This Week In The News: SoCal Coronavirus Updates (04/06-04/10)

Coronavirus News: 16.8M Americans Out of Work; Easter Celebrations Move Online

Thursday, April 9 (ABC 7 News) – A jaw-dropping 16.8 million Americans lost their jobs nearly a month ago, and it is looking as if the coronavirus is now going to claim its first religious holiday as well. Holy leaders from across the globe urged parishioners to celebrate Good Friday and Easter in isolation and remain safe at home. This is a first for churches, that mere weeks ago thought that they would be able to hold services for Easter Sunday, but that doesnโ€™t appear to be a possibility anymore. While the number of the deceased is likely to be inaccurate due to the smudging of numbers by some foreign governments, Johns Hopkins University conservatively estimated nearly 95,000 dead and 1.5 confirmed infections. New York City has risen as a hotspot for COVID-19 outbreaks and has put the entire state under quarantine. Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “That is so shocking and painful and breathtaking, I don’t even have the words for it.โ€

Santa Clarita-Based Princess Cruise Lines Sued Over Coronavirus Outbreak

Thursday, April 9 (KCAL 9/CBS Los Angeles) – Santa Clarita-based princess cruise lines got slapped with a negligence lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court on Thursday. An elderly couple is seeking at least $1 million in damages after they tested positive for COVID-19 following a cruise from Sydney, Australia. The couple asserts that Princess Cruise Lines knew full well that outbreaks were happening on other ships and didnโ€™t properly warn passengers prior to departure. โ€œTo add insult to injury, Princess was aware of an outbreak of COVID-19 on the March 8 sailing, and failed to even attempt to quarantine any of the passengers onboard,โ€ the lawsuit alleged. And went on to add, โ€œDespite their knowledge of the significant risk of harm to their passengers and crew members.โ€ Princess Cruises said that it does not comment on any ongoing litigation.ย 

Coronavirus Update: Newsom Reports Drop in Number of Californians Being Treated in ICU Units

Thursday, April 9 (CBS San Francisco) – According to new numbers from California ICU units across the state, there has been a 1.9% drop in intensive care patients affected by COVID-19. While that is welcome news, Gov. Gavin Newsom is remaining cautious and vigilant. โ€œOne data point is not a trend, one data point does not make a headline. So I caution anyone from reading too much into that one point. None the less it is encouragingโ€, said Newsom. California leaders and healthcare professionals are all eager to see a consistent flattening of the curve, but warn against becoming complacent. The statewide shelter in place order stands and officials are working diligently to see the cases of the infected continue to dwindle. Governor Newsom continued on to say, โ€œIt just again re-enforces the incredible work all of you are doing to practice physical distancing. The stay at home is workingโ€ฆThat curve has been bent in this state.โ€

Scripps Health Launches 5-Minute Coronavirus Test

Thursday, April 9 (Fox 5 San Diego) – Finally, a promising point-of-care test that is able to detect the novel coronavirus is set to launch at five hospital campuses in San Diego. Scripps Health announced Thursday that the COVID-19 test received emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on March 27. The turnaround time has been shaved down to an astonishing turnaround time of 5 minutes for positive results, and 13 minutes for negative results. The tests will be used to screen hospitalized patients that require quick results. President and CEO of Scripps Health, Chris Van Gorder said, โ€œToday, Scripps moves that important tool to the front line of our fight against this devastating disease. The ability to deliver results in minutes at our hospitals for patients exhibiting possible symptoms of COVID-19 will allow our physicians to make faster and better decisions about delivering the best care needed.โ€

LeBron James About What Heโ€™s Doing in This Time of Self-Isolation During COVID-19 Crisis

Thursday, April 9 (Fox 11 Los Angeles) – After finding out that every team member of the Los Angeles Lakers has now tested negative for the coronavirus, LeBron James spoke to reporters about how heโ€™s been spending his time during mandatory isolation. While the superstar power forward says he is eager to get back on the courts this year, for now, he is content with playing ball with his son at home. When asked if he has indulged in the viral sensation โ€œThe Tiger Kingโ€, King James said that he did see the show and that he always watches any series or movie with the name โ€˜Kingโ€™ in the title. For those that arenโ€™t familiar, LeBron James earned the nickname of King James for his unbelievable skills on the court.ย 

WATCH: Cedars-Sinai Nurses Demonstrate How to Properly Put On PPE

Thursday, April 9 (KCAL 9/CBS Los Angeles) – The coronavirus has really shined a light on just how hard medical workers and professionals have had to work just to prevent the total collapse of our healthcare system. On Wednesday Cedars-Sinai Medical Center released a video of their nurses demonstrating how to properly put on, and remove, personal protective equipment (PPE). Each time a nurse enters an infected patientโ€™s room, they need to dispose of the contaminated PPE before they can move to other parts of the hospital. Registered nurse Irene Quintas said, โ€œItโ€™s a lot of work just to go into a patientโ€™s room, trying to get those PPEs in, wearing all the PPEs, it takes a lot of time,โ€ She continued on to say, โ€œWe try to cluster our care so each time we go into the patientโ€™s room, we go there, we stay there for a few minutes doing everything we can so we donโ€™t have to go back in and out all the time.โ€ Sadly on Wednesday, L.A. County health officials confirmed that nearly 325 healthcare workers in Los Angeles County have tested positive for COVID-19, with two deaths.ย 

Unemployed Californians to Get Extra $600 in Weekly Benefits Starting Sunday Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Thursday, April 9 (KTLA 5) – Governor Gavin Newsom released an official statement on Thursday reassuring Californians that have filed for unemployment that they will be receiving an extra $600 on top of their weekly benefits. The payouts are expected to begin on Sunday. The state has processed a mind-numbing 2.3 unemployment claims in the past month alone. That is a 2,418% increase from the same time last year. โ€œFor someone receiving the most recent average Unemployment Insurance payment of $340 a week, a usual biweekly payment would equal $680. With the extra payment, that biweekly payment would increase to $1,880,โ€ the California Employment Development Department said. For more information on how to redeem the extra benefits, visit Californiaโ€™s EDD Website.ย 

Across the Country, U.S. Attorneys and States Attorneys General Join Forces in COVID-19 Enforcement Measures

Thursday, April 9 (The National Law Review) – Attorneys from across the United States are joining forces to create a COVID-19 Fraud Task Force on the heels of Attorney General Barrโ€™s order to doggedly investigate and prosecute coronavirus related fraud. The task force will include partnerships between Attorney Generals on the state level to aggressively pursue charges against any individual that seeks to profit from or defraud anyone using the recent pandemic. The list of states that have answered the call is growing, but currently includes Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, and New Jersey announced joint task forces, adding to the efforts of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Federal prosecutors in Florida and Washington D.C. have also announced their own COVID-19 Anti-Fraud Task Force.