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LA County Sets New Record For Daily COVID Cases

Updated
Published
A chart gives the latest coronavirus figures for Los Angeles County as of Dec. 3, 2020. (Credit: L.A. County Department of Public Health)

Los Angeles County has, once again, shattered its single-day record for new coronavirus cases.

Health officials reported an additional 7,854 confirmed cases today, topping a record that was set just two days ago.

Another 44 people have died from COVID-19, while more than 2,500 patients are now hospitalized across the county.

The latest update comes as the state announced a new, regional stay-at-home plan, which groups several counties together and triggers new restrictions if that region's vacant ICU bed capacity falls below 15%.

Christina Ghaly with the county Department of Health Services says even with rising hospitalizations and increased transmission, the county's current intensive care unit capacity is now around 24%:

"It hopefully reinforces the idea that hospitals can create capacity for additional COVID patients when they need to. However, that's not an unlimited ability."

Still, L.A. is one of 10 counties in the "Southern California" region, which also includes Inyo and Mono County along the border with Nevada. Just an hour or two before the county gave its update, Gov. Gavin Newsom said that projections show the region falling below 15% capacity in early December, and perhaps as soon as tomorrow.


OVERALL LOOK AT LA COUNTY NUMBERS:

Here's a look at longer-term trends in the county. To see more, visit our California COVID-19 Tracker and choose L.A. County or any other California county that interests you. These numbers are current as of Tuesday, Dec. 2:

RELATED:

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LA County's Restaurant Relief Website Crashed Because It Was Flooded With Applicants

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Published
An L.A. restaurant announces its closure this week. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, overwhelming demand has crashed the Los Angeles County website where struggling restaurant owners can apply for $30,000 grants to help them stay afloat during the pandemic.

The portal for Keep L.A. County Dining began accepting applications at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Early this morning, LAist began hearing anecdotal reports that restaurant owners had been unable to get through and/or finish their applications.

Matt Glassman, who owns ETA in Highand Park and The Greyhound Bar & Grill, which has a location in Highand Park and another in Glendale, says he has been trying to log into the website since it went live at midnight — with little success.

He says at around 3:45 a.m., he was finally able to register for the website although he still couldn't for a username or for a grant. As of Thursday afternoon, Glassman says, "I am still working on it."

He described the process as "absolutely soul-crushing."

On Instagram, Patti Rockenwagner of Rockenwagner cafe and bakery, posted a video of a computer screen with the swirling icon of death on LACDA's application portal and noted: "This is what I (and countless other restaurant owners) have been looking at since midnight — buffering, session timing out and website crashing."

Around noon today, the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA), which is administering the program, tweeted:

Anyone with questions can call LACDA at 626-943-3833.

The Keep L.A. County Dining program, which had several requirements and restrictions, is only taking applications until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6 at — or whenever 2,500 applications are submitted, whichever happens first. That's why applying early is imperative. But it only works if you can get through.

"While I politely golf-clap the county's efforts, trying to get this done to potentially save my business (and the jobs of 20 people) with a system that is an absolute horror show is a bit disheartening," Glassman tells LAist via email.

"I tell you this realizing that while my story may not be close to unique, it's almost certainly archetypal," Glassman said. "We’re a desperate and frightened business doing everything we can to get this grant (which is not a game changer but certainly buys us time) and just being let down every which way."

Fourteen hours after the application portal went live, Glassman says he still can't log in to his account.

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California Gov. Newsom Introduces Regional Stay-At-Home Orders; SoCal Expected To Hit Trigger In Next Week

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Published

Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered an update on California's latest numbers, as well as plans for new stay-at-home orders throughout the state.

You can read highlights below or watch the full press conference above.

LATEST CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS

The 7-day average of new cases across California is at 15,121; in the latest reporting period, there were 18,591 new cases.

"A surge on top of a surge" is anticipated in the next few weeks, Newsom said, siting Dr. Anthony Fauci. the 14-day positivity rate has gone up from 5.2% two weeks ago to 7%. The 7-day rate is even higher.

Hospitalizations are up 86% over the past two weeks, with COVID-positive ICU admissions up 67%.

There were 113 deaths on Dec. 2, and that's the same number as the day before. That's up from 14 deaths on the same day one month earlier. In the last two weeks, 971 Californians have died of COVID-19.

