For your Tuesday: Debate continues over reopening schools in L.A. County, an abhorrent “Valentine” was spread within the LAPD, a brand new mega-site opens up for vaccine distribution, and the L.A. Zoo has reopened to the public. As per usual, this is your news brief. Take it!
Morning News Rundown
L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn says schools have met the criteria to reopen, but school officials insist staff vaccination is a prerequisite. Ultimately, the debate over reopening LAUSD schools could come down to a single number. According to Superintendent Austin Beutner, there are 25,000 in-school staff and educators who need to be vaccinated, but who don’t meet current eligibility standards. “Vaccinate 25,000 people and reopen elementary schools in the nation’s second largest school district,” Beutner said. [CBS Los Angeles]
The LAPD is conducting an internal investigation into a “Valentine” spread among department personnel that showed a photo of George Floyd with the words, “You take my breath away.” The L.A. District Attorney, L.A. City Attorney, and Los Angeles Police Protective League all released statements forcefully condemning the image and calling for strong disciplinary action. [LA Mag]
A new vaccination hub at Cal State Los Angeles opens today. It can serve both drive-thru and walk-up appointments. Once fully ramped up, the new site aims to administer up to 6,000 vaccine doses daily. [ABC 7]
The large-scale vaccination centers that closed last week due to vaccine supply shortages, including the mega-site at Dodger Stadium, will reopen today. Until supply levels increase, the majority of distribution will focus on second-dose appointments. [L.A. Times]
L.A. County’s hospitalization rate has declined 60% since Jan. 15, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The most recent numbers show 3,092 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized countywide, 30% of whom are in the ICU. [Public Health]
The Los Angeles Zoo reopens for public visitors today more than two months after closing due to the regional stay-at-home order. New safety and distancing protocols will be enforced, including capacity limits and the closure of all indoor and enclosed exhibits. [NBC Los Angeles]