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Friday, May 22, 2020

L.A. County Clears More Retailers To Open Ahead Of Memorial Day Weekend

L.A. County Clears More Retailers To Open Ahead Of Memorial Day Weekend

STAFF REPORTS

Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, Los Angeles County Friday reopened some beach parking lots and authorized retail businesses inside enclosed shopping malls to reopen with curbside pickup service only, while continuing to warn of the continued spread of the coronavirus.

The changes came as county officials braced for a holiday weekend that could again challenge residents’ resolve to adhere to stay-at-home restrictions that bar large gatherings and require face coverings and social distancing when residents interact with others.

“Based on the week that we opened up the trails and golf courses, I was very proud of the L.A. County residents who really did recognize wearing a mask and the social distancing that was in place,” said Kathryn Barger, chair of the county Board of Supervisors. “So I’m confident moving into this holiday, people will also recognize that is the reason why we talk about Safer At Home moving to safer at work and safer in our communities. Because people are recognizing that is the only way we’re going to stop or slow down the spread of this virus.

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Friday, May 22, 2020

L.A. County Jobless Rate Soars Thanks to Continuing Pandemic

L.A. County Jobless Rate Soars Thanks to Continuing Pandemic

CITY NEWS SERVICE

The dire economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic were laid bare Friday with the release of figures putting Los Angeles County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate at 19.6% in April, well above the 6.7% rate in March.

The 19.6% rate dwarfed the 4.5% unemployment level from April 2019, according to the state Employment Development Department.

In Orange County, where seasonally adjusted numbers were not available, the April jobless rate was 13.8%.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 15.5% in April, up from 5.5% in March and well above the 4.2% level in April 2019. The comparable estimates for the nation were 14.7% in April, 4.4% in March and 3.6% in April 2019.

According to the EDD, total nonfarm employment in Los Angeles County dropped by 685,000 jobs between March and April, a 15% decline, dropping the number of positions to just under 3.9 million jobs.

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

County COVID-19 Death Toll Reaches 2,000

County COVID-19 Death Toll Reaches 2,000

57 additional deaths reported on Wednesday

CITY NEWS SERVICE

The County health department confirmed 46 new Coronavirus deaths and 1,204 new cases, taking the death toll above 2,000 cases.

To date, the department has identified 42,037 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 2,016 deaths.

“To those of you who are suffering and grieving because of the loss of a loved one to COVID-19, we offer you our deepest condolences. We are thinking of you every day,” said Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health. “As more businesses and spaces are open, as individuals and institutions, we can take care of each other by continuing to practice physical distancing, wearing cloth face coverings, and following all of the directives for safer practices at businesses and in public spaces. We can do this, because we’ve done it. We have worked together doing our part to save lives.”

Staying home, physical distancing and wearing cloth face coverings has resulted in a decreased number of new infections.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

LA County Sheriff Refuses Subpoena to Appear at Civilian Oversight Meeting

LA County Sheriff Refuses Subpoena to Appear at Civilian Oversight Meeting

CITY NEWS SERVICE

Despite being subpoenaed to attend the Civilian Oversight Commission’s meeting Thursday, embattled Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Wednesday he will not be there.

“Regarding the commission’s subpoena, you have to understand … the subpoena, Measure R, the ordinance enacted by the Board of Supervisors, all these things were generated without any oversight, without any third-party independent legal analysis of its constitutionality,” Villanueva said.
“That still remains in doubt, and until that issue is resolved I will not be adhering to any subpoena issued by either entity — be it the inspector general or the Oversight Commission.”

Villanueva said his department will be represented at Thursday’s meeting by Assistant Sheriff Bruce Chase, who “volunteered his time to go and testify to the commission and give them an update on all the COVID-19 efforts we are engaged in.”

Villanueva said his department is committed to being as transparent as possible, with the commission and the public,

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

LA County COVID-19 Cases Top 40,000

LA County COVID-19 Cases Top 40,000

57 additional deaths reported on Wednesday

CITY NEWS SERVICE

County officials reported 57 new deaths and 1,324 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 1,970 and the total number of cases to 40,857.

“It’s still relatively easy to become infected, particularly if you’re not taking precautions — and unfortunately, there have been recent parties and gatherings that did result in a number of newly infected people,” said County Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “So, please find ways to enjoy the holiday with people from your own household, or with friends and family from afar, using our technology tools. Being together from a distance is currently our new normal, and while this is temporary, for this Memorial Day we’ll still need to practice social distancing.”

