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Thursday, July 2, 2020

L.A. County Supervisors Look To Toughen Business Enforcement Of Health Orders

L.A. County Supervisors Look To Toughen Business Enforcement Of Health Orders

CITY NEWS SERVICE

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors next week will consider beginning the process of establishing fines and more quickly shutting down businesses that fail to adhere to public health orders designed to control spread of the coronavirus.

“We wanted to have a public trust relationship with our business community,” Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said in a statement announcing the motion she introduced with Supervisor Janice Hahn.

“We assumed businesses, who had indicated they would comply with directives in order to reopen, would follow the rules, but last weekend suggests that far too many people are shrugging off the danger,” Kuehl said. “The recent spike in cases and hospitalizations is very, very serious and jeopardizes our ability to care for people who get sick. This motion says, `Business owners, please take this seriously. We will fine you if you’re out of compliance, and if we find you’re out of compliance a second time, we will shut you down.”

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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Villanueva Says Altadena Sheriff’s Station Will Remain Open — Again

Villanueva Says Altadena Sheriff’s Station Will Remain Open — Again

Department faces layoffs due to budget cuts

By DONOVAN MCCRAY

Although many thought the issue had been resolved at least a month ago, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced on Wednesday that the Altadena Sheriff’s Station will remain open.

“Although my department is suffering devastating budget cuts from the Board of Supervisors, I will not be closing Altadena and Marina Del Rey stations,” Villanueva wrote on Twitter.

On Monday, the Board of Supervisors approved a $34.9 billion revised budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year, which includes 655 potential layoffs, roughly 70 percent of which will impact sheriff’s jail operations.

Villanueva has pushed back on the proposed cuts.

Villanueva drew the ire of residents across the region after he announced that the Altadena and Marina Del Rey stations would be closed in July.

Later, Assemblyman Chris Holden said that Villanueva had backed away from closing the station.

Under the plan, deputies reportedly would have continued continue to report there to put on their gear and access their radio cars before patrolling the area.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

L.A. County May Be Forced to Cut Child Support Enforcement

L.A. County May Be Forced to Cut Child Support Enforcement

CITY NEWS SERVICE

Los Angeles County’s $34.9 billion revised budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year approved Monday includes 655 potential layoffs, roughly 70% of which are slated to come at the expense of the sheriff’s jail operations and 20% from the department that helps parents enforce child support orders.

Chief Executive Officer Sachi Hamai insisted the reason the sheriff’s department is hardest hit is because public safety departments are funded primarily through local revenues, including property and sales taxes, rather than federal and state dollars.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who highlighted her support for the sheriff’s department and her hope that more funding could be found before layoffs are necessary, backed up Hamai in that assertion.

However, Sheriff Alex Villanueva called the argument about funding sources a “fig leaf” for the board to hide behind, saying Hamai could choose to allocate other dollars to his department.

More than 40% of the county-generated revenue base already goes to public safety.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

L.A. County COVID-19 Deaths Surpass 100,000 as Virus Resurges; Health Officials Call for Urgent Action

L.A. County COVID-19 Deaths Surpass 100,000 as Virus Resurges; Health Officials Call for Urgent Action

By BRIAN DAY

Detected cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County reached 100,772 Monday, and deaths topped 3,326, as officials warned that the novel coronavirus had resumed spreading at an alarming rate.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 2,903 new infections, the largest single-day increase to date, and 22 new deaths on Monday.

“We’re quickly moving toward overwhelming our health care system and seeing even more devastating illness and death,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “We can’t sustain this level of increase. We just can’t.”

The seven-day average of new infections stood at nearly 2,000 on Monday, up from an average of 1,379 two weeks ago, according to county data.

In response, all L.A. County beaches were ordered closed from July 3 to July 6, L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a written statement.

“We had almost 3,000 reported cases just today. We cannot risk having crowds at the beach this holiday weekend,” she said.

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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Health Officials: ‘Face Mask Exempt’ Cards Are Bogus

Health Officials: ‘Face Mask Exempt’ Cards Are Bogus

CITY NEWS SERVICE

Los Angeles County health officials warned Friday that people are circulating bogus “Face Mask Exempt” cards, claiming they will get people out of wearing a face-covering despite state and local orders.

“These flyers and cards are NOT from a government agency and are not endorsed by the Department of Justice or any Los Angeles County department,” according to the county Department of Public Health Twitter page.

“Cloth face coverings MUST be worn anytime residents are around others not from their household, except by children under 2 and individuals with medical conditions that prevent use of a face covering,” county officials said.

