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Today Marks Highest Number of Coronavirus Deaths In A Single Day In LA County, 81 Total


Today has been the deadliest in Los Angeles County since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Public Health confirmed 81 new deaths and 643 new cases. That's almost double what it was last week -- the highest previous daily death count was 55, reported on April 16.

Over the past 48 hours, there have been 1,209 new cases of the virus, putting the total in L.A. County at 12,021. As of midday Saturday, the county reported 576 coronavirus-related deaths.

Of those who died in the past 24 hours:

  • 56 were over the age of 65
  • 18 were between the ages of 41 and 65
  • 1 was between the ages of 18 and 40
  • 63 had underlying health conditions (89% of deaths)

In addition, two deaths were reported by the city of Long Beach; four were reported in Pasadena.

More than 76,000 people in L.A. County have been tested for COVID-19; 14% tested positive.

"Today marks a very sad milestone for our county," said Barbara Ferrer, Director of L.A. County Public Health. "Our deepest condolences go out to each and every person grieving the loss of their loved ones."


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Map: Here Are The SoCal Skilled Nursing Homes With Coronavirus Cases


The state health department has for the first time released detailed data on the numbers of positive coronavirus cases reported at skilled nursing facilities across California.

We plotted the Southern California facilities in the map above. Each point represents a nursing home that has reported either staff or patients testing positive for COVID-19.

The colors represent how many patients have tested positive at a facility (gray = 0; yellow = 0-11 ; shades of red = 11 or more, where darker shades mean more cases). Where a facility has reported at least one positive case but fewer than 11, the state did not provide the exact number.

Two facilities could not be mapped based on the limited information provided by the state. Those facilities are "HI-DESERT MEDICAL CENTER D/P SNF" and "PROVIDENCE ONTARIO," both in San Bernardino County and each with fewer than 11 patients and fewer than 11 staff testing positive.



Analysis: Travel Is Down Almost 90% At LAX

The entrance to LAX on Thursday. (Valerie Macon / AFP)

Our friends in the APM Research Lab took a look at data published by the Transportation Security Administration to visualize exactly how precipitous the drop in air travel has been.

Since the beginning of March, the number of travelers screened at U.S. airports has plummeted by more than 96%.

Our own major hub, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), is typically the second busiest in the nation (after Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson), and the fourth busiest in the world.

The drop at LAX — which served nearly 90 million passengers last year — has been steep.

We asked Gabriel Cortes (our former intern), who did the analysis, for his key takeaways:

The drop in passenger volume at LAX is dramatic, and it reflects the grounding of most commercial air travel. However, even though outgoing passenger traffic is down almost 90% from a year ago, LAX is faring better than other U.S. airports. More than 1.5 million passengers were screened by LAX TSA for departing flights between March 1 and March 28.


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California Has Surpassed Its Goal Of 15,000 Hotel Rooms For The Homeless

A new partnership with Motel 6 puts California beyond its initial goal of 15,000 hotel rooms for the homeless, Gavin Newsom said Saturday. (Elaine Thompson/AP file photo)

A new partnership with Motel 6 has helped California surpass its initial goal of 15,000 hotel rooms to support the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom said today.

Project Roomkey is the state's effort to get the most vulnerable Californians off the streets and into shelter. As of today, the state had procured nearly 11,000 hotel or motel rooms as part of the project, and 4,211 people are now inside and off the streets, Newsom said. That's an occupancy rate of about 38%.

Adding to that total, Motel 6 agreed to set aside 47 of its motels in 19 counties for an additional 5,025 rooms, bringing the total to nearly 16,000 rooms.

Newsom said all the occupants of these rooms will be provided three meals a day through a partnership with World Central Kitchen.

Project Roomkey puts a priority on the most vulnerable, including:

  • Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus
  • Those who live in congregate settings who have been exposed
  • Those who are most likely to get severe illness, including the elderly and those with underlying medical issues

Newsom said the state is looking for ways to reserve some of these hotel rooms to provide longer-term solutions to the homelessness crisis. The state and Motel 6 are working on a "template" lease agreement that, the governor said, might "make it much easier beyond this pandemic to potentially consider these sites as a broader portfolio to provide some more permanency for those most in need in the state of California."

The news comes as 87 more people died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. That brings the total deaths in California to 1,072, Newsom reported.

Hospitalizations also increased in the past 24 hours by 1.3%, though the number of people in intensive care units decreased a small amount, about 0.1%.

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FilmWeek: Our Reviews Of 'Trolls World Tour,' 'The Quarry' And More Movies You Can Stream From Home

Photo by JD X on Unsplash

Every week, Larry Mantle, who also hosts our newroom's longtime public affairs show AirTalk, and KPCC film critics spend an hour talking about new films.

Of course, a lot has changed with the stay-at-home orders. As Larry says:

"Adapting, as so many of us are, to dramatic changes in our lives with no films in movie theaters, FilmWeek is devoted to what you can see at home, whether they're brand new releases on video on demand, streaming sites or cable channels, as well as the vintage movies and television."

