the start of the pandemic, adding 15,000 cases. In addition, 45 deaths were reported. Florida has more Covid-19 than most countries in the world and within the last week, emerged as world’s new epicenter for COVID-19.
- Controversy over the call to reopen schools continues with the administration pushing to move forward and U.S. education chief Betsy DeVos downplaying risk of opening schools amid coronavirus.
- There have been 3,369,200 confirmed cases and 135,300 deaths in the United States.
- As the administration calls for reopening of schools California teachers fight back against pressure to reopen schools. The California Teachers Association believes rather than forcing some 300,000 teachers back into classrooms, distance learning should continue until a safe return can be guaranteed.
- As testing has ramped up for many it has been hit or miss, with Californians describe vastly different COVID-19 testing experiences.
- Community health centers are often the primary way low-income communities of color access health care services. The pandemic has been incredibly challenging for the survival of countless clinics however, a network of community health centers quickly responded and built out telehealth tools and technologies to respond to COVID-19. To learn more read: How a group of CA safety-net clinics mobilized tech to respond to Covid-19.
- There have been 335,356 confirmed cases and 7,089 deaths in California.
- As the federal government pushes for reopening, districts around California are announcing different plans. Los Angeles and San Diego schools to go online-only in the fall; the two districts together enroll about 825,000 and are the largest districts in the state. In Orange County officials are considering reopening schools without masks or increased social distancing.
- Two counties in the Sacramento area, Yolo and El Dorado, are preparing to go after coronavirus health order violators. The counties say they will fine or suspend permits of businesses resisting pandemic-related safety measures.
- While early on in the pandemic there were concerns about bed capacity, now hospital staffing is an emerging concern in Kern's COVID-19 effort. According to the Kern County Public Health Services Director, this is “another threat” to the health care system in the larger region.
- Health experts have warned of a looming mental health crisis linked to COVID-19 and now there are new concerns, as the pandemic and racism are compounding worries about Black suicide rate. There are leaders such as Yolo Akili Robinson, the President and CEO of Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective that are trying to respond to the multitude of challengers facing Black communities during the pandemic. Check out this interview with Mr. Robinson about the impact of COVID-19 and implications for the mental health of communities of color.
- Many are wondering what California can do about the pandemic-induced job crisis. In California local workforce boards might be one answer, check out this essay about how these boards might provide one path to get people back to work.
Saturday/Sunday, July 11-12
It is now estimated that over 12.4 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19. With more than 3.1 million cases, the United States has become the worse affected country. In different parts of the U.S cases continue to grow at alarming rates. Florida set a one-day record with over 15,000 new COVID cases, more than most countries and in Houston Texas, ‘all the hospitals are full’. Overwhelmed ICUs leave COVID-19 patients waiting in ERs.
- In the last few months there have been numerous reports of deaths of Latinos at meat processing plants. Now, CDC data has found that coronavirus has been reported in over half of Latino meat and poultry workers in 21 states. The data show that in total, 87 percent of cases were among racial and ethnic minorities. A coalition of food worker and civil and human rights advocates has filed a civil rights complaint against Tyson Foods, Inc. and JBS USA.
- As Trump demanded schools reopen, his experts warned of ‘highest risk’. A 69-page document, to be used by public health response teams for use in hot spots around the country, described fully reopening schools and universities as the highest risk for spread of coronavirus.
- In recent weeks the CDC added pregnant women as a risk group for COVID-19 after finding that expectant mothers with the virus had a 50% higher chance of being admitted into intensive care. Now an agonizing lag in coronavirus research puts pregnant women and babies at risk.
- Over the weekend the infection rate continued to worsen as California coronavirus-related deaths top 7,000. The state has also reported record-high ICU usage and hospitalizations. Officials are increasingly concerned about rapid community spread over the last month as businesses reopened.
- Testing for COVID-19 has posed challenges since the pandemic began and California appeared to be experiencing some success. However, a new investigation from the Los Angeles Times has found the state was “unprepared, overwhelmed and lagging”. To learn more read, The inside story of how California failed mass coronavirus testing.
- There are currently 5,841 coronavirus cases among inmates in the state’s prison system, an increase of 860 cases in two weeks. A reported 1,222 employees have also been infected. Now, California will release up to 8,000 prisoners due to coronavirus.
- According to Johns Hopkins University, Imperial County has three times the number of infections per capita than Los Angeles County and the death rate from COVID-19 is nearly twice that of any county in California. With the region hit so hard, Medics are down to their last defense with coronavirus swamping their town.
- On Saturday L.A. County reported 2,900 new coronavirus cases, 57 related deaths, as the surge continues. More than 2,000 people are currently hospitalized with the virus; 27% of confirmed cases are in intensive care and 18% are on ventilators.
- A coronavirus outbreak hits Los Angeles Apparel with more than 300 infections, 4 employee deaths. The company had previously been shut down by the Department of Public Health after inspectors found “flagrant violations” of infection control orders and the company’s failure to cooperate with an investigation of a reported coronavirus outbreak.
- Even as improvements are underway to more accurately capture the race and ethnicity of those infected with and dying from COVID-19, there is also reportedly a ‘huge hole’ in COVID-19 testing data making it harder to study racial disparities.
- One of the primary routine screenings that businesses are already using to identify potential cases of coronavirus, are temperature checks. However, many believe that this, by itself is the not the best method to identify cases, to learn about a new proposal, read Fever Checks Are a Flawed Way To Flag COVID-19 Cases. Enter Smell Tests.
Friday, July 10
After a steady decline nationally, the daily virus death toll has risen in some states. On Thursday the seven-day death average in the U.S. reached 608, up from 471 earlier in July. However, this is still much lower than the 2,200 deaths averaged in the country back in mid-April.
- After an open letter from scientists was published earlier this week, the World Health Organization is acknowledging indoor airborne spread of coronavirus is possible.
- The congressional stimulus that created the Paycheck Protection Program allowed nonprofits to participate as long as they had fewer than 500 employees. An investigation into the program has found the Catholic Church lobbied for taxpayer funds and were able to get at least $1.4 billion. The Associated Press investigation found the program was aggressively promoted, which helped affiliates such as Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools and other ministries received approval for at least 3,500 forgivable loans.
- There have been 3,164,700 confirmed cases and there have been 133,499 deaths in the United States.
- On Thursday, the state set a one-day record with 9,816 confirmed case and 137 deaths. Half of California counties are now on the state’s watchlist.
- Throughout the state there are record number of COVID-19 tests being administered, however the recent virus jump has also caused an increased demand for testing. This overwhelming test sites and creating concerns about potential supply shortages. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health and human services secretary has urged labs to prioritize test results for those with symptoms and those in institutional settings.
- The economic impact of the pandemic has been significant with nearly 1 in 5 Californians out of work. With the pandemic continuing and limited options in sight, many have had to think creatively about how to make ends meet. Check out the stories of 10 Californians who lost work and are finding ways to make the best of their situation and position themselves for a better future.
- There have been 302,940 confirmed cases and there have been 6,862 deaths in California.
- Across San Bernardino County, hospitals have seen a significant increase in coronavirus hospitalizations, rising from about 276 patients a month ago to about 579 patients on Tuesday of this week. The number of COVID-19 patients in the county trauma center has almost tripled as well, from 20 in May to 55 as of this week. With coronavirus patients filling up Inland Empire hospitals, nurses are desperate for relief.
- Based on new county data presented on Thursday, Latinos are now more than twice as likely as whites to be infected with the coronavirus and twice as likely to die, and Blacks are 27% more likely to be infected and nearly twice as likely to die from the virus compared to whites. Indicating LA County’s racial disparities endure, even as coronavirus testing access improves.
- Food insecurity has increased during the pandemic and stark racial disparities are emerging as families struggle to get enough food. Black and Latino households with children are now nearly twice as likely to be struggling with food as similar white families, and these racial gaps have persisted weekly, throughout the pandemic.
- The significant social and economic impacts of COVID-19 are being felt profoundly by women. Women are more likely to be responsible for caregiving, are often economically insecure, and are at greater risk for domestic violence. To learn more about what can be done to support women, read, Women are most affected by pandemics — lessons from past outbreaks.
Thursday, July 9
Since the lockdowns in March and April, jobs have returned and unemployment claims are falling, but 1.3 million people still applied for assistance last week. Additionally, nearly 14.4 million people claimed pandemic benefits in 47 states; an increase of over 1.5 from last week.
- Surging infections in key states are challenging public health officials as COVID-19 death tolls are also now rising after weeks of decline nationwide. A new forecast from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington is predicting the U.S. will record more than 200,000 deaths related to coronavirus by November, up from about 130,000 now.
- The rise in cases nationwide has resulted in new calls for renewed caution; Dr. Anthony Fauci says hard-hit states should be 'pausing' the reopening process.
- With the coronavirus surging across the country testing sites are creating long-lines, and many Americans are facing testing delays.
- Yesterday’s record day of coronavirus deaths in California has raised new alarms. The state’s test positivity rate rose to 7.1% over the past two weeks, hospitalizations have increased 44% and intensive-care admissions 34%. Three new counties—Napa, San Benito and Yolo have been added to the state’s watch list, bringing the total number of counties to 26. This is casting doubts about further reopening and speculation that bars and indoor dining could remain closed for the foreseeable future.
- As national leaders call for reopening of schools in the fall, Governor Newsom says reopening of California schools to be based on safety, not pressure from Trump and that decisions on reopening would be made by local education and health officials. The California Teachers Association has also sent a letter to state leaders expressing serious concern about reopening without adequate preparation.
- California’s Asian American residents have reported COVID-19-related hate incidents against them about 10 times per day totaling over 800 complaints in the 13 weeks since the pandemic began. Activists are now pushing for aid and representation on the state’s COVID-19 task force.
- On Wednesday the California Senate announced it would join the Assembly and not return from summer recess next week. This was announced the same day as a second Assembly member acknowledged testing positive and was hospitalized with COVID-19. No return date has been announced.
- Health officials inSan Bernardino County have had to cancel hundreds of coronavirus test appointments, citing a shortage of materials. The county’s daily capacity for testing has shrunk from 4,500 to about 1,800. More than 167,000 residents have tested positive. In Riverside County, warehouse workers are in a bind as the virus spikes in Southern California, and demand for sorting, packing and delivering goods has grown.
- Residents in Los Angeles have been put on notice, A. could reimpose stay-at-home order if coronavirus spike continues,warned Mayor Eric Garcetti. The spike also jeopardizes opening of schools, L.A. County’s top health official warns.
- Even as the coronavirus has moved to different parts of the country, communities of color are being impacted disproportionately. To learn more, read ‘People can’t ignore it anymore’: Across the country, minorities hit hardest by pandemic.
- With discussions emerging on school openings, other countries can provide some insight about how to reopen, even amid outbreaks. To understand how, check out: School openings across globe suggest ways to keep coronavirus at bay, despite outbreaks.
Wednesday, July 8
Following up on the Administration’s vow to terminate participation, the U.S. notified the UN of withdrawal from World Health Organization. This follows the Administration’s earlier criticism of the WHO’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The exit will not take effect until next year.
- Weeks after the CDC issued guidance and a checklist for schools to reopen, President Trump threatened to cut funding if schools do not fully reopen in person this fall. The President deemed the guidelines onerous and expensive and following this Vice President Pence announced the CDC would be changing school reopening guidelines.
- Public health specialists are in-demand more than ever as they are being called upon to advise policymakers, monitor the spread of infection and ensure hospital capacity is available to meet demands. As the pandemic surges again, there are increasing concerns about burnout; read more about it in The Pandemic Experts Are Not Okay.
- On Tuesday 9,500 infections were recorded in California, setting a record for most coronavirus cases in a single day. As of Wednesday afternoon, the state had 284,691 confirmed cases.
- According to the most recent tracking poll from the California Health Care Foundation/IPSOS, many residents say California reopened too soon and fear coronavirus spread. The poll also found that more than three in four Californians are worried about contracting COVID-19 and the level of concern is higher for Californians with low incomes.
- Regions throughout the state are experiencing a surge in cases. Today San Bernardino County recorded 21 coronavirus deaths, and 654 new cases, the largest number of deaths reported in one day; Riverside County surpassed 20,000 coronavirus cases ; and, coronavirus cases have surged at Lake Tahoe amid summer tourist season.
- In response to demand soaring, L.A. County has narrowed priority for who should get coronavirus tests. In early June following the George Floyd protests officials were encouraging everyone to get testing, particularly those who had participated in large gatherings or protests. Now the priority is being placed on those showing symptoms, working in a high-risk environment or having contact with a person who has been exposed to the virus.
- Some are predicting that the coronavirus outbreak inside San Quentin could be the worst of any prison in the country. There are 4,000 inmates at San Quentin and 1,400 inmates have the virus. Five death row inmates have died after contracting COVID-19, and nearly 200 others are likely infected; COVID is cutting a lethal path through San Quentin’s death row.
- New data released earlier this week confirmed what was suspected, the pandemic is taking a disproportionate toll on people of color. The disparities are stark with Blacks and Latinos are nearly three times as likely to contract COVID-19 as white Americans and twice as likely to die from it. Take five minutes to watch: How federal response has failed to address racial disparities in pandemic's toll, a discussion of the data with Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo of the University of California, San Francisco.
- The pandemic has quickly changed how many of us pay for goods and services. As contactless payments become the norm, our cash-free future is getting closer.
Tuesday, July 7
As the coronavirus surge continues nationwide with public health experts proclaiming we are still “knee deep in the first wave” and cases top 3 million, the President announced today he will pressure governors to reopen schools for the fall.
- In recent weeks the Sunbelt has been hard hit by the pandemic. In some states, new measures are being taken to reimpose restrictions as hospitals approach capacity, following the holiday weekend where images surfaced of widespread disregard for public health guidance on mask wearing and distancing.
- Data continues to emerge about the various ways communities of color are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. New information is surfacing about the challenges of getting tested and locations of testing sites; not surprisingly Latino, and Black neighborhoods struggle with test disparities, as well.
- As a result of pressure, the federal government recently revealed that lobbyists, law firms and trade groups took small-business loans from the Paycheck Protection Program. The program authorized nearly $520 billion for nearly 5 million mostly small businesses and nonprofits to provide relief from the economic fallout of the pandemic. Check out this article to learn about seven unlikely recipients.
- To get a deeper understanding of the current surge of COVID-19, check out this 30 minute interview between Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health.
- After much pressure to open up the state economy Governor Newsom, is now coming under fire, and is ramping up enforcement and adding counties to the watchlist. The current surge in California is skewing younger, and Gov Newsom is attributing it to young adults who think ‘they are invincible’.
- The number of children infected with coronavirus is rising across the country, and in California Latino children are suffering higher rates of COVID-19. Latino children are testing positive at higher rates than other groups of children, and account for the majority of all California cases among those under 18 years of age.
- The Speaker of the California Assembly announced that all legislative hearings would be delayed as a lawmaker tested positive for COVID-19. Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D-Marina Del Rey) and four others who work in the Capitol tested positive for coronavirus, which likely spread when staff and legislators met to pass the state budget in late June.
- Cases continue to increase in Los Angeles County. On Tuesday county officials announced 4,015 new cases of coronavirus, shattering LA County’s previous single-day record. However, 2,000 of those cases were from a backlog of test results from July 2-5.
- Orange County coronavirus cases continue to grow and for the first time more than 1,000 new cases were reported in a single day with younger people hit hard. The spike in Orange County is also being attributed to a backlog of test results.
- Because of the pandemic, the U.S. economy has been devastated, with Latina workers suffering severe job losses. Latinos have also been identified among the groups most likely to contract COVID-19. To learn more, check out ‘We need help,‘ say Latina workers, hit hard by pandemic job losses, a short video from the PBS News Hour.
- Recent research is confirming that coronavirus is airborne and by some accounts can remain afloat in tiny air that is stagnant. Many questions are emerging, to understand more check out Airborne Coronavirus: What You Should Do Now.
Monday, July 6
Questions about the exact ways coronavirus is transmitted have gotten much attention with the World Health Organization contending that it is spread by large respiratory droplets, that once expelled drop quickly to the floor; however 239 Experts are asserting one big claim, the virus is airborne. In an open letter to be published next week, the scientists from 32 countries outlined evidence showing smaller particles can infect people, and calls for the WHO to revisit the issue.
- As numbers continued to climb throughout the holiday weekend some national and state officials now believe that the rush to reopen led to spikes in cases that threaten to overwhelm hospitals in some states. Dr. Scott Gottlieb former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also asserted that the U.S. coronavirus response is still crippled by lack of testing.
- While early data indicated Blacks and Latinos were being impacted more by COVID-19 the data was limited, lacking or unavailable. The New York Times sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make available federal data about who was being infected and dying from COVID-19. The newly available data provides the fullest look yet at the racial inequity of coronavirus, confirming that Black and Latino people have been disproportionately affected by the virus, across the country in urban, suburban and rural areas, and across all age groups.
- Today there are 2,925,000 confirmed cases and there have been 127,000 deaths in the United States.
- With hospitalizations rising and more counties added to the Governor’ COVID19 watch list, California coronavirus spikes worsened over the holiday weekend. There is an increasing rate of positive test results in the state, an indication that transmission of the disease is getting worse.
- There are increasing concerns about the surge in the numbers of Latinos who are infected with coronavirus. Data has emerged showing Latino workers are getting sick and dying from COVID-19 in disproportionately high numbers. To learn more, check out: Special Report: As cases surge, California struggles to slow COVID-19 in Latino communities.
- As conditions have worsened in California’s prisons, on Monday state authorities announced the replacement of the top medical officer for the state prison system.
- Today there are 271,035 confirmed cases and there have been 6,443 deaths in California.
- Currently one-third of the prisoners in California's San Quentin State Prison have coronavirus, at the end of May there were no known cases. In light of the outbreak the San Francisco Public Defender's Office plans to file for immediate release of 60 from San Francisco.
- In the last three weeks LA County officials have seen an ‘alarming’ rise in coronavirus hospitalizations, and infection rates. As of Sunday, there have been nearly 115,000 cases and almost 3,500 deaths in the county.
- The Communications Network and the Atlantic recently collaborated to survey communication leaders, CEOs and board members at nonprofits and foundations about the changes being seen at their organizations as a result of the pandemic. Check out what was learned and what is recommended in this opinion piece: Communications Strategies Have Shifted During Pandemic but Often Don’t Address Racial Equity.
- The pandemic has changed the way in which many community organizations do business with some returning to “their roots” providing mutual aid and self-determination. To learn more, check out Rinku Sen’s Why Today’s Social Revolutions include Kale, Medical Care and Help with Rent.
Thursday, July 2
In a bit of good news, after June job gains, there is still a ‘Deep Hole,’ and new worries are emerging with the recent surge in coronavirus cases. Even still, there were still nearly 15 million fewer jobs in June than in February before the pandemic forced shut downs across the country.
- A new study released on Thursday from the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. may be 28% higher than official count.
- The numbers continue to increase nationally and as cases spiked in the Sunbelt, other states backed off on reopening, and in Texas the Governor has Reversed Course and Ordered Face Masks. Some are calling the increase a result of careless behavior such as not wearing masks and or disregarding social distancing measures; increasingly bars are being identified as a common source of coronavirus outbreaks.
- When COVID-19 shut down the U.S. economy, Congress moved to help the millions who lost jobs, including providing one-time relief checks to families that qualified. However, there have been no measures put into place for those who continued to work during the health crisis, even in jobs that put people at increased risk. Some companies did short-term “hazard” pay but most have ended that practice. To learn more about the challenges faced by these workers, read: When Essential Workers Earn Less Than The Jobless: 'We Put The Country On Our Back'.
- Because of the pandemic public health terms have become much more common and after many years of operating “behind the scenes”, the visibility of the public health system has been raised. Many believe the pandemic provides an opportunity for public health to be reshaped, and many see this as an important opportunity for the system to evolve. Read more from the American Public Health Association here.
- Today there are 2,726,000 confirmed cases and there have been 126,000 deaths in the United States.
- During the pandemic California has been viewed as model for managing the coronavirus, however in recent days that has changed. Some now believe leaders underestimated how much reopening orders would also mean that people might not comply with public health measures. Learn more in: How California went from model student to pandemic problem child.
- In an effort to slow the spike in coronavirus infections, Governor Newsom rolled back reopenings in a good number of counties across the state. To understand the details, check out: What to know as California halts indoor dining, shutters other businesses.
- Today there are 241,076 confirmed cases and there have been 6,192 deaths in California.
- Moving into the holiday weekend, counties across the state are taking measures to prepare including closing parking lots at Bay Area state beaches, in Orange County after two lifeguards tested positive for COVID-19, Newport to close beaches for July 4 and Huntington Beach follows suit; and in San Diego due to increasing case totals the county is bracing for new state mandate that would pause indoor activities.
- With coronavirus cases surging, L.A. unveiled a new color-coded system to assess infection risk. The new online indicator breaks threat risk into four categories red, orange, yellow and green. Red indicates highest risk and residents are advised to stay home; orange indicates extremely high risk of infection, residents should assume everyone around them is infectious; yellow indicates the curve is flattening but precautions should be taken; and green indicates the virus is mostly contained.
- The team at Health Affairs is on a roll! Check out this set of thoughtful articles on focused on race:
- Moving From The Five Whys To Five Hows: Addressing Racial Inequities In COVID-19 Infection And Death
- Health Justice Is Racial Justice: A Legal Action Agenda For Health Disparities
- Will COVID-19 Pave The Way For Progressive Social Policies? Insights From Critical Race Theory
- On Racism: A New Standard For Publishing On Racial Health Inequities
- For final projects this year industrial design students from the Pratt Institute In New York were asked to design solutions to problems that have emerged because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out a few of the concepts that were designed here.
Wednesday, July 1
Nationally there are concerns rising as coronavirus cases climb in different states. New York has seen a decline in cases but has just announced a halt to indoor dining, because of concerns of virus rise in other states. Health officials are now urging Americans to celebrate 4th of July at home and at least 80 percent of fireworks displays in large cities and towns have been cancelled.
- Masks continue to be a flashpoint across the country and fighting over masks in public seems to be a new American pastime. This has also given essential workers and businesses owners a new job responsibility, enforcement.
- Public Health departments across the country have played a very important role in the fight against COVID-19, but according to Kaiser Health News and the Associated Press, over the last 10 years spending for state public health departments has dropped by 16% per capita and spending for local health departments has dropped by 18%. To learn more check out the KHN/AP investigative report: Hollowed out public health system faces more cuts amid virus.
- As cases continue to climb, on Wednesday Governor Gavin Newsom ordered tougher restrictions for the state, ordering restaurant dining rooms, wineries, and card rooms to close for at least three weeks in 19 California counties. This is in advance of the holiday weekend and one measure to prevent a July 4 coronavirus disaster.
- Back in April the Governor launched a multimillion-dollar initiative to bring testing for COVID-19 to places and people with limited access and focused on rural areas and low-income communities. Now, even as coronavirus cases surge, California pauses multimillion-dollar testing expansion
- Prisons in California have struggled to prevent and contain coronavirus outbreaks. At the end of March there was just one confirmed case among inmates, and three months later more than 4,600 inmates in California prisons have contracted the disease and twenty-one inmates have died. There are now plans underway to release some inmates as coronavirus ravages prisons. California spends more on inmate health care than many other big states spend on entire prison systems; this is causing many to wonder why California prisons are COVID hotbeds despite billions spent on inmate health.
- Many regions in the state are facing increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. In Los Angeles County a third day of coronavirus surges brings alarm, in Orange County bars and indoor restaurants must close bars, amid coronavirus surge and as a cases surged in Sacramento County, health officials ordered indoor restaurant dining, and movie theaters closed. Los Angeles county has now pushed past 100,000 infections and Orange County has nearly 14,000 cases and Sacramento County is one of the 19 targeted for immediate closure of gathering sites and businesses.
- Check out Tracking COVID-19’s Effects by Race and Ethnicity a new tracking tool developed using the Household Pulse Survey data to track a set of measures for households in the United States. The tool was created by the Urban Institute.
- With no experience living through a pandemic many of us couldn’t quite understand what reopening might mean for COVID-19 cases. As states, counties and cities begin to open up and cases increase and in some instances don’t, it can be confusing. To try and make sense of it all read this interview with Jennifer Nuzzo an epidemiologist at the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She and her colleagues created a data visualization tool that combines new COVID-19 cases and deaths, with the dates that reopening policies have been implemented in each state. Check it out the tool here.
Tuesday, June 30
Today at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee focused on the latest efforts by federal agencies to contain the spread of coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed dismay about people congregating in crowds, not wearing masks and inadequate attention being paid to guidelines on reopening. He also warned Congress that new US coronavirus cases could rise to 100,000 a day.
- Frontline workers have been re-defined during the pandemic to include those who caring for seniors and those living with disabilities. However, these workers largely Black and immigrant women, have become indispensable and victims of COVID-19. For a thoughtful take on the challenges they are facing, read The Invisible Essential Workers.
- Today the European Union barred travelers from the United States citing concerns about coronavirus. Officials cited epidemiological reasons, the prevalence of coronavirus and the number of deaths, as the reason to bar travelers from certain countries.
- Just one day after a record-breaking day of coronavirus cases, California surpassed 6,000 deaths. This has prompted New York’s Governor to order anyone traveling to the state from California, as well as 15 other states experiencing spikes, to self-quarantine for 14 days.
- On Monday the state tallied more than 8,000 cases, case counts are exploding leading at least one health care expert to surmise ‘Our Luck May Have Run Out’. This is the third time in eight days California broke previous records for daily cases. As the spread intensifies, public health officials believe California is entering a perilous phase and many doctors and nurses are angry as coronavirus strains California hospitals.
- On Sunday, in Riverside County hospitals hit 99% capacity for ICUs. However, some officials believe a greater challenge might be limited staff numbers to meet the increased need.