Health officials posted photos of the phony cards, one of which is laminated and states in bold print, “I AM EXEMPT FROM ANY ORDINANCE REQUIRING FACE MASK USAGE IN PUBLIC.” The cards warn that anyone harassing the cardholder could be subject to penalties of the Department of Justice and face fines of up to $150,000.

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Friday, June 26, 2020

Newsom Again Chides Residents Against Complacency In Virus Fight

Newsom Again Chides Residents Against Complacency In Virus Fight

CITY NEWS SERVICE

A week ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, Gov. Gavin Newsom Friday issued another stern warning to residents about the dangers of public or family gatherings while blasting “lazy punditry” suggesting that hot weather will kill the coronavirus.

The warning came as the governor announced a 3.3% increase since Thursday in the number of people hospitalized with the virus, and a 4.4% daily jump in the number of people in intensive care units.

State figures show that the number of people hospitalized in California has risen more than 30% over the last two weeks.

“Hospitalizations going up. The number of people in ICUs going up. The number of people on ventilators going up,” Newsom said. “… We are in the midst of the first wave of this pandemic. We are not out of the first wave. This disease does not take a summer vacation. And let us disabuse ourselves that somehow, the lazy punditry that was out there,

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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Los Angeles County Adopts First of its Kind Cultural Policy

Los Angeles County Adopts First of its Kind Cultural Policy

A Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative Recommendation, the Policy is a Road Map to Provide Meaningful Access to Arts and Culture for Every Resident

Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture announced today the adoption of the Countywide Cultural Policy by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, a county cultural policy that is the first of its kind in the nation. Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis introduced a motion, co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, to adopt the policy at the June 23, 2020 Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The Cultural Policy provides direction and guidelines for how Los Angeles County and its departments will ensure that every resident of LA County has meaningful access to arts and culture. The intent of the policy is to foster an organizational culture that values and celebrates arts, culture, and creativity; strengthens cultural equity and inclusion; and integrates arts and culture in LA County strategies to achieve the highest potential of communities and constituents across all aspects of civic life.

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Monday, June 22, 2020

L.A. County’s Top Public Health Official Reports Death Threats

L.A. County’s Top Public Health Official Reports Death Threats

CITY NEWS SERVICE

 

Los Angeles County’s top public health official, who has led the fight against the coronavirus, said Monday her life has been threatened repeatedly but promised to continue to “follow the science.”

Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, issued a statement that began, as her daily briefings do, with a recounting of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in the county to date and a moment to honor those who have been lost.

“COVID-19 has upended thousands and thousands of lives all across the nation. The virus has changed our world as we know it, and people are angry. As of today, 83,397 cases have been reported in Los Angeles County and 3,120 people have died from this virus,” Ferrer said. “We mourn every single one of those deaths, and we are working tirelessly to slow the spread of COVID- 19 and find good solutions for the future of our communities.”

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Friday, June 19, 2020

Health Officials: County Making Progress in Virus Fight, Despite Deaths, Cases

Health Officials: County Making Progress in Virus Fight, Despite Deaths, Cases

CITY NEWS SERVICE

As more businesses reopen, Los Angeles County health officials Friday offered assurance that local indicators tracking the pace of coronavirus were continuing to decrease or hold steady, but they again stressed the importance of wearing face coverings to prevent COVID-19 from spiking.

“I get a lot of questions about why this is important, especially from individuals who are not worried about becoming infected themselves,” public health director Barbara Ferrer said. “The important issue here is that we’re not asking you to wear the face covering to protect yourself. We ask you to cover your mouth and nose to protect others, especially since you can be infected with COVID-19 and have no symptoms of illness.

“… Even if you tested negative, that negative test result only tells you your status the day you were tested,” she said. “You could easily become infected the very next day and unknowingly pass COVID-19 onto others.”

Ferrer’s comments came one day after Gov.

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Thursday, June 18, 2020

County Reports 36 New COVID-19 Deaths

County Reports 36 New COVID-19 Deaths

1,051 new cases confirmed on Thursday

CITY NEWS SERVICE

County health officials confirmed 36 new deaths along with 1,051 new cases of the Coronavirus on Thursday.

To date, 78,227 cases have been reported and 3,027 deaths.

“To the many families who are mourning loved ones lost to COVID-19, please accept our heartfelt sympathies,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of public health. “COVID-19 has impacted everyone across the county, and we are all feeling exhausted by the safety requirements, yet we still have to find it within ourselves to do our part to protect each other from the spread of the virus. As more sectors re-open, we risk losing all the progress we have made in slowing the spread, if we don’t take every precaution possible to prevent exposing others and ourselves to the virus.”

A modified health officer order and directives for the reopening of additional businesses is being issued today with an effective date of June 19.

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