This week, Lael Loewenstein, Amy Nicholson and Charles Solomon join Larry to review this weekend’s new movie releases and share some of their recommendations:

"Trolls World Tour"

  • Available on VOD (Vudu, FandangoNOW, AppleTV, Amazon Prime Video , Microsoft Store & more)

Here's Charles's synopsis:

"This film feels like you're sticking your head in a bucket full of glitter while somebody bangs on it with a pipe wrench. Everything is pitched way over the top. Day Glo colors, more glitter than the entire Hobby Lobby chain uses a year."

"The Quarry"

  • Available on VOD (FandangoNOW, Google Play, DirecTV On Demand)

Amy's topline:

"I thought The Quarry was a pretty good thriller. I mean, yeah, it's kind of souped up, a sort of quasi noir, quasi Coen brothers, quasi, you know, a few different genres put together, but it kind of had me going."

"A White, White Day"

Lael says:

"I can't echo Amy's obsession, but I will agree that there is something really interesting to the film and that the filmmaker has a distinct talent. This was Iceland's official Oscar submission for the international film category, and it's true that opening shot is absolutely remarkable."

Listen above to hear more in-depth reviews of these films and more:


Demand Skyrockets At SoCal Food Banks

People wait in line to receive food at a food bank distribution center this month in Van Nuys. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Lines stretch out the door and snake around the block. Cars wait in mile-long queues at drive-through distribution centers.

Harald Herrmann, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County told us:

"I've talked to people that have been in the food banking and pantry business for a lifetime, 30 plus years. No one's ever seen anything like this."

Some of the pantries and agencies his organization works with have seen a 200% increase in demand. Others, especially smaller operations, have closed due to the challenges of physical distancing, fewer volunteers and, in some cases, overwhelming demand.



Morning Briefing: Stepping Up And Doubling Down


Community health worker Joseph Becerra is a part of a team of medical providers that go out on the streets and treat L.A.’s unhoused communities. Speaking to Alyssa Jeong Perry, Becerra said that the work is particularly meaningful to him because he used to live on the streets himself:

"My heart is for this,” he said, “because I understand what it is to not have or to be looked down on."

Becerra is among myriad Angelenos who are trying to rise to the challenge that COVID-19 is presenting in their jobs. Community college administrators are working to anticipate an increased need for mental health and basic needs services. Educators who teach special needs kids are fighting to get remote lesson plans and other programs in place. And a coalition of advocates has been tirelessly outspoken to get some of L.A.’s juvenile detainees released.

Heading into this weekend, when a lot of us are truly starting to feel the grind of the stay-at-home order, it’s a great time to remember our community members who are going above and beyond to help others. We’re sending a big thank you to everyone.

Hang in there, L.A.

The Past 24 Hours In LA

L.A., California, The World: There are now 11,391 coronavirus cases in L.A. County. There are 28,887 cases in California, and over 2.2 million worldwide.

Education: The closure of school districts everywhere has created new challenges for educators trying to teach the state's most vulnerable students. As emotional pressures rise, some community college administrators worry they won't be able to meet students' needs.

Health And Wellness: California’s frontline doctors are increasingly optimistic about their ability to safely treat COVID-19 patients. Joseph Becerra helps health care providers locate patients who live on the streets. Some kids’ medicine can’t be provided over the phone, like vaccines that start at 2 months old.

Safety Concerns Mount: A coalition of youth justice advocates called once again for the release of some of L.A.’s juvenile detainees. L.A. County's domestic violence hotline and some shelters for abused women have seen a spike in calls.

Entertainment: San Diego’s Comic-Con is cancelled, but you can watch our first "Unwind Live" virtual event with comedian Drew Carey. Or, if you’re sick of jigsaw puzzles and video conferencing, we have another suggestion: Work on becoming a better you.

Money In The Time Of…: More financial help is coming for California’s small businesses and gig employees. Only about 45% of Angelenos currently still have their jobs. Southern California airports have seen traffic plummet by more than 90%.

Go Ahead And Drink The Water: Can a person get the coronavirus from their home or work water supply? The simple answer is: not really.

First Person: Erick Galindo visits the Downey First Christian Church’s food bank the day before Easter. “Some people came in bunny ears. Some came in tejanas. They all wore masks.”

In Non-COVID-19 News

"The Last Dance," which premieres Sunday on ESPN, is a 10-part documentary series about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls' 1998 season.

Stephan Franck’s new comic, Palomino, is a neo-noir story set in L.A.’s 1980s country music club scene. It centers around North Hollywood's real-life, now defunct Palomino Club.

We've highlighted a handful of restaurants, organized by neighborhood, currently offering grocery and pantry items on their delivery and take-out menus.

Your Moment Of Zen

It may seem like everything has ground to a halt, but this image of a girl posing in her cap and gown (an appropriate distance away from others) in Lancaster, CA poppy fields where the annual spring bloom is underway reminds us that life goes on, for hopeful graduates and nature alike.

(Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

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