- On Monday Imperial County announced it was stepping back its reopening plan amid the coronavirus surge. The county now plans to: limit non-essential retail stores to curbside pickup only, shutter public parks and prohibit any nonessential gatherings, including churches and other places of worship if they meet indoors.
- Nineteen counties representing 72% of the state’s population are now on the state’s watch list which focuses on counties that are experiencing an increase in: confirmed cases, or hospitalizations and ICU patients, or outbreaks in congregate settings (e.g. skilled nursing facilities, prisons) or community transmissions in settings such as churches, workplaces or agriculture or specific populations experiencing disease in a disproportionate manner.
- More and more health experts are talking about the impact of racism in the United States. Now many believe Black Americans are experiencing deadly stress with the pandemic and violent racism colliding.
- Dr Linda Rae Murray past president of the American Public Health Association believes the global pandemic is allowing for a careful reflection on health inequities and will allow for an exploration of what’s needed to vanquish COVID-19 health inequities. Check out what else she has to say on this subject in this livestream video interview from the American Medical Association.
- Universal Basic Income continues to be one way, some believe economic relief can come during the pandemic-induced recession. Learn how some mayors across the country are working towards this in: MLK Had a Dream of Guaranteed Income. As Mayors of 11 U.S. Cities, We Are Bringing That Dream to Life.
Monday, June 29
The world continues to battle the pandemic and has hit some significant milestones with many fearing the worse is yet to come.
- As the numbers have grown nationally, on Monday Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert called it a ‘Recipe for disaster’, urging Americans to buckle down on coronavirus preventative measures. Dr. Anne Schuchat, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was interviewed on Monday by Dr. Howard Bauchner, editor-in -chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association, about the nation’s response to the pandemic. Check out the video interview here.
- As a result of spikes in cases more states are changing course on re-opening and mask wearing. In Arizona, Governor Ducey re-closed bars, movie theatres, gyms and water parks for at least 30 days. In Georgia, Governor Kemp extended that state’s public health emergency, and extended social distancing guidelines through July 15. As increases in new cases emerged, in Oregon, a mask requirement was extended to the entire state, and in Utah masks were mandated as a record 676 new COVID-19 cases were reported.
- Today there are 2,574,000 confirmed cases and there have been 124,000 deaths in the United States.
- After ordering bars and breweries closed in numerous counties Gov. Gavin Newsom today threatened to reverse California reopening. The state has experienced a 45% increase in coronavirus cases in the last seven days. The state is also monitoring and working with 19 counties that have failed to meet guidelines for hospitalizations, transmission of the virus, or sufficient testing for at least three days.
- California had been viewed by many as successfully managing the pandemic, however the state has slid from coronavirus success to danger zone. Many believe this began on Memorial Day, based on estimated incubation of the virus and the upswing of coronavirus hospitalizations which began around June 15.
- Today there are 222,059 confirmed cases and there have been 5,975 deaths in California.
- Today L.A. County coronavirus cases surged past 100,000 with a record one-day tally of 2,903 new COVID-19 cases and an additional 22 deaths. This is the largest single day number of new infections int the county. Officials are now warning that 1 in 140 residents are likely infected without knowing it; a significant increase from last week’s projection of 1 in 400. Today officials also revealed that after orders were lifted on June 20 more than 500,000 people visited LA county’s reopened bars, breweries, wineries and similar businesses. The county has issued a dire warning due to what are being characterized as “rapidly deteriorating” conditions.
- Back in March members of the Race, Equity And Leadership (REAL) Council of the National League of Cities called on city leaders across the country to prioritize equity in responses to COVID-19. Now, this group is calling on cities to takes steps to do more to address racism. To learn more, read: From COVID-19 to Protest: Local Leaders Commit to Dismantling Racist Policies.
- Lucy Jones, trusted scientist has a new podcast! It’s called Getting Through It. Check out, the first episode, Surviving the Pandemic with Science.
Saturday/Sunday, June 27-28
This weekend coronavirus cases surpassed 10 million worldwide. The total number dead from COVID-19 is now approaching 500,000.
- Much of COVID-19 news on Sunday focused on the rising number of coronavirus cases nationwide. The White House is blaming the Rise in virus cases on more testing, however public health experts dispute this claim revealing that broadened testing is also revealing a higher rate of positive cases.
- As cases continued to climb, late Friday the governors of Texas and Florida ordered bars to shut, and restaurants to scale back amid coronavirus spike. In Florida the median age of coronavirus patients is now skewing much younger and there has been a fivefold increase in Florida’s COVID-19 in two weeks; both, are causing great concern.
- There are more than 1.6 million older adults living in low-income housing subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Most live in apartment buildings with shared common space and in the midst of the pandemic this group has been seemingly overlooked. Many of these seniors are living in fear of COVID infection.
- Like a few parts in the country, California is also experiencing a rising number of coronavirus test results coming back positive. Health officials confirm this coronavirus infection rate spike is a troubling sign of community spread.
- On Sunday, as coronavirus cases surged, Gov. Newsom ordered bars to close in Los Angeles and six other counties, and recommended closures in eight other counties. The six counties ordered to close bars are Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, San Joaquin and Tulare. The counties recommended to close bars are Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus and Ventura.
- Coronavirus cases are surging and new troubling data is emerging that indicates California Latino, and Black residents are being hit even harder by coronavirus as white people see less danger. In L.A. County Blacks and Latinos now have double the mortality rate from the virus than white residents, and for the first time Latino coronavirus deaths have surpassed that of Black residents.
- Coronavirus continues to overwhelm different regions in the state including San Bernardino and Imperial Counties. Hospitals were beginning to reach surge capacity as coronavirus packed San Bernardino hospitals and Imperial County was told to reinstate stay-at-home order. On Saturday health officials confirmed another 203 cases in Imperial County bringing the total o more than 6,000 cases; local and state officials also met on Saturday to work on a plan to halt the spread of coronavirus.
- Coronavirus continues to spread at San Quentin State Prison in the Bay Area. There were no inmate coronavirus cases from March-May and now there are more than 600 infections. A 'shocking, heartbreaking' outbreak, that is alarming health experts and raising concerns about the impact on prisoners, staff and the wider Bay Area health system.
- Black-owned small businesses often experience challenges including accessing capital and programs designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs. This has resulted in many Black-owned businesses facing a system set up against them and now, COVID-19 has made it worse.
- Check out this week’s episode of The Dose, a health policy podcast from The Commonwealth Fund which explores the question: Why are more Black Americans dying from COVID-19?
- This weekend marked the 50th Anniversary of the first Pride Parade commemorating the rebellion at the Stonewall Inn in 1969 in New York City. Because of the pandemic, this year’s celebration was different, to find out how check out: How the Virus and Protests Changed a 50-Year Celebration of Pride.
- The pandemic has caused much concern about how the November 2020 election will happen during this global pandemic. In California the plan is now a bit clearer—every registered regular voter in the state can expect to get a ballot in the mail before the election, whether it’s been requested it or not. To understand more about how it will work, check out: California’s 2020 all-mail election explained.
Friday, June 26
With more than 120,000 deaths and nearly 2.5 million confirmed cases, the Trump Administration filed a late-night brief on Thursday asking the Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare. There are roughly 24 million people out of work collecting unemployment benefits; for this group of people the Affordable Care Act’s health care marketplaces and expansion of Medicaid, is providing options to access health care.
- The recent surge in the virus is a showing up a bit differently, with younger people accounting for a ‘disturbing’ number of cases. This is raising some fears that young people who are showing no symptoms are helping to fuel the spread of the coronavirus.
- A new survey from the Associated Press/NorcCenter for Public Affairs Research was just released and has found many Americans never fully embraced reopening efforts and express support for continued restrictions.
- When stay-at-home restrictions were eased there was an expectation that case counts would rise in the state, however new infections and hospitalizations are rising faster than anticipated and in different parts of the state. Now, as COVID cases spike, California shifts its strategy. Yesterday, Governor Newsom made public the coronavirus models the state is using to inform public health orders.
- Interested in hearing what Dr. Anthony Fauci and other statewide leaders have to say about California’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic? Watch this 60-minute moderated discussionhosted by the Sacramento Press Club.
- Today there are 201,289 confirmed cases and there have been 5,807 deaths in California.
- Although less widely reported of late procuring critical COVID-19 protective equipment is still challenging for health care facilities. In the Bay Area it has been particularly challenging, read more about why,
- Infections among Latinos have outpaced many in the nation and some believe that because Latinos make up a good number of essential workers, many Latinos couldn’t stay home. and now virus cases are soaring in the community. According to a NY Times analysis, in the last two weeks counties nationwide where a quarter of the population is Latino have recorded an increase of 32 percent in cases compared to a 15 percent for all counties.
- Where would we be without essential workers? Check out this great short videoshining a light on essential workers in Oakland.
- A new survey is showing that parents are feeling pressure to make up for lost educational and enrichment time for their children. To learn more, check out: Pandemic Parenting Was Already Relentless. Then Came Summer.
Thursday, June 25
For the 14th week in a row more than one million workers filed new claims for state unemployment insurance last week. An additional 728,000 filed for benefits from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program which covers self-employed and independent contractors that don’t qualify for traditional unemployment. This is keeping unemployment offices busy, and making recovery seem likely to be a ‘Long Haul’.
- As cases surge across the country, some believe that we are in a devastating new stage of the pandemic as the coronavirus moves through numerous states where cases are increasing rapidly, hospitalizations are soaring and more positive coronavirus tests are being recorded.
- Quite a few hot spots have emerged this week. In Texas the Governor has hit 'pause' on further reopening amid COVID-19 surge, canceling all elective surgeries as a number of hospital ICU’s in the state are near, or at capacity. Florida has also seen a surge in cases as it reopens, with younger people accounting for a significant number of positive tests. Total cases in Florida are now at 103,503. In Arizona, more than 3,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Wednesday with 2,453 hospitalized. Inpatient bed and ventilators for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients hit the highest number to date.
- Today, Robert Redfield CDC chief, announced coronavirus cases may be 10 times higher than reported. Currently there are 2.3 million confirmed cases and he estimated that the 92-95% of the US population is susceptible to the virus. The CDC also broadened the list of people at increased risk, for the first time identifying pregnant women as being at higher risk of severe illness from the virus than nonpregnant women. With this addition the CDC released the most comprehensive data about the impact of the coronavirus on pregnancy. The data also found Black and Latina women are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 during pregnancy.
- The number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continues to rise in the state, and on Wednesday Governor Newsom threatened to withhold funding from local governments that fail to comply with state mandates designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
- Some economists now believe that the state is unlikely to recover its pre-pandemic prosperity over the next three years. Rather, California’s economic recovery will be like a slow ‘Nike swoosh’.
- As the Los Angeles economy has been slowly opening up, there have been reports of limited testing sites in LA County and on Wednesday, the mayor of Los Angeles urged residents to stay home as coronavirus cases spike.
- There are many ideas floating around about how to address the disproportionate impact the pandemic, coupled with long term underinvestment has had on Black communities. Some cites like Philadelphia, are exploring innovative models and could become the first U.S. city to address systemic racism with Black stimulus.
- Are you bored with escapist binge watching? Do you need quality reality TV? Check out this article to learn more about a Netflix documentary centered on a New York doctor who fought coronavirus while pregnant.
Wednesday, June 24
After a six-week downward trend, cases in the United States have been surging for more than a week. On Tuesday the U.S, reported 34,700 new cases of the coronavirus, the highest level in two months.
- New Medicare data are showing Black Medicare patients with COVID-19 are nearly four times as likely to end up in the hospital. The data also suggests poverty plays a key factor in rates of infection, and hospitalization. Significant disparities among Latinos and Asian Americans were also reported.
- An alarming spike in coronavirus carses is sparking fears in California. It is unclear how much worse the situation will get before officials move to slow down the reopening of the economy. The latest projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation have estimated that California might see more than 15,100 deaths by Oct. 1, a 170% increase from the current death toll.
- In California, Latinos have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, with recent data suggesting Latinos are getting COVID-19 at alarming rates. According to the California Department of Public Health, since mid-May more than 42,000 Latinos have been diagnosed with coronavirus and Latinos make up the majority of Californians, ages 18-64, who have died from the virus.
- There has been an increase in coronavirus hospitalizations in the state with four suburban California counties behind this dangerous rise.
- Rural parts of the state are seeing increases in coronavirus cases, as well. In Kern County two small poor predominantly Latino communities Arvin, and Lamont, have been hit hard, as well as southeast Bakersfield. In Fresno County a steady rise in hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 could trigger a rollback of Fresno businesses reopening.
- In Santa Clara there has been a ‘worrisome’ uptick in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations with reopening. The county has experienced its third-biggest case jump within a single day and the seven-day average of new infections is also gradually increasing.
- Check out this thoughtful opinion piece How Systemic Racism Shows Up in California—And Why We Must End It exploring race COVID-19 and health outcomes, from a young leader out from Oakland California.
- Many believe that the national response to COVID-19 has been insufficient and much more needs to be done to effectively address the pandemic. Read: The US badly needs a wake-up call on the coronavirus pandemic to learn one perspective on how using data such as “years of potential life lost” could spur more action and response to the crisis.
- To learn a bit more about the recent pandemic-related backlash against public health officials listen to Threats, Pressure Prompt Some California Public Health Officials To Leave Office.
Tuesday, June 23
European countries are rushing to reopen economies and borders and currently are reviewing two potential lists of acceptable visitors bringing to light that the European Union may bar American travelers citing failures on virus.
- With millions left unemployed by the coronavirus pandemic, concerns are mounting about the numbers of people who have also lost health benefits along with their jobs. Check out this survey from the Commonwealth Fund that takes an early look at the potential implications of the COVID-19 on health insurance coverage.
- On Tuesday Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed cautious optimism for a vaccine by the end of 2020 or early 2021. However, he also warned the next few weeks would be important to watch, monitor and address surges in hotspots around the U.S.
- As school begin to plan for school in the fall and how to reopen amidst the ongoing pandemic, many are overwhelmed with the potential expense with an average school district needing about $1.8 million to make social distancing possible. The potential impact on budgets is putting limits on social distancing options for schools.
- As summer begins, confirmed coronavirus cases continue to increase in California with hospitalizations. On Monday California hit a record high of new coronavirus cases, with more than 6,000 in a single day. These increases are raising new questions about whether reopening efforts might need to slow down.
- There are more than 7,000 young people between 18-21 years of age that are part of California’s foster care system. At the start of the pandemic Governor Newsom issued an executive order that allowed those youth who are aging out because they are turning 21 to remain in the system through the end of June. Now there are efforts under consideration to extend foster care for these young adults until the pandemic emergency ends.
- The impact of COVID-19 has been felt in jails and prisons across the country. On Saturday, an inmate at the Avenal State Prison died, becoming the 19th California prisoner to die after contracting coronavirus. One way the California Department of Corrections has tried to decrease the potential for infection among medically vulnerable inmates has been to transfer to other facilities where the virus may be limited or non-existent. Now, hundreds of inmates, and staff at San Quentin have tested positive for the virus after 112 inmates were transferred from the Chino prison facility.
- Essential workers have been hard hit by COVID-19, particularly workers in warehouses and factories. Recently two more Fresno employees have tested positive at Amazon an warehouse, bringing the total number of positive cases to 15 at that facility.
- The economic impact of COVID-19 has also disproportionately impacted communities of color. A new analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows the extent to which families have lost earning power during the pandemic and what that means for meeting basic needs. Check it out here.
- New data from the CDC is showing that the death rates among Blacks and Latinos are much higher than for White people in all age categories, confirming that at this time race gaps in COVID-19 are even bigger than they appear.
- Many people are making a choice to avoid summer travel and others are going forward with plans for vacations. This raises questions about whether or not it is safe to fly or drive for travel, read this article to see what five health experts have to say about it.
Monday, June 22
Even as the country continues on the journey of reopening, and new virus and daily counts of new cases in the U.S. are highest they have been in more than a month, many public health experts, are suggesting we are still in the first wave of the virus. In California, Governor Newsom soberly reported a jump in hospitalizations from COVID-19, including a 16% increase over the last two weeks, and more than 46,000 new cases.
- In spite of opposition from businesses who depend on foreign workers including major tech companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the federal government announced it would suspend H-1B work visas and others through end of year. This effort is being touted as an part of the Administration’s effort to protect U.S. workers suffering from the economic crisis tied to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Today there are 2,296,000 confirmed cases and there have been 118,000 deaths in the United States.
- In some parts of the state transmission of coronavirus and associated hospitalizations are getting worse. Health officials believe a failure to wear masks in public and an increase in social gatherings is helping fuel rising coronavirus spread in parts of California
- In 2016 there were nearly half a million young people in the United States working in agriculture, and California is home to the largest share of minors working as hired hands in farming fields. When the pandemic forced shut-downs in the state and education moved online for some California teens, school closures led to work in the fields.
- Today there are 183,553 confirmed cases and there have been 5,556 deaths in California.
- A number of health directors nationwide and throughout California have been targeted with personal attacks and threats of physical harm. Today, LA County announced press briefings will be reduced to once weekly and the health director revealed she has received death threats over coronavirus rules.
- In California, African Americans are much more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than Whites and their share of deaths from COVID-19 are about 1.5 times greater than their share of the population. Read more about racial disparities in COVID-19 mortality in this report from the Public Policy Institute of California.
- Hand sanitizer has become a must-have during the pandemic, the FDA has just issued a warning about nine brands which may be toxic. Read more about it here.
Saturday/Sunday, June 20-21
Cases of coronavirus in the United States account for approximately a quarter of the world’s cases. Infections disease experts are expressing alarm at the rate of new infections in several states, including a COVID-19 surge in the South, and the Southwest of the United States.
- In Florida, after laying blame on increased testing and the number of Latino workers, Governor DeSantis pivoted on the COVID-19 surge, saying testing does not account for spike in cases. He also announced plans to increase enforcement of social distancing practices; Florida began opening up its economy on May 4.
- In Texas, COVID-19 Hospitalizations Set Records 9 Days Straight as Texas Surpasses 107,000 Cases. In Dallas County, COVID-19 is now the third leading cause of death causing a recent vote to require businesses enforce customers wear face coverings.
- There is growing concern that the stress of the pandemic and the associated isolation that can come with lockdown orders, could cause a collision of epidemics, as fewer people addicted to drugs are receiving treatment and an increase in relapses are being seen.
- In Sonoma County Latinos are being impacted disproportionately by the COVID-19 pandemic. Three out every four infections in that county are among the Latino population even though Latinos make up only 27% of the population. Many see coronavirus further exploiting this impoverished, vulnerable group because many have no other options for employment or housing.
- On Sunday Orange County reported its highest one-day total of COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row. Public health officials recorded 434 new cases on Sunday and 413 cases on Saturday. Prior to that the reported high was 297 on June 14.
- In spite of data finding that face coverings slow the spread of coronavirus, counties throughout the state are reacting negatively to the state’s mask order. In Nevada City, the Mayor lashed out at the face coverings rule in a recent Facebook post.
- A new series of surveys conducted since April provides information about the ways in which African Americans have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The surveys show that Black Americans are most likely to know a COVID-19 victim.
Thursday, June 18
Even though the economy continues to open up and many workers are returning to jobs, unemployment claims exceeded one million for the 13th week in a row. Some economists worry that continued layoffs could signal an ‘economic scarring', suggesting the crisis is reaching deeper into the nation’s economy.
- The country is now facing what has been warned by public health experts--loosening restrictions while the virus is still circulating, could lead to more infections. According to the COVID-19 Tracker from STAT, the country is adding about 20,000 new cases daily and cases are surging in in about half of the states. These rising Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations underscore the challenges ahead for the nation.
- With recent in surges in cases, many have wondered if we are seeing the second wave of COVID-19; according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, ‘we are still in the first wave of coronavirus’. Read about what else he has to say in his conversation with staff of the Washington Post here.
- Despite numerous studies that have found face masks can help control the spread of coronavirus, the issue of wearing face coverings has continued to be controversial in many places. Today, the Governor announced Californians must wear face masks in public. The order comes one week after Orange County rescinded health orders mandating mask wearing in public.
- From the outset of the pandemic, nursing homes have had numerous outbreaks however, the true numbers of cases and deaths tied to nursing homes have been difficult to assess. What has emerged are the difficulties accurately counting deaths and cases, revealing that nursing home COVID data is a ‘tangled mess’.
- Even though hospitalizations among COVID-19 cases have been flat for the last six weeks, in Orange and Ventura counties there has been an uptick in coronavirus hospitalizations. This is causing health experts to warn if the trend continues, it could slow the pace of reopening in those counties.
- On Wednesday, the state and L.A. County saw new single-day highs in coronavirus cases with a total of 4,291 new cases statewide and 2,129 in Los Angeles County.
- The pandemic has forced many businesses to shut down and early evidence is suggesting coronavirus is hitting black business owners hardest.
- Check out the COVID Tracking Project’s Racial Data Dashboard, providing the latest race and ethnicity data from every state and territory that reports it. The dashboard can be found here.
- Despite protections enacted to support renters during the coronavirus lockdown, landlords seek to evict tenants in Black and Latino areas of South L.A. New analysis by the LA Times has found landlords are still trying to get rid of tenants by locking them out of their homes, turning off utilities and using other illegal methods.
- The pandemic has caused the cancellation of many milestone events including graduations and proms. Check out the 2020 virtual prom, complete with pictures, a playlist and feelings from high school juniors and seniors.
Wednesday, June 17
As of June 15, according to Johns Hopkins University, COVID-19 cases have exceeded eight million worldwide. More than 435,000 people have died and approximately 3.8 people have recovered from the disease.
- The question of a vaccine is top of mind for many, particularly when trying to think about how to move society into a more normalized existence. These two articles: How — and When — Can the Coronavirus Vaccine Become a Reality? and “Fast-Tracking” a Coronavirus Vaccine Sounds Great. It’s Not That Simple, provide a great overview of the vaccine development process, what it will take, and the challenges and risks involved.
- Economic experts now believe the downturn has caused the rich to cut their spending, in turn hurting all the workers who count on it. Estimates from Opportunity Insights, estimate the highest-earning quarter of Americans are responsible for about half of the decline in consumption during this recession. Check out the Economic Tracker here.
- Because of the pandemic, the profile of local public health officers has been raised in different parts of the states. Unfortunately ‘things have gotten ugly’ — as pandemic pushback drives health directors to quit. In the last two months, four other health officers in Nevada, San Benito, Yolo and Butte counties have resigned or retired. In two other counties, public health directors have also quit.
- Statewide, coronavirus hospitalizations have been relatively flat for the last six weeks, even as officials have allowed myriad businesses to open their doors and people begin to resume old routines. However, according to some analyses, coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise in parts of California, jeopardizing wider reopenings.
- The issue of mask wearing continues to be in issue in some regions of the state. This week in Orange County labor groups, and residents asked officials to bring back mask mandate, and were confronted and clashed with those opposed to mandatory mask wearing.
- Please take a minute to read Beginning America’s Next Story from Angela Glover Blackwell featured in PolicyLink’s COVID-19 & Race Commentary.
- Do you have a lot of unanswered questions about COVID-19? Do you wonder about the long-term effects of having COVID-19 or what herd immunity actually means? Check out Viral Questions a series of short articles answering some of the most commonly asked questions about the coronavirus pandemic.
Tuesday, June 16
There have been more than 2 million coronavirus cases and at least 115,000 deaths, in the United States. The pandemic has had an impact; check out six charts showing how Americans have been affected by COVID-19.
- A new report from the federal government is now confirming the coronavirus death rate is higher for those with chronic illnesses. The report released on Monday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights the increased risk posed by heart disease, diabetes and conditions of the lung.
- The early data and modeling for COVID-19 indicated that for every person who died of COVID-19, another 11 would be hospitalized. Now many are realizing that ratio was too high and decreased over time, as more information about disease and how to treat it became clear. Read more how America’s hospitals survived the first wave of coronavirus here.
- Even though cases continue to move upward and California deaths from COVID-19 have exceeded 5,000, some are questioning Governor Newsom’s choice to allow counties to ease stay-at-home orders. The Governor is defending reopening rules citing concerns about the impact of ongoing isolation on overall well-being for Californians.
- Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, more than 2.2. million Californians were self-employed, accounting for 11.7% of the state’s total employment. These workers have been impacted by the pandemic with self-employment falling by nearly a million between late April and mid-May. Check out this post about the economic toll of COVID-19 on self-employed workers, from the Public Policy Institute of California.
- Over the past few weeks different regions in the state have begun to reopen businesses. Alongside announcements officials have also issued warnings about safety rules and maintaining distancing. Now there are concerns about new outbreaks as renegade restaurants and maskless partying at bars set off new coronavirus alarm in San Diego, Los Angeles and Laguna Beach.
- The rush to help end the pandemic continues with librarians in Los Angeles joining the forces of newly trained contact tracers needed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state.
- Many testing locations for coronavirus have been designed as drive-thru sites to make the process simple and efficient. COVID-19 testing is illustrating inequities in car use, and public health experts are concerned that it has the potential to create testing gaps along racial and socioeconomic lines.
- There has been growing concerns about people missing important and timely health care appointments. At the outset it was fear of COVID-19 that made many apprehensive, now, for many newly unemployed, health care has become unaffordable. Read more about it here.
Monday, June 15
As the nation continues to feel the impact of the economic damage the pandemic has caused, there are growing concerns about the long-term economic ramifications as new data suggests that One-Third of U.S. Job Losses Are at Risk of Becoming Permanent.
- Even though the pandemic has closed down housing courts and federal, state, and local officials have passed short-term policies that protect renters from eviction, tenants behind on rent in pandemic face harassment, eviction.
- Due to shelter in place orders in many parts of the country, some children have fallen behind schedule for immunizations for vaccine preventable diseases, such as measles. As states begin to lift orders and before schools reopen, parents are being urged to catch up on kids’ missed vaccinations
- Today there 2,103,000 confirmed cases and there have been 114,000 deaths in the United States.
