Showing: 1 - 4 of 4 RESULTS

LA’s Coronavirus Uptick Could Imperil Reopenings

LOS ANGELES, CA — It’s too soon to tell if the three-day increase in new coronavirus cases is a surge, but it has county leaders watching closely. If the trend continues, it could imperil business reopenings in the near future.

On Friday, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department reported 1,226 new cases of coronavirus. The region saw its highest single day of new cases in nearly two months – 1,645 new cases reported on Wednesday. County health officials are working to pinpoint the cause of the uptick. The uptick is likely too late to be a result of Labor Day gatherings and too early to be tied to newly reopened businesses such as cardrooms, wineries and breweries.

The county also reported another 13 coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the countywide total to 6,741. Health officials also reported another child with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, bringing the overall number of cases of the rare malady to 41 in the county. The condition, which has been linked to COVID-19 exposure, results in inflammation of bodily organs.

Nearly half of the children who contracted the syndrome in Los Angeles County had to be treated in an intensive-care unit, but there have been no reported deaths in the county from the illness.

Los Angeles County is still in the strictest level of the state’s four- tier economic-reopening roadmap. The county’s recent testing positivity rate is low enough to qualify the county to move up to a less-restrictive tier, but the average daily number of new cases needs to drop to about 700 per day before any movement will occur. As of Wednesday, the county’s rate of new cases per 100,000 residents was averaging 7.4, above the limit of 7 needed to move out of the state’s restrictive “purple” tier.

Health officials said this week they would be closely monitoring the case numbers, but said the elevated numbers should be a reminder that COVID-19 is still spreading in the community.

With more businesses reopening in the past week, health officials urged customers and business owners to adhere to all safety protocols when patronizing restaurants or other merchants. According to the county, 118 virus outbreaks in businesses or workplaces were opened in the past two weeks alone. Since Sunday, the county has issued 125 citations to businesses for failing to comply with health protocols, and an undisclosed number were actually closed due to “significant health and safety concerns or violations” of health orders.

No details were released on business closures.

After months of closure, indoor shopping malls were permitted to reopen Wednesday, though limited at 25% of capacity and with food courts and common areas remaining closed. That follows nail salons, which were permitted to reopen indoors last week; card rooms, which were allowed to open outdoors on Monday; and outdoor playgrounds, which were cleared to reopen at the discretion of individual cities.

The county this week also began accepting waiver applications from schools that want to offer in-person instruction for pre-kindergarten

Disney Locks Horns With California Over Theme Park Reopenings

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) clashed today with California’s governor Gavin Newsom about the reopening schedule of the state’s theme parks and similar attractions.

Newsom stated that the California legislature feels “there’s no hurry to put out guidelines” for park reopenings

She went on to say Disney’s COVID-19 safety measures for its parks were worked out with epidemiologists and used guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other sources. Dr. Hymel added that Disney’s other theme parks “have been allowed to open on the strength of our proven ability to operate with responsible health and safety protocols” both domestically and abroad.

California Attractions and Parks Association Executive Director Erin Guerrero also issued a statement: “California’s amusement parks are ready to responsibly reopen.” Guerrero called Gavin’s statement “unreasonable,” and said that his “‘no big rush’ approach is ruining businesses and livelihoods for thousands who could responsibly be back at work.”

and that he doesn’t “anticipate in the immediate term any of these larger parks opening until we see more stability in terms of the data,” as reported by Hollywood news source Deadline.

Disney reacted strongly to the governor’s commentary. Disney Parks Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pamela Hymel tweeted, “We absolutely reject the suggestion that reopening the Disneyland Resort is incompatible with a ‘health-first’ approach.”

The backlash over Newsom’s statements comes the same day Disney said it will lay off 8,800 part-time theme park workers. Last Wednesday, Disney said it would lay off 28,000 workers, but union negotiations have since limited the pink slips to part-time workers only and made even those layoffs potentially nonpermanent.

Disneyland Park is the world's second-most visited theme park, normally drawing tens of thousands of visitors each day Disneyland Park is the world’s second-most visited theme park, normally drawing tens of thousands of visitors each day Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / DAVID MCNEW

This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool.

Rhian Hunt has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short October 2020 $125 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Source Article

LA Sees Rash Of Reopenings, But New Rule May Stall More Openings

LOS ANGELES, CA — Angelenos can once again get their nails done indoors, and next week they’ll be able to shop at indoor malls again, as the Los Angeles emerges from the summer lockdown. However, a new state requirement may put the brakes on LA’s fledgling reopening.

