Connect with us

Coronavirus

COVID-19 Daily; LA County — masks ‘required,’ even at the beach

Newsom submits revised budget

Published

on

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – In a reminder to all Angelenos Los Angeles County posted the hashtag “#BYOM” for “Bring Your Own Mask” to its Instagram Thursday, alerting residents and visitors that any beachgoers are “required to wear a mask when not in the water.” This edict followed Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Executive Order Wednesday which stated; “We’re requiring all Angelenos to wear face coverings when they leave the house. There are exceptions in place for small children or those with disabilities.”

The County, which originally had required all essential workers and anyone visiting an essential business to cover their faces, announced Thursday that health officials had also upgraded their policy on the use of face coverings, saying masks are now required whenever residents leave their homes in continuing efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.LA County had re-opened its beaches as of May 13 for individual exercise and similar physical activity including walking, running, swimming, and surfing.

It’s not clear, however, how the order will be enforced.

In addition to the now mandatory Face coverings are required at all times on the beach unless in the water, and the county urges everyone to keep at least six feet of physical distancing from other visitors. Once finished with an activity, all beachgoers are asked to head home.

For now, parking lots, piers, boardwalks, and biking paths will remain closed. Sunbathing, group sports, large gatherings, beach chairs, coolers, and umbrellas are not allowed to help ensure proper physical distancing.

If anyone headed to the beach feels sick or lives with someone who is sick, they are being asked to stay home.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) confirmed 51 new deaths and 925 new cases of COVID-19. Three deaths were reported by the City of Pasadena and one death by the City of Long Beach. To date, LACDPH has identified 35,329 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 1,709 deaths.

In California, as of Thursday, there were 74,806 cases of COVID-19 positive people and 3,049 deaths. In the United States, there have been 1,417,777 cases and 85,898 Americans have lost their lives.

In Sacramento today, Governor Gavin Newsom submitted his 2020-21 May Revision budget proposal to the Legislature – a balanced plan to close a budget deficit of more than $54 billion brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of California’s economy necessitated by the Stay At Home measures implemented to arrest the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 has caused California and economies across the country to confront a steep and unprecedented economic crisis – facing massive job losses and revenue shortfalls,” said Newsom.

Our budget today reflects that emergency. We are proposing a budget to fund our most essential priorities – public health, public safety, and public education – and to support workers and small businesses as we restart our economy.”

But difficult decisions lie ahead. With shared sacrifice and the resilient spirit that makes California great, I am confident we will emerge stronger from this crisis in the years ahead,” he added.

The Governor’s Office released a media statement detailing Newsom’s proposals and budgetary requests:

The May Revision proposes to cancel new initiatives proposed in the Governor’s Budget, cancel and reduce spending included in the 2019 Budget Act, draw down reserves, borrow from special funds, temporarily increase revenues and make government more efficient. Due to the size of the challenge, there is no responsible way to avoid reductions. The budget will show that the most painful cuts will only be triggered if the federal government does not pass an aid package that helps states and local governments.

The proposal responds to the dramatic economic and revenue changes since January when prudent fiscal management was reflected in a multi-year balanced budget plan with a $5.6 billion surplus and record reserve levels. The rapid onset of the COVID-19 recession in California has resulted in more than 4 million unemployment claims being filed since mid-March, the unemployment rate is now projected to be 18 percent for the year, and there is a $41 billion drop in revenues compared to January’s forecast. With a higher demand for social safety net services increasing state costs, the $54.3 billion deficit is more than three times the size of the record $16 billion set aside in the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

This recession-induced swing of nearly $60 billion in just four months underscores the necessity of additional federal funds to protect public health and safety, public education, and other core government functions, as well as to support a safe and swift economic recovery. If additional federal funds are not forthcoming, the May Revision spells out spending cuts necessary to meet the constitutional requirement for a balanced state budget.