- Contact tracing is one critical way to manage spread of coronavirus, through careful communication with all the people a person who is COVID-19-positive has come in contact with. By July, the State has committed to training 20,000 contact tracers; state and county workers have stepped up including librarians and tax assessors.
- Today there are 155,126 confirmed cases and there have been 5,108 deaths in California.
- In Fremont, a Tesla car assembly plant employs 10,000 people. Alameda County and its CEO recently defied Alameda County health order, opening up a week early. Since defying the order, cumulative cases have more than doubled, up 104% from 2,064 to 4,207 by Sunday. Companies like Tesla don’t have to report coronavirus cases, leaving many wondering why those numbers aren’t public.
- Coronavirus: Orange County reports a record high of 304 new cases and 4 new deaths as of June 14. In terms of racial demographics of cases, the breakdown is 38% Latino, 17% White, 8% Asian, 7% other, 1% African American, and 27% unknown.
- Faith-based organizations led by people of color across the country are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways. Read about Black Churches in Dallas that are offering corona virus testingas part of the Together We Test Initiative.
- Coronavirus hasn’t gone away but many are behaving as if it has, which can be confusing. Read the transcript or listen to Why the Virus Is Spreading So Unevenly, part of the Social Distance podcast series. This features an update on the state of the coronavirus with Alexis Madrigal who tracks coronavirus data with the COVID Tracking Project.
Saturday-Sunday, June 13-14
Over the course of the last nearly five months, some leaders predicted the pandemic would die down with the heat. Now as summer is upon us and the virus continues to circulate. In some places it is on the rise, other places it is decreasing and in some places it’s remaining steady. To learn more about what is happening across the country, read The US is done with COVID-19. COVID-19 isn’t done with America.
- By some accounts, there have been more than 24,000 coronavirus cases tied to meatpacking plants and at least 87 workers have died. What has emerged is an industry ill-prepared to address the spread of the disease in plants and best practices to protect workers weren’t implemented until outbreaks began occurring. Read more about this in: Emails Reveal Chaos as Meatpacking Companies Fought Health Agencies Over COVID-19 Outbreaks in Their Plants
- The Navajo Nation and several Pueblo tribes in New Mexico have recorded some of the highest per capita rates of COVID-19 infections in the country. A new investigation has uncovered a secret coronavirus policy at a hospital in New Mexico that racially profiled Native American mothers and separated them from their newborns.
- Farmworkers in California were deemed essential workers from the beginning of the pandemic and have continued to work. Farmworkers are low wage workers and many of them fear coronavirus might spread in the crowded housing situations they must live in to make ends meet.
- Vernon is an industrial city with a number of coronavirus outbreaks tied to eight factories. The city also is not new to health concerns tied to factories—the Exide battery recycling plant was shut down after polluting and endangering the health of residents in the city and surrounding communities. With over 350 confirmed cases, Vernon has more coronavirus cases than residents and that worries its neighbors.
- The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African Americans has become more and more clear; but the actual impact may never truly be known due to consistent gaps in data on race and ethnicity. These gaps persist four months into the pandemic and there are concerns that this missing data veils coronavirus damage to minority communities.
- More people are trying to figure out how to travel and adequately social distance. Road trips in rental R.V.’s are gaining in popularity, read more about it here.
Friday, June 12
As the nation continues to relax restrictions on activities, a new poll finds that most Americans are maintaining virus precautions and aren’t ready to abandon all of the behaviors recommended by public health professionals, including mask wearing and maintaining six feet distance when out in public. Today the CDC also posted long-awaited tips for minimizing everyday risk.
- Companies and other large employers, such as universities, are pushing for virus legal protectionfrom Congress, if they reopen while the coronavirus is circulating widely. This is prompting concerns about worker well-being and health.
- According to a new study there are an estimated 2 million individuals at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness because they are un- or underinsured;a number that is expected to increase as a result of the increased numbers of unemployed.
- Today there are 2,033,000 confirmed cases and there have been112,000 deaths in the United States.
- In spite of two recent studies showing the effectiveness of face covering as an effective tool to prevent transmission of COVID-19, a revolt against wearing masks is creating new coronavirus danger as California reopens.
- When shelter-in-place orders were put in place, there was much concern about the impact on participation in the 2020 Census. A recent update from the Public Policy Institute of California is showing census responses have been lagging during COVID-19, with 62.1% of households responding, it is about six points below the state’s final self-response rate for the 2010 census; however the current rate is slightly higher than the national rate.
- Today there are 144,339 confirmed cases and there have been 4,952 deaths in California.
- As the state continues on the path of reopening, you might be wondering, where are California’s outbreaks and why? A new resource from the California Department of Public Health allows the public to follow along and see what counties are being monitored for outbreaks, the likely causes and the steps being taken to address and mitigate them. That resource can be found here.
- Check out this three part series on the link between COVID-19 and crowded housing conditions:
- Read these very good articles from Scientific American: Racism, Not Genetics, Explains Why Black Americans Are Dying of COVID-19and Why Racism, Not Race, Is a Risk Factor for Dying of COVID-19.
- Much is still not understood about the novel coronavirus and there are still outstanding questions about how long it stays in the body and, is reinfection possible. To learn more read: How long does the coronavirus last in the body?
Thursday, June 11
On Thursday the Labor Department reported more than 1.5 million Americans filed new unemployment claims, lower than previous, but far above typical levels. Following this sobering jobs outlook coupled with the U.S. reaching 2 million coronavirus cases and surges of patients in many states, stocks posted their worst day since March.
- The conversations about a vaccine continues and some believe it could happen in 2020; others are not too sure. But there is some agreement on what needs to be in place, read more about what it will take here.
- As U.S. businesses begin to reopen there are growing liability concerns. As a shield to prevent lawsuits many salons, gyms and offices are posting disclaimers or asking customers, and staff to sign waivers first.
- A new poll commissioned by The California Endowment finds that Low-income people of color hit are being hit hard by COVID-19.
- California continues on the path to reopening and officials are saying there is no turning back on reopening even as coronavirus cases rise . According to officials, cases are expected to trend upward as businesses reopen, but that the metrics still support reopening.
- Even though community health centers provide medical care for 1 in 6 Californians, the coronavirus shutdown has had a huge impact, closing more than 200 clinics since March. The pandemic is battering the finances of some of the most treasured health care centers in the state for African Americans. Read about how the Marin City Health and Wellness Center is meeting the challenges of the pandemic here.
- LA County officials announced gyms, museums, hotels, day camps, and arena sports will be able to reopen on Friday. According to officials, strict infection control directives will be in place and visitors and staff will be required to practice distancing and wear cloth face coverings.
- Check out these two thoughtful pieces: The Social Determinants of Death from Alan Weil of Health Affairs, and America’s coronavirus response is as racist as its policing. from the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board.
- Take a minute to see the visuals and read One bar. Twelve weeks. Seventeen Lives in Lockdown, which follows a tavern in Oakland and its staff, as they weather the different aspects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Wednesday, June 10
In a sign of a long recovery from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, today the federal reserve indicated that it would likely keep interest rates near zero through 2022, and is projecting years of high unemployment.
- As the nation continue to open up, more than a dozen states and Puerto Rico are recording their highest averages of new cases since the onset of the pandemic. There has also been a rise in coronavirus hospitalizations in several states following Memorial Day.
- Vaccines take time to develop and rarely has one been developed in less than five years. The development of antiviral drugs are equally challenging; yet, everyone is hoping for a vaccine in 12 to 18 months. The NY Times assembled a virologist, a vaccine scientist, an immunologist/oncologist, a biotech scientist/inventor and the former head of the FDA in a virtual roundtable to discuss the vaccine efforts underway and whether or not a vaccine can be developed in record time.
- A British study published on Wednesday indicates that widespread mask-wearing could prevent COVID-19 second waves. The study suggests that lockdowns alone will not stop a resurgence and even a homemade mask can dramatically reduce transmission, if adopted by enough people in public.
- As the state is on a path to continue to lift stay-at-home restrictions and restart the economy, California coronavirus cases remain on an upward trajectory. California surpassed 100,000 cases less than two weeks ago and has reported at least 2,000 new infections every day since.
- Officials have touted the careful considerations that have been made to determine the reopening of the economy in California. However, the different guidance from government entities has been confusing and at times contradictory. Question have emerged about who gets the blame if California sees major new coronavirus outbreaks with reopening.
- The controversy over mask wearing reached new levels this week when the Orange County Chief Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick resigned amid mask controversy and threats. Her departure is one of a string of seven departures among health department leaders in different counties across the state, since the pandemic began. However, her sudden departure will not end the debate over masks in that county.
- COVID-19 has hit Chicago’s communities of color hard. More than 70% of the first coronavirus deaths there were among African Americans and while the numbers have declined, Black residents continue to die at a rate two to three times higher than White residents. Now the number of people who have contracted the disease is the highest in Chicago’s Latino communities. Read more about how Chicago is tackling COVID-19 in Black and Latino neighborhoods here.
Summer is upon us and many trails and national parks are opening. Some are wondering whether or not it is safe or ethical to go hiking this summer. Learn more here.
Tuesday, June 9
As the United States continues to move into this next phase of the pandemic, the world is also reopening, despite skyrocketing coronavirus cases. This week the number of cases worldwide soared past seven million with 136,000 new infections reported on Sunday, the highest single-day total since the onset of the pandemic.
- A group of economists are now suggesting the current U.S. recession actually began in February, just as the pandemic was hitting the nation, marking the start of a downturn after nearly 11 full years of economic growth. The committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research broadly defines a recession as “a decline in economic activity that lasts more than a few months”.
- The COVID-19 crisis required hospitals to get ready for a potential “surge”, and most hospitals cancelled surgeries and appointments and moved to virtual models, when possible. However, the implementation of these new systems has been difficult and exposed limitations rural regions are facing. There is an emerging concern that rural hospitals may not survive COVID-19.
- California is now home to the worst coronavirus outbreak to hit a prison system in the country. In three weeks Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in the eastern part of Riverside County went from having no confirmed cases to nearly 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a span of three weeks.
- State education officials released recommendations for how California’s more than 10,000 public schools will reopen in the fall. There are some fairly significant recommended changes including such as hybrid learning approaches. To learn more in written and visual form read this article.
- California is moving quickly into reopening mode and on Monday the state released new guidelines to accelerate reopening including reopening movie theatres in most counties as early as Friday. The new rules limit the number of guests in a movie to 25% of total theatre capacity or a maximum of 100 guests, whichever is lower.
- The question the origins of outbreaks are is always an important part of understanding disease progression and management. In the earlier days of the pandemic there was much speculation about where and how the virus entered different parts of California. Now a team of scientists has determined that coronavirus entered Northern California many times and from many places.
- Even as transmission rates appear to be increasing in LA County, officials are managing a perilous balancing act to reopen.
- The recent protests have brought to light the glaring inequities facing the Black community. Some believe a chronic U.S. economic racial gap coupled with COVID-19 is creating a “perfect storm”.
- During the pandemic all of us have learned a lot and had to change and adapt new behaviors, and in some cases created new rules for day-to-day living. As things begin to open up, more changes are coming and there is lots of uncertainty. Luckily there are lots of people thinking and writing about it; for one take, check out 5 Rules to live by during a pandemic.
Monday, June 8
With the country reopening there are understandably concerns about the unknown territory we are all about to enter. Though businesses are opening and people are protesting it feels as if America is giving up on the pandemic, even while coronavirus is still circulating.
- The economy is slowly beginning to show signs of life, with businesses reopening however the economic devastations is increasingly becoming clear as many who believed a quick return are now losing hope of getting back their jobs.
- The conversation about reopening and people returning to work has met perhaps the biggest challenge, childcare. With hopes to come out of the pandemic induced recession, many are finding childcare is the missing ingredient for a fast economic recovery.
- As New York begins to reopen after the experiencing the deadliest outbreak in the country, ‘all eyes’ are on New York.
- Today there are 1,950,000 confirmed cases and there have been 109,000 deaths in the United States.
- California is still recovering from a number of devastating wildfires in different parts of the state. At the start of 2020 the California was set to spend over $1 billion to prevent wildfires; then came COVID-19.
- Today there are 133,216 confirmed cases and there have been 4,657 deaths in California.
- Coronavirus transmission rates were already climbing in Los Angeles, and on Sunday, with protests and reopenings continuing, LA County reported 1,523 new cases of the coronavirus bringing the county total number of cases near 64,000. Given the current moment, the LA County Health Director recently recommended anyone who has been in a large crowd, in close contact for at least 15 minutes with people not wearing face coverings, consider self-quarantining for at least two weeks.
- Nonprofits have had to re-organize their work to respond to new needs in communities. In Silicon Valley a local Boys and Girls Club has transformed into a “pop-up”, providing 2,000 free meals a night, seasoned by Silicon Valley chefs.
- The last few months have taken a toll on people of color and many are feeling a lot of pain. Systemic racism and coronavirus are killing people of color. Protesting isn’t enough speaks to these issues in words and photographs.
- For the last few weeks data have emerged about a COVID-19-related, Kawasaki-type syndrome affecting children. New data are now emerging showing that Black children are disproportionately impacted. To learn one family’s story read ‘We don’t get justice’: when a black girl’s death from COVID-19 feels like a collision of two crises.
- As society reopens and stay-at-home orders begin to ease, people are feeling more relaxed. But many believe it is important to continue to be diligent with actions and be prepared to hunker down at home again.
- For an interesting reflection on the impact of the last few weeks on the pandemic read: How protests have changed the pandemic.
Saturday/Sunday, June 6-7
There have been concerns about the recent racial justice marches creating new outbreaks, but COVID-19 cases were already rising before the George Floyd protests. Many attribute this to recent easing of stay-at-home orders and travel during the Memorial Day holiday.
- During the pandemic, certain sectors of workers have been deemed essential and have worked in the face of risk. Postal workers have been sometimes overlooked, even though they have been facing dangers from coronavirus and Trump, they have kept delivering mail.
- The data continue to shed light on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19, with coronavirus killing Blacks at twice the rate of Whites. Even before the pandemic the disparities in health outcome between Black and White people in the U.S. were staggering. Health experts believe there are concrete steps that can be taken, this article sheds light on what can be done.
- California officials announced on Friday that counties could begin opening gyms, day camps, bars and some professional sports by as early as next Friday. Guidelines are forthcoming and re-openings will be based on local conditions and regions with fewer cases, like some rural counties, would likely begin opening these businesses first.
- More than 4,000 people have died from coronavirus in California. The Los Angeles Times through a partnership with USC and the Pulitzer Center, has been documenting some of the lives lost. Learn about some of them here.
- Even though Los Angeles has been the epicenter of the pandemic in California, it is being less cautious than the Bay Area with relaxing stay at home orders and reopening businesses. To get insight about why, check out this article.
- Many Black protesters, when asked have acknowledged the risk of protesting during the COVID-19 pandemic; however also on their minds is a racist health system. Read more about what ProPublica reporters learned from 18 protesters here.
- Friday’s labor report provided a glimmer of hope but not for everyone, 16.8% of the African American labor force was out of work in May, up from 16.7% in April. To learn more, check out There’s a Black job crisis. Coronavirus is making it worse.
- In 2012 and 2016 the Supreme Court issued two rulings that said young people who were sentenced to life as teenagers could have their sentences reviewed. As a result, hundreds of youth seen their prison terms cut short or were released. However nearly 1,000 are still awaiting a court hearing and facing a growing fear: that they will die from COVID-19 before getting a chance at freedom.
Friday, June 5
- Following months of criticism, federal health officials announced on Thursday that laboratories will be required to report race, ethnicity data and other information about each person tested for the coronavirus beginning on August 1.
- The Navajo Nation has been hit hard by the coronavirus with approximately 5,4000 people testing positive and nearly 250 people dying from COVID-19. Members of the Navajo Nation have been overwhelmed and unprepared for the outbreak.
- Today there are1,869,000 confirmed cases and there have been 106,000 deaths in the United States.
- Because of the economic fallout from the pandemic, there are predictions about a surge in Medi-Cal enrollment, however the actual numbers, are not yet clear. Check out this short analysis from the Public Policy Institute of California which looks at pre-pandemic enrollment coverage patterns to gain some insight.
- Today there are 123,065 confirmed cases and there have been 4,458 deaths in California.
- Although Los Angeles has been noted as the epicenter for COVID-19 in California, there is a lingering question about how many people in LA have COVID-19, it’s a coronavirus mystery.
- On Thursday nearly 100 new cases were confirmed in Alameda County. At 3,641 confirmed cases, Alameda County now has the highest number in Northern California.
- Check out this new viewpointwhich was just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that recommends a future health care system emerging from COVID-19 that is rooted in health equity and racial justice.
- Although public health professionals have been pushing social distancing for the last few months, they are now saying social justice matters more than social distance and the pandemic is exactly why protests must continue. A group of more than 1,000 epidemiologists, doctors, social workers, medical students and other health experts have signed an open letter making a case to view the protests “not primarily as something that could add to cases of coronavirus (though they might) but as a tool to promote public health”.
- Questions continue about how routine activities requiring close contact might be handled in the future; dental services are one such thing. To learn more check out How the coronavirus will change your next dental appointment
Thursday, June 4
Even as businesses begin to reopen the strain on the economy as a result of the pandemic continues. On Thursday the Labor Department reported that nearly 1.9 million Americans filed new claims for state unemployment benefits. Since the onset of the pandemic in mid-March, 42.6 million jobless workers have applied for aid.
- There are already concerns about how protests nationwide could increase rates of transmission of the coronavirus. Now there are new fears that the corrosive effects of tear gas could intensify the coronavirus pandemic. Aside from the immediate pain that is felt when tear gas is used (e.g. watering eyes, burning throats), according to studies on the risks of exposure, tear gas may cause lung damage and make those exposed more susceptible to getting respiratory illnesses. Tear gas also seeps into homes, contaminates food, furniture, skin and surfaces.
- As schools nationwide begin to make plans for how to return to school safely in the fall amidst the pandemic, the feds estimate 36,000 have air system problems.
- There are many ideas emerging using technology to track COVID-19. Some companies are developing apps to do things like contract tracing with phones. While it seems easier, there are tradeoffs. Read this article to learn more.
- A new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California is showing that Californians are wary of reopening too quickly amid the coronavirus crisis, and also found racial disparities in how the pandemic is affecting Californians. Nearly half of the Latinos surveyed indicating they or someone in their household lost their jobs due to the coronavirus with 35% of African Americans and 34% of Asian Americans indicating the same loss. By contrast, 24% of Whites surveyed said they or someone in their household lost jobs.
- As major outbreaks continue at three California state prisons, a twelfth inmate died at prison in Chino after testing positive for COVID-19.
- Massive protests in regions throughout the state have given rise to concerns about a new wave of coronavirus cases. Experts are concerned that because test sites were closed during the protests, it could exacerbate the spread of COVID-19.
- Listen to Jelani Cobb examine the connection between George Floyd’s death and the coronavirus pandemic in Race, Police and the Pandemic on the Frontline Dispatch podcast.
Six months into the pandemic and three months into stay-at-home orders, many who can, have pivoted to digital platforms for nearly everything, including work and social celebrations. To keep up with the evolving etiquette check out this article.
Wednesday, June 3
The Centers for Disease Control has long been seen as a world’s leading health agency. The scope and scale of the pandemic has presented numerous challenges and the CDC has made a number of missteps which has lessened confidence, nationally and internationally. Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic many are wondering, what went wrong and how to move forward.
- Testing for COVID-19 has been touted as key to getting through the pandemic; however some tests, like serologic tests, only reveal so much and could give a false sense of security. This has led to efforts by the Food and Drug Administration to try to rein in the ‘wild West’ of COVID-19 blood tests.
- The pandemic and associated shelter-in-place orders has changed the nature of work. Working from home has, in many cases highlighted and compounded the heavier domestic burden carried by women. As offices begin to reopen, concerns are emerging that the pandemic could scar a generation of working mothers.
- People are becoming more comfortable with venturing out as more and more cities and states “open up” but there are lingering concerns about a potential “second wave” of infections. In fact, California is one of about 20 states where new cases have been increasing over the last five day. Many are worried about a surge and a second wave of coronavirus, even as first wave is far from over.
- As a means to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Governor Newsom today ordered new California in-person voting rules for the November election. The Governor’s executive order gives counties permission to limit in-person voting operations for the November 3 election; however only if these counties also offer three days of early voting.
- As the second largest school district in the country, there is anticipation about how LAUSD will bring students back to the classroom in the fall. In a live-streamed address on Wednesday, the LAUSD superintendent shared that the return to LAUSD schools was still uncertain but could be online/in-person hybrid instruction, depending on the availability of testing and the trajectory of COVID-19.
- Today the Southern California chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement indicating kids should be in school despite coronavirus risk. The group of approximately 1,500 doctors pointed to research that suggests the risk of transmission is lower for children and that keeping children away from in-person instruction would have negative consequences.
- Take nine minutes to listen to the Racism and Economics episode of The Indicator from Planet Money podcast to learn why Black Americans are being hit harder by the pandemic and how the coronavirus is in no way “the great equalizer”.
- With summer on the horizon, the question of travel safety continues; for an interesting reflection, check out Whether travel’s a right or a privilege, it comes with responsibilities, travelers.
Tuesday, June 2
Six months into the pandemic and people are beginning to reflect; check out Monster or Machine? A Profile of the Coronavirus at 6 months and check out this series of short articles reflecting on what is known about the coronavirus.
- The fear of another wave of infections because of the protests continues. A review from the Associated Press found that demonstrations have taken place in every on one of the 25 U.S. communities with the highest concentrations of new coronavirus cases.
- Black leaders have risen in the last few months to address pandemic-related challenges being faced in cities and counties. The killing of George Floyd last week has added another layer but Black female leaders are emerging and taking the spotlight during protests and the pandemic.
- The CDC just dropped warnings about the risk of choral singing and many are concerned, particularly after documented cases of clusters of infections among organized singing groups. Medical experts weigh in here.
- As schools conclude a school year that was turned upside down by a global pandemic, they are looking to the fall and prepping to reopen; but California schools are desperately looking for guidance and money.
- On Monday, Los Angeles County officials reported that the first pregnant woman and first jail inmate died from COVID-19. At least 228 pregnant women have tested positive for the virus and there have been 622 cases among people who were incarcerated.
- Los Angeles continues to be the epicenter of the state’s COVID-19 crisis with 60 deaths and 1,200 new coronavirus cases reported today. Several COVID-19 testing sites remained closed on Tuesday, citing protests as the reason.
There is more clarity today about the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Blacks than there was at the outset of the pandemic. Now there is growing clarity about the impact of racism on the lives of Blacks. These three articles help to provide good insight about the layered complexity of the current moment:
- A ‘lifetime of stress’ in black communities at tipping point as coronavirus, protests collide
- Cause of death: COVID-19, police violence or racism?
- Protesting Racism Versus Risking COVID-19: 'I Wouldn't Weigh These Crises Separately'
- Are you feeling compelled to join the protests in solidarity? Check out tips from public health experts in How to More Safely Protest in a Pandemic .
Monday, June 1
As the nation continued to be confronted with ongoing protests, violence and curfews, concerns remain about the impact of mass gatherings and the ability of public health officials to adequately manage and track COVID-19 infections. This, and a general erosion of trust is upending coronavirus control.
- The country was making steps to re-open but much has changed in the span of the last week. There is confusion about how bad the pandemic actually is, and many are asking the question: Is America’s pandemic raging or waning? The short answer, yes.
- As the country moves into the third month of the pandemic and testing is more readily available contract tracing is becoming more necessary. As states and counties begin to reopen, hiring a diverse army to track COVID-19 is needed.
- Today there are 1,797,000 confirmed cases and there have been 103,000 deaths in the United States.
- Shelter in place orders have also impacted rates of vaccination. The California Department of Public Health is reporting childhood vaccinations have declined 40% from April of last year. There are now looming concerns that when California reopens schools, steep drop in vaccinations could endanger children.
- Prior to the pandemic, there were plans to expand Medi-Cal in numerous states, including California. However, now the pandemic is upending state plans to expand health insurance.
- Today there are 112,978 confirmed cases and there have been 4,184 deaths in California.
- Los Angeles was propelled into a secondary crisis this weekend with the Governor proclaiming a state of emergency for L.A. City and County and National Guard troops were deployed. COVID-19 testing sites were closed and continued to be closed through Monday June 1st. State and County officials fear protests are ‘super spreader’ events for coronavirus; marchers say the risk is worth taking.
- For many years there have been numerous health problems where racial disparities are identified and noted and little has changed, COVID-19 is no different. Public health experts are hoping the scale of the crisis will mean change. To explore this, read Will COVID-19 be a turnign point in the fight against racial disparities in health care?
- Funding to support nonprofits led by and supporting people of color has been documented to be insufficient and unequitable. Recently Echoing Green and the Bridgespan Group recently collaborative to research the depth of racial inequities in philanthropic funding. Check out The Racial Funding Gap Can’t Continue in the Pandemic, to learn more.
- There are lots of ideas floating around about how to recover economically from the pandemic, check out Coronavirus brought economic catastrophe. Here are 10 experts on how to recover.
- There are also more personal financial questions people are wondering about; check out Your money and the pandemic, for a guide on some of the most pressing financial questions on the economic fallout of COVID-19.
Saturday/Sunday, May 30-31
The weekend was filled with protests in at least 75 cities nationwide, knocking COVID-19 from the headlines for the first time in months. However, concerns emerged about risk and transmission a potential uptick in cases and a virus rebound.
- As opening up has continued across the country, social distancing guidelines started to fall away as crowds gathered to party in some places and protest in others.
- With millions out of work due to the pandemic, demand for aid has continued to soar at food banks across the nation. The effects of the pandemic could leave 54 million Americans without food.
- With more than 5,000 people testing positive and 167 dead, the Navajo Nation has been severely impacted by COVID-19. California has stepped in and sent dozens of healthcare worker to assist in the pandemic.
- On Sunday churches planned and held big Pentecost services. This despite Friday’s Supreme Court 5-4decision, rejecting church’s challenge to the state’s shutdown order.
