It’s Christmas Eve, but unfortunately, there’s no let up for COVID-19. Yesterday was the worst day so far in terms of death for L.A. County. Also this morning: UCB Sunset is gone forever, a rare violin goes missing, and an LASD deputy gets caught performing an illicit act on the Universal backlot. It’s the day before Christmas. Here is your news. Take it.
Morning News Rundown
Yesterday, Public Health reported 145 new deaths from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County, the highest one-day toll since the start of the pandemic. There were also 16,525 news cases, bringing the total to 647,542. Hospitalizations now exceed 6,000 patients, and Dr. Christina Ghaly, director of the Department of Health Services, forecasts that thousands more county residents will die during the current holiday surge of the virus. [CBS Los Angeles]
In March, Upright Citizens Brigade laid off most of its staff at locations in Los Angeles and New York. Yesterday, UCB released a statement saying the company is selling off its Sunset Boulevard complex. UCB plans to maintain its location on Franklin and reopen for classes and performances once pandemic restrictions are lifted. [LA Mag]
A rare 18th-century violin worth an estimated $700,000 has been stolen from an art dealer’s Los Feliz residence. The violin had been temporarily stored in the owner’s Tesla after being on loan to a professional musician, but the car was stolen from the property before the owner had a chance to retrieve it from his vehicle. The FBI is currently investigating. [L.A. Times]
As of 6 a.m. this morning, 18,500 SoCal Edison customers had their power shut off because of red flag fire conditions across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. More than 150,000 customers could still face Christmas Eve outages today, as the wind/fire warnings will remain in effect through this afternoon. [ABC 7]
An L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy allegedly had sex on the Universal Studios backlot in a vehicle parked near the Bates Motel facade. The whole ordeal was recorded via an open mic and shared throughout the department. The LASD has opened an administrative investigation on the matter. [TMZ]