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News

A.M. Brief: LAUSD Campuses Shut Down This Thursday

December 7, 2020 by Brian Champlin
View of Downtown Los Angeles from Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area
View of Downtown Los Angeles from Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area. Photo by Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

The surge of new COVID-19 infections in L.A. County means that local school campuses will shut down later this week. Also this morning: Applications open for restaurant assistance, a councilman wants to flip vacant El Sereno homes into affordable housing, and an auction at MOLAA. Finally, things take a violent turn at protests outside the mayor’s residence.

Morning News Rundown

Yesterday, Los Angeles County reported 10,528 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 deaths. The County also reported 2,988 hospitalizations, a new record high for the pandemic. County officials believe that the increase in infections from Thanksgiving travel and gatherings has yet to be fully reflected in current totals. Southern California’s regional ICU capacity stood at just over 10% as a new state-mandated Stay-At-Home order began Sunday night. The order will remain in effect for at least three weeks. [L.A. Times]

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The surge in cases means that all Los Angeles Unified School District campuses will be on a “hard shutdown” as of this Thursday. LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner announced the move Monday, which will immediately affect some 4,000 K-12 students receiving in-person tutoring and other special services. [L.A. Times.]

Applications for the Keep L.A. County Dining Grant opened at 8 a.m. this morning. The program offers grants of up to $30,000 to Los Angeles County restaurant owners affected by COVID-19. The portal will remain live through 5 p.m. tomorrow or until 2,500 applications are received. [KTLA]

CORE Response, a nonprofit that helps run COVID-19 testing at multiple county locations including Dodger Stadium, is aiming to ramp up testing capacity by 15-30% in the next few weeks. CORE also hopes to adapt Dodger Stadium to a vaccination center once a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available. [ABC 7]

Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de León says he wants to turn the Caltrans-owned vacant homes in El Sereno into affordable housing. The move comes after an activist group called “Reclaim and Rebuild Our Community” occupied 20 of the disputed homes the day before Thanksgiving. CHP later removed the activists by force. [LAist]

In a devastating sign of the times for local cultural centers, the Museum of Latin American Art has been conducting an online fundraising auction that includes some 50 artworks from its permanent collection, a move that hints at major financial stress bearing down on the Long Beach institution. MOLAA has been closed since March. [L.A. Times]

For nearly two weeks, protestors have gathered daily outside Mayor Eric Garcetti’s residence to protest his possible appointment to the Biden administration. Yesterday, things took a violent turn as LAPD officers used baton blows to manage a crowd they claim violated a sound ordinance. Protest leaders and multiple local elected officials denounced LAPD’s tactics, including Congressmember Jimmy Gomez and Councilmember-elect Nithya Raman. [LAist]

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