- Santa Cruz County took early and quick steps to address the pandemic and met the moment, but officials worry about the long-term cost.
- Racial disparities and coronavirus has been the focus of much talk in the last month, but sometimes it is hard to understand what it actually looks like, particularly when the data are limited or missing altogether. NPR analyzed COVID-19 demographic data collected by the COVID Racial Tracker Project, to learn what they found, check out What do coronavirus racial disparities look like state by state?
- Many essential workers got a bump in pay to work on the front lines during the pandemic. This “hero pay” is coming to an end, and many of these workers are wondering what they are worth.
Friday, May 29
As coronavirus cases continue to grow in parts of the country that are beginning to reopen, Americans are spending less; this is clouding the outlook for recovery from the pandemic.
- As concerns related to community spread increased during the pandemic, many office buildings closed and employees who could, began working remotely. The Centers for Disease Control has announced guidelines for employers related to office buildings. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the recommendations point to sweeping changes to American offices.
- New York has been the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic and much of the state has begun to take steps to reopen. New York City is beginning the process and is looking to June 8 for first phase of reopening.
- Today there are 1,733,000 confirmed cases and there have been 101,000 deaths in the United States.
- With infection COVID-19 ravaging jails and prisons across the state and social distancing an impossibility 700 Chino inmates to be transferred as coronavirus sweeps prison. The inmates have all tested negative but have medical histories that could make infection with COVID-19 life-threatening. This week at the prison at Terminal Island, an inmate labeled ‘recovered’ from coronavirus died.
- With over 100,0000 confirmed cases, California coronavirus deaths near 4,000 today with LA County hit hardest.
- Today there are 104,420 confirmed cases and there have been 3,998 deaths in California.
- Imperial County has been impacted significantly by COVID-19. With the County’s two hospitals at capacity, more than 60 Imperial County coronavirus patients are being treated at Riverside County hospitals.
- As the pandemic continues to impact black people at alarming rates, protests in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier this week have given voice and laid bare systemic inequities that are ever present. Read Of course there are protests. The State is failing black people to understand why in this pivotal moment, left with limited options, people are enraged.
- The easing of social distancing guidelines has caused new questions to emerge about what is safe and not safe. One question that I’ve seen posed is about housecleaners; today Roxane Gay is your work friend and she is tackling the question “Is it safe to keep employing a cleaner?”
Thursday, May 28
As pandemic-induced jobless numbers continue to grow, with 2.1 million more added, unemployment claims now exceed 40 million in the United States.
- With experts continuing to stress the risks posed by mass events the Boston Marathon has been cancelled for the first time in its 124-year history. Organizers announced they would be holding a virtual marathon instead, with participants running the 26.2 miles remotely.
- Nursing homes have been the focus of numerous outbreaks of coronavirus. By one estimate, about half of all coronavirus deaths in California have been linked to nursing homes. The California Health Department has issued new instructions, now requiring universal testing at nursing homes.
- The California Senate has just released its plan for the state budget. To make up for the shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic the California Senate plan would reject most of the Governor’s cuts and instead take more money from reserves and delay payments to school districts.
- Due to the COVID-19 crisis, California is facing a projected budget shortfall of tens of billions of dollars. Governor Newsom’s proposed Medi-Cal budget cuts will worsen health outcomes. This table from the California Budget and Policy Center highlights how key cuts to Medi-Cal will impact Californians.
- Disparities in COVID-19 related to poverty have been seen nationally, and are now becoming apparent in Los Angeles, as well. Data are showing that coronavirus ravages poorer L.A. communities while slowing in wealthier ones, with infection rates across South and Central Los Angeles and the Eastside now leading all regions in the county.
- Many smaller and rural counties began easing stay-at-home orders and other restrictions in recent weeks. However, coronavirus cases spiked after these counties reopened and now officials are scaling back. Lassen County had no coronavirus cases as of May 22 and there are now five cases which has caused that county to slow its reopening.
- In a bit of hopeful news Google has awarded Morehouse College School of Medicine $1 million to study racial impact of COVID-19. This will enable real-time COVID-19 collection of data and help policymakers better understand how so support communities most impacted by the pandemic.
- Many have been holding out hope that herd immunity for coronavirus will be achieved and then things can go back to “normal”. Herd immunity is the threshold at which a virus can no longer spread widely. However, a slew of new studies is showing that the world is still far from herd immunity even in places where the coronavirus has hit hard.
- There are numerous questions we all have when it comes to managing day-to-day risks. Questions continue to arise about the risk of touching surfaces that may have been touched by someone with COVID-19. To learn the latest read What’s the Risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?
Wednesday, May 27
Today the United States reaches the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths from coronavirus.
- As the nation has reached 100,000 deaths many are reflecting on the last few months and asking questions how to move forward. This article explores lives lost, what can be learned and how to prevent 100,000 more deaths.
- The pandemic shut down businesses across the country, however large retailers providing online products thrived. Even as coronavirus outbreaks were increasing among workers, Amazon had a hiring spree and Nike turned away a public health official from its warehouse days after a worker with COVID-19 died.
- This spring, as a result of the pandemic schools across the country had to pivot to remote learning; a particularly daunting challenge, for many large public school districts. Today news emerged that education secretary DeVos is demanding public schools share pandemic aid with private institutions, even as a new survey shows big remote learning gaps for low-income and special needs children.
- Even though California was a leader in taking early measures to flatten the curve, California’s coronavirus cases have reached 100,0000 and now movement to reopen is happening at a quickened pace and concerns have emerged. Dr. Sara Cody, health officer for Santa Clara County, which has been hit hard by COVID-19, believes California is reopening too quickly, posing ‘very serious risk’.
- Yesterday in Sacramento the entire 80-member assembly met as a committee of the whole, in a socially distant manner, to raise questions with the Governor’s finance director about the proposed revised budget. Many raised concerns about the deep cuts to health and human services and urged the Governor not to count on feds to rescue California.
- Outbreaks in correctional facilities continue to grow in California. The latest, at Chuckwallla Valley State Prison, reported 110 cases of COVID-19 in two weeks. This outbreak places this prison in a group of five correctional institutions in the state that account for 13% of the state’s prison population, but 98% of confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- Allowing people of faith to worship together has been a point of contention as social distancing orders are lifted. Claiming that the Governor’s rules are too restrictive for megachurches, and counter to state health authority orders, Orange County Supervisors have deemed in-person church ‘essential’.
- As school districts begin to plans for reopening, to allow for social distancing and sanitizing, many things at schools will have to change. In LA County school re-opening guidelines, published today include things like one-way halls, lunch at desk and playing alone.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the historic and deeply rooted inequities that impact native communities in the United States. Check out the latest installment of the American Medical Association’s Prioritizing Equity Series: COVID-19 & Native Voices in the Field.
- For a reflection on international philanthropic and advocacy efforts focused on COVID-19, check out Why Racial Justice Matters in COVID-19 Responses.
- Reporters from the Associated Press asked children around the world about living with the virus and to share art that reflects what they believe the future might hold. Check out the beautiful, difficult, and hopeful Through kids’ eyes: Virus outbreak brings sadness, fear, joy.
Monday, May 26
The gradual reopening of the country coincided with a warm, sunny holiday weekend in many parts of the United States. Many enjoyed the time and good weather to get out however concerns have emerged in some places as scenes of crowds in Missouri went viral and caused public health officials to call for participants to self-quarantine; and in California large crowds at one hiking trail caused the location to be shut down until June.
- Retail and grocer workers nationwide have been deemed essential workers but protections for these workers have come in stages and many have fallen ill. This story looks at the impact of COVID-19 on these front line workers.
- Two-months ago Congress set up an emergency program to provide food to children, to compensate for the fact that school lunches were not being provided during shelter-in-place. With hunger rising nationwide, the program’s slow start is leaving millions of children waiting.
- Today there are 1,671,000 confirmed cases and there have been 97,000 deaths in the United States.
- California was the first states to move aggressively and shut down to confront coronavirus. The numbers have begun to level and are moving downward, however, the unemployment rate has reached 20 percent, and the $54 billion state budget deficit are a testament to the financial costs of the pandemic. To learn more, read The Price of a Virus Lockdown: Economic ‘Free Fall’ in California.
- Much more is now understood about how coronavirus is transmitted and now concerns are emerging about asymptomatic individuals or ‘silent spreaders’, and whether or not they are becoming a bigger risk as California reopens.
- As California continues its reopening, there are signs that parts of the state are moving into the third phase of reopening. Today, Governor Newsom announced that hair salons and barber shops can reopen.
- Today there are 99,090 confirmed cases and there have been 3,806 deaths in California.
- Following outbreaks at countlesss meat packing plants across the country, over the weekend, a coronavirus outbreak was reported at Farmer John and eight other plants in the industrial city of Vernon. Today Farmer John meatpackers demanded closing of the Vernon plant.
- Even in parts of the state where numbers have not been as high, new clusters are emerging. Over the past week the number of Santa Cruz residents who tested positive for coronavirus increased by 20%; this past weekend four coronavirus clusters in Santa Cruz County tied to family gatherings were reported.
- Many keep asking why African Americans are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, often pointing to “lifestyle” and higher prevalence of certain diseases and conditions. Some are pointing directly at historic conditions as the reason. In It’s Not Obesity. It’s Slavery ,Sabrina Strings examines this more directly.
- With summer on the horizon it’s good to know what activities may or may not be safe. For a good overview check out From Camping to Dining Out: Here’s how experts rate the risks of 14 summer activities.
- With more research emerging about children and COVID-19 check out what is known and not yet known in this interview with a pediatrician in San Francisco. If you are wondering about how safe child care centers and other activities are, check out What Parents Should Know about Coronavirus as Kids Return to Babysitters, Day Cares and Camps.
Friday, May 22
As deaths from COVID-19 inch closer to 100,000, more lives have been lost than a number of national tragedies including Sept. 11th and the entire Vietnam War. There is a growing critique about the lack of acknowledgment of the lives lost by leaders, and concerns about the little sense of shared grief.
- When a disaster or crisis occurs, the US disaster response system has had an army of volunteers ready to help with food, clothing and housing relief. The coronavirus crisis has exposed a weakness in this system, most of the volunteers are older people at higher risk for the virus so not able to participate in person at this time. This is exposing weaknesses in the U.S. disaster response.
- After weeks of delay the CDC released detailed guidelines for re-opening schools and businesses shut down due to coronavirus. The document provides guidance for reopening child care centers, schools, businesses, restaurants and public transit.
- Today there are 1,576,000 confirmed cases and there have been 93,000 deaths in the United States.
- California’s jobless rate continues to grow, in April the rate climbed to 15.5% with 2.3 million jobs lost. Yesterday at a state budget subcommittee hearing, lawmakers blasted UI system overloaded with 4.9 million claims. This data hit from the California Budget and Policy Center describes where job loss is concentrated in the state.
- With steps being taken to relax social distancing guidelines and schools beginning to formulate plans to reopen in the fall; education leaders are concerned proposed budget cuts threaten safe opening of California schools.
- Today there are 88,479 confirmed cases and there have been 3,605 deaths in California.
- Though rates of hospitalizations and deaths are on the decrease, Los Angeles continues to be the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in California. On Thursday the death toll surpassed 2,000, representing about 60% of all deaths in the state.
- Further illustrating the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black Americans, a new YouGov poll out today shows that Black Americans are twice as likely to know someone who has tested positive or died from COVID-19
- A study of a large health care system in California is shining a light on COVID-19 Racial Disparities. The study published in Health Affairs, reveals that African American COVID-19 patients are 2.7 times more likely to be hospitalized than their White Non-Hispanic counterparts, and tend to arrive at healthcare facilities sicker and with more severe systems.
- In New York, particular zip codes, have been hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19. ‘Lord Have Mercy’: Inside one of New York’s Deadliest Zip Codes, a 12-minute video, provides a snapshot of the experiences and deeply-felt grief of health care workers in one hospital.
- Check out this column for some thought-provoking insight on how Universal Basic Income could help many impacted by the pandemic.
Thursday, May 21
Today the federal government reported another 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits bringing the total number to 38.6 million in a span of nine weeks. There is growing concern that as layoffs continue, many jobs may vanish forever.
- Nursing homes nationwide have been the site of numerous outbreaks, making up at least 20 percent of the country’s COVID-19 deaths. New analysis is emerging that suggests, like the virus itself, there is a striking racial divide in how COVID-19 has hit nursing homes.
- There has been ongoing discussion about why rates of coronavirus infection rates have been significantly higher in some parts of the country. A new study suggests that if the country had implemented social distancing guidelines even two weeks earlier 54,000 deaths could have been prevented.
- In California, there has been a moratorium on most mid to large size gatherings, including religious gatherings, during the pandemic. A group of Pentecostal pastors have signed on to defy state coronavirus orders and hold in-person services for Pentecost on May 31st.
- With the pandemic affecting so many people statewide, different regions are identifying ways to support those in need. Santa Clara County has launched a new hotline to help people with questions about coronavirus relief. The hotline, will assist people applying for social services in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. The effort is being led by Santa Clara County and the Fair Workplace Collaborative.
- As Orange County officials are pushing to move into the next phase of reopening, and have recently submitted plans to move further into phase two of California’s reopening process, it also reported the highest daily death toll from coronavirus.
- Much has been made about how the pandemic has impacted everything from food and health care systems to cities and how they are planned. Check out Coronavirus is not fuel for urbanist fantasies, an insightful and sharp commentary on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and how it should be used to create more inclusive, relevant and racially equitable cities and communities.
- There continues to be confusion about antibody testing for coronavirus and testing for COVID-19 and whether receiving a positive antibody test proves immunity. This article can help you make some sense of what antibody testing will and won’t tell you.
Wednesday, May 20
As concerns mount about the economic toll of the pandemic, and steps are being taken to slowly reopen in different states, new concerns about the risks of reopening are emerging; governors are learning to balance existing risk with new ones.
- With the economy in crisis and no concrete end in sight, ideas that once seemed impossible are now being discussed widely. One of those ideas Universal Basic Income is getting a lot of attention amid the crisis, many are starting to see a monthly paycheck from the feds doesn’t seem crazy anymore.
- Today there are 1,544,000 confirmed cases and there have been 92,000 deaths in the United States.
- California continues to make progress to address the outbreak of coronavirus in the state. Cases are declining and public health officials are cautiously optimistic and leaders are starting to feel that California is finally winning the battle, even as deaths keep rising.
- As the state takes further steps towards reopening, with a big push to reopen restaurants, malls and gyms as soon as possible. However, many warn it’s not that simple.
- Today there ae 85,728 confirmed cases and there have been 3,485 deaths in California.
- For weeks rural counties have been pushing for shelter-in-place guidelines to be relaxed, and the Governor has moved in that direction. However, some rural counties have not met the health criteria set by the state but would like to reopen. One county Tulare, is vowing to defy the Governor, despite many coronavirus deaths.
- Sheltering in place has been challenging for most people, but a study out today finds that Blacks and Latinos face the highest burdens to sheltering in place. Check out Struggling to Stay Home: How COVID-19 Shelter in Place Policies Affect Los Angeles County Black and Latino Neighborhoods, released today from the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge and ULCA Latino Policy & Politics Initiative.
- The data continue to point to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the Black community. Newly emerging data are estimating that Black Americans are dying from COVID-19 at three times the rates of white people.
- This pandemic is not the first, but past pandemics can provide some insights to what is happening now. In past pandemics, the people at greatest risk were often already marginalized and the pandemics themselves affected social inequality by reinforcing existing power structures. This article looks back at history to help make sense of what’s happening now.
Tuesday, May 19
Today the Treasury Department Secretary and the Chair of the Fed made a joint appearance before the Senate Banking Committee and warned of irreparable damage and offered divergent solutions to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
- As the pandemic has evolved and as the nation begins to open up, experts believe contact tracing will be key to opening up the economy. Many are looking at innovations in technology as one way, however public health professionals say you don’t need invasive technology for successful contact tracing.
- There has been much criticism aimed at Amazon during the pandemic, for everything from how much it pays workers, to a slow response to risks in the workplace. There has been limited coverage about outbreaks inside Amazon warehouses, this article explores the biggest outbreak of at least 100 people, in one of its facilities.
- In California, one large-scale effort undertaken was to use hotel rooms to shelter homeless individuals to decrease risk and minimize spread of coronavirus. California leased 15,000 hotel rooms for Project Turnkey, now half of those sit empty.
- In the span of about a week the state is suddenly relaxing previous guidelines to open up the economy. The rapidly changing rules are at times, confusing to understand. Read this article to understand more details and learn about what it means for California.
- Small businesses with small profit margins have been hit hard by the pandemic. Check out this report The Economic Toll of COVID-19 on Small Business, from the Public Policy Institute of California, which examines this topic, and why policy efforts that support these businesses will be important for California’s economic recovery.
- The Bay Area recently experienced a two-day break without COVID-19 deaths. However, that break came to an abrupt end today, when health officials added nine more deaths in San Mateo and Alameda counties.
- On Monday afternoon Los Angeles County leaders warned that social distancing and activities guidelines must be obeyed or the path to fully reopening would be difficult. This warning emerged after complaints and photos surfaced of crowds at Malibu beaches and some local parks over the past weekend.
- Understanding of the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the Latino community is growing; check out the latest installment of the American Medical Association Prioritizing Health Equity YouTube Series: COVID-19 & Latinx Voices in the Field.
- As social distancing restrictions are loosened there are many questions about how to calculate risk and how and under what circumstances, to engage with friends and family. COVID Care: A Way Forward lays out a framework for assessing our own risks and our communities’ needs and risks.
Monday, May 18
Today’s the World Health Organization convened its annual meeting in Geneva. A primary focus of the conversation is the WHO’s response to COVID-19.
- There are currently eight coronavirus vaccines worldwide that have begun human testing. Moderna, a Massachusetts biotechnology company announced encouraging early results today from its first human tests. The results have not been published in a scientific journal and are only a preliminary step towards proving the vaccine is safe and effective.
- While the focus of attention has been in the regions of the country impacted most seriously by COVID-19, new concerns are emerging about parts of the nation where chronic health conditions and coronavirus could collide.
- As numerous states continued to relax social distancing guidelines, the death toll for deaths due to COVID-19, surpassed 90,000 in the United States.
- Today Governor Newsom announced California would be easing reopening rules, allowing more counties to reopen and restart the economy. Approximately 53 of the state’s 58 counties can now move into the second stage of reopening, if desired.
- Governor Newsom also announced professional sports could return to California by June, if trendlines continue. Sporting events would be held without spectators present at venues.
- To cut to the chase about the relaxed guidelines, read Reopening California: 5 things we learned Monday about what’s next.
- By beginning to ease social distancing regulations, more of California is reopening. Specific guidelines for reopening are in effect in San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin counties.
- Like much of the state, the coronavirus infection rate is falling in Los Angeles, but officials warn the county is still in the danger zone.
- Nearly three months after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed, frustrations continue to grow, over incomplete racial data. Ten states, including New Mexico and Nevada, and five territories have not released racial data on coronavirus deaths.
- Check out The Color of Coronavirus: COVID-19 Deaths by Race and Ethnicity in the U.S., a demographic, health and data viz tool using available national data that is updated weekly.
- There have been a number of documented cases of children with unexplained illnesses tied to coronavirus. To learn about one family’s journey read ‘Straight-Up Fire” in his Veins: Teen Battles New Covid Syndrome.
Saturday/Sunday, May 16-17
This weekend brought the news that coronavirus cases and deaths have slowed nationally. Experts continue to urge caution, noting much of the progress was a result of social distancing; making progress, tenuous and uncertain.
- There continues to be a focus on the necessity of a vaccine to be able to adequately manage the spread of coronavirus. But a leading public health expert is warning that a vaccine this year is far from a ‘sure thing’
- Nursing homes continue to be a focus of outbreaks and deaths due to COVID-19. A new report shows that one of the largest chains in the country continued to violate federal standards designed to stop the spread of disease, even after start of the pandemic.
- Today there are 1,480,000 confirmed cases and there have been 88,000 deaths in the United States.
- Many service workers in different parts of the country have been deemed ‘essential’; and in some place, like California, a good percentage of these workers are Latinos. This article explores the impact coronavirus is having on Latino essential workers.
- To mitigate against potential outbreaks in jails and prisons, cities counties, and the state have taken steps to decrease the numbers of inmates, with a focus on those with non-violent offenses and/or nearing parole dates. While this has been welcomed by many, it has also emptied thousands into a world changed by coronavirus.
- Today there are 79,836 confirmed cases and there have been 3,240 deaths in California.
- Prisons and jails continue to be sites of outbreaks of COVID-19. This weekend the California Institute for Women at Chino was put on quarantine after an outbreak of coronavirus, where 47 inmates tested positive. This occurs just on the heels of an outbreak at the California Institute for Men at Chino where 431 inmates have tested positive and five have died from COVID-19.
- Even though gatherings of any size are currently prohibited, in Butte County a person who attended an in-person Mother’s Day religious service has tested positive for coronavirus. The service had 180 people in attendance. Butte County is one of 22 counties that has certified to the state that it meets the standards for re-opening of some businesses.
- California has moved into phase two of California’s four-phase process of reopening, to see what it means and looks like, check out these photos from Southern California.
- Studies have found low income communities of color are exposed to higher levels of pollution and also experience higher levels of lung disease and ailments. Scientists are now trying to understand if this long-term exposure is playing a role in the coronavirus crisis. To learn more about this emerging issue, check out In the Shadows of America’s Smokestacks, Virus is One More Deadly Risk.
- Because of the pandemic, graduates this year are feeling the pain of not being able to celebrate this achievement. This weekend, President Obama delivered a commencement address for graduates of historically black colleges and universities and decried the racial impact of COVID-19 deaths.
- Have you been flooded with conspiracy theories from friends, family or your social media feeds? To learn why this might be the case and why we should be concerned, check out Immune to Evidence: How Dangerous Coronavirus Conspiracies Spread.
Friday, May 15
Countries worldwide have begun to open up and relax social distancing guidelines. However, outbreaks have emerged in South Korea, China and Germany, raising concerns about moving to open up too soon. Sweden chose a different route and stayed open, and new numbers are showing the toll it has taken on that country.
- Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic retail businesses have seen progressive declines in sales, reaching 16.4 percent decline in April. With these losses and so many unemployed, questions have emerged about whether businesses will survive and what will be left, at the end of the crisis.
- The COVID-19 crisis is forcing changes in multiple workplaces, including Congress. On Friday evening the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote to allow remote voting and virtual hearings for the first time in its 231-year history.
- Today there are 1,425,000 confirmed cases and there have been 86,000 deaths in the United States.
- As stay at home restrictions are beginning to be relaxed in the state, California coronavirus cases exceeded 75,000. Nearly half of all the cases and more than half of the related deaths were among residents in Los Angeles County.
- Today there are 75,040 confirmed cases and there have been 3,052 deaths in California.
- In recent days coronavirus cases have been rising in Orange County. On Thursday the county recorded its highest daily case count since the beginning of the pandemic.
- This week marks the reopening of beaches in LA County. New rules require beachgoers wear masks and remain active—such as swimming, walking, or running. Sunbathing and picnics will not be allowed and many bike paths, parking lots and piers continue to be closed.
- With increased focus on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color there is greater exploration of racial disparities. Check out this article exploring with Black clinicians and experts, the intersection of housing location, employment options, health care access, and historic distrust, as contributing factors to the racial disparities that are becoming evident during the pandemic.
- With safer-at-home orders in place, many people during the pandemic have only seen friends and family via videoconference. As restrictions begin to be relaxed, some are wondering if they can see friends again--this article offers some answers.
- All of us are wondering when the pandemic will end and how we will get back to some semblance of normalcy. Historians say pandemics usually have two types of endings—medical, and social; check out this article to learn a bit about how previous pandemics have ended, and how COVID-19 might end.
Thursday, May 14
The economic devastation of COVID-19 continues with job losses mounting while re-openings continue throughout the nation. Nearly three million new unemployment claims were filed last week, bringing the total to 36.5 million in a two-month period.
- There is a divide emerging between elected officials and public health authorities about how best to manage the coronavirus pandemic. In Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers brought a legal challenge against state health officials over social distancing orders, and on Wednesday the Wisconsin’s Supreme Court overturned safer-at-home orders. The ruling also mandates that future statewide restrictions related to coronavirus be approved by that state’s legislature’s rule-making committee.
- The rapid development and dissemination of a coronavirus vaccine has been identified as a key strategy ending the pandemic. However, concerns have emerged about the anti-vaccine movement growing networks undermining efforts to end the coronavirus pandemic.
- As states begin to relax stay-at-home orders and as the economy reopens, experts warn large workplaces vulnerable to coronavirus super-spread.
- Governor Newsom presented the budget revise today, the coronavirus shutdown means less money for schools and healthcare in California budget. Some analysts believe this crisis fueled deficit will test California’s decade of preparation.
- Even as California state officials have given the green light for some counties to begin to reopen, and restrictions are carefully being lifted, there are new signs that the coronavirus restrictions are here for the long haul.
- Imperial County, a county with less than 200,000 residents, has the highest per capita rate of coronavirus hospitalization in California. As of Wednesday, approximately 31 out of every 100,000 residents are being hospitalized for the virus. The county has experienced 14 deaths, all of them were Latino residents.
- In an effort to help lift stay-at-home orders, on Wednesday night Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced all Angelenos, except for small children and those with certain disabilities, would be required to wear face coverings when venturing outside. Details on the rules can be found here.
- Restaurant workers and other service workers, have been severely impacted as a result of the pandemic. It is estimated that there are upwards of 20 million “tipped workers” in the United States; 70% are women and are disproportionately women of color. Check out this COVID-19 and Race Commentary from Saru Jayaraman, looking at the inequities in the service industry and the opportunities for reshaping the sector.
