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[email protected] Coalition limiting services due to coronavirus

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Longtime LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS activist Bamby Salcedo says the [email protected] Coalition is limiting its services in response to governmental guidance about the coronavirus. The organization will continue to offer our daily lunch, some  case management services, and some peer-to-peer counseling.

“As trans people we are the ones who get the end of the stick when it comes to getting support in general,” Salcedo tells the Los Angeles Blade. “That is why I am personally committed to supporting our community. I know what it is to be forgotten and not to be acknowledged. I know that many people in our community are reasonably scared, but I do have a privilege and I am using my privilege to support my people. I ask that others also use their privilege to at least be kind to one another.”

“I am here,” says Salcedo, adding that she and Yara were preparing lunches, which will continue Monday-Friday from 12:30p to 2:00pm at their headquarters at 3055 Wilshire Blvd, #350, Los Angeles, 90010.

“The reality is – we, as trans people are regularly at the bottom of everything. And in this case, even the access to healthcare. We are not a priority,” she says.

Salcedo says they do not have the infrastructure to provide mental health services, but they will refer people and provide peer-to-peer counseling. Additionally, she intends to conduct webinars to facilitate educating the broader community, video chats and live-streaming with the message “Stay Strong.”

Here’s here message to friends and supporters in English and Spanish. At the end of her email is a link to donate to [email protected] Coalition to help keep their services going.

“A Message from Bamby Salcedo:

 

Hello Beautiful Family, Siblings and Comrades-

We hope that you are holding and supporting each other in these difficult times. As we all know, there is much uncertainty about the Corona virus (COVID-19). What is for sure is that this pandemic is and will be affecting the most vulnerable, and in this case, many members of our community. It is particularly painful to the leadership of our organization. We unanimously felt that we could not, in good conscience put the health and safety of our staff and community at risk given the current outbreak of COVID-19.

 

In making our decision, foremost in our mind was our social justice mission, and, in particular, our commitment to trans rights and trans justice in all of its forms. Many members of our board, members and staff, and people who receive services are HIV-positive, older adults, have other health concerns, or are primary caregivers for people with vulnerable immune systems. We as an organization function under the values of “Tu Eres Yo” (I am You). It became clear to us that, given the circumstances of the outbreak, we could not continue the doors of our organization fully open due to public health concerns. However, at the same time, we cannot turn our backs on our community understanding that many members of our community depend on the services that we provide, that is why we are going to continue to offer our daily meal program to our community and limited case management services. The bottom line is that our commitment to our community is for all of the Trans, Gender Non-Conforming and Intersex (TGI) people to continue to live, thrive and succeed and it is our ethical duty to protect and support each other in these difficult times.

 

As we continue to seek guidance about decisions related to COVID-19, it is also an opportunity for our organization to continue to use a lens of compassion, as we center the most vulnerable in our communities in our decision-making. Limiting the services of our center in Los Angeles is a hard decision, but it is the best option for the well-being of all of our members and for us as an organization to contribute to the public health goal of mitigating this pandemic, while at the same time supporting the most vulnerable in our community.

 

We will be delivering limited services in person to those who seek our support. In addition, we are going to prepare as much content as possible virtually via webinar and other formats over the coming weeks to provide peer support to members of our community. We are also preparing a set of topics that will be disseminating though our social media outlets, web page and webinars for members of our community to have access to critical information. We remain committed to the mission of our organization and our work. We are going to continue to work with our local partners to find other ways to support the unique needs of our community, and find opportunities to support our people. As we continue to do this work, we ask that you also be mindful of our siblings who are of Asian descent and do not portray racism and stereo types that continue to harm our siblings. We ask that you hold each other with compassion and love and know that “Juntex Venceremos!”

 

If you want to contribute to our work please consider making a donation to our organization as right now those who are in immigration detention need commissary support for them to be connected to the outside world. If you feel that we can support you in any way, please make sure to contact us to our phone line (833)847-2331 and we will figure out a way to support your needs but we also ask that you be patient as we anticipate many of our siblings are already on distress and will have multiple needs.

 

Again, we ask that you be patient with us as we are receiving multiple calls and messages. We also ask that you be compassionate with one another and practice kindness through these tough times.

