How bad is COVID-19 in Los Angeles right now? Our Public Health director is literally fighting back tears while giving her daily briefing. Also this morning: Healthcare workers reach the breaking point, playgrounds reopen, and LBPD says it was totally by the book when they fired projectiles into a crowd back in May. Finally, Elon Musk says sayonara to California.
Morning News Rundown
L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer was brought to tears yesterday as she discussed the over 8,000 county residents who have now died due to COVID-19. Public Health’s Wednesday update reported 9,243 new infections and a five-day average of 8,993 new cases per day. The number of deaths per day is expected to rise as effects from Thanksgiving travel play out and patients who have recently tested positive begin experiencing more severe symptoms. Ferrer implored residents to minimize the number of encounters with individuals outside their households to limit spread of the virus. As of Wednesday, Southern California regional ICU capacity is at 9%. The regional stay-at-home order enacted by the governor remains in effect until at least Dec. 28. [KTLA]
The rapidly decreasing ICU capacity throughout Southern California is more than just a number. It’s overwhelming the health care system both in terms of mental burnout and an increase in positive COVID-19 cases among healthcare workers. [LAist]
In a reversal that comes after an outcry from angry parents, California has updated its Regional Stay at Home order to reopen playgrounds, so long as visitors abide by distancing and masking requirements. The County announced yesterday it would align with the state’s guidance. [We Like L.A.]
Even as Latinos in L.A. County have been infected at rates near double that of white residents, county health officials face the challenging work of building trust about vaccines in communities where suspicion persists. [L.A. Times]
This past May, KPCC/LAist reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez was struck in the throat with a police projectile while covering a protest in Long Beach. Now, months later, an internal document released by the Long Beach Police Department says that the officers who fired foam projectiles into the crowd near Guzman-Lopez had “acted within department policy.” [LAist]
Elon Musk has officially moved his home from California to Texas, telling an editor at the Wall Street Journal that the Golden State had “been winning for too long” and was now growing complacent. The headquarters for both Tesla and SpaceX remain in California for the time being. [LA Mag]