The county’s biggest testing site is about to become a vaccination center. Also this morning: COVID-19 deaths continue to spike around the state, the Santa Monica Pier is closing on weekends, and the Governator has some stern words for Donald Trump and his enablers. This is your Monday news brief.
Morning News Rundown
The City of Los Angeles announced on Sunday that Dodger Stadium is converting from a testing site into a vaccination distribution center. Today is the final day of testing. The site aims to reopen for vaccinations by the end of the week. Once fully operational, officials estimate the site will be able to vaccinate up to 12,000 people per day. [ABC 7]
California reached another grim milestone in the spread of COVID-19 as the number of statewide fatalities surpassed 30,000 over the weekend. The pace of deaths has been rapidly increasing over the past months, with the 7-day average of daily fatalities reaching an all-time high of 481 on Sunday, nearly five times higher than the November 7-day averages. Statewide, there have been roughly 10,000 deaths in just the last 30 days. For context, it took nearly six months for the state to see its first 10,000 deaths. [L.A. Times]
Yet as bad as the death totals and the stress put on hospitals has been over the past weeks, many health officials and care providers predict the darkest days of the pandemic are in the weeks ahead. And many are already calling the current state of affairs “a war zone.” [L.A. Times]
The Santa Monica Pier will be closed all remaining weekends in January and on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in an effort to decrease crowds. “The best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home as much as possible and the closure is part of meeting this need,” a release from the Pier said. [L.A. Times]
Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released a video statement on Sunday morning that railed against the insurrection at the Capitol and called to account President Trump and his enablers for their part in instigating the violence. Schwarzenegger drew on his experience growing up in Austria after WWII where he was “surrounded by broken men drinking away their guilt over their participation in the most evil regime in history.” [KTLA]