 

May our Creator help keep peace in your heart through these times of uncertainty.

 

Much love and respect,

Bamby Salcedo
President/CEO
The [email protected] Coalition

 

Hola Gente Hermosa, Familia, Hermandad y Compatriotas-

Esperamos que se estén apoyando entre ambxs en estos tiempos difíciles. Como sabemos, hay mucha incertidumbre sobre el Corona Virus o (COVID-19). Lo que si es por seguro es que esta pandemia es y está afectando a las personas más vulnerables, in este case son personas de nuestra comunidad. Esto es muy doloroso para el liderazgo de nuestra organización. Unánimemente decidimos que no podemos en buena fe poner en riesgo la salud de nuestro personal y de nuestra comunidad al ver la situación con COVID-19.

 

Al tomar nuestra decisión, lo que estaba en nuestra mente es nuestra misión de justicia social y en particular, nuestro compromiso para los derechos trans y derechos de justicia en todas formas. Varias personas de nuestra mesa directiva, personal y clientes son personas que son VIH-positives, personas de edad y personas que tienen otras situaciones de salud y también son personas que proveen cuidado de salud a otras personas que tienen sistemas inmunes vulnerables. Nuestra organización funciona bajo los valores de “Tu Eres Yo.” Fue claro para todes nosotres que dadas las circunstancias de la epidemia solo podemos proveer servicios limitados para nuestra comunidad debido a la salud pública y el cuidado a nuestra gente. Nuestra organización está comprometida en apoyar a nuestra comunidad y muchas personas dependen de los servicios que proveemos es por eso que vamos a seguir ofreciendo comida a nuestra gente todos los días y servicios de manejo de caso limitados. La verdad es que nuestro compromiso es para nuestres hermanes que se identifican Trans, Genero No Binario o Intersexo para que sigamos viviendo y teniendo éxito dentro de la sociedad y es nuestro deber ético al apoyar y protegernes a nosotres mismes en estos tiempos difíciles.

 

Conforme seguimos tratando de obtener guía sobre las decisiones relacionadas con COVID-19, es también la oportunidad para que nuestra organización vea la situación con lentes de compasión al centrar a las personas más vulnerables en nuestra comunidad en nuestra decisión. El limitar los servicios en nuestro centro en Los Angeles es una decisión difícil pero es la mejor decisión para todes les miembres de nuestra comunidad y para nosotres como organización no contribuir a la propagación de esta pandemia y al mismo tiempo apoyar lo más posible a las personas más vulnerables en nuestra comunidad.

 

Vamos a proveer servicios limitados en persona a aquellas personas que busquen nuestro apoyo. Tambien vamos a preparar el mas contenido posible para apoyar a las personas de manera virtual por medio de talleres por la web y otros formatos en las próximas semanas para poder ofrecer otro tipo de apoyo a nuestra comunidad. Vamos a preparar temas que se van a deseminar por medio de nuestros medios sociales, pagina web y webinars para que nuestra comunidad pueda tener información crítica. Nuestra organización se mantiene comprometida a nuestra misión y a nuestro trabajo. Vamos a seguir trabajando con nuestros aliados para seguir apoyando las necesidades de nuestra comunidad Trans y buscar la manera de apoyar a nuestra gente.  Conforme seguimos haciendo nuestro trabajo, les pedimos que por favor sean amables y sensibles con nuestres hermanes quienes son de descendencia Asiática y por favor no proyecten el racismo y los estereotipos can continúan hiriendo a nuestra comunidad. ¡Les pedimos que por favor tengan compasión para ambes y se demuestren amor y recordemos que Juntes Venceremos!

 

Si gustan contribuir al trabajo que hacemos por favor consideren hacer una donación a nuestra organización, como sabemos, nuestras hermanas que están detenidas en los centros de imigracion necesitan apoyo con dinero para poder estar en contacto con el mundo exterior. Si de alguna manera podemos apoyar por favor comuníquense con nuestra organización al (833)847-2331 y vamos a ver como encontramos la manera de apoyarles, pero les pedimos que por favor sean pacientes por que anticipamos que muches de nuestres hermanes están en destres y tienen necesidades complejas y complicadas.

