Wednesday, October 28, 2020 | California Healthline


Orange County Register:
Fleeing Smoke And Flames, Orange County Residents Scramble To Find Safe Landing Spots 

Eileen Gomez and her son were thrilled when they moved to a Yorba Linda community with beautifully manicured tree-lined streets, half-acre yards and friendly neighbors whose homes sit in a valley with large canyons on either side. “It is so peaceful, especially coming here from Los Angeles and all its congestion,” Gomez said. That sense of rural tranquility changed dramatically Monday when strong Santa Ana winds from the east whipped up a firestorm that charred nearby canyons and ridges and which, by Tuesday, had consumed 14,334 acres. (Ritchie, 10/27)

Orange County Register:
Smoke From Silverado, Blue Ridge Fires Chokes Air Quality In The Region 

Smoke from the Silverado fire near Irvine and the Blue Ridge fire in Yorba Linda and Chino Hills made it difficult to work or even breathe outdoors for some in Southern California on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Monitoring equipment in Irvine, Costa Mesa, Lake Forest Newport Beach, Anaheim and Fullerton measured levels of fine particulate in the air that were rated unhealthy for sensitive groups or worse on Monday, and those conditions lingered through Tuesday, South Coast Air Quality Management District officials said. (Licas, 10/27)

The New York Times:
90,000 Told To Flee As California Fires Nearly Double In Size 

As two wildfires raged across Southern California on Tuesday, nearly doubling in size overnight and forcing thousands more people to flee their homes, the state’s utility companies are again coming under scrutiny for their potential role in sparking new blazes. Fueled by strong Santa Ana winds, the fires in Orange County have put more than 90,000 people under emergency evacuation orders, many of them in Irvine. (Arango, Penn and Bogel-Burroughs, 10/27)

Los Angeles Times:
Some O.C. Ballot Boxes Shuttered By Blazes, Officials Say 

Four ballot drop boxes in Orange County were closed Tuesday morning due to a pair of fires threatening the areas where they’re located and making them unsafe for voters to visit. All the ballots in the affected boxes “are safe,” O.C. Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley said, adding: “They’re unharmed.” (Seidman, 10/27)

San Francisco Chronicle:
Three Western States Join California In Screening Any FDA-Approved Coronavirus Vaccine 

Washington, Oregon and Nevada will join California to independently review any coronavirus vaccine before distributing it to the public. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that the three states would identify their own public health experts to participate in the scientific review committee he announced last week, which was charged with ensuring that any vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is safe and effective. (Koseff, 10/27)

Los Angeles Times:
Southern California Counties See Surge In New Coronavirus Cases 

Top state and local health officials continued Tuesday to voice growing alarm over recent increases in the number of people becoming infected by the novel coronavirus. In four Southern California counties — Imperial, San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles — the average numbers of new daily infections per 100,000 residents over the past week rank among the top five statewide, according to The Times’ coronavirus tracker. (Money, 10/27)

LA Daily News:
L.A. County To Remain In Most Restrictive Coronavirus Tier A Bit Longer 

An additional 25 schools in Los Angeles County have been approved to open for Pre-Kindergarten to second grade classes, demonstrating the slow pace of reopening in a county still struggling to meet the state’s requirements. Up to 30 grade schools per week will be granted waivers in the county, which includes more than 1,000 elementary schools, because the rates of coronavirus cases reported each day are still too high. (Rosenfeld, 10/27)

Bay Area News Group:
Four More Bay Area Counties Advance To Less Restrictive Orange Reopening Tier 

California officials loosened coronavirus restrictions on four more Bay Area counties Tuesday, marking a sharp contrast between low transmission levels locally and the alarming surge of new cases in other states and countries that experts fear could point toward a devastating COVID-19 wave this winter. But while much of California has so far avoided the sharp increases seen elsewhere, and state officials applauded the movement as “progress” toward reopening schools and businesses, Gov. Gavin Newsom also warned that some important metrics of the virus’ spread have begun to “modestly” increase here once more. (Savidge and Kelliher, 10/27)

LA Daily News:
City, County Of Los Angeles Announce Rapid Coronavirus Test Study 

The city and county of Los Angeles announced Tuesday, Oct. 27, a first-in-the-nation pilot study of two rapid coronavirus antigen tests that officials say could change the game in fighting back against a pandemic that has claimed more than 7,000 lives in the county and more than 226,000 lives nationally. “We understood early on what testing could do to get us back on track, save lives and stop the spread,” said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti during a morning press briefing joined by L.A. County Supervisors Board Chair Kathryn Barger, L.A. County Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas and medical leaders. (Rosenfeld, 10/27)

San Diego Union-Tribune:
Border Mayors Grapple With Building Unity Amid Health Recommendations To Stay Apart 

