Connect with us

Coronavirus

Gov. Newsom orders all Californians to wear facial coverings

The order is mandatory

Published

on

SACRAMENTO- Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all Californians Thursday to wear face coverings while in public, including when shopping, taking public transit or seeking medical care, amid growing concerns that coronavirus cases have increased because residents have failed to take that precaution voluntarily.

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

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

The Governor added “Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered – putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease. California’s strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if people act safely and follow health recommendations. That means wearing a face covering, washing your hands and practicing physical distancing.”

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

Californians must wear face coverings when they are in the situations listed below:

Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space:

Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank;

Waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;

Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when:

Interacting in-person with any member of the public;

Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time;

Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others;

Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;

In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance.

Driving or operating any public transportation or paratransit vehicle, taxi, or private car service or ride-sharing vehicle when passengers are present. When no passengers are present, face coverings are strongly recommended.

While outdoors in public spaces when maintaining a physical distance of six feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.

The following individuals are exempt from wearing a face covering:

Children aged two and under;

Persons with a medical, mental health, or developmental disability that prevents wearing a face covering;

Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;

Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service;

Persons who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, while they are eating or drinking, provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence;

Persons who are engaged in outdoor work or recreation such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others;

Persons who are incarcerated. Prisons and jails, as part of their mitigation plans, will have specific guidance on the wearing of face coverings of masks for both inmates and staff.

“As Californians venture into our communities more, wearing face coverings is another important way we can help protect one another,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, Director of the California Department of Public Health.“Combined with physical distancing and frequent hand washing, wearing cloth face coverings when we are with others outside of our household will reduce the spread of COVID-19, which is still a very real threat across our state.”

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Coronavirus

LA County expected to hit herd immunity by mid summer

Published

on

Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County could reach COVID-19 herd immunity among adults and the older teenagers by mid- to late July, public health officials announced Monday. Over the weekend LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that appointments are no longer needed for Angelenos to get COVID-19 vaccinations at any site run by the city.

Garcetti’s move is intended to give people who don’t have the time or technological resources to navigate online booking platforms a chance to get the shot.

The percentage of the population the County needs to vaccinate to achieve community immunity is unknown, however Public Health officials estimate it’s probably around 80%. Currently, 400,000 shots each week are getting into the arms of L.A. County residents, and there are over 2 million more first doses to go before 80% of all L.A. County residents 16 and older have received at least one shot.

At this rate, Public Health expects the County will reach this level of community immunity in mid- to late July and that assumes the County continues to at least have 400,000 people vaccinated each week. That would include both first doses that people need as well as their second doses.

This news came as Los Angeles Unified School District officials announced that attendance numbers at all grade levels in the District have been considerably lower than expected as extensive safety measures have failed to lure back the vast majority of families in the final weeks of school.

Only 7% of high school students, about 30% of elementary school children and 12% of middle school students have returned to campuses.

As of May 7, more than 8,492,810 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people across Los Angeles County. Of these, 5,146,142 were first doses and 3,346,668 were second doses.

On Monday the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents 12 to 15 years of age. The Pfizer vaccine is already authorized for people 16 years old and older.

Pfizer’s testing in adolescents “met our rigorous standards,” FDA vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks said. “Having a vaccine authorized for a younger population is a critical step in continuing to lessen the immense public health burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In a statement released Monday by the White House, President Joe Biden the FDA’s decision marked another important step in the nation’s march back to regular life.

“The light at the end of the tunnel is growing, and today it got a little brighter,” Biden said.

Los Angeles County will offer the Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) affirms the FDA recommendation, which can happen as early as Wednesday. All adolescents 12-17 will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian to get vaccinated.

To find a vaccination site near you, to 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 or scheduling a home-visit if you are homebound. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.

In the meantime, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that unvaccinated people — including children — should continue taking precautions such as wearing masks indoors and keeping their distance from other unvaccinated people outside of their households.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

Federal Judge says CDC doesn’t have authority to issue nationwide eviction moratorium

The moratorium was put in place by the CDC to aid millions of renters who are struggling financially amid the coronavirus pandemic

Published

on

U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia
(Photo Credit: U.S. Government GSA)

WASHINGTON – A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), doesn’t have the legal authority to issue a nationwide eviction moratorium.

The moratorium was put in place by the CDC to aid millions of renters who are struggling financially amid the coronavirus pandemic and was to be extended under the Biden Administration until June 30.

U. S. District Court Judge Dabney L. Friedrich, a Trump appointee, in a 20 page ruling wrote that the CDC exceeded the authority granted by Congress under the terms of the Public Health Service Act and the legislation passed and signed into law by former President Trump that addressed the coronavirus pandemic. 

Friedrich wrote, “[…] It is the role of the political branches, and not the courts, to assess the merits of policy measures designed to combat the spread of disease, even during a global pandemic.

The question for the Court is a narrow one: Does the Public Health Service Act grant the CDC the legal authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium? It does not.

Because the plain language of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. § 264(a), unambiguously forecloses the nationwide eviction moratorium, the Court must set aside the CDC Order. […]”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services told the Blade that officials were reviewing today’s decision and would make a statement at a later point.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

LA moves to Yellow Tier Thursday

Los Angeles County has met the threshold for the least restrictive yellow tier

Published

on

LA Skyline in March 2020 (Blade file photo)

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County has met the threshold for the least restrictive yellow tier in the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced Tuesday.

Moving into the yellow tier allows, on Thursday, for increases in capacity in many sectors and allows bars to begin providing indoor service at 25% capacity. Additionally it means that meaning a swath of businesses and venues — including gyms, movie theaters, amusement parks, stadiums and museums — can now operate at higher capacity.

The sectors with increases in capacity limits include amusement parks and fairs, gyms and fitness centers, yoga studios, private events, bars, hotels and short-term lodging rentals, private gatherings, breweries, indoor playgrounds, restaurants, cardrooms and racetracks, indoor and outdoor live events and performances, wineries and tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, and museums, zoos, and aquariums.

California has the lowest infection rate in the country. Los Angeles County, which is home to a quarter of the state’s nearly 40 million people and has endured a disproportionate number of the state’s 60,000 deaths, didn’t record a single COVID-19 death Sunday or Monday, which was likely due to incomplete weekend reporting but still noteworthy.

A total of seven of the state’s 58 counties are now in the so-called yellow tier, which is the final stage of a phased reopening plan before a projected return to business as usual June 15. The five other counties are all remote areas of Northern California.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced a series of initiatives building on the state’s work to vaccinate California’s hard-to-reach communities against COVID-19, address vaccine hesitancy and drive innovative efforts in the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

New efforts focus on direct appointment assistance; community outreach including neighborhood canvassing, phone banking and text banking; at-home vaccinations and transportation services; and an additional $33 million in funding, bringing the total to $85.7 million, to support community-based organizations.

“We’re at a pivotal moment in our COVID-19 vaccine rollout – more than 30 million doses have been administered in California to date, and it’s going to take some new approaches to reach those who haven’t been vaccinated yet,” said Newsom. “These enhanced initiatives build on the community-based approach the state has taken throughout this crisis, in order to ensure vaccines are easily within reach of more people.”


About 60 percent of eligible Californians have received at least one dose and as of April 15, anyone age 16 and up is eligible to receive the vaccine.

In addition, building on the bipartisan work done during the “Wear A Mask” campaign, California Governors Gavin Newsom, Jerry Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pete Wilson have come together to encourage all Californians to get vaccinated.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @washblade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Trending