 

Nuevamente, les pedimos que tengan paciencia con nosotres que anticipamos que vamos a recibir muchas llamadas y mensajes. Tambien les recordamos que por favor tengan compacion une con el otre y practiquen la humildad en estos tiempos difíciles.

 

Que nuestro Creador nos de la paz en nuestro corazón en estos tiempos difíciles de incertidumbre.

 

Con amor, cariño y respeto,

Bamby Salcedo
Directora Ejecutiva
La Coalición [email protected]

 

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LA County requiring vax proof for indoor bars & nightclubs by Oct. 7

Participants and workers at outdoor “mega events” with more than 10,000 attendees must provide proof of vax or show a recent negative test

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that it will begin requiring verification of vaccination in select high-risk settings by October 7.

During a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday, L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the supervisors that vaccine verification will be required for customers and employees at indoor portions of bars, wineries, breweries, night clubs, and lounges.

The modified Health Officer Order would require customers and employees at bars, breweries, wineries, night clubs and lounges to have at least one dose of the vaccine by October 7 and both doses by November 4.

Public Health will require vaccination verification or a negative test within 72 hours prior to attending outdoor mega events. Participants and workers at outdoor “mega events” with more than 10,000 attendees must provide proof of vax or show a recent negative test.

Attendees at indoor mega events are already required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result prior to entry. 

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials are prepared to move forward with the updated order later this week, Ferrer said.

“This modified health officer order aligns with the continued need to reduce risk for transmission and increase vaccination coverage,” Ferrer said. “This is a reasonable path forward that can position us to be better able to break the cycle of surges.”

She noted that while the health order won’t require it, Public Health will recommend that restaurants also begin verifying vaccination status for indoor dining.

“As evidence mounts affirming the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, vaccination mandates are an increasingly important tool to prevent future COVID surges that cause widespread suffering. The modified Health Officer Order aligns with the continued need to reduce risk for transmission and increase vaccination coverage; this is a reasonable path forward that can position us to be better able to break the cycle of surges,” Ferrer added.

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LAUSD to require vaccines- Biden lays out new plan to require vaccines

“The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective & requiring students to be vaccinated is the strongest way to protect our school community.”

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Photo Credit: Los Angeles Unified School District

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Unified School District announced Thursday that it will require for students 12 and older who are attending class in person to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The LAUSD Board of Education voted, 6-0, to pass the measure making it the first major school system, the second largest in the United States to require its more than 460,000 students, including some enrolled at independent charter schools located in LAUSD owned buildings, to be vaccinated.

Interim superintendent, Megan Reilly, said at Thursday’s board meeting that student vaccination was one way to ensure that the district’s classrooms would be able to remain open. Los Angeles had some of the country’s most extended school closures last year. All students ages 12 and up will be required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10, 2022, unless they have a “medical or other exemption,” Reilly noted.

The science is clear — vaccinations are an essential part of protection against COVID-19,” Reilly said in a statement following the vote. “The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and requiring eligible students to be vaccinated is the strongest way to protect our school community.”

New York Times educational journalist Dana Goldstein tweeted:

As the Delta variant brought another wave of COVID-19 infections this summer, in California the number of unvaccinated young people being hospitalized has increased in certain areas of the state.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health noted that while case rates increased among children in all age groups between mid-July and mid-August, cases have declined by about 30% in all age groups among children (0-4, 5-11, and 12-17 years old) over the past two weeks.

The decrease is similar to the decreases we are seeing in cases among adult residents and occurred as many schools reopened with testing, masking, infection control and outbreak management protocols in place.  Over the past week, children under 18 comprised, on average, 27% of all cases seen in L.A. County.

Among L.A. County teens 12 to 17 years old, more than half of whom are vaccinated, we see just how powerfully protective the vaccines really are. As of August 28, the case rate among unvaccinated 12 to 17-year-olds was 424 cases among every 100,000 unvaccinated children in this age group compared with 51 cases among 100,000 of those vaccinated.

Among groups ineligible for vaccination, the case rate was 130 per 100,000 children aged 0 to 4, and 230 per 100,000 children aged 5 to 11.

As of September 5, 62% of L.A. County residents 12 to 15 years old received at least one dose of vaccine, while 51% were fully vaccinated. Sixty-nine percent of residents 16 to 17 years old received at least one dose, and 59% were fully vaccinated.

