Tensions boil over the situation at Echo Park Lake, a massive list of pandemic-related closures in DTLA, special aid from FEMA for funeral costs, and some hope that we can move into the orange tier soon. It’s Thursday. This is your news brief.
Morning News Rundown
Several hundred demonstrators and unhoused individuals faced off with the LAPD at Echo Park Lake yesterday evening. Police arrived in riot gear to close off the park in advance of a renovation plan that includes clearing the area of tents and those living within them. Ultimately, the crowd dispersed after an unlawful assembly order was given. Those living at the park were allowed to stay overnight, though they would ultimately be subject to removal. Earlier this morning, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell confirmed through a statement that the park is now closed. [LAist]
Perhaps nowhere in Los Angeles has the business community felt the brunt of the pandemic more than DTLA, where at least 116 businesses have closed—many permanently—since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The list of closures includes restaurants, bars, gyms, salons, retail shops, museums, coffee shops, and hotels. [LA Mag]
Starting next month, FEMA will provide financial aid to help families pay for the funeral costs of COVID-19 victims. Assistance will be as much as $9,000 per funeral or $35,000 for a single application covering multiple funerals. [CBS Los Angeles]
This week, San Diego became the fourth county in the state to report the Brazilian variant of the coronavirus, now joining San Bernardino, Orange, and El Dorado counties, which have all detected at least one case. Researchers are still attempting to discern whether this specific variant, called P.1, is more transmissible than others. [L.A. Times]
The most recent average daily rate of new COVID-19 cases in L.A. County is 3.7 per 100,000 residents. If that holds for the next two weeks, Los Angeles could move into the less restrictive orange tier by the first weekend in April. If L.A. moves to the orange tier, it would allow capacity increases at restaurants, museums, gyms, personal care businesses, and churches. [LB Post]
Parking ticket alert! Beginning April 1, enforcement restarts for all parking violations in all unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. This includes citations for expired registration, street sweeping, expired meters, and other violations. The city (not county) of Los Angeles has already resume enforcement, though street sweeping is now only every other week. [LAist]