The county has been slowly reopening recreational amenities and retail businesses for curbside pickup only. The county’s Economic Resiliency Task Force, which includes members of the Board of Supervisors and local business leaders,

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Altadena Library District: Open Announcement for Board Vacancy

Altadena Library District: Open Announcement for Board Vacancy

With the resignation of Trustee Gwen McMullins, the Altadena Library Board of Trustees is announcing a vacancy and will make an appointment to fill that seat. The Altadena Library District thanks Trustee McMullins for her many years of dedicated service and extends its profound appreciation for all her work on behalf of the library and the community. (A copy of her letter of resignation may be found here).

The Board of Trustees is accepting applications from anyone who would like to serve on the board for her unexpired 2020 term (until the first Friday in December, 2020). Applicants must be at least 18, a resident of, and registered to vote in Altadena. This seat, along with two others currently held by Trustees Betsy Kahn and Terry Andrues, will be up for election on the November 2020 ballot. The individual appointed will hold the seat until the elected candidate is certified and sworn in; s/he is welcome to run for the seat in the 2020 election if desired.

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Monday, April 6, 2020

L.A. County Launches $500,000 Employer Assistance Fund

L.A. County Launches $500,000 Employer Assistance Fund

CITY NEWS SERVICE

Los Angeles County is launching a $500,000 fund to provide grants of up to $10,000 each to local businesses in need, officials announced Monday.

Business owners should act fast, as applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis and closed once 150 applications are received.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger said the Board of Supervisors and the Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services joined together to create the fund.

“The coronavirus pandemic has impacted residents and businesses throughout Los Angeles County,” Barger said. “It is vitally important that we pursue every resource available to support local business and help maintain good job opportunities throughout the region.”

The Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services will host a webinar at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday — accessible at bit.ly/BusinessGrantWebinar — to guide business owners on how to apply. The application site will open Wednesday at 8 a.m. at https://workforce.lacounty.gov/.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

L.A. County Expands Consumer Protections Against Fraud, Price Gouging

L.A. County Expands Consumer Protections Against Fraud, Price Gouging

CITY NEWS SERVICE

Citing more than 1,000 complaints about phony cures or inflated prices for essential goods during the coronavirus crisis, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday expanded consumer protections.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recommended giving the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs subpoena power to investigate cases.

“It is imperative that the county take all reasonable and necessary steps to protect consumers from price gouging during this emergency,” Ridley- Thomas said. “It is unconscionable for anyone to force people to pay more than they should for supplies that they need, particularly during a pandemic.”

The existing county ordinance makes it illegal to raise prices of consumer goods by more than 10 percent for 30 days following an emergency declaration — which the county made on March 4.

The board’s action provides for repeated extensions of the prohibitions on price gouging for as long as the emergency lasts.

The director of the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs said there are more than 200 cases under investigation,

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Friday, March 27, 2020

Friday Noon: L.A. County Reports 5 More Coronavirus Deaths; Cases Near 1,500

Friday Noon: L.A. County Reports 5 More Coronavirus Deaths; Cases Near 1,500

CITY NEWS SERVICE

Five more deaths due to coronavirus were reported Friday in Los Angeles County, raising the total to 26, and the county’s mortality rate from the illness rose above the levels seen across the country and in New York City, which has been particularly hard-hit by the virus.

Barbara Ferrer, head of the county Department of Public Health, said 257 more cases have been confirmed in the county, raising the total to 1,465. That figure, however, does not include 16 new cases reported Friday morning by the city of Long Beach, which maintains its own health department.

Long Beach had a total of 70 cases as of Friday morning. The city’s 16 new cases raised the overall Los Angeles County figure to 1,481.

Of the five deaths reported by Los Angeles County on Friday, all were over the age of 60 — four men and one woman, Ferrer said. On Thursday, the county reported nine deaths,

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Friday, March 27, 2020

Los Angeles County Launches New Interactive Digital Dashboards, Connecting Residents to Latest Updates on COVID-19 Impacts

Los Angeles County Launches New Interactive Digital Dashboards, Connecting Residents to Latest Updates on COVID-19 Impacts

Los Angeles County launched several new digital tools today to help residents access up-to-date information about the COVID-19 pandemic. A suite of new interactive maps and dashboards are now live on the County website, providing—in one place—a digital hub for updates about virus case counts, emergency proclamations, and information regarding openings and closures for parks, recreation sites, and schools throughout Los Angeles County.

The new dashboards track, analyze, and display multiple data sources. They are the result of collaboration between the County’s Department of Public Health, Health Services, Parks and Recreation, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, and the Office of Emergency Management. Though the focus is local, the new interactive sites also incorporate global data from Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 tracking map.

“These maps and dashboards are the latest step we have taken to keep the people of Los Angeles County informed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and connected to County services,” stated Kevin McGowan, Director of the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management.

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