In K-12 school settings countywide, between August 15 and September 7, 7,784 student cases and 1,250 staff cases were reported, with the vast majority occurring at LAUSD, which tests everyone weekly.

The second highest number of cases came from other K-12 schools in L.A. County. With more than 1.5 million students and 175,000 staff countywide (by last year’s counts), 0.5% of the student body and 0.7% of staff have become infected since school districts reopened.  This is slightly higher than the 0.4% rate of infection experienced overall in the County.

“We support the actions taken by the Los Angeles Unified School District and other schools and school districts to add an additional layer of protection at schools through a sensible school vaccine requirement for eligible students,” said Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health.

“Vaccination remains one of the quickest and most powerful ways to decrease community transmission and prevent serious illness, which helps keep students, teachers, and staff in school, and the COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be safe and effective. Public Health will continue to work closely with school districts as they take critical actions to protect students and staff from a dangerous and highly infectious virus,” said Ferrer.

Battle over vaccinations and mask wearing has become so acrimonious in some parts of the country it is not unusual to see fistfights breaking out at school board meetings and law enforcement agencies effecting arrests as those who are adamantly opposed to coronavirus safety protocols protest, sometime violently, measures designed to protect the risk of infection by the COVID-19 virus.

As school boards weigh their options in implementation, in one highly publicized and now viral moment, anti-maskers in Rutherford County Schools in Tennessee at a school board meeting attacked a teen student who had lost a grandparent to the pandemic.

At the White House Thursday, President Joe Biden addressed the nation on his plans to implement plans to address the shortfall in the number of Americans who are vaccinated.

Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated, even though the vaccine is safe, effective, and free,” the President acknowledged. 

This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.  And it’s caused by the fact that despite America having an unprecedented and successful vaccination program, despite the fact that for almost five months free vaccines have been available in 80,000 different locations, we still have nearly 80 million Americans who have failed to get the shot

And to make matters worse, there are elected officials actively working to undermine the fight against COVID-19.  Instead of encouraging people to get vaccinated and mask up, they’re ordering mobile morgues for the unvaccinated dying from COVID in their communities.  This is totally unacceptable,” Biden argued. 

The President then took direct aim at officials and others who in his eyes who have blocked progress saying; “These pandemic politics, as I refer to, are making people sick, causing unvaccinated people to die.” 

President Joe Biden (Official White House photo by Adam Schultz)

Biden laid out the steps he was going to order to combat the lack of vaccinations in the nation.

I’m announcing that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees, that together employ over 80 million workers, to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week. Some of the biggest companies are already requiring this: United Airlines, Disney, Tysons Food, and even Fox News,” he said.

He announced vaccination requirements for all nursing home workers who treat patients on Medicare and Medicaid and then expanded those requirements to include those who work in hospitals, home healthcare facilities, or other medical facilities –- a total of 17 million healthcare workers.

The President then said he would sign an executive order requiring all executive branch federal employees to be vaccinated as well as another executive order that will require federal contractors to do the same.

As part of his plan Biden said that the Department of Labor will require employers with 100 or more workers to give those workers paid time off to get vaccinated.  “No one should lose pay in order to get vaccinated or take a loved one to get vaccinated,” he said.

The President then noted; “And my message to unvaccinated Americans is this: What more is there to wait for?  What more do you need to see?  We’ve made vaccinations free, safe, and convenient. The vaccine has FDA approval.  Over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot.”

We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin.  And your refusal has cost all of us.  So, please, do the right thing.  But just don’t take it from me; listen to the voices of unvaccinated Americans who are lying in hospital beds, taking their final breaths, saying, “If only I had gotten vaccinated.”  “If only,” he said. 

Biden also addressed the future availability of vaccines for children under 12 and schools.

Now, if you’re a parent of a young child, you’re wondering when will it be — when will it be — the vaccine available for them.  I strongly support an independent scientific review for vaccine uses for children under 12.  We can’t take shortcuts with that scientific work

Now to the schools.  We know that if schools follow the science and implement the safety measures — like testing, masking, adequate ventilation systems that we provided the money for, social distancing, and vaccinations — then children can be safe from COVID-19 in schools.

