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This Santa Ana Church Is Offering Drive-In Service For Easter

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Rev. Robert Schuller delivers sermon to parishioners who sit in cars in what was thought to be America's first and biggest drive-in church in Garden Grove in 1972. (Jeff Robbins / AP)

In a throwback to his father's drive-in evangelist sermons, Reverend Robert Anthony Schuller has been hosting weekly drive-in services in Santa Ana.

His father, the late Robert Harold Schuller, launched the evangelist TV program "Hour of Power" and also founded the Crystal Cathedral (now home to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.)

Here's how it works:

Congregants are asked to stay in their cars and listen through their radios while Schuller preaches from a balcony overlooking a parking lot. He says on Easter Sunday, volunteers will wear masks and gloves and distribute information with a net.

"The only contact we will have is through some printed materials, which will be touched for the first time with gloved hands."

Schuller says taking the materials is optional if people wish to keep their windows closed. Services are also live-streamed, but he says the drive-in ministries are good for connection.

Although some public health officials have advised against in-person religious gatherings, even with physical distancing practices in place, some counties are allowing ongoing drive-in services, while others are making an exception for Easter weekend.

We'll have more information later today on other places to worship safely on Sunday.

GO DEEPER:

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LA County: 456 New Coronavirus Cases, 25 Deaths As Restrictions Tighten

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Coronavirus cases and deaths in L.A. County continue to rise. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A day after extending stay-at-home orders into mid-May, Los Angeles County public health officials announced 25 deaths and 456 new cases in the past 24 hours.

Over the past 48 hours, there have been 931 new cases, county officials announced in Saturday press release. The L.A. County Department of Public Health has identified a total of 8,873 cases and 265 deaths.

Of those who died, officials also released information about the race and ethnicity of 201 people:

  • 32% Latino or Latina [48.6% of county residents]
  • 32% White [26.1% of county residents]
  • 20% Asian residents [15.4% of county residents]
  • 13% African American residents [9% of county residents]
  • 3% Residents identifying with other races

Here are the latest numbers:

  • 21 of the people who died were over the age of 65, 2 of those who died were between 41-65, and 21 of them had underlying health conditions
  • 2 of those who died lived in Pasadena, and the county doesn't have details on them yet
  • 2.9% mortality rate in L.A. County, an increase over recent days

County officials annouced Friday the extension of stay-at-home orders until May 15, displaying data to show that physical distancing practices are working — but we need to do better.

Friday also marked the implementation of face mask requirements in L.A.

Essential businesses are now required to provide a cloth face covering for employees to wear while at work, and the public is required to wear a face mask when visiting those busineses.

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Cedars-Sinai Sees Early Promise In COVID-19 Treatment Study

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A vial of the drug Remdesivir presented this week at a news conference in Germany announcing the start of a trial there. (Ulrich Perrey / AFP via Getty Images)

A small trial of an experimental antiviral drug that could treat COVID-19 patients has shown encouraging results, Cedars-Sinai Hospital officials said today.

Cedars-Sinai is among dozens of sites around the world participating in a clinical trial of the drug Remdesivir. A study about what's happened so far was published Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Cedars-Sinai's director of epidemiology says definitive conclusions cannot be drawn, but results from this group of patients are hopeful.

Keep in mind the sample size is very small. There was also no control group receiving a placebo, a common practice in clinical trials.

According to the study, 61 patients received at least one dose of the drug but only 53 were able to be analyzed. Of those, 22 were in the U.S.

The study found 18 days after the initial dose:

  • 36 patients (68%) improved, including 17 of the 30 patients who were receiving mechanical ventilation who were extubated.
  • 25 patients (47%) were discharged
  • 7 patients (13%) died

Of the sickest patients, those receiving "invasive ventilation" the mortality rate was 18% (6 of 34). There was also one death of a patient not receiving invasive ventilation. The study's authors also reported side effects ranging from a rash and diarrhea to acute kidney injury.