Combating the spread of the coronavirus in the border region will require binational solutions such as increased testing and the administration of vaccines on both sides of the border, according to a leading epidemiologist who is also the former vice minister of health in Mexico. Epidemiologist Dr. Jaime Sepúlveda, currently the executive director for the Institute for Global Health Sciences at UC San Francisco, made his comments to a group of border mayors that met mostly online Tuesday for the 9th annual U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Summit. (Fry, 10/27)

Orange County Register:
Orange County Sets Up $5 Million Coronavirus Fund For Local Child Care Providers 

A $3,500 grant may not sound like a lot of money, but it could prevent Raissa Lee from having to close the child care business she’s run out of her Irvine home since 2015.The money would come from $5 million in emergency CARES Act funds that the Orange County Board of Supervisors recently earmarked for child care providers who have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. Potential recipients range from small home-based operations like Lee’s to large child care centers and afterschool programs. (Walker, 10/27)

Orange County Register:
First California Amusement Park Plans To Reopen Under State Guidelines 

California’s oldest amusement park is preparing to become the first amusement park to reopen under the state’s new COVID-19 health and safety guidelines following a seven-month coronavirus closure. The 1907 Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk plans to reopen in November after Santa Cruz County moved into the orange/moderate tier 3 risk level under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. (MacDonald, 10/27)

The Bakersfield Californian:
School, Health Leaders Call For Continued Vigilance Against COVID-19 As Schools Begin To Reopen 

Wednesday marks an achievement for Kern County: It’s the first day that all schools will be able to fully open their campuses to students since they were shuttered by the state in March. But community leaders warn that now is not the time to drop our guard against the pandemic that shuttered schools in the first place. Kern County Public Health Services Director Matt Constantine calls the county’s move into the red tier that allows school openings “recognition of all the hard work our community has put in.” (Gallegos, 10/27)

Los Angeles Times:
L.A. City Council Set To Consider New Ban On Homeless Camping

The Los Angeles City Council is moving with unusual speed to a Wednesday vote on revisions to the city’s anti-camping law that would allow authorities to remove homeless camps anywhere in the city if they first offer shelter as an alternative to living on the street. Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer delivered the proposed amendments to the council on Monday, less than a week after several council members introduced a motion requesting tweaks to the anti-camping law, which had been sidelined on constitutional grounds. (Oreskes and Smith, 10/27)

LA Daily News:
LAUSD Invests $1 Million To Support Homeless, Foster Youths 

Students facing homelessness or living in foster care will receive additional support to help them through distance learning, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced Tuesday, Oct. 27. The nation’s second-largest district will invest $1 million, funded by Verizon, to provide a supervised space where students can study, access childcare and receive one-on-one tutoring, extra instructional materials and other services. The district is still working out details like where and when services will be provided but hopes to roll them out as soon as practical, a spokeswoman for LAUSD said. (Tat, 10/27)

San Diego Union-Tribune:
San Diego Approves New Neighborhood-Based Homeless Outreach 

More than a dozen specialized homeless outreach workers will take a neighborhood-specific approach to getting people off the street under a new plan finalized by the San Diego City Council on Tuesday. Council members in June had approved $1.5 million to create coordinated street outreach services, and on Tuesday they awarded the job to People Assisting the Homeless, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that operates PATH Connections Housing in San Diego. (Warth, 10/27)

LA Daily News:
L.A. Council Approves $50 Million For Utility Payment Assistance Program 

The Los Angeles City Council  voted Tuesday, Oct. 27, to provide a total of $50 million in federal relief funding to assist low-income residents with utility costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our low-wage workers continue to suffer in silence,” said Council President Martinez, who authored the motion to create the program. “They are the first to put themselves and their families at risk through their essential work. I am unapologetically dedicated during this pandemic to help them get whatever resources they need to hang on and stay in their homes.” (Bray, 10/27)

San Francisco Chronicle:
Five Coronavirus Cases At UCSF Prompt 28 Workers To Quarantine, 15 Patients To Be Placed In Isolation 

Two patients and three health care workers at UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights tested positive for the coronavirus last week, and it appears the transmission occurred at the hospital, UCSF said Tuesday. The cases prompted 28 additional employees to be quarantined, and 15 additional patients to be placed in “precautionary isolation,” UCSF spokeswoman Kristen Bole said in a written statement. So far, all of those employees and patients have tested negative. (Ho, 10/27)

LA Daily News:
Tenet Healthcare Workers Threaten 1-Day Strike Over COVID Safety Measures 

Workers at Lakewood Regional Medical Center and 10 other Tenet Healthcare hospitals in California have authorized their bargaining committee to call a one-day strike as they seek improved health and safety protections amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They are demanding the hospital chain bargain in good faith as caregivers “continue to risk their lives” treating patients who have the virus. (Smith, 10/27)

Los Angeles Times:
Auditor Slams California For Exide Cleanup Delays 

The cleanup of thousands of lead-contaminated homes, child-care centers, schools and parks surrounding the closed Exide battery recycling facility in Vernon is running behind schedule and over budget due to poor management by California regulators and has left children at continued risk of poisoning, according to a state audit released Tuesday. (Barboza, 10/27)


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