REGIONAL STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS FOR 3 WEEKS WHERE ICU CAPACITY IS LOW

Newsom said that this is the final surge, and the most critical moment since the beginning of the pandemic.

California is responding to the latest numbers by "pulling an emergency brake" and introducing a Regional Stay-at-Home order, Newsom said. L.A. County is already under its own stay-at-home order.

RELATED: Everyone In LA Must Stay Home — Unless You Need To Golf, Go Christmas Shopping Or Shoot A Music Video

The focus: Californians need to stop gathering with those outside your household, to keep activities outside, and to always wear a mask.

Regions where ICU capacity falls below 15% will be placed into a Stay-at-Home order for three weeks.

The state is divided into five regions, with one of those regions being Southern California. These regions are tied with hospital health care deliver systems, as when a county hits ICU capacity, it relies on neighboring counties for ICU capacity assistance.

Projections show that Southern California is expected to fall below 15% capacity in early December. This is expected to happen as soon as tomorrow, and likely within a week, according to Newsom.

When a region is placed under an order, these sectors will closed:

  • Bars
  • Wineries
  • Personal services
  • Hair salons/barbershops

Sectors that will remain open include:

  • Schools that have received a waiver
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Retail at 20% capacity
  • Restaurants (take-out and delivery)

RELATED: A Running List Of CA Officials Who Warned Us About Eating At Restaurants, Then Did It Themselves

The state is looking to avoid people concentrating in "large box retail," which is why health professionals have advised keeping retail open, according to Newsom.

To get off of the list, the state will be projecting ICU numbers four weeks out.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS, SHORTER QUARANTINES

All non-essential travel is temporarily restricted, Newsom said. Newsom noted that, if counties refuse to enforce travel restrictions, the state will redirect funding to other counties.

When regions are placed under a regional stay-at-home order, they are requested to stay home and avoid all travel.

California Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said that officials continue to ask people to voluntarily cancel their holiday travel plans or, if traveling, to avoid traveling far.

When the state moves to a stay-at-home order, it shifts from an advisory to a requirement, Ghaly said.

Ghaly noted that the state is looking into implementing a shorter quarantine period, based on new CDC guidelines, including for those who have recently traveled. They hope that by shortening that period, it will increase compliance by Californians, Ghaly said. That update is expected to be released in the next day or two, according to Newsom.

YOU CAN GO OUTSIDE, JUST NOT WITH OTHER HOUSEHOLDS

Newsom said that people are still encouraged to go outdoors, for both mental and physical health. People are also encouraged to connect with loved ones virtually.

Outdoor activities that are encouraged include:

  • Go to a park
  • Go to a beach
  • Go on a hike
  • Go on a bike ride
  • Go fishing
  • Do yoga, meditate
  • Take your dog on a walk
  • Do an outdoor fitness class
  • Go on a run with your partner
  • Go skiing, snowboarding, sledding

Newsom emphasized that the thinking behind these closures is to avoid as much indoor activity as possible.

Dr. Ghaly said that this isn't about how to mix safely — it's an effort to get people to reduce mixing altogether.

The governor said that it's expected that this period of additional closures will last for the next 1-2 months.

The state is preparing a number of surge facilities, including in Southern California's Orange and Riverside counties, among others.

VACCINE UPDATE — 327,000 DOSES ARRIVE BETWEEN DEC. 12-15

Newsom noted that a number of suppliers of vaccines are expected in the next few months. "Help is on the way," Newsom said.

The state expects to receive 327,000 doses of the vaccine at some point between Dec. 12 and Dec. 15.

That initial vaccine is part of the state's Phase 1A, with prioritized groups including critical health care workers and long-term care residents.

Based on the vaccine availability, those 327,000 doses have been divided into three tiers. Full details are on the state's COVID-19 website. Newsom said that people will be able to find out where they are in the plan on that website.

Phase 1A is further divided into these tiers:

Tier 1:

  • Acute care, psychiatric, and correctional facility hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and similar settings for older or medically vulnerable
  • Paramedics, EMTs, and others providing emergency medical services
  • Dialysis centers

Tier 2:

  • Intermediate care facilities
  • Home health care & in-home supportive services
  • Community health workers
  • Public health field staff
  • Primary care clinics, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Centers, correctional facility clinics, and urgent care clinics

Tier 3: Other settings and health care workers, including:

  • Specialty clinics
  • Laboratory workers
  • Dental/oral health clinics
  • Pharmacy staff not working in settings at higher tiers

The first group will be divided into six vaccination regions, which are different from the five regions in the state's regional stay-at-home order. Those regions will be made directly from the regions to Pfizer starting Friday, Newsom said.

