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LA County Reports 11,366 New COVID-19 Cases, 108 Deaths

(Courtesy LAC+USC Medical Center)

L.A. County health officials on Sunday confirmed 11,366 new cases of coronavirus and 108 deaths. Currently, there are 7,498 people hospitalized with COVID-19, and 23% of those individuals are in the ICU.

Today’s update brings the total number of cases to 1,014,662, and deaths to 13,848.

L.A. is currently under stay-at-home orders from the county, city and state. The state’s order overrides the local orders and is more strict; under its tenets, restaurants may provide to-go services only.

The county surpassed one million cases on Saturday, the same day that the first confirmed case of a new, more contagious coronavirus variant was reported in L.A.

Last week, Dodger Stadium was converted from a testing site to a vaccination site, where officials hope to inoculate 500,000 health care workers.

Vaccination Scams Target Those Eager To Be Innoculated

A pharmacist at UCI Health holds a dose of the COVID-91 Vaccine. Chava Sanchez/LAist

Most people aren't yet eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but the eagerness of many people to receive the vaccine has led to a string of fraudulent offers.

At the moment, the only people eligible for the vaccine in Southern California are healthcare workers, nursing home employees, and seniors in counties that are already vaccinating those over the age of 65.

"If someone is offering [a vaccine] to you in a phone call, or a text or an email, or even knocking at your door, it's a scam, and they're trying to steal your money,” L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer said. “Or, they're trying to get your personal information, or maybe both.”

Feuer added that his office has even heard of scams offering to mail a vaccine that the recipient would inject themselves.

Such offers are immediate red flags. Additionally, vaccines are distributed without collecting direct payment, so if someone is asking for money, it's definitely a scam.

Sacramento Is Quiet, For Now

The dome of California's State Capitol in Sacramento. Megan Garvey / LAist

In anticipation of potential violence during the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Gov. Gavin Newsom activated the National Guard in Sacramento last week.

But according to Scott Rodd, who covers state government for CapRadio, the area had not seen much activity as of Sunday afternoon. Reporting from downtown Sacramento, Rodd told KPCC that it has been “peaceful [and] quiet” so far.

“The protests that were anticipated haven't materialized,” Rodd said. “I just see one person standing by the fence with an American flag and that's about it.”

The absence of protesters was noted in other parts of the country as well, where anticipated rallies didn’t happen or were smaller than officials believed they might be.

Amplified security is in place in many states and Washington D.C. after the FBI issued a warning about possible armed uprisings by far-right extremists.

Despite the lack of activity in Sacramento, many downtown businesses have boarded up their storefronts, windows and doors.

Rodd noted that barricades have been erected around California’s Capitol building, and that police are out on bikes. Some have armored protection as well as riot gear.

The National Guard was also present.

“They're definitely prepared,” said Rodd, “even if things stay quiet.”

Phil Spector, 81, Has Died

Phil Spector (L) listens to the judge during sentencing in Los Angeles Criminal Courts on May 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Jae C. Hong-Pool/Getty Images)

Phil Spector, the legendary music producer who was convicted of second-degree murder for the 2003 death of actress Lana Clarkson, has died.

Spector, 81, was pronounced dead at a hospital on Saturday evening. He was serving a sentence of 19 years to life for Clarkson’s death.

According to prison officials, Spector died of natural causes. However, he tested positive for the coronavirus in the weeks leading up to his death.

Prior to the 40-year-old Clarkson’s death, Spector was known first and foremost as a visionary record producer. He was the creator of a recording technique known as the “Wall of Sound,” which involved layering dozens of musical tracks to build a full, orchestral sound. Spector used the technique on such hits as “Unchained Melody,” “Be My Baby,” and “And Then He Kissed Me.” He also produced George Harrison’s landmark album, “All Things Must Pass.”

However, Spector struggled with rage and angry outbursts, and his status in the music industry diminished. On the night of Clarkson’s death, friends say Spector — who had a known penchant for firearms — had returned to drinking after a steady stint of sobriety.

Spector’s official cause of death has not yet been determined.

Kamala Harris To Resign CA Senate Seat On Monday

Vice-president elect Kamala Harris speaks during the first press conference with Joe Biden on Aug. 12, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

Kamala Harris will reportedly resign her U.S. Senate seat on Monday in preparation for being sworn in as vice president on Wednesday by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Harris will then swear in her Senate replacement, current California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. Gov. Gavin Newsom chose Padilla despite pressure to appoint another Black woman to replace Harris.

Harris will also swear-in new Georgia senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Once that is done, the U.S. Senate will have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. As vice-president and president of the Senate, Harris will hold the tie-breaking vote.