LA to Administer 150K COVID Vaccines This Week; Increase Partially Due to City Resuming Administration of J&J Vaccine
Monday, April 26 (ABC 7) – On Sunday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced nearly 150,000 first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines could be administered at city vaccination sites this week. The city expected to receive nearly 42,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and over 63,000 does of Pfizer, while 29,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in supply have been approved for use. Officials also announced a fixed vaccination site at Century City. On Friday, L.A. County’s chief science officer, Dr. Paul Simon, said in a briefing that 13,000 doses of the J&J vaccine are on hand and another 25,000 doses may be available from providers allocated doses from state or federal sources.
City vaccination sites were set to be open Tuesday through Saturday (Dodger Stadium was closed Wednesday for a scheduled game). Walk-up vaccination sites are open at Palmdale Oasis Recreation Center, The Forum, Balboa Sports Complex, College of the Canyons, Cal State Northridge, Eugene Obregon Park, Pomona Fairplex, and L.A. County Office of Education. The county reported 408 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and five additional deaths and coronavirus patients in county hospitals dropped from 444 on Saturday to 407 on Sunday. The county health department issued a reminder that anyone 16 or older living or working in Los Angeles County can get vaccinated at a county-run site without booking an appointment.
Riverside County to Resume Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Starting Thursday
Monday, April 26 (Desert Sun) – Health officials have lifted the pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Riverside County-run clinics. Starting Thursday, the one-shot vaccine began being administered at Alessandro High School in Hemet. The vaccine was temporarily stopped earlier in the month after rare blood clots were reported. As of Friday, the condition was reported in 15 women out of 8 million doses administered, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far, three women have died.
On Monday, the Associated Press reported a man in his 30s in the San Francisco Bay Area developed a rare blood clot in his leg within two weeks of the shot. Officials said the vaccine has been administered more than 17,000 times in Riverside County without a severe reaction. They also reported that about 17,000 doses were on hand. Statewide, 46.8% of residents were at least partially vaccinated as of Sunday; in the week ending Sunday, 13,560 new cases were reported, down 23.6% from the previous week. In Riverside County, 666 cases and 34 cases were reported in the latest weekly tallies, down from 1,125 cases and 44 deaths the week before.
Since the pandemic began, over 3.7 million people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus and 61,479 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 32 million have tested positive in the U.S., with 572,200 COVID-19 related deaths.
Los Angeles Will No Longer Require Fully-Vaccinated Residents to Wear Masks Outdoors, Conforming to CDC Guidance
Tuesday, April 27 (Deadline) – Los Angeles Public Health officials announced Tuesday an update to COVID-19 guidance based on the latest from the CDC. An official statement said California would adopt the latest CDC strictures that no longer require people to wear masks outdoors unless at a crowded setting or venue. Officials in Los Angeles also announced the latest Covid numbers qualify the county for the least-restrictive tier in the state’s reopening Blueprint, if the region remains below the required thresholds for at least one more week. Guidance allows people to dine outdoors with friends from multiple households, while it’s assumed TV and film production workers who are vaccinated will have fewer restrictions.
According to the CDC, fully vaccinated Americans can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without masks or physical distancing, and visit indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household at low risk for severe disease. People can also resume domestic and international travel without having to be tested or self-quarantined in the U.S. Depending on setting, one can refrain from testing or quarantine after a known exposure if they are asymptomatic.
Orange County Reports Less Than 100 New COVID-19 Cases
Wednesday, April 28 (NBC Los Angeles) – On Wednesday, Orange County reported only 73 new COVID-19 cases and five fatalities. Infected patients at county hospitals decreased from 128 on Tuesday to 125, while the number of people in intensive care dropped from 27 to 24. Orange County, currently in the orange tier of the state’s reopening plan, meets two of three categories for the yellow tier. Based on weekly averages, the daily case rate dropped to 2.6 per 100,000 residents (case rates must below 2 for two weeks to quality for the yellow tier) and the overall test positivity rate remained at 1.4%.
About 80% of county residents aged 65 or older had been vaccinated as of April 18. At a board meeting on Tuesday, Supervisor Don Wagner rebuked false claims about the vaccine while speakers assailed the concept of a “vaccine passport”. The county is working on a vaccine verification system using a QR code to prove vaccinations. So far, the county has dispensed 2.57 million doses; 978,000 people are considered fully vaccinated, according to officials. Officials also said that 740,000 more people here need to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.
Grants Are Now Available for LA County Personal Care and Retail Businesses
Monday, April 26 (NBC Los Angeles) – Starting Monday, personal care and retail businesses in Los Angeles County could apply for $10,000 grants, thanks to a new round of funding by the LA Regional COVID Fund. The fund distributed nearly $100 million in grants last year. Business could apply for funding from the Keep Our Shops on the Block Grant, from Monday through Sunday. It is available to businesses such as beauty salons, barbershops, estheticians, dry cleaners, bakeries, and automotive stores with open storefronts and annual revenues of less than $1 million. Applicants must also show proof of financial hardship due to the pandemic. To apply for the grant, business can go to lacovidfund.org/application.
Deadly Crash Shuts Down Portion of 405 Freeway in Westminster
Monday, April 26 (NBC Los Angeles) – A crash on the 405 Freeway in Westminster on Monday killed one person. According to the California Highway Patrol, it occurred on the northbound side of the freeway at Beach Boulevard, at 1:18 a.m. Witnesses say three vehicles were involved, including a gray Ford Mustang and yellow Ford Focus. The CHP said the coroner was called at 1:44 a.m. Northbound lanes at Newland Street were closed and traffic was diverted from the freeway at Magnolia Street. All lanes were reopened at 3:24 a.m.
DUI Suspect Arrested in High-Speed Crash That Killed Two in Inglewood
Thursday, April 29 (NBC Los Angeles) – A 22-year-old woman and 27-year-old man were killed in a Wednesday night crash involving a car struck by a DUI suspect in a blue pickup. The suspect was being pursued by California Highway Patrol officers at the time. After traveling at high speeds and running a red light near the 405 Freeway, and being pursued on the freeway and streets of Inglewood, the pickup T-boned the victims’ car. The white sedan was hit at the intersection of Glasgow Avenue and Olive Street. The pickup driver fled on foot but was then taken into custody. A small dog was found inside the sedan, said the CHP; Animal Control was called; it was not known if the dog was injured.
California Hospitality Employers Now Required to Rehire and Retain Displaced Workers
Wednesday, April 28 (JD Supra) – Bill No. 93, which was recently signed into law, requires hospitality employers to rehire and retain workers displaced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective until December 31, 2024, it requires employers to offer laid-off employees information about available job positions they are qualified for. Employers will also be required to offer positions to laid-off employees based on specified timelines and procedures. The new law applies to hotel, event center, airport hospitality, and private club operators and those who run office, retail, and commercial building services. In addition, the bill imposes a $100 civil penalty for each employee whose rights are violated, plus $500 per employee for each day their rights are violated (until the violation is remedied). It will be enforced by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and the courts.