- Children may be processing the pandemic in different ways that might be unexpected for adults and parents around them; this might include: acting out, regressing, defiance or seeming content. To learn more about how to help children manage read How to Keep Children’s Stress from Turning into Trauma.
Wednesday, May 13
The economy at many levels is reeling. This week, after the Chair of the Federal Reserve indicated the outlook for the economy was uncertain and more government support might be needed to restore prosperity, stocks fell with the dollar. California, which began 2020 with a budget surplus, is facing a growing deficit. The coronavirus, joblessness and weak tax receipts are creating the perfect budget storm.
- As the coronavirus crisis unfolded, workers in retail jobs deemed “essential” continued to work and many retailers, began paying hazard pay. As the nation begins to “open up” retailers are taking it back, even though workers claim the risky conditions have not changed.
- Today there are 1,383,000 confirmed cases and there have been 83,000 deaths in the United States.
- Prison overcrowding has long been an issue in California, and with an increasing number of inmates testing positive statewide, there is increased attention on this issue. Check out this new Data Hit from the California Budget and Policy Center, exploring how measures to reduce overcrowding in state facilities, have been insufficient to reduce overcrowding, putting many Californians’ health at risk.
- A new poll From the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies released today is documenting the impact of the pandemic has found most California voters believe coronavirus is increasing inequality, especially among blacks.
- Restaurants with dine-in options were some of the first businesses that were closed in response to the pandemic. On Tuesday, Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health issued new guidance for dine-in restaurants. The Governor also announced new rules for malls and offices in counties that meet state standards for testing and success at reducing coronavirus cases.
- Today there are 72,506 confirmed cases and there have been 2,934 deaths in California.
- While some counties have extended stay-at-home orders, seven California counties have gotten the OK to more quickly reopen. The seven rural counties—El Dorado, Butte, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Amador and Shasta, have not had any deaths due to COVID-19, and certified they have had minimal impact from the pandemic.
- Initially many were describing the novel coronavirus as an illness that didn’t discriminate and everyone was vulnerable; however, in recent weeks we’ve seen that’s really not true. Read African Americans and Latinos Alike Hit Hard by COVID-19, which explores what is universal and distinct about COVID-19, and why it matters.
- Check out this Interactive Heat Map of COVID-19 in the U.S. developed by the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, which shows how different states across the country are experiencing disparities in infection and death rates by race.
- Millions of Americans have lost jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasingly people are looking to innovations such as Universal Basic Income or UBI. Soomi Lee, a professor at the University of La Verne believes an emergency UBI could ease economic pain right now, read more about it here.
Tuesday, May 12
Earlier today the House Coronavirus Task Force Members testified at the Senate Health Committee, the first major hearing on the COVID-19 pandemic. The speakers, at times contradicted the Administration and painted a bleak picture of the Pandemic; six takeaways from the hearing can be found here.
- According to Indian Health Services there are more than 3,607 confirmed cases of the coronavirus among Native American tribe. More than 2,000 of the cases are on the Navajo reservation, which stretches across parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. In New Mexico Native Americans make up 50% of all of COVID-19 deaths, and for Native Americans, COVID-19 is ‘the worst of both worlds at the same time’.
- As reopening begins nationwide, thousands are getting sick on the job. There have been recent surges in meatpacking and poultry-processing plants and spikes in cases among construction workers in Texas.
- Legislators have announced that they will unveil two experimental proposals for recovery efforts and provide relief to renters. One of the proposals aims to create a $25-billion recovery fund.
- The weather is warming up and summer is on the horizon but health officials in California are urging residents to avoid weekend trips and summer vacations for now.
- During a board of supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer stated stay-at-home orders ‘with all certainty’ be extended through July.
- Two-weeks ago Riverside County extended stay-at-home orders until June. On Friday, county officials voted to rescind public health department stay-at-home orders and now coronavirus cases are on the rise in Riverside County.
- The pandemic may leave communities of color undercounted in the census—and cost them billions about census and redistricting which features grantee – California Call’s Black Census and Redistricting Hub. Might be useful to include in the update.
- Some believe that changes in attitudes about stay-at-home orders began to change once people began to hear about the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color. Read this thought-provoking opinion piece from Derrick Johnson of the NAACP about the shift in attitudes on COVID-19.
- The pandemic is bringing to the forefront, and worsening the conditions that many children of color have been living with for years. I’m sick of Asking Children to Be Resilient explores the idea of using this crisis to transform resiliency “from an individual trait to one that describes a community—and society—that cares for everyone”.
- The Associated Press is collecting stories of the those that have died due to COVID-19 around the world. Check out Lives Lost: Virtual Scrapbook, a moving tribute to some of the people who have died during the pandemic.
Monday, May 11
Worldwide there are over 4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and there have been 280,000 deaths. The pandemic has hit those living in poverty profoundly and some are predicting the economic devastation could ultimately kill more people than the virus itself.
- The economic impact of COVID-19 is increasingly becoming evident as millions of people are out of work and small businesses unable to operate. Some states are coming out of lockdown even as most have not met minimal criteria for safely reopening; and with cases increasing in some states, scientists are now fearing a coronavirus comeback.
- As businesses begin to re-open, employers are looking to apps that check for symptoms and fever screening cameras for employees. As employers rush to adopt virus screening, concerns have emerged about privacy and accuracy of these tools.
- As more information and data emerge about coronavirus outbreaks in care facilities, preliminary analysis is showing senior care facilities are the source of nearly half of all coronavirus deaths in California.
- Data continue to emerge about the disproportionate impact COVID-19 is having on Blacks, Pacific Islanders and Latinos in Los Angeles County. Officials believe institutional racism, inequity fuel high minority death toll from coronavirus.
- Testing has been expanded in the last month, with a greater focus on those at increased risk, including the homeless. However, testing requires follow-up and those who are unhoused are often moving from place to place. What happens when infected patients disappear?, explores the challenge of follow-up care with this population.
- Data began to emerge last week about inequitable enforcement of social distancing, including the fact that nearly every social distancing arrest in New Yok City was of a person of color. Data are now emerging in other places, such as Ohio where Blacks are also being arrested disproportionately for social distancing violations.
- Virologist Peter Piot, one of the discoverers of the Ebola virus, has spent his career fighting infectious diseases and is currently an advisor on coronavirus to the European Commission. In mid-March he fell ill with COVID-19, read about his life changing experience in ‘Finally, a virus got me.’ Scientist who fought Ebola and HIV reflects on facing death from COVID-19.
Friday/Saturday, May 9-10
As states continue to take steps to move towards relaxing stay-at-home orders and open up economies, public health experts say many states are opening too soon to do so safely.
- As the nation reels from the economic impact of COVID-19, the treasury secretary indicates the jobs picture will get worse before it gets better. Latinos have been hit particularly hard with a staggering 18.9% unemployed.
- While children have been largely untouched by coronavirus, last week a number of children presented with COVID-related illnesses in New York and a few other places in the country. On Sunday, health departments across the country were put on alert about this mystery coronavirus illness after three children die.
- Some 29 million Americans rely on community health centers for primary care services. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted community clinics as patient visits have come to a near-halt. Unable to bill or seek reimbursement for care, community clinics are suddenly on life support.
- Today there are 1,322,000 confirmed cases and there have been 79,192 deaths in the United States.
- This weekend California began to take the first steps of moving into the “second stage” of reopening. While many welcome this, there are still concerns as projections show California coronavirus cases and deaths rising more than expected.
- Today there are 67,096 confirmed cases and there have been 2,700 deaths in California.
- Some rural counties have seen few or nearly no cases and have pushed the governor to relax stay-at-home guidelines. Some have defied the guidelines outright; on Friday Governor Newsom warned counties could lose coronavirus cash for reopening early.
- As the economic devastation continues many cities and counties are beginning to report on budget deficits and unemployment numbers. On Friday Mayor Eric Garcetti reported that LA unemployment rate reached 24%.
- The last six weeks has brought to the forefront that Blacks and Latinos and in some parts of the country, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Read this insightful piece that explores how the pandemic has exposed the “bitter terms of our racial contract, which deems certain lives of greater value than others”.
- As the data becomes clear about the impact of COVID-19 on Blacks, there is an rush to begin to study why this happening. For Black Angelenos coronavirus triggers fear of another Tuskegee.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, because of the risks, older Californians have been told to stay at home to stay safe. Many are finding ways to give back to community and make their mark during COVID-19 pandemic.
Friday, May 8
Today the Labor Department reported that 20.5 million jobs were lost last month as a result of the pandemic and the jobless rate soared to 14.7%, the highest level since the Great Depression; these staggering employment numbers show almost every job is at risk.
- Epidemiologists around the U.S. are noticing a disparity that is unsettling--Latinos are contracting the virus at higher rates than the population overall. This is raising additional concerns about the best ways to control the spread COVID-19.
- Today there are 1,266,000 confirmed cases and there have been 76,262 deaths in the United States.
- Governor Newsom, citing public health concerns, announced California voters will be asked to vote by mail in November. The Governor ordered ballots mailed to the state’s 20.6 million voters for the election and strict rules will be in place for those opting to participate in person.
- Inmates in prisons and jails continue to be impacted by coronavirus. Three California inmates have died from COVID-19 complications , and the Federal Bureau of Prisons reported that 574 prisoners and 25 staff members have tested for COVID-19 at several Lompoc prison facilities. This week, in LA County after officials began testing newly booked detainees, two young people tested positive, becoming the first youths to test positive for coronavirus in LA County juvenile halls.
- Stay-at-home orders have forced many faith-based institutions to temporarily close and/or provide virtual services. One church defied this order and took legal action, this week a federal judge upheld California’s ban on church services during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Today there are 62,546 confirmed cases and there have been 2,546 deaths in California.
- In addition to the toll coronavirus is having on the health care system, the pandemic is also impacting tourism. Los Angeles is one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations and is forecasting 22 million fewer visitors and a loss of more than $13 billion in tourist spending due to the coronavirus crisis.
- A troubling issue is emerging around how policing is being done during the pandemic, and in particular unequitable enforcement of social distancing orders. In New York, numerous incidents have emerged of aggressive enforcement of orders and recent scrutiny of social-distancing policing show that 35 of the 40 people arrested were Black.
- The gatherings of people demanding for the country and state to “open up” have appeared to be primarily white, even in California a state that is mostly not. The effects of the pandemic have disproportionately impacted people of color and has widened racial and political divisions.
- Masks have become part of daily living in the U.S. and worldwide. In Latin America masks have become a form of self-expression.
- Health care workers have been hit hard by COVID-19 with many lives lost. Lost on the Frontline a project of Kaiser Health News and The Guardian, tells the stories of some of those lives.
Thursday, May 7
Nearly 3.2 million more Americans filed for jobless claims last week as a result of coronavirus-related shutdowns of businesses, deepening the economic crisis in the country. This brings the total number of people who filed for jobless aid to 33.5 million in the last seven weeks.
- As more and more states move to reopen the economy, reports have emerged that the Trump Administration has blocked CDC guidance for businesses opening up over economic and religious concerns. Officials expressed concerns that the guidelines were “overly prescriptive, infringed on religious rights and risked further damaging the economy”.
- A CDC report has revealed the extent of coronavirus outbreaks in U.S. jails and prisons. Thirty-two of the jurisdictions involved in the study reported at least one confirmed case in 420 separate facilities. In these facilities, 4,893 inmates had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and 88 had died. Staff accounted for 2,778 cases and 15 deaths. However, many believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to delve deeper check out Mass Incarceration Poses a Uniquely American Risk in the Coronavirus Pandemic.
- Today there are 1,250,000 confirmed cases and there have been 75,250 deaths in the United States.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the California economy to collapse quickly. In an analysis released today the California Department of Finance is projecting a $54.3 billion budget deficit. This is the projected worst budget deficit in state history.
- Today Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new safeguards and protocols for retail stores and workplaces eligible to reopen this Friday, and in the weeks ahead. Guidelines were also issued for counties that want to move ahead of the state in lifting restrictions.
- Today there are 61,901 confirmed cases and there have been 2,523 deaths in California.
- The meat packing industry has been a focus of attention with numerous outbreaks across the country. In Hanford County, located in Central California, 138 employees at a meat plant have tested positive for coronavirus.
- With more than estimated 92,000 layoffs the Bay Area, region has been hit hard economically by the coronavirus pandemic. Check out the Bay Area Lay-off Tracker to see the number of jobs cut by company and city.
- Because COVID-19 is not affecting communities the same way, the COVID Racial Data Tracker is tracking inequity by collecting, analyzing and publishing racial data on the pandemic across the United States. The COVID Racial Data Tracker has gone live with a web version and a spreadsheet-based dashboard.
- Drive-in movie theatres and drive-throughs were popular businesses for many years, particularly in Southern California. In more recent years these businesses have fallen out of favor and many have closed down. Social distancing and the closing of many public spaces as a result of coronavirus is giving these businesses a lifeline.
Wednesday, May 6
To date, the coronavirus pandemic has infected over 3.6 million people and at least 260,000 people have died worldwide.
- A new study released on Tuesday is showing how badly Black Americans have been hit by COVID-19, including disproportionately higher deaths taking place in primarily black communities. The study, the work of a dozen scientists and researches and six organizations and universities, is still under peer review by a medical journal.
- During the course of the pandemic, Americans perspectives on the crisis, how it is being handled and what should be done are changing regularly. Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape , one of the largest ongoing public opinion surveys ever conducted, recently expanded its survey to better understand how the outbreak is influencing the lives and perspectives of Americans. Check out the survey here.
- Today there are 1,219,000 confirmed cases and there have been 72,476 deaths in the United States.
- The economic challenges of the pandemic are significant and many questions are emerging in California, making it difficult to sort through and find some answers. To better understand these complex economic times check out What’s next for California during the COVID-19 economic crisis? from the California Budget and Policy Center.
- The Governor has established an economic task force to focus on business and jobs recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. This 98 member task force is comprised of authorities from business, labor, government, philanthropy and academia. Many of the members view this as an opportunity to include all populations to help reshape the state’s economic trajectory.
- While small businesses experienced numerous challenges in the first round of federal relief PPP funding, in the second round small businesses are finally getting federal loans, but challenges remain.
- Today there are 58,790 confirmed cases and there have been 2,379 deaths in California
- In a state as vast as California there are particular challenges with lifting stay-at-home orders because some parts of the state have been hit harder than others. Nineteen rural counties have no confirmed deaths and some suburban areas the numbers are relatively low. This has some experts wondering if reopening will bring more coronavirus deaths.
- Los Angeles County has not yet eased stay-at-home orders, but today officials announced some retail stores will be permitted to reopen for pick-up and some recreational sites will also be open. These are the first steps towards easing lock down orders.
- In the last month of the pandemic, more focused attention is being paid to how race, class and increasingly place are intersecting with COVID-19. Check out How Race and Class Fuel a Pandemic, a report from Race Counts highlighting the disparate impact, the COVID-19 pandemic is having on people of color, and the poor.
- Check out this sobering Op-Ed from Teen Vogue that explores how the organized efforts to lift lockdown orders and liberate America, are rooted in white entitlement.
- The coronavirus pandemic has made Dr. Anthony Fauci a household name in the United States. As the Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for nearly 40 years, he has been at the forefront of managing numerous outbreaks. Read this interview with Dr. Fauci to learn what he thinks about the rush to re-open states and offers tips for handling information overload.
Reopening the economy means that movie theatres and retail business will be opening but will have to make changes. How will these businesses look and will they survive? This article examines these question.
Tuesday, May 5
While many states are moving forward and relaxing stay at home orders across the country, some experts are expressing reservations. There has been a drop in cases in New York, however other cities and smaller communities are seeing upticks in numbers, amounting to 25,000 new cases, or a 2 to 4 percent daily increase in the United States.
- Scientists have identified a now-dominant strain of coronavirus that appears to more contagious than the original. Details about this study were shared on a website used by researchers to share work before it is peer reviewed, to facilitate collaborations between scientists working on vaccines or treatments.
- COVID-19 has increased concerns about rising hunger and has turned the food industry upside down. However, the network of food producers, distributors, retailers, service providers and advocates have been scrambling to find new solutions and perhaps a new way forward. Read more about how, here.
- Today there are 1,197,000 confirmed cases and there have been 70,558 deaths in the United States.
- In an effort to build an army of 20,000 people to test, trace and isolate people who may have been infected by the coronavirus, the Newsom Administration is teaming up with UCLA and UC San Francisco to train employees to become “coronavirus detectives".
- Today there are 58,303 confirmed cases and there have been 2,364 deaths in California.
- A testing effort led by UCSF in the Mission District of San Francisco found one thing in common among the 90% who tested positive for COVID-19--they all had to leave their homes to go to work; 95% of them were Latino. In a similar effort UCSF is conducting in the coastal town of Bolinas, nearly 1800 people were tested and nobody was positive.
- In a bit of a shift from recent weeks, some Bay Area counties are experiencing jumps in numbers of coronavirus cases. On Tuesday more deaths in five counties were reported and 104 cases were added in San Francisco, the biggest one-day leap since the pandemic started.
- Last week it was reported that more than 60% of the prisoners at the federal prison at Terminal Island tested positive, today it was reported a sixth prisoner has died of COVID-19.
- Questions of race and to some degree, class have come to be a focus of attention during the pandemic and is shedding light on historic inequities of the United States. In COVID-19's Race and Class Warfare, the myriad ways people of color are being impacted by the pandemic is explored.
- Many are exploring and predicting what things will look like in the coming months as things begin to “open up”, and return to some semblance of normalcy. Here is one take on higher education, Six sways college might look different in the fall.
Monday, May 4
As California nears its seventh week of state-mandated stay-at-home orders, tallies of coronavirus cases continue to climb. Over the past week, the state averaged 1,603 new cases and 70.7 deaths per day.
- According the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute the number of Americans losing health care coverage as a result of job loss could run into the tens of millions. Insurers are expecting an influx of those people to enroll in subsidized individual Obamacare coverage and private Medicaid plans.
- Nursing homes have been tied to coronavirus outbreaks and a total of 20,000 deaths nationwide. Now nursing homes are lobbying for protections from claims of inadequate and negligent care.
- Today there are 1,174,000 confirmed cases and there have been 68,063 deaths in the United States.
- Today Governor Newsom announced some businesses will begin to open this week. Under the new guidelines, the governor said bookstores, music stores, florists, and sporting goods retailers can reopen for pickup as early as Friday. Experts believe even though the opening process is beginning it will be a slow process and not be complete for a year or longer.
- Health care workers have been lauded as heroes during the coronavirus crisis, but have also been hit hard by the economic fallout, as well. With the cancellation of elective surgeries and non-emergency visits the health care sector is second to the restaurant industry in job losses.
- Today there are 55,657 confirmed cases and there have been 2,254 deaths in California.
- Homeless individuals unable to abide by stay-at-orders are at increased risk for coronavirus infection. Recently homeless activists have stepped up efforts in Los Angeles calling on leaders to use emergency powers to seize hotel and motel rooms to house at-risk unhoused populations.
- In some parts of the state businesses have planned to, or already have opened, in defiance of coronavirus stay-at-home orders.
- Disasters and crisis tend to exacerbate inequality and COVID-19 is exhibiting this tendency. What We Know About the COVID-19 Race Gap explores the lack of reliable COVID-19 racial data, how unequal the toll looks and why the work can’t stop focusing or inequity.
Many are beginning to forecast how work and workplaces will change as a result of the pandemic. Some are forecasting a few hallmarks like the 40-hour work week and open floor plans in offices may become a thing of the past.
Saturday-Sunday, May 2-3
This was the first weekend that approximately a dozen states relaxed stay-at-home orders; however experts believe the coronavirus outbreak is far from quelled.
- In 1994 Laurie Garrett wrote the bestselling book The Coming Plague which is about a pandemic very similar to this one. Read this interview exploring what can be expected in the next few years of the pandemic.
- The Navajo nation continues to be ravaged by COVID-19. On Saturday 166 new coronavirus cases were reported, bringing the total cases to 2,307 and total deaths to 73. On Friday all roads into the town of Gallup New Mexico were closed for the weekend; Gallup has over 1,000 confirmed cases.
- “Because the pandemic pauses the present, it forces us to live in the future”. Check out this article about how pandemic will change the retail sector and the economy.
- Today there are 1,153,000 confirmed cases and there have been 67,172 deaths in the United States.
- In California about 31 percent of the deaths from COVID-19 have been in nursing homes. The pandemic is shedding light on the problems in the industry: for-profit business models, overworked and underpaid employees and a mixed record of compliance with infection control requirements.
- Anti-vaccination proponents have become a visible and growing presence at protests against government efforts to manage the coronavirus crisis. There is growing concern that this overlapping and vocal group of people could harm future acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccination.
- Today there are 54,799 confirmed cases and there have been 2,213 deaths in California.
- LA County continues to be the epicenter of the crisis with 25,000 cases and over 1,200 deaths. The County reported the highest death rates continue to be seen among Blacks, those who identify as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and people who live in communities with high levels of poverty.
- Even though polls have shown that most Californians support the stay-at-home orders, the weekend brought ongoing opposition to lockdown orders from beach communities in the southern part of the state and rural communities in different parts of the state.
- As many try to find ways to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, some are also looking to interim steps that can be taken before any long-term structural changes can be made. This article examines some grass roots efforts to address testing currently underway, and describes interim technology-based steps that can be made to address equity in care.
- Earthquakes are one of many disasters Californians have grown used to and many of us have grown accustomed to listening to experts that help us make sense of disasters. Lucy Jones is one of those experts; read her thoughtful take on this moment, in What earthquakes can tell us about the coronavirus pandemic.
Friday, May 1
Today is International Workers Day, historically a day to honor workers with marches and celebrations. COVID-19 has impacted workers in profound ways and because of the pandemic, many activities related to May Day, are not possible this year. However, you can still honor workers today by learning a bit more about today’s strike by essential retail workers; read Martin Luther King Jr. Predicted this Moment, an evocative opinion piece; mull over 10 Ways you Can Honor International Workers Day While Remaining Safe at Home, or listen to this impressive cover of Bulls on Parade.
- Despite rising deaths in meat processing factories, earlier this week President Trump declared meat processing plants “critical infrastructure and today the CDC released new data showing that over 4,900 meat processing workers have tested positive for COVID-19.
- Amid warnings from experts of a potential second wave of infections, theatres and restaurants began to reopen in several states as stay-at-home orders were lifted.
- On Thursday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a national initiative to study the coronavirus genome. This study will bring together at least 75 public health, academic and commercial institutions and will help trace patterns of transmission, investigate outbreaks and map how the virus is evolving.
- Today there are 1,097,000 confirmed cases and there have been 64,260 deaths in the United States.
- Stay at home orders continue to be in place and there are some in the state who are unhappy. Today groups converged at the Capitol to protest the state’s lockdown. Rural counties continues to urge the state to allow certain parts of California to gradually reopen.
- A new statewide poll released today by the UC Berkley Institute of Government Studies found broad approval f Governor Gavin Newsom amid the coronavirus crisis ; but much less confidence in the federal government, and President Trump.
- Today there are 51,775 confirmed cases and there have been 2,111 deaths in California.
- California is entering a second month under stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of coronavirus; increasingly tenants are banding together to protest and demand government take action and “cancel rent”. This new effort is escalating the long-standing battle over affordable housing in the state.
- Many states in the country are beginning to open up citing economic reasons, even though many have increasing numbers of coronavirus cases, and insufficient testing options. Bioethicist Dr. Reuben C. Warren believes this is a false choice between health and economics, and for Black communities increases distrust. Questions of race, health, ethics and coronavirus are explored with him in this interview.
- Stay at home orders have hit restaurants deeply and many restaurants, unable to operate with little to no profit, are opting to close their doors. Others are trying to creatively support frontline workers, seniors, schools and others in need. To understand more what restaurants are experiencing and doing, read this thoughtful reflection from Chef Hugh Acheson.
Thursday, April 30
At midnight tonight, federal social distancing guidelines will expire and tomorrow a number of states will begin to reopen, and lift stay at home orders.
- Unemployment numbers continue to climb; last week, 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment in the United States. This brings the total number of people seeking unemployment to 30 million in the last 6 weeks.
- Health care workers worldwide have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and many nurses have died from COVID-19. Approximately 150,000 nurses in the United States are Filipino, and in some regions, they account for a much larger share of caregivers. This article explores the outsize impact on Filipino American health care workers.
- Today there are 1,064,000 confirmed cases and there have been 62,545 deaths in the United States.
- The Governor announced a four-stage plan to reopen the state and many are eager for restrictions to be lifted and the economy to begin moving. However, many are predicting it will be an arduous task, require changes and won’t be quick.
- With 150,000 unhoused individuals, California has the highest number of homeless people in the country. Homeless Californians are at increased risk for contracting coronavirus. Cal Matters set out to learn more about these individuals and how they are trying to survive the coronavirus pandemic and produced a video, which can be found here.
- Today there are 50,129 confirmed cases and there have been 2,029 deaths in California.
- In spite of reports that all beaches would be closed in California, Governor Newsom announced today that state and local beaches in Orange County will be closed this weekend. This was after approximately 40,000 people hit the beaches in Orange County last weekend.
- With regions making differing decisions on when to relax stay at home orders, Riverside County is extending restrictions through June 19.
- On Wednesday night Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that all Los Angeles City and County residents who want a coronavirus test can now get one. Tests will be free, by appointment and people exhibiting symptoms will be given priority.
- Amidst health and safety concerns, the state of Georgia began opening some businesses late last week. In a new study, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday, data found that more than four-fifths of hospitalized coronavirus patients in Georgia were Black.
- In the last two weeks as the data on race and coronavirus infections and death rates have become clear many have expressed a myriad of concerns and feelings. Read Are we Alright? Black people and COVID19 an important reflection for the moment from Saa’un P. Bell.
- Should you talk to your child about the pandemic? A child education specialist explains why it’s important to have an honest conversation with your child here.
- Travel is something that has been relatively easy for those with the benefit of resources and time. The coronavirus pandemic has shifted attitudes and elevated fears about travel; this article explores how travel might change as a result of the pandemic.