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MORE ON CORONAVIRUS:

A Lot Of Angelenos Support Further Restrictions To Fight The Coronavirus Pandemic

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A group of women cover their faces with scarves while waiting for the Metro Red Line. Chava Sanchez/ LAist

The current stay-at-home order has almost universal support here (95%), and nearly a third surveyed say the local government has not done enough. When you look at individual measures such as shutting public transit or closing all airports, support for new restrictions looks even more robust.

At least, it appears that way based on new research from Loyola Marymount University's Center for the Study of Los Angeles. The full study was made public this morning.

Researchers polled 2,000 Angelenos in English and Spanish both online and by phone between March 23 and April 8. The survey included 30 broad-ranging questions to get a sense of the public's awareness of and concerns about the coronavirus, and of the economic impact of the measures taken so far.

They found the vast majority of L.A. County residents are taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously.

READ MORE ABOUT THE FINDINGS

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Remembering The 50th Anniversary Of Apollo 13 With A Short Story By Tom Hanks

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Jim Lovell reads about his own rescue aboard USS Iwo Jima. (NASA via AFP/ Getty Images)

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Fifty years ago today the Apollo 13 mission took off from Florida, bound for a moon landing. Then, 55 hours into the flight, there was an explosion.

Jim Lovell, the mission commander, famously reported:

"Houston, we have a problem."

For days, Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert worked with dozens of flight controllers to solve a range of potentially fatal challenges to ultimately make it safely back to Earth. The mission became known as NASA's most successful failure.

Lovell later called it "a real triumph of teamwork."

Astronaut and lunar module pilot Fred Haise waits to be hoisted up to a recovery helicopter from the USS Iwo Jima. (NASA/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
President Richard Nixon meets the Apollo 13 astronauts in Honolulu, Hawaii, after their safe return to Earth, on April 23, 1970. (Harry Benson/Getty Images)

In 1995, the journey was chronicled on the big screen in a hit movie starring Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton and Kevin Bacon and directed by Ron Howard that was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning two.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson in Beverly Hills for the premier of "Apollo 13" in 1995. (Frederick Brown /AFP via Getty Images)
Tom Hanks and Jim Lovell in 2010 when Lovell accepted the Lincoln Leadership prize in Chicago. (Frank Polich/Getty Images)

We were so glad to hear Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, who are longtime supporters of our newsroom, are back home from Australia and on the mend after testing positive for COVID-19.

In 2014, Hanks wrote a story imagining a more DIY trip to the moon titled “Alan Bean Plus Four.” It was published in The New Yorker. Here's an audio version for your listening pleasure:

COVID-19 Map: United States Now Has Most Confirmed Deaths In World, 25 New Deaths In LA County

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Note on the data you see when clicking on a bubble: Confirmed cases include presumptive positive cases | Recovered cases outside China are estimates based on local media reports, and may be substantially lower than the true number | Active cases = total confirmed - total recovered - total deaths.


This post is no longer being updated: Get the latest information here>>

Jump to: CALIFORNIA | WORLDWIDE | SOCAL COUNTIES | ANALYSIS

WHERE WE STAND

On Saturday, the United States passed Italy for the most confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the world.

That grim record came the same day L.A. County reported 456 new cases and 25 new deaths, marking another rise in the mortality rate to about 3%. There have been at least 8,873 total confirmed cases here. Local authorities have now expanded stay home orders until May 15, saying they believe physical distancing has been working.

The United States is among a number of countries experiencing large-scale epidemics. The map above shows cumulative confirmed cases, deaths and recoveries and is updated in near real-time throughout the day. Zoom out to see more of the world.

Below are the recent totals for the United States, followed by the 10 countries with the most reported cases of COVID-19. Italy, Spain, Germany, and now France are all reporting more confirmed cases than China, where the outbreak began late last year, but whose reported numbers have since greatly slowed.

