A.M. Brief: Unions for Essential Workers Call for Month-Long Shutdown

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Photo: County of Los Angeles

Los Angeles County is now the epicenter of COVID-19 for the entire country, and a grim outlook has union reps for essential workers demanding a hard lockdown to slow the spread. Also: Mayor Garcetti’s daughter tests positive for COVID-19, the LBPD gets a complaint for holding a superspreader event, and video shows Mastro’s open for outdoor dining. It’s Friday. Here is your news.

Morning News Rundown

A collection of unions representing teachers, nurses, and healthcare, grocery, and hotel employees have called for a “circuit breaker” lockdown of L.A. County. Representatives are pushing for a month-long shutdown in January to slow the seemingly unmitigated spread of COVID-19, similar to what took place in March and April. They’re also insisting that the shutdown be accompanied by financial aid and assistance for displaced workers, though with looming uncertainty over new federal stimulus, it’s not clear where that money would come from. [L.A. Times]


By the numbers, the nation’s most populous county is now the center of the COVID-19 outbreak. During an online briefing last night, Mayor Eric Garcetti reported that the city’s 7-day positivity rate is now 19.6%, with some testing sites reporting a positivity rate as high as 30%. For L.A. County, the 7-day rate was 13.7%, which is especially alarming considering the relative testing rate for the county remains high, with an average of 41,500 tests conducted per day. Overall, L.A. Public Health reported 14,418 new cases, 102 deaths, and 4,864 hospitalizations yesterday. Southern California’s regional ICU capacity is now 0%, and the mayor said that the county may be on the verge of a more strict emergency order given the current spread. [Deadline]

Garcetti also announced last night that his 9-year-old daughter has tested positive for COVID-19, adding that her symptoms appear mild. Both the mayor and his wife tested negative for the virus, but will quarantine for 10 days. [ABC 7]

A number of states, including California, are now expecting significantly fewer doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine than planned in the second week of distribution. Pfizer released a statement affirming that there have been no delays in production and that they are awaiting instructions from the federal government. The company says they still expect to distribute 50 million doses globally this year and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021. [L.A. Times]

Video allegedly taken at Mastro’s steakhouse on Tuesday appears to show that the Malibu restaurant is still open for outdoor dining, despite the county’s current health order. A source told TMZ that the eatery is operating as “underground open” with guests seated in an outdoor tent. [TMZ]

A complaint filed by a citizen watchdog organization alleges that the Long Beach Police Department held a massive training event inside the Long Beach Convention Center on Nov. 5 that involved hundreds of participants, sans masks. 63 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed within the department since Nov. 1. [L.A. Times]


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