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LA County Announces 440 New Cases Of Coronavirus, 18 New Deaths

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L.A. County health officials confirmed 440 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, and 18 new deaths. Of the 18 people who died:

  • 13 were over the age of 65
  • 4 were between the ages of 41 to 65
  • 1 was between the age of 18 to 40

The youngest victim did not have any underlying health conditions.

Sunday’s update brings the total number of coronavirus cases in L.A. County to 19,528, including Pasadena and Long Beach, which have separate public health departments. The update brings the total number of deaths to 913.

Among those who died, for whom information is available:

  • Latino/a: 37%
  • White: 28%
  • Asian: 18%
  • African American: 14% were
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
  • residents identifying with other races: 1%

African Americans have the highest rate of death compared to other groups. Individuals living in lower-income communities are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those in wealthier areas.

“The most difficult part of the COVID-19 pandemic is losing people to the virus. To all of you who have lost loved ones, we are deeply sorry,” said Barbara Ferrer, L.A. County’s director of public health. “As we have more information about who is dying, we are reminded that the work ahead requires that we address issues of disproportionality that result in higher rates of death among African Americans, Latinx and Asians as well as residents living in poverty.”

LA Officials Opened Cooling Centers This Weekend, With Social Distancing Measures In Place

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Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

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The first major heat wave of the pandemic hit L.A. over the weekend, and in response, city and county officials opened cooling centers Friday and Saturday. Social distancing measures were in place at all of the locations.

Helen Chavez, the associate director of L.A. County's Office of Emergency Management, said that about 175 people showed up seeking relief from the heat. She said:

“The site that was the most popular was the Northridge one, given that the heat in the Valley seems to align with the foot traffic at the different emergency centers."

Visitors were required to wear face coverings at the cooling centers and maintain a distance of 6 feet distance from others. Sites were equipped with hand sanitizer and masks.

Officials are prepared to open temporary cooling centers again, according to Chavez, but that will be determined by temperature forecasts and geographic need.

Alhambra
Jocelyn Center
210 N. Chapel Ave.
Alhambra, CA 91801

Burbank
Buena Vista Library
300 N. Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91505

Los Angeles
Colonel Leon Washington Park
8908 South Maie Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90002

Los Angeles
Lincoln Heights Senior Center
2323 Workman St.
Los Angeles, CA 90031

Northridge
Robert M Wilkinson Multipurpose Center
8956 Vanalden Ave.
Northridge, CA 91324

Panorama City
Mid-Valley Senior Center
8825 Kester Ave.
Panorama City, CA 91402

Pasadena
Robinson Park Community Center
1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 9110

Sherman Oaks
Sherman Oaks East Valley Adult Center
5056 Van Nuys Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Sylmar
El Cariso Community Regional Park
13100 Hubbard St.
Sylmar, CA 91342

Whittier
Whittier Community Center
7630 Washington Ave.
Whittier, CA 90602

When in doubt, you can also call 211 for information from L.A. County and 311 in the city of L.A.

WATCH: Downtown LA Arts Festival Carries On — Virtually

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If you're looking for a little activity on this sunny SoCal Sunday, consider a virtual visit to the third annual L.A. Voices Arts and Culture Fest.

It's underway this weekend. Instead of crowds gathering at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles, the festivities have moved onto the internet.

Grand Park director Julia Diamond says the festival celebrates L.A.'s cultural diversity. This year will be no different.

"There is drawing and poetry, and film and fashion. Its a walk-through of Los Angeles, but instead of doing it in the park, it's doing it on your home monitor."

A new presentation will take the virtual stage every hour. Performances include musician Balún, a Salvadoran cooking demonstration, and visual art from Ambar Navarro.

The L.A. Voices Arts and Culture Fest started this morning and ends at 6 p.m.

Watch the stream above and get the rest of the schedule at grandparkla.org.

MORE ON THE ARTS

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Steep Job Losses For Artists. Survey Finds Two-Thirds Report Losing Job

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Painter Iva Gueorguieva works in Los Angeles on April 11 (Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)

More than 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment, as the jobless rate approaches an estimated 16%. A new report says one occupation is among the most devastated: artists.

Galleries are closed. Plays have been postponed. And no one is going to see the ballet.

It’s not too surprising, then, that a national survey of artists finds that nearly two-thirds of respondents have lost their jobs and 95% say they have lost income.

Results of Americans for the Arts COVID-18 survey

Their losses rival some of the occupations hit hardest by the pandemic, including restaurant workers. The survey of more than 11,000 artists was conducted by the advocacy group Americans for the Arts. It also found a majority of painters, sculptors and musicians can’t even get materials to make new work.

The Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs has a relief fund for artists whose planned performances here were canceled. But with the country boarded up for the foreseeable future, the picture won’t be pretty for the nation’s two-and-a-half million people who create for a living.

READ OUR FULL REPORT

MORE ON ARTS FUNDING

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Husband Of Kobe Crash Victim Dedicates A Song To His Late Wife

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Today marks three months since a helicopter crash took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others.

Among the lost was Mamba Academy coach Christina Mauser. Her husband, Matt Mauser, leads the Orange County band Tijuana Dogs. He also plays standards and had been scheduled to play a big band tribute to Frank Sinatra the night of the fatal crash.

In an interview with NBC4, Mauser said that social distancing has taken away his community of support.

“When you lose your mother of your children and your wife in an instant like that, it kind of puts things in perspective. And being alone has been really hard.”

But Mauser did get together with some musician friends for a livestream concert last week where he performed an original song dedicated to Christina called “Lost”

“Broken pieces left on the ground… hmmmm, lost.”

Mauser encourages people also grieving in isolation to reach out to others in need. He says helping others is a way to help yourself.

His family is among two to file lawsuits last week against Island Express Helicopter, Inc. and its owner, Island Express Holding Corp., on the grounds that the companies were negligent and careless.

Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit in February against the helicopter company on the same day of the public memorial service for her husband and daughter at Staples Center.

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A Tale Of Two Counties: LA Beaches Are Closed And (Mostly) Empty. OC Not So Much

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A beachgoer wearing gloves and a mask to protect from COVID-19 takes a selfie along a closed Ocean Front Walk on Thursday in Santa Monica, Calif. ( Richard Vogel/AP)

Beaches in L.A. County remain closed this weekend to prevent the spread of coronavirus. But the first heatwave of the year sent people to the coast anyway.

Leo Cebrowski and his daughter, Emilia, drove from Van Nuys to sit in a grassy area near the beach in Santa Monica. He told us:

"Like I even feel guilty for doing this but ... I need a little bit of a break."

Cebrowski is a graphic designer who works from home. He said he had been tolerating the stay-at-home order, until recently.

"I was good until this week ... yeah, it just hit me really hard," he explained. "I kinda hit a wall."

The bike path and pier in Santa Monica are also closed and the city's police warn they will issue citations to people who sneak down to the sand, or congregate in groups.

Not everyone agrees with the measures.

Mewei Ren was practicing putting and chipping along Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. He was not happy the beach is closed.

"We should be able to go and do whatever we want, whenever we want, at any time, especially in nature," he said.

Badrino Kochtane was toning his abs beneath a palm tree with his two five-month old puppies. He misses the beach, but what he really misses is Gold’s Gym in Venice.

"Every day, go to the gym, see all my friends, work out, say hi to everyone," Kochtane said. "The gym I miss so much."

Meanwhile in Orange County, beaches were open. And, well, this was the scene yesterday:

Apu Gomes / AFP via Getty Images)

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A $4M Donation To USC Will Fund COVID-19 Research

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Medical student volunteers from Keck School of Medicine of USC administer antibody tests to randomly selected participants as a part of the USC-L.A. County COVID-19 Study. (Photo by: Kit Karzen) Kit Karzen

Much of how COVID-19 works in the body is still unknown. USC's Keck School of Medicine wants to help fill the knowledge gap with its own research, and a recent $4 million donation from the Keck Foundation will help make that a reality.

Laura Mosqueda, Keck School's dean, says there are five areas where they hope to make progress, starting with basic immunology.

"Diagnosis and treatment, bigger picture level — so epidemiology and population health, engagement and education with our community."

Mosqueda adds that the Keck School intends to develop research infrastructure. She says setting up a bio-repository with tissue samples will make data more easily shared between scientists.

USC has already set up a process to approve new COVID-19 research. Mosqueda says the school is working out a mechanism to distribute the funds with input from active COVID-19 research groups.

The donation was announced late last week.

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Morning Briefing: Why We Can't Have Nice Things

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Thousands of people flocked to Huntington Beach on Saturday, April 25, 2020. (Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)

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Today, in why we can't have nice things, a bunch of people headed for the beach (and the poppy fields) on Saturday, despite clear orders from pretty much everyone to stay at home.

I get it. It's topping 90-degrees. Most of us are on day 40-50 of quarantine (I counted 43, personally) and driveable access to beaches and wildflowers is probably one of the reasons a lot of us chose to live here in the first place.

But, look: Public health experts, doctors, mayors, governors — all say the best way to beat this virus is to avoid contact with other people. And the best way to do that is to stay home.

Neighborhood walks? Sure. Runs? That's ok, too. But please, stop posting your poppy selfies on Instagram. At the very least, have a little discretion. When you tag your location, we can see you. We know you were there today for a picnic at 1 p.m. sitting all over those innocent flowers. And beach goers, we see you too.

It's like, we've been in line for 43 days, do you really want to get out of line and start over? DO YOU? Because when you get out of the line, we all have to get out of line.

Plus, let's be real. If we all crowd the beaches, then we're no better than Florida. And I for one, think we are better than Florida.

So go sit on your couch, pour yourself a glass of whatever you have in the house, and watch the poppy cam. There are worse things. At least you're not getting publicly shamed for trying to sneak into Debs Regional Park during a global pandemic.

Gina Pollack


What We're Covering Today

  • Much of how COVID-19 works in the body is still unknown, but USC's Keck School of Medicine wants to help fill the knowledge gap with its own research through a $4 million donation. Julia Paskin will dig into their plans.
  • We'll get the inside scoop on the beach situation from some Newport Lifeguards. How crowded were our sandy shores on Saturday? Is it Spring Break or a global pandemic? Or both? Maybe the lifeguards have a better sense of time than we do right now.
  • A couple of golf courses in Huntington Beach are reopening, after a change to Orange County's coronavirus health order. Sound familiar? We'll have the details.

The Past 24 Hours In LA

L.A., California, The World: There are at least 19,100 coronavirus cases and 895 deaths in L.A. County. In California, there are a 41,577 confirmed cases and more than 1,600 deaths. Worldwide, there are at least 2.8 million cases and more than 202,668 deaths.

Antibody tests might not be our get-out-of-jail-free card. The World Health Organization has pushed back against the theory that antibodies equal immunity from the virus.

What is time? There is no time, especially when you're quarantining with a five-year-old.

We know that contact-tracing, i.e. mapping everyone an infected person has been in contact with — like a medical detective — is a critical step for containing the spread of coronavirus. But most public health departments in California don't have enough people to do it. To make it work, Long Beach, for example, should have seven-to-nine times more investigators than it has now.

Beaches in Ventura and Orange County are open, but officials are asking people in other counties (e.g., L.A.) to please stay away and leave the sand to the locals. That didn't stop crowds from pouring onto Huntington Beach in recent days. If that trend continues, the beaches might close again (and you might get a citation).

Undocumented Angelenos have a lot of questions right now. Short answers: COVID-19 testing is free under L.A. Care and available to anyone with symptoms (and all essential workers, even if they're asymptomatic). Under a new court order, more than 2,000 unaccompanied minors in custody of Refugee Resettlement and 300 children being held at ICE detention centers will be released to family members.

Activists are protesting from inside their cars to demand rent and mortgage cancellations for people struggling financially due to the current economic crisis. They say simply delaying rent and morgage isn't good enough.

You can't run through the poppy fields this year. Reports say California State Parks had to put up roadblocks in Lancaster near Antelope Valley to stop incoming traffic. May we suggest watching on a webcam instead, from the comfort of your (hopefully air-conditioned) home?


Your Moment of Zen

Ryan Heffington, choreographer, performer and owner of the Silver Lake dance studio, the Sweat Spot, is getting international attention for the Instagram-live dance class that he teaches from his living room. Yesterday, more than 8,000 people tuned in to sweat out their pandemic stress, including Emma Stone.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ryan Heffington (@ryan.heffington) on


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The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft, and check LAist.com for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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