While difficult decisions are required to close this sudden deficit as the state navigates to recovery, the May Revision is guided by principles of prudent fiscal management to protect public health, public safety, and public education; provide assistance to Californians who have been hurt the most by the pandemic, and invest in a safe and quick economic recovery.

Protecting Public Health, Public Safety, and Public Education

The May Revision proposes $44.9 billion in General Fund support for schools and community colleges and $6 billion in additional federal funds to supplement state funding. To address the decline in the constitutionally-required funding for schools and community colleges resulting from the COVID-19 recession, the May Revision proposes to reallocate $2.3 billion in funds previously dedicated to paying down schools’ unfunded liability to CalSTRS and CalPERS to instead pay the school employers’ retirement contributions. It also proposes a new obligation of 1.5 percent of state appropriation limit revenues starting in 2020-21 to avoid a permanent decline in school funding that grows to $4.6 billion in additional funding for schools and community colleges by 2023-24.

The May Revision prioritizes $4.4 billion in federal funding to address learning loss and equity issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 school closures this spring. These funds will be used by districts to run summer programs and other programs that address equity gaps that were widened during the school closures. These funds will also be used to make necessary modifications so that schools are prepared to reopen in the fall and help support parents’ ability to work. The May Revision also preserves the number of state-funded child care slots and expands access to child care for first responders.

The May Revision preserves community college free tuition waivers and maintains Cal Grants for college students, including the grants for students with dependent children established last year. Many workers return to higher education and job training after losing a job; continuing this initiative will prioritize affordability and access to these programs.

Supporting Californians Facing the Greatest Hardships

With the COVID-19 recession hitting harder on families living paycheck to paycheck, the May Revision prioritizes funding for direct payments to families, children, seniors, and persons with disabilities. It maintains the newly expanded Earned Income Tax Credit, which targets one billion dollars in financial relief to working families whose annual incomes are below $30,000 – and including a $1,000 credit for those families with children under the age of six. It maintains grant levels for families and individuals supported by the CalWORKs and SSI/SSP programs. It prioritizes funding to maintain current eligibility for critical health care services in both Medi-Cal and the expanded subsidies offered through the Covered California marketplace for Californians with incomes between 400 percent and 600 percent of the federal poverty level. It estimates unemployment insurance benefits in 2020-21 will be $43.8 billion – 650 percent higher than the $5.8 billion estimated in the Governor’s Budget.

The May Revision also targets $3.8 billion in federal funds to protect public health and safety. It also proposes $1.3 billion to counties for public health, behavioral health, and other health and human services programs, and also proposes $450 million to cities to support homeless individuals.

State Government Savings and Efficiency

In addition to baseline reductions in state programs, savings in employee compensation are also necessary in the absence of federal funds. Negotiations will commence or continue with the state’s collective bargaining units to achieve reduced pay of approximately 10 percent. The May Revision includes a provision to impose reductions if the state cannot reach an agreement. In addition, nearly all state operations will be reduced over the next two years, and nonessential contracts, purchases, and travel have already been suspended.

The COVID-19 pandemic has required an unprecedented shift to telework for the state government that has allowed state managers, led by the Government Operations Agency, to rethink their business processes. This transformation will result in expanded long-term telework strategies, reconfigured office space, reduced leased space, and flexible work schedules for employees when possible. The Administration also continues working with state departments in delivering more government services online – including the expansion of the Department of Motor Vehicles’ virtual office visits pilot to other departments and agencies with more face-to-face interactions with Californians.

Supporting Job Creation, Economic Recovery, and Opportunity

Given the critical role of small business in California’s economy, the May Revision proposes an augmentation of $50 million for a total increase of $100 million to the small business loan guarantee program to fill gaps in available federal assistance. This increase will be leveraged to access existing private lending capacity and philanthropy to provide the necessary capital to restart California small businesses. To support innovation and the creation of new businesses, the May Revision retains January proposals to support new business creation by exempting first-year businesses from the $800 minimum franchise tax.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Coronavirus

Spread of COVID escalates to 2K a day, Masking order in effect Saturday

The urgency to get more people vaccinated remains high with this level of spread. For everyone whose eligible the time do it is now.