These numbers are changing rapidly and experts have warned that confirmed cases are far under the actual total of infected individuals. For more detail check the full tracker, which includes death tolls and projections of cases on the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering site. Engineers there are collecting data from:

IN CALIFORNIA

Statewide, our friends on the L.A. Times data desk are tracking cases in California by surveying "numbers released by the dozens of local health agencies across the state." As of about 1 p.m. Saturday, the newspaper is reporting California has:

  • 21,616 confirmed cases
  • 604 deaths

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If you hit a paywall on the L.A. Times full tracker, please consider subscribing. They have a $1 for eight weeks special.


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AT A GLANCE

In Saturday's news release, L.A. County public health officials gave a demographic breakdown of the deaths so far, with the caveat that they currently only have that data for 201 of the 265 people who have died. [We have added overall demographic estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau for comparison.]

Here's what they're reporting about the residents who died:

  • 32% Latino or Latina [48.6% of county residents]
  • 32% White [26.1% of county residents]
  • 20% Asian residents [15.4% of county residents]
  • 13% African American residents [9% of county residents]
  • 3% Residents identifying with other races

At a press briefing Friday, L.A. County public health officials said the stay home orders are extended until May 15. Authorities said they made that decision after studying different scenarios for the spread of COVID-19 in the nation's most populous county.

"It's because it is working," Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. "We know it's effective, but we still have a ways to go. In order to both protect the lives of people who live in our county, and to make sure that our health care system remains fully able to service all who need their care."

(Courtesy of LA County)
(LA County)

As of the latest updates Saturday:

LA COUNTY

  • 8,873 cases
  • 265 deaths

* [Includes numbers released by Pasadena and Long Beach. See more from L.A. County]

ORANGE COUNTY

  • 1,221 cases
  • 18 deaths

* More from Orange County

RIVERSIDE COUNTY

  • 1,431 cases
  • 41 deaths

* More from Riverside County

As of the latest updates Friday:

VENTURA COUNTY

  • 298 cases
  • 10 deaths

* More from Ventura County

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY

  • 810 cases
  • 25 deaths

* More from San Bernardino County

FLATTEN THE CURVE

As new cases continue to be confirmed, Californians are continuing to be under "safer at home" and "social distancing" orders. State and county officials have ordered the vast majority of Californians to strictly limit interactions with other people, wash hands frequently, and stay 6 feet away from others.

Remember, the goal of social distancing is to "flatten the curve" of COVID-19's spread.

HOW CALIFORNIA CASES COMPARE


SOME STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT COVID-19

We're all living through this extraordinary and frightening pandemic. The vast majority of our newsroom has been working from home (here's some advice on that) since March 11 to bring you calm, helpful reporting. We are answering your questions and taking more.

We're here to help. And if you can help support that effort financially, we'd be grateful.

LA And California Expand Childcare Options For Essential Workers

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Mariana Dale/LAist

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced new resources Friday for hospital workers who need child care.

The goal is “to ensure that no essential worker misses a shift, because he or she doesn't have child care during this crisis,” Garcetti said in a press conference.

There are three options available for workers:

  1. A $100 stipend per shift for workers to offset the cost of child care, including by paying a relative or friend to watch the kids.
  2. Free referrals to center-based and home child care through an L.A. County hotline, 888-92CHILD (922-4453), and website, and third-party services WeeCare and CarinaCare.
  3. Child care at five Los Angeles Parks and Recreation centers near hospitals for kids 6-to-14 years old, starting Monday, April 13 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The new child care options are currently available for workers at White Memorial, California Hospital Medical Center, Northridge Medical Center and Glendale Memorial Hospital.

Garcetti advised parents to consult their hospital’s human resources department to find the best service for their family. The initiative is funded by the Mayor’s Fund For Los Angeles.

There are an estimated 305,000 California children whose parents work in health fields and could need care, according to researchers at Colorado State University and Yale.

