Latest California Healthline Stories
Huntington Beach Becomes Bastion Of Resistance: More than any other place in California, Huntington Beach has come to symbolize resistance to many of the coronavirus safety rules government officials have imposed in recent months. “I don’t believe the rates are rising,” said resident Brad Colburn, 58. “They’re inflated. It’s another way of shutting everything down … of the Democrats trying to get what they want.” Colburn said he has yet to wear a mask outside of shopping. Read more from Jake Sheridan of the Los Angeles Times.
California Sues To Keep Protections For LGBTQ Residents: California joined a lawsuit with 22 other states against the Trump administration on Monday seeking to protect anti-discrimination language in the Affordable Care Act that the White House last month moved to eliminate. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and others have accused the Department of Health and Human Services of trying to roll back parts of the rule that shield LGBTQ, pregnant and non-fluent people from losing out on health care. The rule, Becerra said, is “mean and unconstitutional” and “unbelievably immoral.” The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Read more from Matt Kristoffersen of the Sacramento Bee.
L.A. ‘On The Brink’ Of More Shutdowns, Mayor Warns: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered a fresh warning Sunday during an appearance on CNN that the city was “on the brink” of imposing new restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Los Angeles County public health officials on Sunday reported 2,848 newly confirmed cases. Even without Garcetti’s intervention, a series of state-imposed restrictions recently took effect, including a ban on indoor restaurant dining and the closing of bars, malls and other retailers in L.A. County and other counties on the state’s watch list. Read more from Howard Blume and Alex Wigglesworth of the Los Angeles Times.
Fresh Air? Check. Social Distancing? Check. But Yosemite, It Turns Out, Isn’t Immune To COVID: Like a lot of the rural West, Yosemite National Park stood as a safe haven from the coronavirus. No park employees or residents tested positive. No visitors reported being sick. But this week, lab analysis of sewage from Yosemite revealed the presence of the virus. Dozens of people in Yosemite Valley are believed to have been infected. “It’s one thing to live in denial: We live in the mountains, no one’s sick,” said Eric Sergienko, the health officer for Mariposa County, who is overseeing coronavirus testing in the Yosemite area. “But we can now confirm it’s here.” Read more from Kurtis Alexander of the San Francisco Chronicle.
L.A.’s Black And Latino Students Didn’t Fare Nearly As Well As Others Online, District Records Show: As schools across the state struggle to decide whether to reopen, a first-of-its-kind report by the Los Angeles Unified School District shows that more than 50,000 Black and Latino middle and high school students did not regularly participate in the school system’s main platform for virtual classrooms after campuses closed in March. The report shows participation rates between 10 and 20 percentage points lower than their white and Asian peers. Read more from Paloma Esquivel and Howard Blume of the Los Angeles Times.
Educators, Lawmakers Denounce Orange County’s School Reopening Plan: Recommendations approved by the Orange County Board of Education to welcome students back to campuses without increased social distancing in classrooms or the mandatory use of masks were met with a fierce backlash from educators and parents Tuesday, and some school officials are already saying they don’t intend to go along. “It’s reckless, and it’s causing undue fear among teachers, students and parents alike,” Ocean View School District Board President Gina Clayton-Tarvin said of the board’s action. Seven members of Congress penned a letter to the board Tuesday in response to its recommendations, saying they were “deeply concerned.” Meanwhile, county health officials reported 865 new coronavirus infections Tuesday and nine more fatalities, bringing its death toll to 433. Read more from Anh Do, Sara Cardine and Hannah Fry of the Los Angeles Times.
California Shutters Bars, Indoor Restaurants: Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signaled a major retreat in the state’s two-month effort to recover from the economic collapse caused by the coronavirus, ordering the closure of bars, indoor restaurants, movie theaters and many other recently reopened businesses across the state. With infections surging, Newsom also further tightened business restrictions in 29 counties that together account for about 80% of the state’s population. Those counties must now close gyms, houses of worship, hair and nail salons, offices for noncritical work sectors, shopping malls and barbershops. Read more from Dustin Gardiner, Erin Allday and Tatiana Sanchez of the San Francisco Chronicle and Melody Gutierrez of the Los Angeles Times.
Young People Who Smoke, Vape Have Higher Risk of Dying From COVID-19, UCSF Study Finds: Smoking was the most common risk factor for severe COVID-19 complications among otherwise largely healthy young people, according to a UCSF study published Monday in the Journal of Adolescent Health. For young men, smoking or vaping may more than double the potential of being hospitalized, needing intensive care or even dying from the virus. For young women, it could increase the possibility 1½ times. Read more from Mallory Moench of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Newsom Adds Firefighters, COVID Precautions As Fire Season Heats Up: The seemingly impossible task of gearing up for fire season in the midst of a surging pandemic fell with full force on California on Thursday, prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom to lay out the state’s battle plan. He announced the hiring of 858 seasonal firefighters to replace prison crews whose ranks were cut in half after several of those inmates tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting a quarantine at 12 Northern California conservation camps. Newsom also said state emergency officials are working with the hotel industry to make rooms available for people displaced by fires so that fewer evacuees would be sent to shelters. Features will include socially distanced beds, temperature checks, mandatory face coverings and individually boxed meals to prevent mixing between families. “We’ve got to keep [firefighters and evacuees] safe,” Newsom said. “We’ve got to keep these environments COVID-free.” Read more from Taryn Luna of the Los Angeles Times and Peter Fimrite, Alexei Koseff and Cynthia Dizikes of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Struggling For Cash, Stanford Cuts 11 Varsity Sports Programs: Stanford on Wednesday announced that it will eliminate 11 varsity sports at the conclusion of the 2020-21 academic season. In a statement, the university said the athletic program had been under review for some time, and while the coronavirus pandemic played a role in the decision, ultimately it was the cost of supporting so many programs that led to the move. The sports that will be eliminated are: men’s and women’s fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men’s rowing, co-ed and women’s sailing, squash, synchronized swimming, men’s volleyball and wrestling. Athletic director Bernard Muir also addressed the elephant in the room: “The other unknown that we continue to try to get our arms around is whether we will have football.” Read more from Michael Lerseth of the San Francisco Chronicle.