Published

on

Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health continues to see alarming trends of increased community spread as Public Health confirms 1,902 new cases of COVID-19 Friday.

As of July 9, 2021, the 7-day daily average case rate is 8.2 per 100,000, up from 7.1, indicating sustained and increased community transmission. This number will continue to increase with each day that the number of cases reported is higher the previous day.

Cases are highest and rising the fastest in adults age 18 to 49 years old.  Of the new cases reported by Public Health today, 71% are among adults 18 to 49 years old.

Today’s test positivity rate is 3.8%.  In early-June, test positivity was near 0.4%.

Public Health strongly urges those that are eligible and not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated now.  Being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 lowers your risk of infection, and more significantly lowers your chance of being hospitalized or dying if you do get infected. The risk of increased spread is highest among individuals that remain unvaccinated. The more COVID-19 spreads, the more opportunities it has to mutate – and the more COVID-19 mutates, the greater the chance there may be another variant that can spread even more quickly or cause more harm to the people it infects.

Wearing a mask when indoors reduces the risk of both getting and transmitting the virus. The Los Angeles County Health Officer Order has been modified to require masking for everyone while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Despite the very low percentage of fully vaccinated people that have gotten infected since vaccinations started in December 2020, a total of 4,122 cases out of 4,769,828 fully vaccinated people (~0.09%) have been reported, as of July 13, 2021. While this is a small percentage, it is not an insignificant number in light of Los Angeles County’s current substantial and increasing community transmission. It demonstrates that even with highly effective vaccines, there is still potential for breakthrough infections that can put everyone at risk – including those who are unable to be vaccinated. So, masking by all indoors can reduce everyone’s risk of infection and the risk of transmission to others if infected.

The modified Order has been issued today and will take effect on Saturday, July 17 at 11:59 p.m. Some exceptions will apply, similar to masking requirements that were in place prior to the June 15 reopening.

To date, Public Health identified 1,264,450 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 24,568 deaths. Of the six new deaths reported today, one person that passed away was over the age of 80, one person who passed was between the ages of 65 and 79, two people who passed were between the ages of 50 and 64 and, one person who passed was between the ages of 30 and 49. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach. Testing results are available for more than 7,155,000 individuals with 16% of people testing positive.

“We thank the millions of residents that are vaccinated and the schools and businesses that continue to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. We have all seen COVID-19 spread very fast in just a small amount time.  The alarming increases in cases, positivity rates and the increase in hospitalizations signals immediate action must be taken to slow the spread of COVID-19. Otherwise, we may quickly see more devastating illness and death among the millions of residents,”

“We thank the millions of residents that are vaccinated and the schools and businesses that continue to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. We have all seen COVID-19 spread very fast in just a small amount time.  The alarming increases in cases, positivity rates and the increase in hospitalizations signals immediate action must be taken to slow the spread of COVID-19. Otherwise, we may quickly see more devastating illness and death among the millions of residents,” said Muntu Davis, MD, Los Angeles County Health Officer.

“Without physical distancing and capacity limits during a time of substantial community spread, masking by everyone indoors is a simple and effective action we all can take to lower risk of transmission while limiting disruption to normal business capacity and operations. The urgency to get more people vaccinated remains high with this level of spread. For everyone whose eligible and still waiting to get vaccinated, the time do it is now,” he added

Without physical distancing and capacity limits during a time of substantial community spread, masking by everyone indoors is a simple and effective action we all can take to lower risk of transmission while limiting disruption to normal business capacity and operations. The urgency to get more people vaccinated remains high with this level of spread. For everyone whose eligible and still waiting to get vaccinated, the time do it is now.”