The amount each region will get varies, ranging from 8,592 doses for Region 3, to 126,750 in Region 1.

The state is still awaiting details on when it will receive more doses of vaccine beyond this first batch, from both Pfizer and other companies once their vaccines are approved by the FDA.

ADDITIONAL COVID-19 ASSISTANCE, SUPPORT FOR WORKERS AND BUSINESS

Along with previously announced relief during this period, as further action by the federal government is awaited, Newsom said that the state is working with the Legislature on a broader relief package.

This includes waiving or modifying fees for heavily impacted industries, including bars, restaurants, hair salons, personal services, and others. The state is also working on accelerating additional infrastructure funding.

Newsom also talked about the Bond Fire in Orange County, which is still 0% contained; you can read more details in our story on the fire here.

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Bond Fire Burns In Orange County, Forcing 25,000 Evacuations

Updated
Published
Firefighters from Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach battle the Bond Fire in Santiago Canyon. (Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

Jump to: Evacuations | Shelters | Closures | Air Quality | Maps | More Info/Resources

Dry conditions, warm temperatures and Santa Ana winds are fueling the Bond Fire in Orange County. The fire started around 10 p.m. Wednesday night at a home in the 29400 block of Silverado Canyon Road. Fueled by strong winds from the northeast, it quickly spread to nearby vegetation.

At a press conference on Thursday at 3 p.m., Chief Brian Fennessy with the Orange County Fire Authority said the brush fire has burned through 7,200 acres and is zero percent contained. 25,000 people have been evacuated, and 500 firefighters are on the scene.

He said the fire had "significant potential for growth", and that even if residents didn't currently see smoke or hear sirens, if they had any doubt they should evacuate.

"I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say 'well, I just didn't realize the fire was gonna get there as quickly as it did'."

Just two months ago, the fast-moving Silverado Fire traversed across the same Loma Ridge that's now being threatened by the Bond Fire.

Captain Thang Nguyen said that the current weather was a major cause.

"A big driving factor is that we have really low relative humidity, which made the fuel pretty susceptible to burning. And then in the canyons, we've got pretty strong winds, so that's what we're dealing with," Nguyen said.

Two firefighters were injured battling the fire this afternoon. They were treated by paramedics and transported to a hospital for further care.

Firefighters from Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach battle the Bond Fire in Santiago Canyon. (Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

THE BASICS

  • Acreage: 7,200
  • Containment: 0%
  • Structures destroyed: unknown
  • Structures threatened: several, number unknown. "We know that a number of houses have been damaged, potentially destroyed," said OCFA chief Brian Fennessy. "They're being assessed."
  • Resources deployed: 500 firefighters, 4 helicopster, 5 air tankers
A home in Santiago Canyon is spared from the Bond Fire. (Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

EVACUATIONS

Mandatory: Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect for...

  • Baker Canyon
  • Black Star Canyon
  • Foothill Ranch and Portola Hills west of El Toro and north of the 241 Toll Road.
  • Modjeska Canyon
  • Silverado Canyon
  • Williams Canyon

Voluntary: Voluntary evacuation orders or evacuation warnings are in effect for...

  • Borrego Canyon
  • Cowan Heights
  • Holy Jim Canyon
  • Lake Forest -- from the 241 Toll Road, along Bake Parkway to Musick and north to the border with Irvine and from the 241 Toll Road north to Bake Parkway to Foothill Ranch Community Ranch
  • Lemon Heights
  • Live Oak Canyon
  • Meadow Ridge Drive
  • Portola Hills
  • Rose Canyon
  • Trabuco Canyon
  • Valley Vista Way

Check this interactive evacuation map.

A map of the Bond Fire evacuations on the morning of Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020.

EVACUATION CENTERS

For people:

Residents who need to evacuate are urged to stay with family, with friends, or in a hotel. The OCFA tweeted early this morning, "Due to COVID-19, no congregate shelter is offered."

  • The Red Cross has established a temporary evacuation center in Lot 2 of Santiago Canyon College (8045 E. Chapman Ave.). (TEMPORARILY CLOSED)
  • While the evacuation center at Santiago College is closed, the Red Cross has opened an evac center at El Modena High School (3920 E. Spring Street, Orange).
  • The El Toro High parking lot (25255 Toledo Way, Lake Forest) will be used as an evacuation center for the city of Lake Forest.
  • If you need evacuation due to medical, mobility or other reasons, contact the OC Sheriff's Department at 714-647-7000.

For animals:

  • Orange County Animal Care will accept small household pets (1630 Victory Road, Tustin). Please bring photo ID, vet records, special food, and meds with your pets.
  • The OC Fair and Events Center will accept large animals (88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa). Enter at Gate 5 off of Arlington Drive. Call 714-708-1588 for more info.
  • The Los Alamitos Race Course (4961 Katella Ave., Los Alamitos) will also accept large animals. Use main entrance off Katella and turn left toward stalls. Call 714-820-2800 for more info.

A public information hotline has been activated so residents can call for more information and resources -- 714-628-7085.

Bruce McDougal of Santiago Canyon explains how he protected his home from the Bond Fire overnight. (Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

ROAD CLOSURES

  • Santiago Canyon between 241 and Jackson Ranch is closed except to emergency vehicles

SCHOOL CLOSURES

The Irvine, Newport-Mesa, Saddleback Valley and Tustin unified school districts have announced school closures and temporary shifts to distance learning in response to the Bond Fire.

  • Irvine Unified -- Due to poor air quality that has compromised HVAC systems, all Irvine Unified School District schools will be closed Thursday. Students who receive in-person instruction will temporarily transition to distance learning.
  • Newport-Mesa Unified -- All schools in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District will transition to distance learning on Thursday.
  • Saddleback Valley Unified -- Foothill Ranch, Portola Hills and Trabuco elementary schools will be closed on Thursday. In addition, the following schools will offer distance learning:
    • Del Lago Elementary
    • El Toro High School
    • Gates Elementary
    • Glen Yermo Elementary
    • La Madera Elementary
    • Lake Forest Elementary
    • Melinda Heights Elementary
    • Olivewood Elementary
    • Rancho Canada Elementary
    • Santiago STEAM Magnet Elementary
    • Serrano Intermediate
    • Trabuco Hills High School
  • Tustin Unified -- District officials said all TUSD classes will be offered via distance learning on Thursday, citing the fires, poor air quality, possible power outages and regional evacuation orders impacting district employees.
An air quality map of smoke from the Bond Fire. (Fire.AirNow.Gov)

AIR QUALITY

The multiple fires that have broken out across Southern California over the past 24 hours have made air quality especially dangerous in some areas. Plumes of smoke from these fires are being pushed out towards the ocean by Santa Ana winds.

If it smells like a campfire outside and you're considering outdoor activities... DON'T. The mass amounts of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) burrow deep into your body, spread through your bloodstream and can cause internal problems.

Elevated levels of PM2.5 from fires have been linked to increased rates of heart attacks, strokes and arrhythmias. Those with medical conditions like asthma and COPD could see their symptoms exacerbated, and their likelihood of hospitalization increase.

Head to Fire.AirNow.gov to check the air quality in your area.

Firefighter Jerry Bewer from the city of Orange works the Bond Fire. (Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

WEATHER CONDITIONS

A spokesperson from the National Weather Service told LAist this week that the conditions right now are similar to the ones that caused the massive Thomas Fire a few years ago. That fire, which started in December 2017, burned through more than 280,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties , forcing more than 100,000 people to evacuate and causing $2.2 billion in damage.

Inland Orange County is under a red-flag warning until 10 p.m. Saturday for extreme fire danger due to high winds and low relative humidity.

GEOGRAPHY

Just two months ago, the fast moving Silverado Fire traversed across the same Loma Ridge that's now being threatened by the Bond Fire.

A map of the Silverado Fire that burned earlier in 2020. (San Diego Super Computing Center/San Diego State University)

And 13 year ago, the Santiago Fire consumed nearly the entire area, just about up to Silverado Canyon.

A map of the Santiago Fire that burned in 2007. (San Diego Super Computing Center/San Diego State University)

That's sort of good news — although not from an ecological standpoint — because grasses and some of the heavier fuels have likely been cleared out. Hopefully, that will give firefighters a reprieve.

That said, there are also hills around Irvine Lake that haven't burned since the 1990s, and parts of Silverado Canyon that haven't burned in more than a century, at least according to available records. Meaning, heavier, harder to extinguish fuels are likely present.

THE BACKGROUND

The Bond Fire started around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at a home in the 29400 block of Silverado Canyon Road and quickly spread to nearby vegetation.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For the latest information straight from local emergency officials, check the following websites and social media accounts:

  • @OCFA_PIO
  • @OCSheriff
  • A public information hotline has been activated so residents can call for more information and resources -- 714-628-7085.
Firefighters battle the Bond Fire in Orange County. (Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

FIRE RESOURCES

HOW WE’RE REPORTING ON THIS

This is a developing story. We fact check everything and rely only on information from credible sources (think: fire, police, government officials and reporters on the ground). Sometimes, however, we make mistakes and/or initial reports turn out to be wrong. In all cases, we strive to bring you the most accurate information in real time and will update this story as new information becomes available.

Monica Bushman, Carla Javier, Julia Paskin, Jacob Margolis and Elina Shatkin contributed reporting.

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Everyone In LA Must Stay Home — Unless You Need To Golf, Go Christmas Shopping Or Shoot A Music Video

Updated
Published
A woman wearing a mask shops in Beverly Hills on November 23, 2020. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Editor's note: An updated version of the city's new stay-at-home order was published on Thursday. We've embedded that newer document, which seems to be an attempt to clear up the confusion and consternation of the earlier order.

In a video briefing Wednesday night, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a new "targeted" safer-at-home order for the city. It comes a couple days after health officials enacted a countywide order amid a record surge in COVID-19 cases.

"My message couldn't be simpler: it's time to hunker down," Garcetti said. "It's time to cancel everything, and if it isn't essential, don't do it."

This new order supersedes an earlier revised order, issued in June, and directs all Angelenos to remain in their homes and avoid all public and private gatherings with anyone outside their household although there are many exceptions. (More on that in a moment.)

Garcetti called on the city attorney and police department to "vigorously enforce" the order. Failing to comply could constitute fines and jail time, according to the mayor.

In the initial order, travel "on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit was prohibited." That was a source of confusion all over L.A., summed up perfectly in this TikTok video:

The updated order states that "passive outdoor activity and recreation," including walking, running, cycling, skateboarding and "other personal mobility devices" are exempt from the order.

The now-14-page order includes nine pages of exceptions for a variety of business, recreation and religious activities.

Here are some highlights that we've pieced together so far:

  • Essential Services — Health care services, supermarkets, retailers, gas stations, auto repair, banks, hardware supply stores, handyman services and laundromats are just a few of the exempt sectors.
  • Most businesses can't operate between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., in line with the curfew that was enacted last month.
  • City parks and trails remain open although playgrounds are closed.
  • Piers are closed, but beaches are open for active recreation, like swimming and surfing (no sunbathing).
  • Most city "sports facilities" have also been ordered to close. This includes basketball courts, baseball fields and volleyball courts.
  • Youth sports leagues can continue their events.
  • Golf courses, tennis courts and pickleball courts can remain open if they adhere to county health guidelines.
  • Music, film and television production is allowed to continue.
  • Hair salons, nail salons, tanning salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors can continue operating indoors at 20% capacity.
  • Gyms and other fitness facilities can operate outdoors only at 50% capacity. Indoor facilities remain closed.
  • We shouldn't have to say it but we will: Face coverings and social distancing rules still apply.

Dr. Timothy Brewer, an epidemiologist and professor of medicine at UCLA’s school of public health, agreed that the recent orders have been confusing but said we should remember that shelter-in-place orders do work:

"When you actually stay home and you limit your movements around, COVID cases do actually come down and hospitalizations come down."

At the same time, Brewer told our public affairs show AirTalk that many of the rules related to specific types of businesses are not strictly based on data, but rather are attempts to extrapolate from what we do know.

"So what we do know is that transmission is much more likely to occur indoors rather than outdoors. We know that transmission is much more likely to occur if people are close together than if they're farther apart. If they are not wearing facial coverings ... and if they go out when they're sick, transmission is more likely to occur."

Brewer said there's no data, say, comparing the specific risks of going to a nail salon versus dining outside. He said public health officials are trying to strike a difficult balance between limiting transmission and allowing people to maintain their livelihoods, especially when so many are facing economic hardship.

"I think right now we're kind of at the very-high-concern level and maybe pushing the restrictions farther than we have data to support them," Brewer said.

Either way, in addition to staying home as much as possible, Brewer stressed the importance of what you can do to limit coronavirus transmission, like wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance whenever you do have to go out.

Pasadena's public health director, Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, echoed Brewer's appeal to observe the precautions we already know work.

"I know people are battling with pandemic fatigue, pandemic resentment. But what we have to point out is that this is a time when we have to try to address that within ourselves and really take responsibility and change our actions. Because we can go on two paths: we can keep going up, risk our health care resources being limited — and for all of us, for any healthcare needs that we might have, not just COVID — or we can turn this around. And we've done it before, so I know we can do it."

Also speaking on AirTalk, Goh said she was as disappointed as everyone else when she had to cancel her Thanksgiving plans. She said she had planned to visit her sister's family along with her own children, but as the situation changed they decided against going.

"We just wanted to lower our risk, even though strictly speaking, the rules we had in place at that time would have allowed that kind of a limited visit. So I'm hoping that as we go forward that people will be able to make those common sense choices."

You can read the full updated order for yourself here:

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Morning Briefing: A ‘Horrifying Surge’

Updated
Published
A sign guides drivers to the entrance of a drive through COVID-19 test site in Crenshaw. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Good morning, L.A.

On the heels of Tuesday’s record-setting 7,593 new cases of coronavirus in L.A. County, another 5,987 new positive tests were announced yesterday.

The county’s director of public health, Barbara Ferrer – whose home drew protesters over the weekend to oppose the new stay-at-home order – peppered yesterday’s briefing with adjectives intended to drive home the seriousness of the current situation. She talked about the “alarming” numbers of COVID-19 cases, the “terrifying” increases and the “horrifying” surge.

The numbers to which she’s referring are indeed staggering. L.A. County saw its daily case average rise from 1,223 to 3,976 between Nov. 1-22. Over the past week and a half, it skyrocketed to over 5,300.

Along with other officials, Ferrer is concerned that hospitals will reach their maximum capacity, leaving healthcare workers and people who have tested positive at risk. Explaining that “maximum capacity” isn’t fixed, but rather varies based on staffing capability, patient numbers and more, Dr. Christina Ghaly, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, added that current modeling indicates “we will have a shortage of ICU beds over the next four weeks.”

“We all have to do our part to limit spread so that we don't end up in the situation that is projected in some of those models,” she said, “a situation that could be dangerous for patients and for staff alike.”

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

Jessica P. Ogilvie


Coming Up Today, December 3

Help Dolly Parton ring in the holidays, chow down on a Foo Fighters taco, create art alongside Kid Koala, and more. Christine N. Ziemba has this week’s best online and IRL events.

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


The Past 24 Hours In LA

Coronavirus Updates: Los Angeles County officials reported 5,987 new confirmed cases of coronavirus yesterday, bringing the total to at least 414,185 cases to date countywide. The county will begin mailing COVID-19 test kits to people who have mobility issues, be they disabled or elderly.

Outdoor Dining Controversy: Officials with several Los Angeles County cities, including Beverly Hills, Lancaster, West Covina and Whittier are so mad about the current outdoor dining ban that they're thinking of launching their own health departments. The county’s Department of Public Health must provide evidence about COVID-19 transmission that would justify its ban on outdoor dining.

Immigration: An updated U.S. citizenship test with harder questions took effect this week.

Wildfire Season: The National Weather Service is saying conditions are "particularly dangerous" for a wind-driven fire right now, with strong Santa Ana winds and low humidity. In anticipation of potential fast-moving blazes, the Los Angeles County Fire Department is sending out strike teams to problem areas so that they can respond quickly to any fire.

Final Good-Byes: Olympic gold medalist Rafer Johnson, who helped bring the 1984 Summer Games to Los Angeles – and helped to apprehend the assassin who shot Robert F. Kennedy – has died at age 86.

Food And Films: Ghost kitchens live and die by delivery, and they’re on a roll during the pandemic. The Sundance Film Festival will be almost completely virtual, with “Satellite Screens” at drive-ins and independent theaters across the country, including L.A.


Photo of the Day

A fried chicken sandwich from Luther Bob's, which operates out of a ghost kitchen.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

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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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