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News

A.M. Brief: Albertsons, Vons Fire Drivers for Independent Contractors

January 5, 2021 by Brian Champlin
An empty 101 freeway at rush hour. Photo by Christina Champlin

Prop 22’s passing means grocery chains are gutting full-time delivery drivers in favor of independent contractors from app-based services like DoorDash. Also this morning: L.A. tops a list of natural disaster risks, health officials expect COVID-19 infections to keep surging, and vaccine doses almost get spoiled because of a freezer failure. Finally, some sad news regarding the family of Vin Scully. It’s Tuesday. Here is your news. Take it.

Morning News Rundown

Southern California Albertsons and Vons locations are laying off in-house delivery drivers in favor of third-party grocery delivery services such as DoorDash. Drivers across the state have been fired since the passage of Proposition 22, which legally defined app-based transportation and delivery drivers as independent contractors. [Knock LA]

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Is L.A. the riskiest place to live in America? According to FEMA’s new National Risk Index tool that ranked more than 3,000 counties nationwide, the answer is yes—at least when it comes to natural disasters. The analysis looked at 18 types of natural disasters—things like wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, and tsunamis—and estimated their likelihood compared with potential human and property toll. [Associated Press]

Yesterday, the county reported 9,142 new COVID-19 cases and 77 related deaths, reflecting a reporting lag over the holiday weekend. 7,697 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, 21% of whom are in the ICU and 19% of whom are on ventilators. Currently, one in five county residents being tested is infected, and health officials expect case counts to increase due to Christmas and New Year’s gatherings. [We Like L.A.]

New renderings shared at a Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council meeting last week show what Netflix has in store for the Egyptian Theatre, including a refresh of the outdoor courtyard and the restoration of key architectural details. [LA Mag]

A Northern California hospital had only hours to distribute 600 COVID-19 vaccine doses after a freezer failure put them in jeopardy. Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Medical Center in Mendocino County was able to successfully distribute the doses, with most of the supply going to the county jail and a local eldercare facility. [L.A. Times]

Sandra Scully, the wife of retired Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, died Sunday evening at 76 after a years-long battle with ALS, according to a statement from the team. The Scullys had been married for over 37 years. [CBS Los Angeles]

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