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A.M. Brief: L.A. County’s New Safer at Home Order Starts Today

November 30, 2020 by Brian Champlin
An empty 101 freeway at rush hour. Photo by Christina Champlin

A new temporary health order designed to slow the rampant spread of COVID-19 begins today, but some county residents are none too happy about it. Also today: The Guardado inquest kicks off, El Sereno activists get booted from vacant homes, and rents are rising in the Inland Empire. Here is your Monday news brief.

Morning News Rundown

With the countywide 5-day average of new COVID-19 infections holding above 4,500, Public Health announced a new temporary Safer-At-Home order that begins today. The order further reduces capacity at retail locations (both essential and non-essential), personal care facilities, outdoor fitness centers, and outdoor museums. Card rooms and most playgrounds will now be closed. In general, Public Health strongly urges all residents to stay home as much as possible and avoid contact with people outside of their households. [We Like L.A.]

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During Saturday’s press conference announcing the new restrictions, Public Health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer implored county residents to do what they can to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. On Sunday, more than a dozen protestors gathered outside Ferrer’s Echo Park home to demonstrate outrage over the new health order. The (mostly) unmasked group waved signs saying things such as “Covid is a Scam,” and chanted phrases including, “No science. No data. No shutdown.” [L.A. Times]

The L.A. coroner’s formal inquest into the shooting death of Andrés Guardado begins today. Guardado was shot and killed by an LASD deputy in Gardena in June. The inquest will be conducted by retired Court of Appeals Justice Candace D. Cooper, formerly a Superior and Municipal Court judge. [NBC Los Angeles]

Last Wednesday, a group of activists took occupancy in some 20 vacant homes in El Sereno that they say should be used to provide permanent shelter for unhoused families in the area. By Thursday night, CHP had forcibly removed the protestors. Numerous arrests were made in the process. The properties in dispute were purchased by Cal-Trans for a 710 freeway expansion project that never moved forward. Advocates say they want the vacant homes put into a community land trust to ensure their usage as permanent housing for unhoused individuals. [LAist]

With work-from-home now the standard practice, some Angelenos have been migrating to the Inland Empire for more space at a cheaper cost. The demand is showing up in rental prices. Since March, rent is up 4-6% in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, but has actually decreased in L.A. and Orange counties. [Pasadena Star News]

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