Wednesday, April 29
As the impact of the coronavirus on the economy continues to become evident, today it was reported that the U.S. gross domestic product fell at a 4.8 percent annual rate in the first quarter. This is the first decline since 2014 and the worse contraction since 2008.
- Preliminary data are showing total deaths are nearly 50 percent higher than normal in the seven states hardest hit by coronavirus. Experts believe this is illustrating how the virus is causing a surge in deaths in certain parts of the country.
- During the coronavirus crisis, “gig workers” have quickly become “essential workers” and many have been put at increased risk with fewer protections. This is causing many essential workers to demand more , including an unprecedented organizing effort to plan a strike.
- Today there are 1,034,000 confirmed cases and there have been 60,448 deaths in the United States.
- In the last few days differing points of view and statements have emerged about when stay-at-home orders will be lifted in California. This has been further complicated because the coronavirus outbreak is behaving differently in various parts of the state.
- More than 11 million Americans have some form of hearing loss, and California leaders have been at the forefront of providing sign language interpretation at daily press briefings. Interpreters have now become part of the visible essential workforce providing life-saving information to many Californians.
- Today there are 48,565 confirmed cases and there have been 1,939 deaths in California.
- The federal prison at Terminal Island in San Pedro has become the site of the nation’s worst outbreak of coronavirus in a federal penitentiary. As of Tuesday, nearly half of the prison inmates have tested positive for the virus.
- With 1,541 newly confirmed cases, Los Angeles County recorded the biggest one-day spike in coronavirus cases. The county also began releasing neighborhood breakdowns of COVID-19 deaths, confirming what has been suspected, poorest areas have been hit the hardest.
- Essential worker is a new term, defining a whole set of distinct jobs that are keeping parts of society running. This article featuring 10 essential workers describing what their days are like during the coronavirus outbreak.
- The data on race and COVID-19 are troubling, particularly for African Americans and Latinos. Dr. Sonia Angell, California’s public health director provides some insight about why COVID-19 is deadlier for Black and Latino Californians.
- While the attention has been on the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on Blacks in the U.S., many are now drawing focused attention on the economic impact on black workers and rates of unemployment.
- As conversations continue evolve about re-opening and what “normal” might look like in the future, schools seem to be a focal point. This article lays out what schools might look like when they re-open; and this one describes what was observed in Denmark when elementary schools re-opened a little over a week ago.
- Deep investments in the development of a vaccine for COVID-19 have been made with the hopes to address coronavirus infection and transmission quickly. Vaccines are complex and often misunderstood, but if you want to learn more and go a little deeper, check out this graphical guide on the race to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
Tuesday, April 28
Today confirmed cases in the United States exceeded 1 million, more than any other country in the world.
- The creation of a vaccine for coronavirus is being touted as the only way to effectively intervene in COVID-19 at scale. A number of laboratories are working on this and one has leapt forward in the race.
- According to the Sentencing Project 150 juveniles and 283 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 at facilities nationwide. Additionally, limited communication with families, elimination of visits, and reports of riots, escapes, lockdowns and the use of pepper-spray by authorities are increasing concerns about the potentially devastating impact of COVID-19 on this population.
- Due to fear of coronavirus exposure, parents across the country have cancelled well-child visits; ordinarily when most childhood immunizations occur. This has public health professionals worried that a secondary health crisis could emerge.
- Today there are 1,008,000 confirmed cases and there have been 55,002 deaths in the United States.
- Governor Newsom released a new plan for a “phased-in” ending of the state shutdown; with a second phase that includes potentially opening some childcare centers and schools by mid-summer. The plan carries a number of caveats and regional variations for implementation.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the challenges the health care system is experiencing in caring for patients during this surge of cases. A new report released by the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative is urging leaders to take steps to address the physician shortage in California before a second wave hits.
- An estimated 1 million people in California lack access to clean drinking water, primarily in rural regions. COVID-19 has added another layer of struggle for these Californians.
- Today there are 46,032 confirmed cases and there have been 1,862 deaths in California.
- Today deaths in Los Angeles County exceeded 1,000; even so, Los Angeles County officials are now working to ease stay-at-home orders my mid-May.
- Bay Area counties were the first to issue shelter in place orders and have opted to keep them in place through the end of May. California’s rural counties are pushing for immediate relief from the lockdown and asking the state to re-open.
- Pre-existing racial disparities has made COVID-19 particularly deadly for African Americans, illustrating that when it comes to this disease, race matters.
- Yesterday the American Medical Association announced a new online resource hub aimed to shine a light on structural issues contributing to and exacerbating health inequities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- For many, finding joy in small things has been key for managing time in isolation and for others a small chance to interact has brought about moments of happiness. This moving photo essay brings to life some of those instances from around the world.
- Are you having trouble sleeping during the pandemic? Are your dreams incredibly vivid? The pandemic is reportedly causing sleep patterns to change and strange dreams to linger. Read about why this might be the case here.
Monday, April 27
Monday afternoon the White House released a blueprint for states on testing for COVID-19. The document lays out where the Administration see the boundaries between state and federal responsibilities. As social distancing guidelines from the federal government are set to expire on Thursday, the White House is reportedly reviewing expanded guidance on how to open up society.
- As more is understood about COVID-19, clarity about things like disease progression, symptoms and related risks are being identified all the time. Today, the Centers for Disease Control added six new symptoms for the novel coronavirus.
- Testing continues to be touted as key to making inroads with COVID-19. Antibody testing has generated excitement, but experts are now saying antibody testing are not reliable enough to guide policy on lockdowns and re-openings, but can help model the spread of the virus.
- As the federal government readies the Paycheck Protection Program to reopen with new funds, troubling issues have emerged from the first round of relief for small business; including reports that troubled companies got bail out money and tech starts-ups got money and used it not for day-to-day survival but, to “buy time”.
- Today there are 983,000 confirmed cases and there have been 55,573 deaths in the United States.
- With millions of Californians rendered jobless, turning to the state for unemployment assistance has proven frustrating for many, as understaffing and technology glitches hampers California’s efforts.
- Over the weekend, the first heatwave of the year hit Southern California and thousands flocked to beaches, few masks were seen and little social distancing observed, raising concerns from experts.
- Stay-at-home and public health orders have been a primary strategy to protect oneself and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, however for those that are homeless, this isn’t possible. Check out this newly released report from the California Budget and Policy Center showing that health risk is even more severe for homeless individuals who are older, and African American.
- Today there are 44,949 confirmed cases and there have been 1,776 deaths in California.
- As counties begin to assess the feasibility of relaxing stay-at-home orders, six Bay Area counties have extended shelter-in-place orders through May.
- The need for Personal Protective Equipment has been an ever-present issue during the pandemic, particularly for front line workers in hospital settings. Read this moving commentary from an emergency room nurse at Oakland’s Highland Hospital.
- What should an inclusive COVID-19 economic recovery look like? How should race be factored into these plans? Check out this new five-part document from PolicyLink, Principles for a Common-Sense, Street Smart Recovery exploring the way forward using a racial equity lens.
- Other countries with diverse populations are facing similar outcomes in terms of COVID-19 and communities of color. Data are emerging in the United Kingdom indicating that minority Britons are feeling the impact disproportionately.
- In times of crisis, Art has the power to illustrate pain, heal and provide hope. Check out how street artists around the world are using art to respond to COVID-19 with messages of hope and despair.
- As a result of COVID-19 more than 90% of all playgrounds are currently closed. While the pandemic has shown how important play spaces are for children’s development, it has also brought to the forefront the need to re-think public spaces and the notion that play can be created everywhere.
Saturday/Sunday, April 25-26
As the weekend warmed, in spite of warnings, beaches and recreational spaces in many places were swarmed. On Sunday Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator said Americans should expect social distancing to continue for months.
- This weekend marked the first foray into “opening the economy” in some states and counties in the U.S and many are watching to see how this unfolds. This “memo”, based on conversations with experts worldwide, identifies seven lessons that should not be ignored as leaders begin to reopen economies.
- The economic cost of coronavirus has been staggering and there is renewed interest in non-traditional financial interventions such Universal Basic Income. This article co-published by Newsweek and Capitol & Main explores whether or not the U.S. is ready for UBI.
- Today there are 959,056 confirmed cases and there have been 54,363 deaths in the United States.
- Jails, prisons and detention centers continue to be hot zones for the spread of coronavirus. On Friday the American Civil Liberties Union filed two lawsuits against California, calling for a a dramatic reduction in California’s incarcerated population and a halt to transfers of inmates to detention centers.
- The data continue to emerge about the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color. In California new data are emerging indicating Black and Latinos between 18 and 64 are dying more frequently than their white and Asian counterparts.
- Today there are 42,935 confirmed cases and there have been 1,703 deaths in California.
- Los Angeles continues to see the highest numbers of cases and deaths in the state. On Sunday the health department reported data that indicate those who live in lower-income communities in L.A. County are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those in wealthier communities.
- More data are emerging about rates of COVID-19 among groups in different parts of the Bay Area. On Friday, local data from public health departments has now revealed Latinos in the region are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.
- The Navajo Nation has the third highest coronavirus infection rate in the country and an infection rate 10 times of neighboring Arizona. This compelling opinion piece explores the COVID-19 explosion in the context of the historic exploitation and federal mistreatment of the Navajo Nation.
- Much has been written about the lack of consistent data about people of color during the COVID-19 crisis. A new issue is emerging-- Native Americans are not being accurately counted and are being mislabeled as “other”.
- The coronavirus has dramatically changed work in this country. Many have lost work, many are working in jobs that pose increased risks, and many are at home trying to manage new realities of working from home while caring for loved ones. How will the pandemic change the way work happens? This article from the Harvard Business Review, explores this issue.
- There have been many “how-to” articles and guides published during the pandemic—everything from how to unpack groceries to how to make an effective mask. Many questions have emerged about food and whether or not cooking it kills the coronavirus. This interview with an infectious disease specialist explores this topic.
Friday, April 24
Even as states and municipalities begin to open up businesses and services, the death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 today in the United States. In California, the vast majority believe the stay at home orders should be kept in place for as long as needed, according to a newly released poll from the California Healthcare Foundation.
- After several days of negotiations, President Trump signed a new round of stimulus relief providing $484 billion to replenish the small business lending program, support hospitals and fund COVID-19 testing.
- The coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the economy. Today the Congressional Budget Office is indicating that the recession and the aid needed to address the crisis will cause the deficit to reach $3.7 billion.
- Data continues to emerge about outbreaks of coronavirus in jails and prisons across the country. At an Indiana prison 92 percent of the inmates tested positive and in an Ohio correctional facility 78 percent tested positive for COVID-19. Recent modeling is estimating that that this could result in nearly 100,000 deaths among the incarcerated population.
- Today there are 898,000 confirmed cases and there have been 51,192 deaths in the United States.
- The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been felt at every level of government. California cities are anticipating a $7 billion collective revenue shortfall over the next two years, and are urging the Governor to establish a stabilization fund for cities.
- In March, California’s unemployment rate jumped from a historically low 3.9% to 5.3%. Early data suggests industries hit are those that employ women, Latinos and young people. This report from the Public Policy Institute of California provides preliminary analysis on the economic impact of the pandemic in the state.
- Today there are 39,620 confirmed cases and there have been 1,531 deaths in California.
- One of the largest clusters of COVID-19 in the Bay Area has emerged at an Oakland nursing home where three have died and 50 have been infected by the novel coronavirus. This adds to an already grim number of deaths and infections tied to nursing homes in Alameda County.
- Stronger than This is a new podcast of candid conversations focused on COVID-19 from the Heinz Endowments. Two to check out: Redirecting Anger to Action with Monica Ruiz, Executive Director of Casa San Jose; and The Moral Lessons of COVID-19 with author and scholar Dr. Andre Perry from the Brookings Institute.
- There is so much information, data and resources flowing on COVID-19 and there is much analysis and data to absorb. This fact sheet from Health Access California provides a relatively simple overview of federal and state responses to the COVID-19 crisis.
Thursday, April 23
The numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths from COVID-19 continue to climb. In California over the past week the state has averaged 1,509 new cases and 78.4 new deaths per day.
- On Thursday the Labor Department reported that another 4.4. million more people filed initial claims for unemployment support. This brings the total to 26 million Americans who have lost jobs in the last five weeks.
- The small business stimulus relief loan program known as the Paycheck Protection Program, ran out of funding last week and now, new information is surfacing about banks that prioritized wealthier clients before turning to other small business loan seekers.
- There are 859,318 confirmed cases and there have been 44,014 deaths in the United States.
- Calling it the “deadliest day” in California, Governor Newsom announced on Thursday that the state’s death toll spiked by 8.5% on Wednesday April 22.
- To date California has been able to avoid COVID-19-related “worse case scenarios” in hospital settings however, state public health officials are still preparing for the possibility; and recently published guidelines if the state faces a new “surge” in the coronavirus outbreak.
- There are 39,288 confirmed cases and there have been 1,523 deaths in California.
- Los Angeles has emerged as the epicenter of COVID-19 in California with officials announcing on Thursday that it has now become the leading cause of death in Los Angeles County. There have been nearly 800 deaths in the county, which accounts for just over half the total number of deaths in the state.
- With job loss so widespread, people are fearful of, or have already lost housing. While there have been measures taken by state and local government to mitigate the challenges, the rules and regulations have been confusing and not well managed. The Los Angeles Times talked to tenants and landlords to see how they are coping during the crisis.
- There is increased discussion about data and race and COVID-19 and in particular, the lack of reliable data. Check out this week’s Code Switch podcast The News Beyond the COVID Numbers focused on the importance of tracking the coronavirus’s impact on different racial groups and how to translate data into actual health improvements.
- Data continues to point that communities of color are being hit hardest by COVID-19 across the country. Check out this analysis of data that are available, from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- World Cup Soccer star and Californian Megan Rapinoe, hosted an Instagram conversation with Gov. Newsom on Thursday to talk about the pandemic. Topics covered included the shelter-in-place order, aid to undocumented immigrants and testing. The chat can be found here.
Wednesday, April 22
Since the virus first emerged and was documented in late December there have been 2.5 million cases of COVID-19 reported to the WHO and there have been 160,000 total deaths.
- After presenting the idea in various forms over the course of a few days, late Wednesday afternoon President Trump issued an executive order limiting immigration. Many questions are emerging about what it means and who it impacts, this article provides some clarity.
- Today there are 826,936 confirmed cases and there have been 42,103 deaths in the United States.
- Although there have been signs that California is bending the curve, public health officials are now warning that a second wave of infections could be far worse than the current wave.
- It has become increasingly clear that people who have the virus but don’t have symptoms can unknowingly transmit the coronavirus to others. This is particularly worrisome in settings that are now considered high-risk, such as nursing homes or prisons. In an effort to intervene, California has lifted some restrictions to allow testing for those who are asymptomatic.
- Small businesses have been devastated by the economic fallout related to coronavirus. There are reports that California’s small businesses received the fewest number of federal relief loans in the nation. A new survey from the Small Business Majority reveals the many challenges small businesses are facing in California. The survey results can be found here.
- Today there are 37,343 confirmed cases and there have been 1,419 deaths in California.
- School closures, resulting from COVID-19 have had significant impacts on children in rural parts of the state. School districts are struggling to provide resources and children are facing increased hunger and isolation.
- Overcrowding has been linked to outbreaks of coronavirus across the country. As cases climb in places like Los Angeles, public health officials are concerned that overcrowded housing conditions could accelerate the spread of the disease in the county.
- Check out No Surprise: Pandemic hits Black and Brown People Extra Hard, an insightful, sobering post from YR Media.
- The data related to COVID –19 and race has been slowly emerging in different places in the country. On April 7 the Trump Administration promised data within a “couple of days”, the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services is now saying the data won’t be available until May 1.
- During World War I, Americans were encouraged to grow gardens, called Victory Gardens. The notion is making a comeback with gardeners coming together (virtually) to share stories and learn from one another, in a time of uncertainty. If you want to start one of your own, here’s a great how-to guide.
Tuesday, April 21
Testing for coronavirus is getting a lot of attention in the last few days; in part because availability of testing might help to lead to relaxing stay-at-home orders. Today the FDA granted emergency approval for an in-home test for the coronavirus that will be available to consumers, under a doctor’s order. Priority will be given to health care workers and first responders who may have been exposed.
- Amazon has become an essential lifeline for many during the pandemic, however this has also brought to light some of the negative impacts of its business model. This has brought invigorated organizing efforts to push the company to change the way it does business.
- Nationwide nursing homes have been the of site of countless outbreaks and deaths. Nursing homes care for 1.5 million seniors nationwide, and often run on very thin profit margins. To respond to the crisis, nursing homes have had to spend considerably more for care which some believe may wipe out the industry.
- Today there are 799,717 confirmed cases and there have been 39,995 deaths in the United States.
- In an effort to engage residents who might have interest in, and be able to offer help, Governor Newsom announced the launch of CaliforniansForAll.ca.gov . A volunteer corps to match Californians with safe volunteer opportunities.
- The California Employment Development Department began increasing call center hours this week to process and manage requests for assistance in response to more than 2.7 million new jobless claims filed in the last month. Even though EDD has shifted over 1,300 workers to manage increased work, the call center is still struggling to meet the demand.
- Today there are 35,634 confirmed cases and there have been 1,298 deaths in California.
- Rural regions experience challenges with resources and access to services. The coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated the daily struggles of the poor, mostly Latino and immigrant working class communities of the eastern Coachella Valley.
- There are approximately 1,300 community clinics and health centers across California serving 7 million patients. In the Bay Area where lock-downs were first implemented, clinics have been hit hard and because they are unable to see patients, are struggling to stay afloat.
- An emerging issue in different parts of the state is the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Latinos. In San Francisco newly released data is suggesting Latinos account for 25% of coronavirus cases, despite representing 15% of the total population.
- Los Angeles County officials recently began releasing data on race and COVID-19. Data are showing that African Americans make up 17% of the deaths in the county despite representing 9% of the population. Today in an act of solidarity more than 50 leaders announced a set of demands to public officials to meet the needs of Blacks in Los Angeles.
- With all the talk of testing for coronavirus it’s helpful to understand the different two different types of tests available in the United States. Read this article to understand what the two types are, what they test for and how they might be used by clinicians and public health systems.
- Masks have become part of everyday life for nearly everyone, but for some populations it creates bigger challenges or fears. For those who are deaf and hard of hearing masks can create confusion and limit access to vital information because it prevents lip reading. For children masks can create fear by making people unrecognizable.
Monday, April 20
Although there are promising signs that cases are beginning to level off, the coronavirus threat continues to grow in some regions and states. Clusters in workplaces are on the rise and nursing homes and prisons continue to be hotspots nationwide. A prison in Ohio has now become the largest source of virus infections in the United States; 73% of the inmates tested positive.
- The conversation continues about when stay-at-home orders will be lifted, and some states are making plans to open up as soon as the end of this week even though many health experts believe the country is nowhere near ready. This article describes five things to know about the COVID-19 peak and under what conditions people might be able to go back to school and work safely.
- During the pandemic charitable giving has gone up to respond to the coronavirus crisis. This article provides some insight about the shifts occurring in philanthropy in response to this pandemic.
- Today there are 772,524 confirmed cases and there have been 37,321 deaths in the United States.
- Nursing homes have become a focal point of numerous outbreaks nationwide and California is no different. The pandemic is exposing weaknesses in the systems caring for the frail and elderly, understaffing, an underpaid workforce, and challenges in controlling infectious outbreaks.
- Despite some good signs, on Monday Governor Newsom stated California is not on a downward trend and, said the curve is bending and “beginning to flatten but nonetheless still rising.”
- Today there are 33,686 confirmed cases and there have been 1,223 deaths in California.
- San Francisco was one of the first cities to implement stay-at-home orders and has kept coronavirus infections relatively low. However, outbreaks among homeless populations have caused concerns and now questions have emerged about how the city and county is addressing homelessness.
- Many community health centers in California have had to adjust services during this time and make serious shifts in how care is provided. This article tells the story of one clinic in San Diego.
- Essential workers statewide are bearing greater risks than the general population. This story focuses on those living and working on the front lines in the Bay Area.
- Troubling data continues to emerge about the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 among African Americans. Missouri, has reported that, all the deaths from COVID-19 in St. Louis have been of African American.
- To understand the scope and scale of COVID-19 accurate data on testing and mortality are needed. In this insightful post, Dr. Nancy Krieger pushes for addressing COVID-19 with a health justice lens and a commitment to publicly report data on how it is affecting different populations and social groups.
- One in three jobs held by women has been deemed “essential” and women of color are more likely to be in an essential job than anyone else. These jobs are ordinarily undervalued and underpaid, this article explores this contradiction and what it means moving forward.
- Check out COVID-19 Comes for Communities of Color in today’s Coronavirus in California: Stories from the Front Lines podcast.
- Disease forecasting models are one method used to predict infection rates and guide strategy and decision around COVID-19. However, these models are dependent on reliable data and which are often not reliable. This article gives you five things to know to make sense of infectious disease models.
Saturday-Sunday, April 18-19
Cases and deaths continue to climb worldwide with over 2 million cases and over 160,000 deaths. In California the number of cases continues to climb with the state averaging 1,200 new cases and about 73 deaths per day. There are now cases in 53 of California’s 58 counties.
- As more and more conversations emerge about when the country will “open up” the question of testing availability inevitably emerges. Researchers at Harvard warn that testing must ramp up to at least 500,000 per day for the economy to open back up and stay that way.
- The meat and poultry processing industries have been hit by a number of outbreaks nationwide. Last week the Smithfield pork plant in South Dakota became the latest hotspot and was shut down after 644 confirmed cases were connected to the plant. The outbreak is now considered the biggest in the country.
- For weeks many have been touting antibody testing as the way forward, however many questions remain about the utility of antibody testing; new questions have emerged, raising alarms.
- Today there are 749,203 confirmed cases and there have been 35,793 deaths in the United States.
- As the conversation about when stay at home orders would be lifted, on Sunday Governor Newsom said California would ‘do the right thing’, reiterating the six indicators for modifying the stay-at-home order.
- The coronavirus pandemic has impacted California on multiple levels, numerous sectors and countless ways. To help us all understand Cal Matters has put together in one place, California’s response to coronavirus, explained, a helpful and concise overview.
- Today there are 30,965 confirmed cases and there have been 1,149 deaths in California.
- Many cities and counties are facing significant deficits resulting from the coronavirus pandemic that will likely result in cuts in services, furloughs and staff reductions. This article looks at California’s 10 biggest cities to see how they’re responding to the fallout. Check out this
- During this crisis, non-profit organizations are stepping up and responding to the great need. In Los Angeles, gang intervention workers are working daily to meet needs, inform and keep residents safe.
- About two weeks ago data began to emerge showing the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on African Americans. Data is now becoming more available and the picture is stark. Data released on Friday from the CDC indicates that 30% of cases where race was known, were black. The federal data was missing racial information for75% of all cases. Many are calling this the new frontier for civil rights with activists and organizers are demanding a response.
- About a month ago a writer from The New Yorker had a conversation with a professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health about how epidemiologists understood the novel coronavirus. Earlier this week the writer called the professor back to ask what has evolved and been learned in the last month. Read what was learned this time, here.
- There are so many questions about transmission of coronavirus—is it on my clothes? My shoes? My hair? The NY Times asked experts about all the places the virus lurks and this is what was learned.
Friday, April 17
The novel coronavirus has now infected more than 2.1 million and killed more than 140,000 people worldwide.
- Since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic senior citizens have been identified as a population at risk; and the first confirmed outbreak was at a nursing home in Washington. What has emerged in the six weeks since then, are multiple outbreaks in similar facilities nationwide, and little to no support or protective equipment for staff at these facilities. Data now suggests that about one fifth of all the deaths in the U.S. are linked to nursing home facilities.
- Today there are 694,520 confirmed cases and there have been 32,365 deaths in the United States.
- Even as the spread of coronavirus appears to be slowing in California, the death toll has surpassed 1,000 in California. Los Angeles County now accounts for an outsize number of deaths in the state in the state.
- The Governor’s revision of the budget is set to be released in May and the Legislative Analyst has issued a warning to the legislature to prepare for a “fairly substantial downward revision”.
- To begin to address what he termed as the “pandemic-induced” recession, Governor Newsom announced the formation of the Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery to help guide California’s economic recovery.
- Hundreds of lives, throughout the state, have been lost in California, with larger metropolitan areas hit hardest. Here are some of the stories of the lives lost in California.
- Today there are 9,175 confirmed cases and there have been 1,041 deaths in the California.
- California medical workers have been hit hard by the coronavirus in California. There have been more than 175 cases recorded at UCLA, spreading in outpatient clinics, geriatric and labor and delivery units, and in the pediatric intensive care unit. Clinicians, nurses in particular have been vocal about the risks they have been facing during this crisis.
- The numbers of cases are increasing in the inland region of Southern California. On Thursday San Bernardino County health officials confirmed 36 new cases of coronavirus bringing the county total to 1,032 cases and deaths to 47.
- The last few weeks there have been numerous accounts about Black communities in the U.S. experiencing highest fatality rates from COVID-19. This Brookings Institute article maps racial risk factors to show where risk might be highest in the United States.
- With masks becoming more and more a part of everyday life for the foreseeable future, figuring out which mask is the best for regular use is important. Here’s a handy guide about different kinds of masks, what to consider and what’s needed if you are going to make a mask.
Thursday, April 16
The economic toll of the coronavirus continues to be felt worldwide. Today’s economic news is sobering and many are now realizing that prior to the pandemic, even when the economy was “good,” many Americans were living close to the edge.
- Unemployment numbers continue to be grim on the national level. In the last week 5.2 million people applied for unemployment benefits. This brings the total who have sought unemployment benefits since March to 22 million, a record loss of jobs.