Anyone 12 and older living or working in L.A. County can get vaccinated against COVID-19. To make it as easy as possible for eligible L.A. County residents to get vaccinated, L.A. County continues to offer vaccines at many different sites across the county. This week, there are 771 sites offering vaccinations including pharmacies, clinics, community sites, and hospitals and 286 sites where mobile teams will be offering vaccinations, which are concentrated in higher-need, harder hit areas. You can obtain vaccines at County-run sites, all the LA city-run sites, almost all mobile sites, and many community sites without an appointment. Many sites are open on weekends and have evening hours.

Beginning today, Friday, July 17 through next Thursday, July 22 at County-run vaccination sites, LA City sites, and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center sites, everyone 18 and older coming to get a vaccine will have an opportunity to win one of seven packages of tickets to family fun at the Staples Center, including performances by the Harlem Globetrotters, Disney on Ice, and the Gold Over America tour starring Simone Biles.

To find a vaccination site near you, make an appointment at vaccination sites, and much more, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish). If you don’t have internet access, can’t use a computer, or you’re over 65, you can call 1-833-540-0473 for help finding an appointment, connecting to free transportation to and from a vaccination site, or scheduling a home-visit if you are homebound.  Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

Masks will be required indoors regardless of vaccination status

The new masking order goes into effect 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, July 17.

Published

on

Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – All County residents regardless of vaccination status will be required to wear masks in indoor public settings as COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated have risen to alarming levels, LA County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said Thursday.

The new masking order goes into effect 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, July 17.

“We’re not where we need to be for the millions at risk of infection here in Los Angeles County, and waiting to do something will be too late, given what we’re seeing,” Davis said. The county recorded 1,537 new coronavirus cases Thursday, a 83% increase over the last week, according to the LA County Department of Health.

In a related story the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday afternoon that the University of California has announced that COVID-19 vaccinations will be required before the fall term begins for all students, faculty and staff, becoming the nation’s largest public university system to mandate the vaccines even though the shots don’t yet have full federal approval.

As the highly contagious Delta variant spreads amid lower vaccination rates among younger people, unvaccinated students without approved exemptions will be barred from in-person classes, events and campus facilities, including housing.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

LA County- 5th day of 1K+ new COVID19 cases, Delta variant increases

The COVID-19 vaccines are the most powerful tool to reduce the risk of serious illness if infected Public Health says

Published

on

Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 1,103 new cases of the coronavirus Tuesday which marked the fifth straight day of more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases. “One month ago, on June 13, the five-day average of cases was 201 and today the five-day average is 1,095,” Public Health said in a statement. “This is an increase of more than 500% in just one month.”

More worrisome officials said was that the test positivity rate has increased nearly 700% from the 0.5% seen a month ago; Tuesday’s test positivity rate was 3.4%. The statewide seven-day positivity rate is 2.7%, which is 50% higher than a week ago and at the highest point since late February, according to data from the California Department of Public Health.

Both state and local health officials expected a jump in cases when capacity limits were lifted for businesses and most mask restrictions and social distancing requirements were eliminated for vaccinated people in mid-June.

A major concern right now is Delta, a highly contagious strain which was first identified in India last December. It then swept rapidly through that country and Great Britain as well. The first Delta case in the United States was diagnosed a couple of months ago (in March) and it is now the dominant strain in all 50 states, hitting hardest where vaccination rates are low.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) shows that the Delta variant is the cause more than half of all new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and it is now the leading cause of coronavirus related deaths among those who are unvaccinated.

“The COVID-19 vaccines are the most powerful tool to reduce the risk of serious illness if infected. A significant number of unvaccinated people indoors, with a highly contagious Delta variant circulating, makes it easy for this variant to be transmitted at higher rates,” said Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health. If you are not fully vaccinated yet, wear your mask in all indoor public settings and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently when outside your home. Get vaccinated without delay to have the best protection.” 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @LosAngelesBlade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular