Advocacy groups for immigrant detainees have filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Homeland Security, alleging chemical exposure at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in San Bernardino County.

"> Advocacy groups for immigrant detainees have filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Homeland Security, alleging chemical exposure at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in San Bernardino County.

"> Adelanto Detainees Complain Of Burning Eyes From Chemical Disinfectant
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Mr. President, Talk To Dr. Birx About LA

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A stand in downtown LA's Fashion district sells toilet paper and face masks to passersby. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Mixed messages out of Washington today: The U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to the office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, warning him that the city's long-term stay-at home orders may be "arbitrary and heavy handed."

Also today, one of the White House’s main medical advisors included Los Angeles as one of the regions where the spread of coronavirus remains a concern.

Dr. Deborah Birx said Los Angeles is one of three metropolitan areas that continue to see a high number of new cases reported each day.

“Even though Washington [D.C.] has remained closed, L.A. has remained closed, Chicago has remained closed, we still see these ongoing cases,” she said.

Mayor Eric Garcetti responded to the DOJ letter in his coronavirus briefing tonight:

"We are not guided by politics in this, we are guided by science. We are guided by collaboration. So, talking to industry and talking to business owners, and talking to employees and labor groups, together with science and numbers, will always guide us forward. There is nothing else."

L.A.'s latest stay-at-home order was originally supposed to be lifted May 15. It's still in place, but city and county officials have relaxed some provisions to allow beaches and hiking trails to reopen, and businesses to reopen for curbside pickup.

Birx said she would ask the Centers for Disease Control to investigate the problem areas “to really understand where are these new cases coming from, and what do we need to do to prevent them in the future.”

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Adelanto Detainees Complain Of Burning Eyes From Chemical Disinfectant

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Under the new contract between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and The GEO Group, Adelanto Detention Facility in Adelanto, California will expand by about 700 beds. (David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)

Immigrant detainees at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center are reporting burning eyes and bloody noses from frequent use of a chemical disinfectant at the San Bernardino County facility, according to a complaint filed Thursday with the Department of Homeland Security.

The complaint says the disinfectant was being used around housing units about every 30 minutes.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says disinfectants used at the facility are used according to the manufacturer's instructions and compliant with detention standards. So far one ICE employee and a contractor at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19.

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Garcetti Opens Some Beach Lots And Bike Paths To Prep For Memorial Day, But Says Don't 'Go Crazy' And Stay Out All Weekend

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced that he would be opening up city parking lots at Cabrillo and Venice beaches, as well as city bike paths. This comes shortly after the county announced the opening of county-run bike paths.

The city will also be opening paths and parking lots at partial capacity at Will Rogers, Zuma, Dockweiler and Malibu Surfrider beaches. The beaches are still only open for "active use," now with the addition of biking. Concessions and food sales, the Venice Pier, as well as Venice's outdoor sports facilities will remain closed.

"We want to prevent crowds, so even during this holiday weekend, don't gather with others or sunbathe, don't play group sports," he said.

ADDITIONAL OPENINGS

The city is also reopening "recreation zones," meaning parks and walking paths, along the L.A. River, starting on May 31.

The mayor asked anyone walking or biking on the river path to socially distance and wear face coverings.

RETAIL UPDATES

The mayor confirmed that indoor malls will be reopening for curbside pick up, with masks and distancing, echoing what county officials said earlier today.

"We've conducted regular inspections of curbside retail efforts in recent days. We've seen excellent compliance, a surefire sign that Angelenos are following the rules, making responsible choices and adapting to this new reality. And I thank you for that," he said.

THE CURVE

Garcetti said that over the past three weeks, we've seen about 6,500 new cases and 300 deaths per week. He said this constitutes "a somewhat stabilizing but still fragile curve."

The mayor added that on Tuesday, June 1, the city will open a new testing site at Dodger Stadium, where they will be able to test 6,000 people per day.

He addressed the testing backlog that the city's been experiencing and said this "coming" week, we will get to a 30-hour turnaround time for testing (he said the current five or six day wait is "too long").

JULY 4 IS NOT A THING

To clarify a comment that County Supervisor Kathryn Barger made earlier this week about L.A. reopening by July 4, the mayor said what she meant was it would be nice to open by July 4, "but nobody said the county is planning to quote-unquote open up all the doors to everything on July 4."

TO GO OUT OR NOT TO GO OUT?

In response to our question about the conflicting message the public is getting about parks, beaches and trails opening, while also being advised by public health officials to stay at home, and avoid going out unless absolutey necessary, the mayor said "we've never been fully closed."

He said we should get comfortable living in a "gray area" between being open and closed for a while. Here's his advice (warning: it's very vague):

"Some are more comfortable living further into those shadows and taking an abundance of caution. That's smart. We say physical distance whenever you can, wear your mask when you're out in public and come in contact with people, wash your hands. And, you know, continue to make sure that there's space between you and other people."

Of course, this is the same advice we've heard again and again. Garcetti acknowledged that with more reopening, more and more people will be venturing out, but he does not want to start enforcing or giving tickets to anyone who isn't wearing one. He said he'd prefer to have city workers give masks to those who don't have them.

"We want to turn our city employees into helpers, not into folks that are cracking down and saying okay here's a ticket for not wearing a mask... We're going to continue those three E's of Education, Encouragement and Enforcement, but enforcement will be in very rare cases for, you know, businesses that are clearly endangering people, people who are flouting the law way before things are permissible at the state level. Those are times to bring enforcement, but really it's education and encouragement."

He added that everyone should make an individual assessment of the risks they want to take by going out.

"I think it's okay to take a step forward, but don't dash forward, don't go crazy and stay out all weekend," he said.

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Judge Clarifies, Delays Order To Relocate Homeless From Freeways

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A homeless man at the Western Avenue exit of the Santa Monica Freeway (Matt Tinoco/LAist)

Federal Judge David Carter has modified his court order to “humanely relocate” people experiencing homelessness away from freeways across Los Angeles.

The order was refined to say that homeless people who live within 500 feet of a freeway bridge or ramp must be relocated by Sept.1.

Neither the distance from freeways or the compliance date was clear in the initial version of the order, which went into effect on Friday.

The ambiguity prompted lawyers for both the city and county of Los Angeles, and those representing advocates for the homeless, to raise objections and threaten to take the issue to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Elected officials in and out of court have said the case could result in a judicial consent decree. That’s a legal settlement where a court oversees progress towards fulfilling the settlement’s terms.

The new 500-foot stipulation will affect many more who live not just under freeways, but alongside and near them.

Judge Carter expects officials to submit a completed plan for relocating people living near freeways countywide by June 12.

GO DEEPER:

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Big Problem For LA's Smallest City: No Casino Cash

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The Gardens casino doors are padlocked closed (Sharon McNary/LAist)

Hawaiian Gardens is a tiny city with a big money problem.

The shutdown of The Gardens Casino in mid-March is costing the city 70 percent of its regular revenue — $1.1 million each month.

The loss will force cancellation of many services to the predominantly Latino, low-income city, just one square mile in size.

"I've been in this business for twenty years and I've been at six other cities and there's just really nothing like it,” said City Manager Ernie Hernandez.

“The bottom line is, nobody depends this much on one source.”

READ THE FULL STORY:

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What Coronavirus-Related Census Delays Could Mean For California Voters

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Angelenos vote in the March 2020 primary election. Chava Sanchez/ LAist

Every decade, a group of California citizens is selected to draw new political boundaries across the state, using the most recent decennial census data to do so. Redistricting is already a complicated job — commissioners have to give each district an equal number of constituents, protect historically disenfranchised communities, and listen to public input throughout the process.

This year, that job is going to be a lot harder. For starters, California is likely to lose a Congressional seat for the first time. On top of that, because of coronavirus-related delays to the 2020 Census timeline, commissioners might get population data too late to redraw district maps.

Best of all? California doesn’t even have a 2020 redistricting commission yet.

READ MORE:

More LA Neighborhoods Want To Open Streets For People To Safely Stay Active

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The Slow Streets program launched in the Del Rey and Sawtelle neighborhoods last week. (Courtesy office of L.A. City Councilmember Mike Bonin)

Last week, I reported on Los Angeles' new Slow Streets program, which launched in two West L.A. neighborhoods: Del Rey and Sawtelle.

The goal is to give residents more room to safely get fresh air and exercise on their streets by limiting car traffic and by encouraging drivers to slow down and share the road.

I wanted to check back in to hear how the program was going. Aside from some damaged signs and some fuming on Nextdoor, residents I spoke with in Del Rey say they've noticed drivers are mostly honoring prompts to be more mindful of other road users. Jonathan Wells lives in the neighborhood and said he feels safer walking and biking local streets.

"I think that it's important to do these experiments... anything that makes it safer for people to get out and exercise in a way that they can still social distance is a good thing."

More L.A. communities are expressing interest in rolling out similar changes on their streets. The Los Angeles Department of Transporation is manaing the program and, as of today, they've received more than 175 online applications from residents and neighborhood groups requesting to join.

The program is rolling out in two other neighborhoods over the next few days.

READ MORE:

Writing An Obit For An Immigrant Father And Day Laborer Who Died From COVID-19 Hits Close To Home

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(Illustration by Chava Sanchez)

Writing an obituary is never easy.

This week, LAist began sharing the stories of Angelenos whose lives have been cut short by COVID-19. We began yesterday with the story of Gaspar Gomez of Pacoima, a father and longtime day laborer who died earlier this month.

But he’s much more than a day laborer and much more than a story. And that’s why I had hoped his daughter Lucia wouldn’t return any of my messages. I didn’t want to write an obituary, especially one about someone who could have easily been my cousin.

READ THE COLUMN:

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FilmWeek: Our Reviews Of 'The Lovebirds,' 'The Trip To Greece,' 'The Painter And The Thief' And More Movies You Can Stream From Home

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Issa Rae as Leilani, Kumail Nanjiana as Jibran of "The Lovebirds" from Netflix. (Skip Bolen/Netflix)

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

This week, Tim Cogshell and Angie Han join Larry to review this weekend’s new movie releases and share some of their recommendations:

“The Lovebirds”

  • Available on Netflix

Here’s Tim’s review:

"I thoroughly enjoyed this zany film. It’s a movie where everyone is talking fast and is being really sharp and witty, and you have to pay attention to it... if you’re not as sharp as they are, you’re going to miss all of the funny.”

“The Trip To Greece”

  • Available on digital & VOD (iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play & Vudu)

Tim said this:

“As is the case with all of these ‘Trip’ films, they’re very, very funny because [Steve Coogan & Rob Brydon] are absolutely hysterical impressionists — and really, really good dramatists too, for that matter. This one, I think, is the best... and this is why: there’s a whole lot more real in this one. These guys are playing Rob and Steve, but they’re not really playing themselves, they’re playing versions of themselves... and when I like these movies the most is when they really start to irritate each other. You start to realize, we’re no longer in a movie. He is really getting on his nerves right now.”

“The Painter and the Thief”

Angie says:

“This is a really smart, sensitive documentary about an artist and the thief who stole two of her paintings. This starts out seeming like maybe it’s going to be a heist thing... but as you watch it, it becomes more about the unlikely friendship that develops between these two people, and then even from there it goes off in some unexpected directions. There are some really knockout moments in this movie that just really blew me away.”

“Lucky Grandma”

Angie’s review:

“This is the directorial debut for [Sasie Sealy] and what a start! This is such a stylish, sharp movie with such a strong sense of setting -- Chinatown in Manhattan -- and a strong sense of its characters. Depending on what part of the movie you’re watching, sometimes it’s very sweet, sometimes it’s a little bit sad, sometimes it’s even kind of scary... I had so much fun with this. I didn’t know what to expect going into this and I walked away feeling like I need to see more of what [Sealy] does next.”

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

ABOUT OUR CRITICS:

  • Angie Han is also deputy entertainment editor at Mashable; she tweets @ajhan
  • Tim Cogshell is also Alt-Film Guide and CineGods.com; he tweets @CinemaInMind

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LA County Opens Beach Bike Paths, Curbside Retail For Indoor Malls And Gives O.K. For Graduation Car Parades

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Dr. Barbara Ferrer, L.A. County public health director, joins other county leaders in a daily update on the coronavirus outbreak. Screenshot from LA County

In today's L.A. County coronavirus task force briefing, County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said three changes to the stay-at-home order will take effect this Memorial Day Weekend:

  • Beach bike paths will now be open, added to the list of activities that qualify as "active use."
  • Indoor malls, and retail stores located inside them, can now open for curbside service. Retailers will be allowed to take orders remotely and deliver goods to the public, outside of the mall at marked locations.
  • High schools will be allowed to organize "vehicle parades" as a way to celebrate graduation, without holding a traditional ceremony. Cars will of course have to be mindful of traffic laws and physical distancing requirements.

Barger elaborated on the decision to allow graduation car parades:

"After enduring all that's happened this year, these students deserve an opportunity to celebrate everything that they have accomplished. I am pleased to report that Los Angeles County has now issued guidance to enable vehicle parades and the chance for seniors across the region to be recognized for their hard work. School districts are able to host their own innovative commemorative ceremonies, if they present a plan that allows for safe distancing."

She also emphasized the need to continue to wear masks and socially distance, at both malls and beaches.

In addition, Barger announced a change to the county's press briefing schedule – instead of hosting daily briefings, the county will report updates three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Updates from L.A. County Director of Public Health, Barbara Ferrer:

L.A. County officials reported 1,072 new confirmed cases of coronavirus today, bringing the total to at least 43,052 cases countywide. In total, 1,495 cases have been reported in Long Beach and 790 in Pasadena (those two cities operate their own health departments).

  • Ferrer also reported 35 new deaths of COVID-19 patients. The total number of deaths countywide now stands at 2,049 people.

    Of the 35 people who’ve died in the past 24 hours, 25 were over 65, Ferrer said. Five victims were between 41 and 65 and three of them had underlying health conditions. So far, 93% of those who have died had underlying health conditions, Ferrer said.

    The death toll at institutional facilities in L.A. County — particularly at nursing homes — continues to climb. Ferrer reported that 1,081 residents at those facilities have died.

    Ferrer also provided a racial breakdown of the confirmed deaths, based on information confirmed for 1,898 of the victims. According to the latest available information:

    12% African American [9% of county residents]
    17% Asian [15.4% of county residents]
    39% Latino / Latina [48.6% of county residents]
    29% White [26.1% of county residents]
    1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander [0.4% of county residents]
    1% identified as belonging to a different race or ethnicity

    Here are some other key figures being reported today:
  • The county is reporting 326 confirmed cases among people experiencing homelessness.
  • More than 412,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 and had their results reported to L.A. County health officials. Of those tests, 9% have been positive.
  • There are currently 1,506 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those individuals, 26% are in the ICU, with 19% on ventilators. Ferrer noted officials continue to see “slight decreases in the number of people that are hospitalized.”
  • The county health department is currently investigating 425 institutional facilities where there's at least one confirmed case of COVID-19. Those sites include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, shelters, treatment centers, supportive living, and correctional facilities. Ferrer said there are 10,886 confirmed cases in those facilities —7,046 residents and 3,840 staff members.
  • There have now been 693 confirmed cases “at some point in time” in county jail facilities, Ferrer reported. In total, 540 inmates and 153 staff members have tested positive.
  • There are 176 confirmed cases in the state prison system — 127 inmates and 40 staff.
  • In federal prisons, 688 inmates and 14 staff members have tested positive.
  • At juvenile detention facilities, eight youth and 13 staff members have tested positive.

Ferrer finished today's briefing by reminding county residents that gatherings and events of any kind are still not permitted:

"We have seen recent gatherings and parties that have resulted in a number of newly infected people," Ferrer said, "and we'd like to avoid that, as we all get out and about to enjoy all of the beauty that L.A. County has to offer."

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MORE ON CORONAVIRUS:

Hollywood Exec Arrested On Charges Of Misusing COVID-19 Small Business Relief Funds

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The former head of Aviron Pictures was arrested today on charges that he misused federal small business loan funds.

The U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California is charging William Sadleir with fraudulently applying for a $1.7 million loan from the Paycheck Protection Program, a federal loan program designed to help small businesses affected by coronavirus to pay their employees.

"This film producer allegedly made a series of misrepresentations to a bank and the Small Business Administration to illegally secure taxpayer money that he then used to fund his nearly empty personal bank account," said United States Attorney Nick Hanna.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Sadleir used the loan on personal expenses, including car payments and credit card bills.

Meanwhile, small businesses around the country have reported difficulty accessing Paycheck Protection Program funds, and expressed frustration that much of the initial round of funding went to large companies.

Here's Hanna again:

"The Paycheck Protection Program was implemented to help small businesses stay afloat during the financial crisis, and we will act swiftly against those who abuse the program for their own personal gain."

Sadleir was charged with additional fraud today by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

READ THE FULL STORY:

READ THE COMPLAINT:

Newsom: Church Reopening Guidelines Coming Soon; Coronavirus Hospitalizations Down 7.5%

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The state is days away from putting out guidelines for reopening churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship, Gov. Gavin Newsom said today in his regular update on the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control is expected to release its own guidelines today, and the state plans to review those in considering its own plans, which Newsom said will come Monday at the latest.

When asked about President Donald Trump's call for churches to be reopened immediately, Newsom said that he expected to have a positive relationship with faith leaders as they work to reopen, and cited their plan to release guidelines soon.

More reopening guidelines will be coming out over the next few days, as well as into the latter part of next week, Newsom said — including guidelines for not just regional variation, but the state as a whole.

So far, 43 counties have put forward self-attestation health plans to move further into Phase 2 of reopening, with 45 expected by later this afternoon, Newsom said.

He noted that personal protective equipment will be an essential part of reopening businesses like salons, when that comes.

The state is continuing to work with school administrators around guidelines for reopening schools, including summer schools, Newsom said. Summer camp and summer school guidelines are still being worked on; it's expected they'll be made public within a week or so, Newsom said.

The governor asked people to be safe and thoughtful as they go out this Memorial Day weekend, encouraging people to observe local health guidelines and to wear masks where needed.

LATEST CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS — HOSPITALIZATIONS, ICU NUMBERS DROPPING

There were 88 deaths in the past day related to coronavirus, Newsom said. Hospitalizations and numbers in ICUs are declining in California, Newsom said — hospitalizations are down 7.5% over the past 14 days, ICU numbers down 6.1%.

So far, 1.5 million swab-based coronavirus tests have been conducted, Newsom said. Testing is averaging more than 45,000 tests per day, with the positivity rate holding steady. He noted that the total number of positives were expected to be up as testing increased, but the positivity rate is holding around 4.1% over the past week, compared with 4.4% over the past two weeks.

More testing is being conducted in rural areas and Northern California, as well as in diverse communities, Newsom said.

More than 86.4 million procedure masks havek been received by California, Newsom said. Those are being distributed not just in medical facilities, but to grocery employees and other essential workers.

TRAINING CONTACT TRACERS

Newsom talked about efforts to train more people to join the state's nearly 3,000 existing contact tracers. The state is aiming for 10,000 tracers in its first phase, with a capacity to go up to about 18,000 in the next phase, Newsom said. There were 500 people in the state's first training cohort, with 300 in the current cohort.

A new public service announcement program, California Connected, was announced by Newsom. He noted that it's important for people to understand what it means when they are called by a contact tracer, so that people know that these efforts aren't fraudulent.

CHALLENGE TO VOTE-BY-MAIL PLAN

On former Rep. Darrell Issa's challenge of the state's plan to expand vote-by-mail, Newsom said the state's plan is on firm legal ground. He said that it's the responsible thing to do in the context of the pandemic, especially considering expectations it could surge in November.

LOCAL HOSPITAL RESOURCES BEING STRETCHED

There are ongoing concerns in Imperial County, Newsom said, despite the county not being densely populated. The county's hospitals are stretched due to the number of people with COVID-related concerns, and 70% of its ventilators were in use last week, Newsom said. Though ventilator availability improved slightly, the state is sending a team to the county, including a field medical facility with up to 125 beds, Newsom said.

Similar deployment in other areas may be issued in the future for communities that don't have the resources needed to respond to the coronavirus and that have outbreaks, Newsom said.

PROTECTING VETERANS THIS MEMORIAL DAY

Newsom addressed the importance of Memorial Day ahead of the holiday weekend, speaking from the Veterans Home of California Yountville. He noted that coronavirus has affected veterans hospitals, but that this has not been the case in California, with only three infections in the state's eight veterans hospitals.

California Secretary of Veterans Affairs Vito Imbasciani talked about when he first heard about COVID-19 in December, and the way the department handled the disease to protect veterans in congregate living. Veterans homes were largely locked down two weeks before the state's stay-at-home orders, Imbasciani said, with 38 steps they followed to protect veterans.

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LA County Unemployment Rate Soars To Staggering 20.3%

Updated
Published
A staffer works to process claims at California's unemployment office, March 30, 2020. (California Employment Development Department)

Unemployment in Los Angeles County rose to a staggering 20.3% in April, with coronavirus-related business closures putting roughly one in five L.A. workers out of a job.

These record-high numbers come from a grim unemployment report released Friday by California’s Employment Development Department.

L.A.’s unemployment rate is now the sixth highest among California’s 58 counties. Statewide unemployment is at 15.5%, setting a historical record and eclipsing California’s 12.3% peak during the Great Recession.

READ OUR FULL STORY HERE:

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Wealthy West LA Is Lagging On the Census

Updated
Published
(Courtesy of California Census Office)

In the world of the census, there are certain communities that are considered "hard to count." Neighborhoods with low broadband access, limited English, and a high number of renters, for example, all create barriers to participating in the once-in-a-decade national population count.

This year, something weird is going on: Some of L.A.'s wealthiest neighborhoods, like Malibu and Bel Air, are reporting census response rates almost as low as some of the most historically undercounted areas of the city.

We're trying to figure out why.

READ THE FULL STORY:

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Morning Briefing: The Racial Disparity Of Coronavirus Inside Nursing Homes

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Manhattan Beach on Wednesday May 13. (Brian Berrodin/LAist)

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The coronavirus is taking a disproportionate toll on communities of color, including Pacific Islanders and African Americans. In a new story, Jackie Fortiér reports that those disparities are carrying over into nursing homes – in facilities with larger communities of color, the virus has infected more residents and staff, regardless of the institution’s quality, location or ranking.

Speaking to Alma Lara-Garcia, a certified nursing assistant at East L.A.’s Buena Ventura Post Acute Care Center, Fortiér discovered a situation in which staff were left in the dark about how to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19, and about rates of the virus as it ravaged the facility.

"We were scared,” said Lara-Garcia. “We didn't know what was happening.”

The disparity can be traced in part to the still-segregated nature of nursing homes, like so many other institutions. But that doesn’t account for all of it, and experts continue to scratch their heads for answers.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie


Coming Up Today, May 22

In the tiny city of Hawaiian Gardens, the very large card room casino has closed because of the coronavirus, reports Sharon McNary, causing a damaging ripple effect on both local city revenue and businesses.

Itxy Quintanilla explores which, if any, campsites will be open for the holiday weekend, and what precautions and guidelines will be in place.

Elina Shatkin takes a look at how the virus is affecting San Gabriel Valley’s restaurants, as old school spots pivot to stay afloat, new ones struggle to establish themselves and diners show their support.

Never miss an LAist story. Sign up for our daily newsletters.


The Past 24 Hours In LA

L.A., California, The World: There are now 42,037 coronavirus cases and 2,016 deaths in L.A. County, and at least 87,500 cases and 3,560 deaths in California. Worldwide, there are over 5.1 million cases and over 332,000 deaths. L.A. County’s public health director said the region is "moving in the right direction" in its response to COVID-19.

Money Matters: Unemployment recipients who've exhausted their benefits should be eligible for a 13-week extension, but many haven't gotten it yet.

The Growing Toll Of COVID-19: One union reports that at least 68 L.A. grocery store workers have died from coronavirus. In L.A. County nursing homes, one factor distinguishes the facilities reporting the highest number of deaths: their residents are mostly black and Latino. Like other meatpacking facilities across the country, the Farmer John plant in Vernon has had an outbreak of COVID-19 cases. Nurses at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center protested to demand greater protections during the pandemic.

Policing The Sheriffs: The Civilian Oversight Commission will subpoena sheriff's records related to a possible cover-up, regarding deputies taking photos of the site where Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashed.

The Times Are Changing: The Kevin and Bean show is no more, and the playlists have gotten noticeably less ‘alternative.’ Can KROQ survive? The UC system will not require students to submit SAT and ACT scores for undergraduate admission...at least until 2024.

L.A.’s Unhoused: City and county officials are pushing back against an order to relocate thousands of homeless people living near freeways.

Stay Busy, L.A.: This week’s quarantine-approved events include a number of SoCal restaurants offering holiday to-go specials, Scarypoolparty and Sublime performing virtually and CHIRLA holding a star-studded music festival. Also a Britney Spears dance party. With coronavirus shutting down L.A.'s escape rooms, creators are taking their games online.

Final Goodbyes: We remember one of L.A.’s coronavirus victims: Gaspar Gomez, 51, of Pacoima, was a father, immigrant, and longtime day laborer who died from the virus this month.


Your Moment Of Zen

Visual journalist Chava Sanchez captured these blooming jacarandas in Lincoln Heights.

Blooming jacarandas in Lincoln Heights, May 21, 2020. (Chava Sanchez / LAist)

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