- New studies are indicating that obesity appears to make coronavirus more dangerous and perhaps deadly, in the United States. Released this this week, two studies point to obesity as a previously unrecognized risk factor for COVID-19. This new development could help doctors predict which COVID-19 patients who are not senior citizens, might run a higher risk of critical illness and hospitalization.
- Today there are 663,260 confirmed cases and there have been 30,296 deaths in the United States.
- This afternoon Governor Newsom announced an executive order granting two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave to food workers in California who have been infected with COVID-19, exposed to the novel coronavirus or who are ordered to quarantine or isolate. The order includes, farmworkers, grocery and fast food and delivery service workers.
- Today there are 27,634 confirmed cases and there have been 951 deaths in California.
- The impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to be felt in jails in prisons. An outbreak at a state prison in Lompoc is reportedly the worse in the nation with 69 inmates and 25 staff infected with COVID-19.
- On the heels of the LA County’s revenue shortfall, the City of Los Angeles, which was already facing financial problems, is now estimating revenues could be $600 million below previous estimates, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Stories and images of the pandemic abound, this photo essay illustrates the challenges clinicians in San Diego are facing as they provide care in the era of COVID-19.
- Given the scope and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, poverty will rise significantly. Researchers are now predicting poverty could reach the highest levels in 50 years, widening racial disparities, hitting African Americans and children, most profoundly.
- African Americans are being diagnosed and dying from COVID-19 at alarming rates and many are pointing to structural racism as the root cause. Check out this brief episode of Ground Game: Inside the Outbreak podcast, which explores this issue.
- With the pandemic forcing so many small businesses to close and people to lose work, many want to find ways to help ease the pain for those struggling financially. This article provides a useful overview of the various ways to help during this time.
Wednesday, April 15
The coronavirus pandemic has had an enormous impact on workers nationwide, and California is no different. Today Governor Newsom announced efforts to provide help to the unemployed, independent contractors and immigrants affected by the pandemic.
- Health care workers on the front lines are dying in record numbers, in some states accounting for 20% of coronavirus cases. This series, a collaboration between The Guardian and Kaiser Health News, documents the lives of healthcare workers who die from COVID-19 and examines why so many are dying during this crisis.
- Today there are 632,656 confirmed cases and there have been 28,160 deaths in the United States.
- Immigrant workers, regardless of status contribute immensely to California’s economy. In an unprecedented move today, California became the first state to provide financial assistance for undocumented immigrant workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. A portion of these resources are coming from philanthropic entities.
- The Governor yesterday announced one of the milestones needed to open up the state was access to testing. Many believe this will be difficult to achieve in California, which was very slow to offer testing; even in parts of the state where the numbers of COVID-19 tests were increasing.
- One in six Californians rely on community health centers for their care. Read this NY Times article exploring why during this crisis, community clinics are struggling to stay afloat and survive.
- Today there are 26,868 confirmed cases and there have been 864 deaths in California.
- In an effort to “flatten the curve” LA County has been on a blanket shut down expected to last until at least mid-May. Officials are now projecting a $ 2 billion loss in sales tax revenue which will affect vital programs including public health, public safety and the Measure H homeless initiative.
- Many are trying to make sense of how to move forward given the impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. In Coronavirus and Human Value Angela Glover Blackwell and Michael McAfee offer a framework to view the pandemic; and argue that an inclusive recovery will require a radical re-imagination of broken systems.
- Because the data on race and COVID-19 is hard to track and quantify consistently and because what is emerging are differences based on race, the COVID Tracking Project has partnered with American University’s Antiracist Research & Policy Center to launch the COVID Racial Data Tracker. More information can be found here.
- Figuring out who is immune to viruses is a complex science and COVID-19 is a “new” coronavirus and is not yet well-understood. Read this illuminating Op-Ed from an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist exploring decisions that have to be made based on “glimmers of data.”
Tuesday, April 14
Although tallies continue to climb in California, the numbers are far below the epicenter, New York, where there are nearly 200,000 cases and there have been nearly 10,000 deaths.
- Despite warnings from the CDC about shared spaces and close quarters posing unique challenges for containing coronavirus, juvenile detention facilities throughout the country have moved slowly to address this issue. In many places, efforts to release youth early have been met with resistance.
- Many are hopeful that a COVID-19 vaccine will help to stem the tide of cases and deaths. Currently there are three potential vaccines are in development and are in early stage testing in the U.S. and China. However, there is still a long road to identify and prove if any of these three might be effective and safe.
- Today there are 602,473 confirmed cases and there have been 25,668 deaths in the United States.
- Today Governor Newsom announced the six goals that must be met for the stay at home order to be lifted, including increasing testing, protecting high-risk residents from infection and expanding hospital capacity.
- When a person becomes infected with a virus, the immune system develops proteins called antibodies to fight the infection. Antibody testing for COVID-19 has begun in academic and private labs in California, and may be key to tracking the spread of the virus.
- The coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to many services for vulnerable children and families, including social workers who work with at-risk children in the foster care system. To address this, the state is allocating an extra $42 million for children and youth in the foster care system during the pandemic.
- Today there are 25,742 confirmed cases and there have been 789 deaths in California.
- Nursing homes nationwide have experienced outbreaks of coronavirus. In Los Angeles 89% of the nursing homes with outbreaks have a history of infection problems. In Yolo County an outbreak was confirmed at a nursing home, which included 35 cases and one death; this accounts for one third of all the cases in that county.
- Black doctors are speaking up about the disparities and racism present in the health care systems. Read this blog about what the pandemic means for Black Americans, from one doctor currently working at an urgent care center in Brooklyn.
- The pandemic has exacerbated already existing challenges health care providers face on a daily basis and has taxed many front-line health care providers. This essay explores why the needs of this essential workforce should not be ignored.
- Are you wondering how to say thank you to the essential workers you come in contact with? Check out this useful article that provides guidance on how to show your appreciation.
Monday, April 13
Over half a million people in the United States have confirmed cases of coronavirus and on Saturday the death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 20,000, which is now the highest in the world.
- With shortages in needed equipment, doctors, researchers and entrepreneurs are stepping in to confront these shortages, which some are calling “Apollo 13” efforts; a reference to NASA’s rescue of a damaged spacecraft heading to the moon in 1970.
- Today there are 576,774 confirmed cases and there have been 23.369 deaths in the United States.
- The impact of COVID-19 in prisons and jails continues to grow in California. Though the numbers do not compare other parts of the country, there are 99 adult jails and prisons in the state, housing about 150,000 inmates. Conditions in those facilities are putting tens of thousands are at risk.
- On Monday, Governor Newsom announced a “regional pact to recovery” for California, Oregon and Washington, the effort will work together to lift restrictions and open up the economy on the West Coast. This comes at the same time as six states on the East Coast have come to a similar agreement.
- Despite the current risks health care providers are facing, 86,000 people signed up for the California Medical Corps as of last week. While there excitement about this new program, there are also concerns about the potential risks, particularly for retired clinicians who have registered.
- Today there are 24,139 confirmed cases and there have been 727 deaths in California.
- On Easter Sunday Los Angeles County Reported 31 total deaths, the largest single day total to date. There have been over 300 total deaths in Los Angeles, the largest concentration in the state.
- As the search for an potential cure and a vaccine continues, Stanford and UC San Francisco are encouraging COVID survivors to donate blood and be part of a national study to see if plasma of those who have survived COVID-19 can be used by sick patients to fight the disease.
- Hand sanitizer is desperately needed for individuals who do not have the option of social distancing, such as those experiencing homelessness. Check out this article about this student-run operation with a singular goal of producing hand sanitizer for every homeless or vulnerable individual who may need it, in the Bay Area.
- As the pandemic continues to impact more and more people the racial disparities are stark and clear. Read How to Save How to Save Black and Hispanic Lives in a Pandemic, from the editorial board of the New York Times.
- Many recent conversations about the impact of COVID-19 on communities of color seem to focused on risk factors such as pre-existing conditions, lack of appropriate information and being more likely to work in jobs deemed essential. Read this Op-Ed which looks at the inherent risk of being a person of color in this country.
- Check out the moving video, The Fight for New Yorkfrom the Associated Press which follows a group of residents over 24 hours as they live, work and survive, in a city under siege by a pandemic.
- Given the complexity of COVID-19 it is hard to imagine how we exit from the shutdown. One answer is hiring an army of public health workers, check out what it might take, here.
Friday, April 10
As world leaders urge social distancing over the upcoming holidays, confirmed cases worldwide reached 1.5 million and the death toll topped 100,000. Economists warn that the U.S. economy is unlikely to recover as rapidly as it has collapsed.
- Prisons and jails continue to be a source of outbreaks across the country with at least 1,324 confirmed cases and at least 32 deaths. The Cook County jail in Illinois had an explosion of 350 infections and is now the largest-known source of infection in the country.
- Across the country, workers are becoming infected with coronavirus in crowded, poorly ventilated meat processing plants. Plants in South Dakota, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Colorado and Pennsylvania have all experienced closures due to coronavirus infections.
- As many have lost jobs food banks nationally have reported increasing demand. In San Antonio Texas the local food bank provided food to some 10,000 households in one day. This story and images convey the hardship and desperation.
- Today there are 492,678 confirmed cases and 18,461 deaths in the United States.
- Today the number of confirmed coronavirus cases topped 20,000 in California, doubling in just one week.
- Coronavirus is having a profound impact on health care workers in the state with more than 1,600 health care workers infected with coronavirus. Not as much attention is being paid to the many lower paid non clinical workers such as janitors who are at risk, but who are feeling forgotten during this crisis.
- In an effort to support newly unemployed Californians, Gov. Newsom announces additional benefits for workers who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Today there are 20,971 confirmed cases and 584 deaths in California.
- With many eagerly looking forward to stay at home orders being lifted in May, Los Angeles County officials are warning that stay at home orders could last into the summer.
- San Diego County has now expanded its face mask order as cases rise to 1,628 and death toll climbs to 40.
- Controlling the spread of coronavirus among the homeless population continues to be a threat, this week in the largest homeless shelter in San Francisco, 70 cases were reported.
- In an effort to understand how much coronavirus has spread, the LA County Department of Public Health is launching a study using emerging technology that test for antibodies.
- As the data continue to emerge about the disproportionate impact on Black communities, the question has emerged, “Why are Blacks Dying at Higher Rates from COVID-19?”. Read this blog post from Rashawn Ray at the Brookings Institute exploring this question.
- On Thursday Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia recorded 53 more deaths combined, the highest one-day total to date. Black residents were disproportionately impacted by cases and deaths. In Indiana data were released on Friday confirming that Blacks are contracting and dying from COVID-19 at a much higher rate than the general population.
- Check out this fact sheet from the California Budget and Policy Center about how much Cal Fresh is needed in every part of the state, and even more so during this crisis.
- With over 10 million residents LA County is the largest and has the most confirmed coronavirus cases. Earlier this week California Healthline talked with Barbara Ferrer the head of LA County’s Department of Public Health. Read the interview here.
- There are a number of cities and counties that now recommend cloth face masks when in public. Beginning today, the City of Los Angeles mask order goes into effect, here are the five things you need to know.
Thursday, April 9
The coronavirus pandemic continues to grow nationwide with outbreaks raging in Detroit and New Orleans and cases rising in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. On Thursday the death toll surpassed 15,000 in the United States.
- 6.6. million Americans filed for unemployment last week bringing the total number unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic, to 17 million people. This is a sudden black hole for the economy and economists believe actual job loss is likely greater and jobs will continue to be lost.
- The coronavirus is tearing through the largest Native American reservation in the country. The virus has killed 20 people on the reservation, compared with 16 deaths in the entire state of New Mexico with a population 13 times larger.
- Today there are 457,963 confirmed cases and there have been 16,399 deaths in the United States.
- The coronavirus crisis is having a devastating impact on the California workforce. According to a report issued on Thursday, more than 2 million California residents have filed for unemployment in recent weeks suggesting one out of every nine workers in the state have recently lost their jobs.
- Today there are 19,691 confirmed cases and there have been 538 deaths in California.
- Rural California has not seen the high numbers of cases as many urban areas, however, that is changing with an outbreak at a Tulare County nursing home and an increasing number of cases in that county.
- In an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, on Thursday Kaiser announced it was temporarily closing numerous medical offices and clinics in Southern California. The list of closures can be found here.
- The data on race and COVID-19 continues to reveal that outcomes are far worse for people of color. In New York City data are showing the virus is twice as deadly for Blacks and Latinos than white people.
- The numbers of African Americans who are dying in some cities are alarming, read this Op-Ed calling for a targeted response focused on Black Cities.
- New York has been the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, and as the death toll rises the inequities within that city are becoming more evident. In central Queens, in a seven-square mile immigrant neighborhood there were 7,000 recorded cases.
- Check out Coronavirus in California: Stories from the Frontline a new podcast from the L.A. Times, hosted by reporter Gustavo Arellano.
- Recently two dozen high school students gathered virtually with an LA Times reporter to talk about coronavirus, their education and their futures. Read the questions that were received and the answers here.
Wednesday, April 8
The fight against coronavirus continues. The last few days have been dramatic with the death toll in the U.S. growing by well over a thousand per day. Scientists are now saying the drastic shifts in behavior are having an impact worldwide and ‘glimmers of hope’ can be seen, but caution against drawing sweeping conclusions, at this time.
- For weeks clinicians have been scrambling to get the adequate supplies to provide needed care, particularly in states and regions where the coronavirus pandemic has hit the hardest. The federal government has now exhausted all of its stockpile of medical supplies however, new records show that supplies such as respirators and masks, were sent to states with very small outbreaks.
- On Tuesday, with Wisconsin’s primary moving ahead, voters in that state had to make the difficult choice between their health and participating in the democratic process.
- Today there are 423,164 confirmed cases and there have been 14,495 deaths in the United States.
- In light of gathering evidence about the impact of COVID-19 on Black communities, today Governor Newsom announced the California Department of Public Health began gathering data to analyze COVID-19 data on the basis of race.
- Many are asking when stay at home orders will be lifted in California and many believe the state will not be lifting stay at home orders anytime soon.
- Today there are 18,830 confirmed cases and there have been 498 deaths in California.
- While there appears to be some slowing of cases in some parts of the state, Los Angeles County reported 29 new coronavirus deaths the biggest jump recorded to date. To curb the spread of coronavirus, Los Angeles is also undertaking a massive effort to place homeless individuals in hotels.
- Yesterday six Bay Area school districts announced they would remain closed through the remainder of the school year.
- With the state and local stay-at-home orders in place, local municipalities are to trying new ways for citizens to continue to access and participate in government meetings.
- At yesterday’s White House briefing Dr. Anthony Fauci took time to talk about the impact of COVID-19 on African Americans stating it was ‘shining a bright light’ on ‘unacceptable’ health disparities among African Americans.
- Read this insightful essay about what the racial data is showing about COVID-19 across the country.
- The COVID-19 Relief package is huge and overwhelming to understand for all of us. UNIDOS US put together a series of videos explaining COVID-19 relief for Spanish speaking Latino families. Check it out here.
- In response to the toll coronavirus is taking on the country, Spain will be the first country in Europe to implement Universal Basic Income.
Tuesday, April 7
In a move designed to protect the health of workers in Los Angeles, late Tuesday afternoon Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an order requiring all residents wear face masks when visiting essential businesses. The order takes the additional step of requiring businesses to provide face masks (or reimburse the cost) and allow for hand washing breaks every 30 minutes.
- Earlier today New York Gov. Cuomo said that 731 people had died of the virus since Monday, the highest one-day total to date. The death toll in New York today stands at 5,489.
- Seniors are one of the groups most at-risk for coronavirus and are being urged to stay indoors. Nationwide, Meals on Wheels provides food to hungry and isolated seniors using volunteers, many who are seniors, as well. Read this article to learn about how this organization is struggling and quickly adapting to this new reality.
- Today there are 395,090 confirmed cases and there have been 12,786 deaths in the United States.
- Many essential workers, who are also parenting –have had to scramble to find consistent and appropriate childcare during this crisis. Gov. Newsom signed an executive order over the weekend to help ease this challenge by allowing the state to waive regulations and offer state-subsidized child care and placement priority for parents deemed essential workers.
- Today there are 17,614 confirmed cases and there have been 450 deaths in California.
- Cases are steadily climbing in the Inland region of the state -- last week officials in San Bernardino reported 304 cases and eight deaths. By Tuesday of this week the number of deaths doubled and the confirmed cases jumped to 530.
- Testing is slowly becoming available in different parts of the state. Yesterday the Mayor of Los Angeles announced anyone with symptoms could now register for testing in Los Angeles County. In Sacramento drive-thru testing is being offered for residents with mild symptoms.
- COVID-19 outbreaks have worsened in care facilities for seniors, clusters have been reported recently in Contra Costa, San Francisco and counties in the south counties of the Bay Area.
- Attention continues to focus on the impact of coronavirus on Black communities and data that is emerging in numerous parts of the country. Read about it here.
- Late in the day Los Angeles County released the first partial breakdown of racial data which indicated that African Americans had a higher death rate. Earlier in the day Los Angeles County Public Health Director voiced concerns about the lack of complete racial data about confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths from COVID-19.
- The CDC is now recommending people wear cloth or fabric masks, fashioned from scarves or bandanas, to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This concerns some people of color in this country because of racial profiling and perceived criminality. This article explores this issue.
- Anti-Asian sentiment and associated violence has risen dramatically since the coronavirus first became newsworthy. Read this powerful essay about racism against Asian Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- According to census data, about one in five Americans speaks a language other than English at home. In this time of crisis, hospitals are struggling with multiple issues leaving many non-English speakers alone confused and without proper care.
Monday, April 6
There is so much that is unknown about COVID-19 and every day new information emerges about the ways in which the pandemic is affecting communities throughout the country. Over the last few days numerous articles have emerged about the disproportionate impact the pandemic is having on people of color across the country. To help make sense of this emerging issue we have added an additional section focused on racial equity to today’s update.
- For weeks retail and grocery store workers have expressed concerns about risks. Major grocery store chains are beginning to report their first coronavirus-related deaths.
- With the spike in unemployment claims, offices nationwide are struggling to meet increased demand for services.
- Today there are 361,331confirmed cases and there have been 10,680 deaths in the United States.
- At a press conference today, Governor Newsom reported that California would likely see a peak in cases in May and the news that the state has acquired a sufficient number of ventilators.
- Today there are 16,342 confirmed cases and there have been 385 deaths in the United States.
- As cases top 6,000, and deaths near 150, residents in Los Angeles are urged to stay indoors and avoid shopping this week.
- Numbers in Orange County are on the rise and have grown to 900, up from 400 one week ago. As of today, 130 people are hospitalized, and 14 people have died.
- In anticipation of surge in cases in San Diego County, a 250-bed “field hospital” will be created in Escondido.
- Earlier today a group of doctors and a civil rights group called for the federal government to release race and ethnicity data on coronavirus infections and deaths from COVID-19.
- African Americans have contracted and died from COVID-19 at an alarming rate. In Chicago more than half of the cases are in the African American community. In New York, residents in the Bronx are twice as likely to die; and some, are calling this ‘a crisis on top of a crisis’.
- This article explores how the coronavirus will exacerbate the racial wealth gap and this Op-Ed explores how illness and disease in the U.S. intersects strongly with race and poverty.
- Questions about the value of social distancing remain for many. During the flu pandemic of 1918 some cities that went “all in” on social distancing and fared better. Read about it here.
- What will it take for the U.S. to return to some form of “normal”? To find out what a group of economists think, read this article.
- This news analysis looks back at how previous crises have allowed for change to happen and explores how the coronavirus pandemic will change America.
Saturday-Sunday, April 4-5
With roughly 90 percent of the country implementing stay-at-home orders, on Sunday the U.S. Surgeon General and Dr. Anthony Fauci warned this would be a hard week. Surgeon General Adams stated this could be the “hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives” comparing it to 9/11 and the attack on Pearl Harbor.
- The number of deaths due to COVID-19 is overwhelming funeral homes, particularly in places like New York where the death toll has surpassed 4,000.
- Much is still unknown about COVID-19 however it has become clear that underlying health conditions, increase risk. Native Americans suffer disproportionately from hypertension, asthma, diabetes, and heart and cardiovascular disease and many are seriously concerned about the impact on this population.
- Today there are 332,308 confirmed cases and there have been 9,498 deaths in the United States.
- California acted quickly to try and reduce the impact of the coronavirus crisis--this timeline is a great resource to see the steps that have been taken to address this pandemic.
- Nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the state are continuing to see a surge in coronavirus cases. In Los Angeles County alone, the department of public health is currently investing 321 cases of coronavirus among staff, residents, and guests at 67 institutions.
- As California enters a third week of stay-at-home orders, school-aged children have entered a new world of distance learning with varying levels of access. With nearly 13% of California’s 6.2 million students receive special education services, schools are still determining how and whether they will be able to continue services for students with special needs.
- Today there are 14,812 confirmed cases and there have been 344 deaths in California.
- In some parts of California there are serious shortages of medical professionals which poses numerous challenges for providing adequate care. In the last few weeks as the Central Valley began to prepare for a surge in cases, Fresno County lost 100 coronavirus emergency field beds, made available by the state, because there were not enough physicians to monitor patients.
- In the job only about three years, Barbara Ferrer, L.A. County Public Health director has shown great leadership and an ability “to keep people informed and trying to anticipate what’s next”.
- Firefighters and paramedics are often called to assist and transport sick people to hospitals. When a cluster of 15 firefighters tested positive in San Jose, it began to expose the risk posed by coronavirus to first-responders.
- The impact on workers of all types has been immense, hear from workers, in their own words, how their lives have changed in the very moving We are the Silent First Responders.
- More than 64 million Americans live in multi-generational homes. Read herehow some families are managing ‘social distancing’ under one roof.
- Small businesses have been hit hard by this crisis, particularly those in communities of color. Read hereabout how coronavirus threatens the progress that has been made in South Los Angeles.
Friday, April 3
This has been a week where the numbers of the unemployed grew to staggering levels as well as the number of cases worldwide. Today coronavirus claimed 1,000 lives in one single day in the United States.
In the last few days there has been a change in guidance around wearing of masks in public. On Thursday Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recommended wearing masks and Governor Newsom indicated it was a good idea but did not mandate it. At the end of the day today the CDC issued new guidance advising Americans to wear masks made of cloth or fabric. The California Department of Health has offered this guidance, stressing however that it does not substitute for the existing guidance around hand washing and social distancing.
- As unemployment rises Medicaid is nearing the ‘eye of the storm’ as more unemployed sign up for health coverage.
- Ventilators are key to treatment of COVID-19 and are in short supply. With the federal government slow to distribute, states are bidding, often against each other, on the open market for this needed equipment.
- Today there are 217,915 confirmed cases and there have been 6,962 deaths in the United States.
- Yesterday, Governor Newsom made a promise to help small business through a reprieve in paying sales taxes, extending the sales tax deadline, and a $50 million investment in the state’s infrastructure bank for micro-lending for those not eligible for the federal SBA program.
- Governor Newsom also announced the launch of OnwardCA.org a new collaboration between Bitwise Industries, the Kapor Center and the state, to connect displaced workers in California with job opportunities in industries deemed critical.
- Senate leadership announced today that California legislature will not return to reconvene on April 13, it is unclear when the Legislature would resume. It is believed to be the first time this has happened in 158 years.
- There continue to be serious concerns about the risks of coronavirus to homeless populations. Advocates complain that movement is ‘too slow’ and relatively few homeless have been moved indoors.
- Today there are 12,573 confirmed cases and there have been 285 deaths in California.
- Los Angeles is emerging as the epicenter of the pandemic in California with 40% of all of the state’s coronavirus cases. San Francisco is likely to continue to be hit hard as well, and authorities remain concerned about resources to treat those infected.
- Grocery and retail workers deemed “essential” continue to express concerns about risks, and many believe short term pay increases are not enough.
- Los Angeles announced today the prosecution of businesses refusing to close during the coronavirus crisis.
Thursday, April 2
Coronavirus cases topped 1 million worldwide today but the numbers of deaths and infection are widely believed to be higher for a number of reasons including differing ways in which numbers are counted, unreported cases, and testing shortages.
- Over 10 million people filed for unemployment in the last two weeks as job losses skyrocketed. After the initial shutdowns in certain industries unemployment is expanding across a wider set of occupations.
- New data about those infected is causing some re-thinking about how the virus is transmitted and the benefits of masks and face coverings to control the spread of coronavirus.
- Today there are 239,009 confirmed cases and there have been 5,784 deaths in the United States.
- Cases in California surpassed 11,000 with more 200 deaths. There are now confirmed cases in 52 of California’s 58 counties, with Los Angeles cases jumping past 4,000 and the death toll rising to nearly 80.
- Although the use of face masks and coverings is increasingly being advised, Governor Newsom today said face masks can help slow the spread but the state is not mandating use at this time.
- In the face of unimaginable challenges California hospitals prepare for the impending surge in cases.
- As numbers of confirmed cases increase and the concerns about potential outbreaks grow, attorneys for California inmates are calling on federal judges to reduce overcrowding in prisons.
- Today there are 11,175 confirmed cases and there have been 246 deaths in California.
- A Pentecostal church in a suburb of Sacramento is the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak with more than six dozen confirmed cases.
- Orange County has seen a surge of coronavirus cases bringing the total count of confirmed cases to 606, an increase of 107 cases from the previous day. There have been a total of 10 deaths.
- More babies are born in Los Angeles County than anywhere else in the U.S. Pregnant women in LA are facing uncertainty and changes in protocols in labor and delivery in many hospitals.
Wednesday, April 1
As the coronavirus crisis spreads and projections of fatalities grow, some economists are predicting the economic downturn will likely be deeper and longer than expected, and exceed the Great Recession of 2008-09.
- President Trump says life and death at stake as projections rise to 140,000-240,000 deaths in the United States.
- New York continues to be the nation’s hot spot with the death toll crossing 1,500 by Tuesday morning as the health care system struggling to keep up with demand for care.
