Latest California Healthline Stories
Sale Of New Gas-Powered Cars Will End In 2035: California will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks in 15 years, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday. The plan won’t stop people from owning gas-powered cars or selling them on the used-car market. Phasing out gas-powered cars will not only reduce the hazards posed by carbon emissions but will also serve as a catalyst to bring more green jobs to California, he said. Read more from the Los Angeles Times, AP, NPR and Washington Post.
Is A COVID Surge Coming? Two weeks after the Labor Day holiday, health officials worry that the same patterns from Memorial Day and the Fourth of July are emerging. On multiple days last week, L.A. County reported more than 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus, an uptick from the week prior. There isn’t yet enough data to draw clear conclusions, but the “troubling trend” echoes what happened earlier this year, said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. Read more from the Los Angeles Times.
Some Good News In The Fight Against COVID: The share of Californians who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week dipped below 3% for the first time, a sign that the Golden State is finally starting to beat back the spread of the coronavirus, officials said Monday. But the good news is tempered with caution: Wildfires, coupled with heat waves and toxic air quality, led to a decline in testing. Read more from the Los Angeles Times.
Air Quality Worsening Again In Some Regions: Major fires continue to burn through parts of Northern California, including the state’s largest ever, the August Complex in Mendocino and Humboldt counties, which had scorched 834,000 acres and continued to grow Sunday. Daniel Swain, a climate expert with UCLA, tweeted on Sunday: “After a few calm weather days, fire activity on the extremely large wildfires still burning throughout California is slowly picking up again. Air quality starting to worsen in some spots as smoke increases.” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle.
Disaster-Relief Teams Forced To Adapt: In Butte County — where the North Complex fire rages and the per capita coronavirus rate is 33% higher than Los Angeles County’s — evacuees are being housed in motel rooms. But Butte County is a rural area, and many motel rooms were already in use by people fleeing wildfires in neighboring counties. The coronavirus “has thrown a wrench into the well-oiled machines of congregate sheltering,” said Shelby Boston, who heads the Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services. Read more from the Los Angeles Times.
Exactly How Bad Are This Year’s Wildfires? LA Times Crunches The Numbers: Although fire season is a perennial challenge in California, the scale and destruction of fires in recent years feel worse than anything many can remember. To see whether that’s true, the Los Angeles Times analyzed decades of data tracking California wildfires and the destruction they’ve wrought. The analysis found that wildfires and their compounding effects have intensified in recent years — and there’s little sign things will improve. Read more from the Los Angeles Times.
In Bakersfield, Surgeon General Urges Vigilance Against COVID: U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams visited Bakersfield on Monday, urging residents to keep hope alive during what he portrayed as the final stretches of the coronavirus pandemic. “We really need to get away from this idea of health versus the economy,” he said. “Several business owners brought up their concerns about their need to get businesses open. … The quickest way to get businesses open is to drive down community transmission rates.” Read more from the Bakersfield Californian.
Trump Visits California Today: Ahead of President Trump’s visit to California today, Democrats charged over the weekend that his disregard for basic science had contributed to the worsening annual wildfires, as well as to the still-uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. “Talk to a firefighter if you think that climate change isn’t real,” LA Mayor Eric M. Garcetti said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. Read more from the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.
Residents Choking On ‘Unbreathable Air’: The unprecedented wreckage left by seemingly endless fires up and down the Golden State is creating horrific air quality, according to residents, forcing them to find options to release stress and exercise. Officials from the South Coast Air Quality Management District have warned that smoke and ash will continue to saturate large swaths of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Read more from the Los Angeles Times.