California is expanding its child care subsidy program, which is typically limited to low-income families, to include more essential workers.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced earlier in the day there will be $100 million in emergency funding related to child care – $50 million to help frontline workers pay for child care and $50 million for providers to purchase cleaning supplies, gloves and facial coverings.

READ MORE

Morning Briefing: LA Gears Up For Another Month At Home

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Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now

Today's big news has us sitting right where we are -- all the way till May. In their daily coronavirus public briefing, officials from the L.A. County Department of Health said that our stay-at-home order will last until the 15th of next month.

Of course, this has a lot of repercussions. It means that families with members who have special needs will continue to face struggles. It means that folks dealing with unemployment must figure out how to cope for another month. And it means that frontline workers -- from health care providers to child care providers to grocery workers and delivery workers -- will continue to have all of us relying on them, thanking them and cheering them on.

For those of you celebrating Easter this Sunday, have a wonderful holiday. For those in the middle of their Passover observations, chag sameach. And for everyone else, have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.


The Past 24 Hours In LA

L.A., California, The World: There are 8,430 cases of coronavirus in L.A. County, and 241 people have died. In California, there are 20,398 confirmed cases 554 deaths, and the number of cases worldwide has almost reached 1.7 million.

Stay At Home... Till May: L.A. County's stay-at-home order will be extended to May 15. Meanwhile, California is doing well at flattening the coronavirus curve -- so well that the number of infections may not peak until May or later. Nearly half of the city's workforce has been cut or had their hours reduced.

Check Yo Self: Ice Cube announced this week that he's created T-shirts with the refrain: "Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self," the net proceeds of which will go to help underfinanced hospitals and nurses in inner cities and rural areas -- including Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital in South L.A. Researchers with USC and L.A. County launched a crucial study to test 1,000 Angelenos for COVID-19 antibodies.

On The Road And In The Streets: Candidates vying to win in November are facing a new reality: The COVID-19 threat means no in-person contact with volunteers, donors or potential voters. Carrie Berlin, who's part of Saban Community Health Clinic's street medicine team in Hollywood, treats patients where they live. "I find myself wondering how my patients are doing at night," she says.

New Day, New Struggles: Unemployment has hit virtually every corner of the entertainment business. The lifestyle changes forced on us by COVID-19 have been extra tough for people with a developmental disability and their families. Researchers at an L.A. nonprofit found that 43% of California workers are at high risk of unemployment.

The Best Laid Plans: President Trump plans to appoint a council to advise him on how best to reopen America after much of the nation went dormant to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

First Person: "I'm parked outside a coronavirus test center. My heart is beating fast for some reason. Everyone here is sick with something. At least a few have it. Maybe I do too." Erick Galindo takes a drive-through COVID-19 test.


In Non-COVID-19 News

Activist Raad Ghantous, chair of the Arab American Civic Council, is part Lebanese and wants his fellow Arab Americans to check "other" on the Census rather than "white."

Gov. Gavin Newsom's ambitious proposals to get health care coverage for every Californian were unveiled in January. They're unlikely to happen now.

This week's storm has brought L.A.'s rainfall total for the year to above-average levels.

In what could be a tectonic shift in how big-budget studio films are released, Universal decided to bypass a theatrical release of its new film "Trolls World Tour" and bring it directly to home entertainment platforms.

Diane Rodriguez, an actor, playwright, producer and director who got her start with El Teatro Campesino, has died at 68. Among many honors, Rodriguez was appointed to the National Council on the Arts by former President Barack Obama. Oscar Garza, senior producer of our newsroom's entertainment show The Frame remembers his friend in a moving essay.


Your Moment Of Zen

After teaching us this week how to make some really easy DIY masks, our own Sharon McNary churned out more sophisticated versions for her colleagues. These freshly ironed masks make us grateful for how much this newsroom supports each other.

(Sharon McNary / LAist)

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