California issued a new requirement for reopening, forcing large counties to address coronavirus infections in the hardest hit communities, which tend to be poor and minority communities. The measure, which goes into effect later this week, would require counties to invest in testing and contact tracing, while helping infected people to isolate, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In the meantime, county health officials Thursday allowed salons to offer indoor services at 25% capacity. Though it’s allowed, health officials strongly encouraged salons to keep working outdoors as a safety measure.

Card rooms can reopen with outdoor operations only beginning Monday, minus food and beverage service. Indoor shopping malls can open their doors Wednesday, also at 25% of capacity, but food courts must remain closed. Nail salons that reopen indoors were encouraged to continue offering outdoor service as much as possible.

Health officials said they are still working with county attorneys to finalize plans for the reopening outdoor beverage service — with food sold by third-party providers — at breweries and wineries. That process is expected to be “completed in a week,” according to the county.

Outdoor playgrounds can open at the discretion of individual cities, but visitors over age 2 must wear face coverings and adult supervision and physical distancing will be required.

Schools that want to provide in-person instruction for students in pre- kindergarten through second-grade can submit applications to the county for waivers beginning Monday. Waivers will be limited to 30 schools per week, with priority given to campuses in the generally lowest-income areas.

Schools that are granted waivers will have to limit groups of students to no more than 12, and no more than two supervising adults in each classroom. Those teacher-student groups must remain together for the entire day “for all activities,” according to the county.

Complete safety protocols for all reopening businesses will be posted on the county’s website. Public health director Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday strict adherence to the protocols is essential to ensuring infection control and the continues operations of the businesses.

“We have determined that with really good adherence — and this is critical — to the directives that are in place, these are activities that we think can be done with a lot of safety,” Ferrer said. “And if they’re done with a lot of safety we’re hopeful that we won’t see a big surge in cases. It’s pretty easy to know when things aren’t going well because our cases tend to increase within a couple of weeks.”

Ferrer noted Wednesday that the county was moving ahead with the openings despite seeing a recent uptick in daily COVID-19 case numbers and the local transmission rate. She warned in a statement Thursday that

All AZ counties now OKed for partial reopenings

PHOENIX — Arizona is reporting 705 additional COVID-19 cases and 24 more deaths as health officials say all 15 counties have cleared state benchmarks for partial reopening of certain businesses.

The overall statewide total of confirmed cases is now 219,212 cases, and the death toll 5,674.

Arizona’s Department of Health Services says the classification of largely rural, southeastern Graham County improved to “moderate transmission stage.” That made it the final county to meet criteria for reopening businesses such as indoor gyms, bars serving food and movie theaters.

One county, tiny Greenlee in southeastern Arizona, is at “minimal” status, the highest step below normal conditions.


___

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Push to bring coronavirus vaccines to the poor faces trouble

— In Appalachia, people watch COVID-19, race issues from afar

— NFL postpones Steelers-Titans game after more positive tests

— The White House is backing a $400 per week pandemic jobless benefit and possible COVID-19 relief bill with a price tag above $1.5 trillion.

— France’s health minister is threatening to close bars and ban family gatherings, if the rise in virus cases doesn’t improve.

— Americans seeking unemployment benefits declined last week to a still-high 837,000, suggesting the economy is struggling to sustain a tentative recovery from the summer.

___

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

HELENA, Mont. — Nearly half Montana’s confirmed COVID-19 cases came in September as the state continues to report record numbers of infections.

The state reported 429 cases Thursday, the highest daily total by a margin of 81.

The state saw just over 6,000 cases in September, or 44% of the 13,500 since mid-March.

The true numbers are thought to be much higher because not everyone has been tested, and studies show people can have COVID-19 without having symptoms.

___

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho will remain in the fourth and final stage of Gov. Brad Little’s economic-reopening plan for at least another two weeks as coronavirus infections and deaths rise.

The Republican governor says Thursday Idaho will receive 530,000 rapid antigen tests that will be prioritized for schools. Little also announced Thursday the formation of an Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee in anticipation of a vaccine that would be distributed by the federal government.

Stage 4 of Idaho’s plan 4 allows most businesses to open.

___

WASHINGTON — U.S. health officials say hospitals bought only about a third of the doses of remdesivir that they were offered over the last few months to treat COVID-19, as the government stops overseeing the drug’s distribution.

Between July and September, 500,000 treatment courses were made available to state and local health departments but only about 161,000 were purchased.

Dr. John Redd of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that “we see this as a very good sign” that supply now outstrips demand and it’s OK for hospitals to start buying the drug, also known as Veklury, directly from maker