Today, about 90 percent of school staff and teachers are vaccinated.  We should get that to 100 percent.  […] And tonight, I’m calling on all governors to require vaccination for all teachers and staff.  Some already have done so, but we need more to step up,” Biden said.

The President castigated local and state officials he viewed as an impedimentg to winning the fight against the virus;

Let me be blunt.  My plan also takes on elected officials and states that are undermining you and these lifesaving actions.  Right now, local school officials are trying to keep children safe in a pandemic while their governor picks a fight with them and even threatens their salaries or their jobs.  Talk about bullying in schools.  If they’ll not help — if these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as President to get them out of the way. 

The Department of Education has already begun to take legal action against states undermining protection that local school officials have ordered.  Any teacher or school official whose pay is withheld for doing the right thing, we will have that pay restored by the federal government 100 percent.  I promise you I will have your back,” he stated.

Addressing the increasing violence against mask wearing and other simple measures Biden noted;

In addition to testing, we know masking helps stop the spread of COVID-19.  That’s why when I came into office, I required masks for all federal buildings and on federal lands, on airlines, and other modes of transportation,” he said.

Today — tonight, I’m announcing that the Transportation Safety Administration — the TSA — will double the fines on travelers that refuse to mask.  If you break the rules, be prepared to pay.  And, by the way, show some respect.  The anger you see on television toward flight attendants and others doing their job is wrong; it’s ugly,” he added.

 







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Breakthru Delta Variant on rise in LA County as Pfizer gets full FDA okay

Last week Los Angeles County surpassed the grim milestone of losing more than 25,000 residents to COVID-19

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FDA Headquarters (Blade file photo)

LOS ANGELES – Numbers of fully vaccinated people being affected by breakthrough infections of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus are rising in Los Angeles County according to L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

The latest data “reflect the reality that the vaccines do not provide 100% protection, and that with these high rates of community transmission, more fully vaccinated people are getting post-vaccination infections,” Ferrer said. “However, this very same information also makes it clear how much protection vaccinated people still have. Most of us that are fully vaccinated don’t get infected.”

Among the 5.1 million L.A. County residents who are fully vaccinated, 0.53% have tested positive, 0.014% have been hospitalized and 0.0013% — or 68 people — have died.

On Monday the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 7 new deaths and 2,331 new cases of COVID-19. There are 1,722 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for nearly 7,940,000 individuals with 16% of people testing positive. The test positivity rate is 2.8%, (Monday) a slight decrease from last week’s same-day rate of 3.4%

It was announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the license for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA) for those 12 through 15 years old and for a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals. The licensing approval was announced after another thorough evaluation of safety and effectiveness data by a panel of scientific and medical experts. FDA-approved vaccines undergo the agency’s standard process for reviewing the quality, safety and effectiveness of medical products.

Last week Los Angeles County surpassed the grim milestone of losing more than 25,000 residents to COVID-19. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is one of the leading causes of death – surpassing stroke, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Between July 11 and August 11, hospitalizations rose by 333% to an average of 1,622 beds filled with people testing positive for COVID-19 on any given day, and deaths rose 275% to an average of 15 deaths per day

As the FDA granted full approval for the Pfizer vaccine, Federal officials announced changes to vaccination strategies aimed at increasing the protection afforded to people by vaccines. With emerging data indicating that certain populations will need more support to be protected, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on August 13 recommended a third dose of mRNA vaccines for immunocompromised people, including transplant recipients, people with advanced or untreated HIV infection, people actively receiving cancer treatment, and people taking immunosuppressive medications. 

Third doses have been available to eligible individuals at vaccination sites across LA County since Saturday.  Additionally, following yesterday’s announcement by the CDC that booster doses of mRNA vaccines will be offered to all vaccinated people, Public Health is continuing to work with staff and residents at skilled nursing facilities to prioritize these most vulnerable residents for booster doses to be prepared for administering these as soon as the Food and Drug Administration gives their approval.

Public Health notes the difference between third doses and booster doses is more than just language. Third doses are meant to elicit an antibody response where there was an inadequate antibody response before, while booster doses are meant to increase antibody levels that have waned after a robust increase in the months after vaccination.

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