- Today there are 213,372 confirmed cases and there have been 4,757 deaths in the United States.
- Yesterday the Superintendent for Public Instruction in California sent a letter to school district officials indicating that schools were unlikely to re-open before the end of the school year.
- Facing pressure to do more about crowded conditions in California jails and prisons California is granting early release for 3,500 inmates in an effort to reduce crowding as coronavirus cases begin to increase in jails and prisons throughout the state.
- Today there are 936 confirmed cases and there have been 215 deaths in California.
- Categorized as “essential workers” farmworkers face risks as they continue to pick fruit as coronavirus spreads. The estimated 420,000 workforce are largely undocumented, don’t have health insurance and don’t qualify for unemployment insurance or any federal COVID-19 relief.
- Nursing homes continue to be hit hard by coronavirus. In San Bernardino County one nursing home is reeling—more than 50 residents and 6 staff members have tested positive.
- A day after Los Angeles County reported the death of a health care worker, clinics on the front lines are low on protective gear and calling on the federal government for help.
- The coronavirus pandemic has brought to the forefront the very real digital divide that currently exists in many communities. Los Angeles Unified School District recently revealed that 15,000 high school students have been absent and 40,000 have failed to check in daily with their teachers.
- This week Bay Area counties extended stay-at-home orders and added clarification and restrictions. Here is a handy Q & A to help you understand the changes.
- The coronavirus pandemic is challenging non-profits, this article explores what many nonprofits are facing in the wake of COVID-19.
- The team at Cal Matters asked therapists for tips to managing mental health during this time of uncertainty, read what they recommended, here.
Monday, March 30
The numbers of cases and deaths continue to climb nationwide and stay at home precautions and federal guidelines are extended. In California over a three day period, from Friday to Monday the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 doubled.
- Millions have already lost jobs due to the coronavirus and many are forecasting it will get worse with an estimated job loss of 47 million, and unemployment rate of 32%.
- In New York City the coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 30,000 people and is beginning to impact those on the front lines, nurses doctors and other workersat hospitals and clinics.
- On Monday work strikes at Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foodsdraw attention to safety concerns of front-line workers during the coronavirus crisis.
- Today there are 161,807confirmed cases and 2,978 deaths in the United States.
- Today the Governor announced a new initiative the California Health Corps to rapidly grow the health care workforce to respond to COVID-19. The state is calling on health care providers with an active license, public health professionals, medical retirees, medical and nursing students, or members of medical disaster response teams in California are all encouraged to join.
- The Governor also signed an executive order that will temporarily expand the health care workforce and allow health care facilities to staff at least an additional 50,000 hospital beds the state needs to treat COVID-19 patients. The Governor’s executive order can be found here.
- Today there are 7,413 confirmed cases and there have been 146 deaths in California.
- Today nine Bay Area counties expanded shelter-in-place orders though at least May 1. These counties-- Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Napa and Solano, were some of the first in the state to put these types of orders in place.
- In Sacramento, county workers are expressing concern about continuing to work in crowded offices and cubicles when many of these jobs can be done remotely. Sacramento County has declared orders to limit social contact and a stay-at-home order was issued on March 19. Sacramento has 164 confirmed cases and has had six deaths as of March 30.
- While inmates in Los Angeles jails complain about a lack of soap and water today the first LA County inmate tested positive for coronavirus disease.
- Economics, Health and COVID-19, check out this very useful new resource from the California Budget and Policy Center.
- Little Free Libraries, those little boxes in neighborhoods where people swap books have quickly been re-purposed and become Little Free Food Pantries; read here about how public library staff and community volunteers in the City of Glendale are working to support those in need during the coronavirus crisis.
Sat.-Sun., March 28-29
Today confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to increase in every state in the country with more than 2,000 deaths. On Sunday, while speaking on CNN Dr. Anthony Fauci the top infectious disease expert in the country said the U.S. could expect millions of cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, and a possible death toll between 100,000 and 200,000.
- Today New York recorded the highest jump in coronavirus deaths, increasing by 237 on Sunday March 29.
- Concerns continue to grow about how to address the health care needs of those not infected with coronavirus. Women who are pregnant are at risk and coronavirus threatens an already taxed maternal health system.
- On the largest Native American reservation in the country, spanning portions of three states, coronavirus creates concern and worry.
- Today there are 121,478 confirmed cases and 2,026 deaths in the United States today.
- In California cases jumped past 5,000 with hospitals rapidly filling up. Los Angeles has experienced 32 deaths and Santa Clara, the second hardest hit county, has seen 25 death
- This weekend California received 170 broken ventilators and a Silicon Valley company has jumped in to repair them.
- Today there are 5,846 confirmed cases and 123 deaths in California today.
- Rural counties continue to see a rise in cases and in places like Mono County, home to getaway spot Mammoth Lakes authorities are pleading for people “stop coming to visit”.
- Meet Sara Cody, the Bay Area doctor and Santa Clara’s Public Health Officer, who called for the country’s first coronavirus lockdown.
- In San Diego County cases jumped to nearly 500 as county closures are extended indefinitely.
- With stay at home orders in place nationwide more are relying on delivery of food and groceries. There is growing concern about the risks posed to delivery workers and the limited protections they are offered.
- Musicians are quickly creating music to help people learn about coronavirus and encourage people to stay home. Cuban artist Ariel de Cuba created Quedate en Casa, a catchy tune gaining popularity worldwide. The video and song can be found here.
Friday, March 27
This week, the coronavirus crisis continued as more and more cities and counties across the country are facing increasing numbers of cases and taking measures to both try to prevent the spread of the virus and treat those that are falling ill from COVID-19.
- Following this morning’s vote in the House, President Trump signed into legislation a $2 trillion stimulus bill, the largest emergency aid package in U.S. history.
- After announcing he was invoking the Defense Protection Act and ordering General Motors to produce ventilators needed to address the crisis, President Trump then announced the federal government would be purchasing thousands of ventilators from a variety of sources.
- Today there are 101,657 confirmed cases and there have been 1,581 deaths in the United States.
- As testing has increased the numbers of coronavirus cases have surged in the state, on Thursday for the second straight day, California crossed a 1,000-case marker.
- Governor Newsom today announced a temporary ban on evictions statewide for renters affected by coronavirus.
- There has been a lack of consensus about the best approach to house and enforce social distancing among the tens of thousands of homeless people in California. There is growing concern that this could potentially overwhelm hospitals already under strain from the growing numbers of coronavirus patients.
- Today there are 4,905 confirmed cases and there have been 102 deaths in California.
- Los Angeles continues to experience a serious surge, and according to public health officials the mortality rate of 1.8% is a higher rate than New York City and the United States overall.
- In Sacramento the Sleep Train Arena will become a 360-bed field hospital for coronavirus and regular trauma care patients. The California National Guard has also transformed the Santa Clara Convention Center into a temporary federal medical facility that will be able to house up to 250 patients who have tested positive for coronavirus.
- City leaders in Anaheim approved $8 million to help struggling residents who have been impacted by the coronavirus shut-down.
Thursday, March 27
Today the United Sates became the country with the most known coronavirus cases in the world surpassing both Italy and China. Worldwide there are 529, 591 confirmed cases and there have been 23,970 deaths.
- Today the Labor Department reported that 3.3. million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. This is a record breaking high; the previous record was 695,000 claims in 1982.
- The stock market rebounded and recovered 20 percent after previous days of record lows.
- Louisiana is seeing the numbers of coronavirus cases growing with concerns about a potential imminent outbreak, many are pointing to this year’s Mardi Gras festivities as the cause.
- Today there are 83,836 confirmed cases and there have been 1,209 deaths in the United States.
- On Thursday the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced it was closing all of its 170 field offices to the public beginning March 27. Employees will return to the offices April 1st but the offices will remain closed to the public.
- Today there are 4,044 confirmed cases and there have been 83 deaths in California.
- San Francisco Mayor London Breed expressed concern about the crisis in San Francisco reaching the same levels of New York City and not having sufficient ventilators and hospital beds to meet demand.
- Silicon Valley has been hit hard by coronavirus, with new projections for the region estimating between 2,000-16,000 coronavirus deaths depending on how seriously stay-at-home orders are taken by residents.
- Los Angeles County reported 9 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total deaths to 21, as cases reached over 1,200. On Thursday the County reported a 52% increase in cases from Wednesday to Thursday.
- As the pandemic has quickly grown through the inland region of California, Coronavirus cases tripled in less than a week in San Bernardino.
- Nearly 50,000 people tuned in to an Instagram conversation between Dr. Anthony Fauci and Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry. Topics included the importance of social distancing, the development of tests and a vaccine and how prevent future pandemics. A video of the conversation can be found here.
- Check out this analysis published by USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity that explores the impact that this crisis is having on certain vulnerable populations in Los Angeles including, the elderly, the undocumented, renters and children on the other side of the digital divide.
- This very practical article can help as you head to the grocery store during the coronavirus pandemic.
Wednesday, March 25
New York continues to grow as the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, however California cases are growing at a rate on par with New York. California’s Secretary for Health and Human Services, Mark Ghaly stated earlier today that if cases continue at this rate hospitals could see a surge in patients in one to two weeks.
- The much anticipated $2 trillion stimulus bill was passed by the Senate late Wednesday night. It is scheduled to move to a vote in the House on Friday morning.
- Over the last few weeks there has been growing concerns about the health and safety of workers in the retail and service sector. Today it was reported Amazon workers at 10 warehouses have tested positive for coronavirus
- Today there are 65,778 confirmed cases and there have been 942 deaths in the United States.
- Today the state reported that it has received 1 million unemployment claims since March 13.
- As the coronavirus pandemic grows there are strong predictions that the crisis could wipe out California’s budget surplus and possibly much more that will be needed to fund vital government services.
- Citing concerns about the health and safety of inmates and staff, Tuesday evening Governor Newsom issued an executive order suspending the intake of any new prisoners in state and juvenile facilities.
- Today there are 3,158 confirmed cases and there have been 67 deaths in California.
- Community clinics play an important role in the health care system however clinic leaders are expressing concerns about the impact this crisis is having on the delivery of primary care services and revenue for clinics serving low-income people.
- Rural communities are beginning to see an increase in numbers of coronavirus cases and there is growing concern about shortages of clinicians in places like the San Joaquin Valley to meet the increasing demand.
- After classifying gun shops as non-essential businesses, the Los Angeles Sheriff reversed course and suspended efforts on Wednesday morning.
Tuesday, March 25
- New York is now considered the “hot zone “of the coronavirus with numbers now appearing to double every three days. It is now estimated that 60 percent of all new cases originated in the New York City region.
- In a complete turnaround from yesterday, stocks jump as a stimulus bill was on the horizon.
- Today there are 53,740 cases and there have been 706 deaths in the United States.
- Late Monday, Governor Newsom announced that the state would need 30,000 more hospital beds for coronavirus patients. This was a jump in a previous estimate. Like others parts of the country the Governor has indicated the state is also short on protective gloves and masks.
- Criminal and civil trials will be discontinued for at least two to three months after an order was issued late Monday by California’s chief justice which aims to cut down on the traffic in courthouses during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Today there are 2,610 confirmed cases and 55 deaths in California.
- City and County officials in Los Angeles are warning that the peak of the outbreak could be six to ten days away and that residents should anticipate the crisis getting worse before it gets better. On Tuesday it was also widely reported that a teenager died as a result of coronavirus, in Los Angeles. However early this evening it was reported that this case would need to be further investigated by the CDC as there might be an alternate explanation for the fatality. There are 669 confirmed cases and there have been 11 deaths in LA County.
- The Bay Area continues to see a surge in numbers of confirmed cases with a total of 1,047 confirmed cases and 21 deaths in 10 counties in the region. To better track and identify “hot spots” seven Bay Area counties and the City of Berkeley are demanding that labs report data to county health departments and health care providers.
- The Los Angeles County Sheriff Department announced that gun stores are non-essential businesses and ordered them closed during this crisis. Businesses failing to comply will be cited and risk losing their business license.
- Check out this short film which explores how inventors and innovators are working to create equipment that medical professionals are in need of during this crisis.
- This article describes the tough choices workers are making between their health and a paycheck.
Monday, March 23
With increased testing capacity in numerous places in the country the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continue to rise. In California there ae now cases in 42 of the state’s 58 counties. Currently, the five counties with the highest number of confirmed cases are: Los Angeles, Santa Clara, San Diego, San Mateo and San Francisco.
- It is estimated that 1 in 4 residents in the United States are currently living under some type of shelter in place order.
- Despite efforts from the federal reserve to shore up business and keep financial markets moving the stock market closed the day in the red. Businesses are struggling --General Electric announced it would cut 10 percent of workers in the aviation unit and Nordstrom announced its cash has diminished and the company had to draw down $800 million in credit.
- Today there are 43,847 confirmed cases and 557 deaths in the United States.
- Social distancing proved to be difficult for Californians statewide. Residents were out over the weekend at beaches, parks and hiking trails in spite of numerous stay at home orders. To manage this, counties and cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, moved to close playgrounds and parking lots. By end of the day on Monday Governor Newsom announced that all state parking lots at beaches and parks would be shut down.
- Following a request submitted by Governor Newsom, late Sunday President Trump approved a declaration of major disaster in California due to the coronavirus crisis.
- On Friday in response to the COVID-19 crisis Covered California opened a special enrollment period for those who have experienced job loss or reduction in hours and have had health insurance benefits cut. Information can be found here.
- Today there are 2,220 confirmed cases and 42 deaths in California
- Concerns about the crowded conditions in jails and prisons continue to rise as the first inmate in California’s prison system tested positive and a Santa Clara jail inmate also tested positive.
- Today Los Angeles was able to increase coronavirus testing capacity by securing 20,000 tests with an ability to process 5,000 tests per day. Health care workers and first responders will be prioritized for testing.
- Today the City of Long Beach reported its first death from COVID-19; Long Beach currently has 19 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Cases in San Francisco grew by nearly a third on Sunday; San Francisco now has a total of 131 confirmed cases. The numbers in Los Angeles continued to climb with 540 confirmed cases and 8 deaths.
- The numbers of positive coronavirus cases among young adults are increasing. This is an eye-opening op-ed from a young woman who was hospitalized with COVID-19.
- Due to mandatory closures in California the food and beverage industry has taken a huge hit. California’s restaurant industry is the largest of any in the country with over $70 billion in revenue. This article lays out the challenges workers and businesses are facing during this crisis.
- Even Snoop Dogg has joined the Governor to encourage Californians to stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Saturday-Sunday, March 21-22
This weekend we all continued to witness the exponential growth of the coronavirus pandemic. Nationally, leaders continued to plead with people to stay home and two more states issued stay-at-home orders.
- New York continues to be a focal point for the pandemic in the United States and currently accounts for nearly 5% of the world’s cases.
- Louisiana and Ohio joined six other states and numerous cities and counties nationwide that have issued some type of stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order.
- Today there are 26,747 cases and there have been 340 deaths in the United States.
- In California, residents flocked to beaches and hiking trails, the state’s Public Health Officer and the Director of the Department of Public Health updated its Stay Home Except for Essential Needs page to reinforce social distancing guidelines and clarify what is included in the executive order.
- This weekend, the state put in motion efforts to strengthen the health care system and increase capacity to meet the growing demand for services. This included: directing more than $42 million in emergency funding to expand the health care infrastructure and secure equipment and services to respond to COVID-19; an executive order to expand health care capacity in clinics, mobile care units and adult day health facilities. The order can be found here.
- Today there are 1,605 cases and there have been 30 deaths in California.
- This weekend, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced two more deaths on Saturday and one on Sunday, as well as 71 more cases, bringing the total number of cases in Los Angeles to 409 cases and deaths to 5.
- There are growing concerns about the speed with which this pandemic is turning into a job crisis particularly for those in the service sector and the arts. In the Bay Area where the first shelter in place orders were enacted, many are struggling and quickly trying to adapt to this new reality.
- Here is a really good reflection about how historic “social distancing” in the form of segregation, discrimination and devaluation make low-income people of color more vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic.
- Here are a number of articles, resources and ideas for parents managing at home with children during the pandemic (in English and Spanish).
Friday, March 20
The coronavirus pandemic continues to grow throughout the country. Leaders nationwide are instituting policies to help prevent the spread of the disease. As testing becomes more widely available, there is growing concern about health care system's ability to manage the growing number of cases.
- Earlier today both New York and Illinois issued orders for residents to stay at home. The Governor of Connecticut also issued a similar order and the Governor of New Jersey has reported that he will issue a similar order in the coming days. On Friday New York reported it was nearing 8,000 positive tests, approximately half of the total cases in the United States
- The Treasury Secretary announced that due to the coronavirus pandemic the tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15.
- Today there are 18,563 cases and there have been 227 deaths in the United States.
- Many on Friday woke up to the news of the Governor’s stay-at-home order. Questions remain for many Californians as they began to make sense of the new rules.
- The Governor announced the launch of the Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign which will use the National Guard in the short-term, to help distribute food through food banks and protect the most vulnerable and isolated in the state.
- Today there are 1,241 cases and there have been 24 deaths in California.
- The numbers of people testing positive for coronavirus are increasing in every region of the state. On Friday Los Angeles reported 61 new cases bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 294. In Silicon Valley 8 people have died with Santa Clara County reporting 196 cases. San Mateo County now has 100 confirmed cases and Contra Costa County reported its first death. San Diego announced a third cluster of patients with COVID-19; confirmed cases jumped from 80 to 105.
- Today, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced that two state prison employees have tested positive for coronavirus; however, no inmate cases have been confirmed. One of the employees was at San Quentin and the other at California State Prison in Sacramento. There is serious concern about conditions in jails and prisons, and the ability to contain transmission due to overcrowding and the inability to engage in proper forms of social distancing.
- I found this article to be useful in understanding how the current pandemic will have devastating impacts on low-income workers, just as workers have achieved numerous gains in recent years.
- The Public Policy Institute of California published a report today forecasting how coronavirus will affect California’s economy and what industries and regions are most at risk.
- All Birds, the San Francisco-based sustainable shoe company announced on Friday they are offering free shoes to anyone working in healthcare on the front lines fighting COVID-19.
Thursday, March 19
Another extraordinary day today in the United States. The number of coronavirus cases continues to climb nationally, in California and in all regions of the state. This evening Governor Newsom issued a mandatory order that all Californians stay home. The order allows residents to continue to visit gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants, banks and laundromats. People will also be allowed to leave their homes to care for a relative or friend or seek health care services. These are the first mandatory restrictions placed on all 40 million Californians. There is no timeframe for when the order would lifted. The executive order can be found here.
- Today the Trump Administration announced limits on global travel for all Americans. This Level Four travel advisory, issued by the State Department, applies to all international travel and it is its most serious warning.
- Today there are 13,680 cases and there have been 200 deaths in the United States.
- Earlier this afternoon Governor Newsom requested $1 billion in federal funds to support the state’s medical response to the novel coronavirus. The state is estimating that 25.5 million people in California will be infected over an eight-week period.
- State modeling is also forecasting that 60,000 homeless people could be infected with the novel coronavirus with 20% requiring hospitalization.
- Today there are 1,001 cases and there have been 19 deaths in California.
- Thursday night Los Angeles City and County joined the more than 18 counties that have some type of shelter in place order and put in place the “Safer at Home” public health order. This order puts in place guidelines directing residents to refrain from gathering in an enclosed space with more than 10 people, directs businesses deemed nonessential, such as retail stores and malls to close temporarily. Exempted from this are first responders and those in healthcare, government, food services, and other essential industries. The number of confirmed cases in LA County jumped by 40 overnight to 231 and a second person has died.
- To respond to the growing spread of coronavirus among the homeless population the City of San Francisco is adding 2,500 new shelter spaces for homeless people and identifying a minimum of 3,500 hotel rooms to house people who need to be isolated. Late in the day, San Francisco reported an increase in confirmed cases to 70. In anticipation that the numbers will increase, city officials ordered everyone to stay home, and have instituted a ban on elective surgery and are planning to hire more nurses.
- Rural regions are starting to report increases in cases of coronavirus and are taking actions to limit activity and mitigate impact of lost productivity. Fresno has a shelter in place order through the end of March and on Thursday announced the passage of a measure to give residents a six month deferral from evictions and foreclosures. Fresno also approved an emergency measure ensuring water service to every resident. Tulare county has the highest number of confirmed cases (7) in the Central Valley.
- Late Wednesday the City of West Hollywood announced that the Mayor tested positive for coronavirus. City staff are working remotely as its City Hall is sanitized. There have been 12 confirmed cases in West Hollywood.
- To share the number of coronavirus cases, I have been using numbers from the California Department of Public Health, local public health departments and credible media and coronavirus tracking systems. However, because testing is happening all the time, depending on when the numbers are collected and I send this out there will be slight differences in confirmed cases.
- Here is a good article on which workers are most vulnerable to the economic costs of coronavirus.
- I found this article to be an easy to understand informative overview on social distancing and why it’s effective and necessary.
Wednesday, March 18
The coronavirus crisis continues to grow in nearly every region in the country. Currently, New York with 2,495 confirmed cases, has the highest number, followed by the state of Washington with 1,076 confirmed cases, and California with 869 cases. In California there are reported cases in 34 of the state’s 58 counties. Numbers have increased largely due to the wider availability of testing; however a growing share are being attributed to community spread.
- On Wednesday evening Trump signed into law the latest coronavirus aid package. This is the second package within the last few weeks. This legislation passed will provide paid sick and family leave for some workers impacted by the disease, expands unemployment assistance and increases resources for testing. It also suspends evictions in federal public housing and foreclosures until the end of April. The Senate also approved another round emergency funding earlier in the day. There will likely be a third larger relief measure that could total $1 trillion.
- Stock market continued to be extremely volatile. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 1,334 points at the end of the day following President Trump announced emergency steps to be taken to address the coronavirus crisis. The NY Stock Exchange also announced it would temporarily shift to all-electronic trading beginning on Monday March 23, 2020.
- Today there are 7,769 confirmed cases and there have been 118 deaths in the United States.
It has been a busy few days for Governor Newsom with major announcements protecting renters and homeowners, emergency funding to address homeless populations in California, safety net services, and education.
- Renters and Homeowners. Governor Newsom issued an executive order authorizing local government to halt evictions, slow foreclosures and protect against utility shut offs responding to concerns many are already experiencing with wage loss and layoffs that will make it hard to pay rent, mortgage and utility bills.
- Homelessness. Late Wednesday, the Governor also announced $150 million in emergency funding to quickly move homeless people indoors , to protect this vulnerable population and the larger medical system that will need to respond and is at risk of being overwhelmed as crisis grows in California. Of the total, $100 million will go directly to local jurisdictions to boost shelter capacity and increase emergency housing.
- K-12 education. An executive order was signed to suspend standardized testing for students for the more than 6 million K-12 students in the state.
- Safety Net Services. The Governor also issued an executive order today to extend the eligibility period for important safety net services. The order waives eligibility re-determinations for 90 days for Californians participating in the following programs:
- Medi-Cal health coverage
- CalFresh food assistance
- Cash Assistance for Immigrants
- In-Home Supportive Services
- There are 869 cases, 17 deaths, 11,900 people who are self-monitoring in California.
Different parts of the state are seeing an increase in numbers of confirmed cases.
- On Wednesday Orange County reported 42 cases, up from 29 on Tuesday.
- The numbers in Los Angeles continue to grow, on Wednesday there were 46 new confirmed cases, bringing the total of confirmed cases in Los Angeles to 190.
- Late Wednesday Mayor Garcetti announced the city would convert 42 recreation centers into temporary shelters for homeless residents to try and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
- New CDC data on coronavirus is showing that there is a risk of coronavirus to adults of all ages. Nearly 40% of those sick enough to be hospitalized were between the ages of 20-54, however the risk of dying was significantly higher for older people.
- If you like to geek out on economics and health here is a short and very understandable article about the economic rationale for a strong response to COVID-19.
Tuesday, March 17
Things continue to evolve in the state and nation. As of today, Tuesday, every state in the nation has reported a case of coronavirus and deaths have surpassed 100. California cities and counties have passed some of the most serious public health measures in the country with an estimated 8 million Californians living under shelter in place orders.
- The White House is pushing an economic stimulus package that will include checks to all Americans. Details on the proposed package can be found here.
- The federal government also announced that an extra 90 days will be given to pay your taxes. Filing day remains the same but if taxes are owed, payment will not be required until the new deadline. Details can be found here.
- Today there are 6,362 confirmed cases and there have been 108 deaths in the United States.
- Ten counties and one city have shelter in place orders (Counties: Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito; City: Palm Springs). Ventura County has a shelter in place order for those 75 and older.
- A summary of what is happening throughout the state can be found here.
- There are 473 cases, 13 deaths, 11,750 people who are self-monitoring in California.
- Los Angeles is seeing increasing numbers. According to Dr. Barbara Ferrer today there are 144 cases in Los Angeles, with 75 new cases in 48 hours. This is largely due to increased availability of testing. A week ago 30-35 people a day were being tested now, hundreds a day are being tested.
- The LA City Council today passed 101 motions, 56 of them were related to COVID-19—some of the motions were:
- a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for non-payment,
- motions to support workers and protect workers, boost sick pay and support those most affected economically
- street vending restrictions (permit money will be refunded),
- formally request for stores in the city to provide hours for seniors, pregnant women and people with disabilities to shop for the first hours;
- meal delivery for seniors due to closure of senior centers,
- motions to reduce risk among the homeless population; and
- measures to minimize harsh responses to non-compliance with new rules in place (e.g. arrest is a last resort).
- The City of Los Angeles is also taking steps to request the federal government to extend the census count by 6 months due to concerns about getting an adequate count due to the current crisis.
- Orange County has joined the growing number of counties to restrict restaurants and bars. On Tuesday, the health officer issued new restrictions for its more than 3 million residents, directing the bars and other alcohol-serving establishments that don’t serve food closed. The order also prohibits restaurants form providing on-site dining, allowing only curbside and takeout. Orange County’s order can be found here.