Here's your daily audio briefing (updated weekdays):
LA County Reports 423 New COVID Cases, 20 Deaths
L.A. County health officials on Sunday confirmed 423 new cases of coronavirus and 20 deaths. There are currently 792 people hospitalized with COVID-19, and 27% of them are in an ICU.
Today’s update brings the total number of cases to 1,214,178, and deaths to 22,797.
Numbers reported over the weekend are sometimes low, however, because not all hospitals report numbers on Saturdays and Sundays.
As of last Monday, L.A. County officially moved into the red tier of reopening, thanks to the decrease in cases. Now, officials believe the region may move into the orange tier soon. The county reports that more than 3.2 million Angelenos have received a first dose of the vaccine, and more than one million have received a second dose.
However, L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer is still advising caution. When announcing that L.A. could soon enter the orange tier, she emphasized that the virus can still spread.
“What I want to go back to, with a note of caution, is we have to keep our numbers going down,” she said. “We can't have any surge in case numbers for these three weeks [if we want to move into the next tier]."
L.A. County is expecting about 280,000 doses of the vaccine this week, most of which will be reserved for people scheduled for their second dose.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday said he expects to open vaccine eligibility to everyone in the state within the next six weeks.
LA Becomes A No-Kill City For Rescue Animals
Los Angeles has officially become a “no-kill” shelter city when it comes to rescue animals, making it the largest such city in the country.
L.A.'s save rate, which references the number of animals who are rescued and then rehoused, fostered or adopted, is now up to 90.4%, just over the 90% threshold needed to claim no-kill status.
The No-Kill Los Angeles initiative was launched nine years ago by Best Friends Animal Society. Jennifer Pimentel, the organization’s executive director, says the no-kill designation came with a lot of hard work and innovation, especially during a pandemic.
“The community stepped up like never before,” she says. “Foster placements went through the roof, and groups really started working directly with the community to find alternatives for people who needed to surrender their pets … it was a lot of things over a really grueling year.”
Pimentel hopes the success of L.A.’s efforts can serve as a model for other cities and states.
Currently, the United States has a collective 79% save rate. Delaware is the only no-kill state, but Utah could soon be the second.
How Should Hollywood Deal With Offensive Archival Content?
For major Hollywood studios launching streaming services, film archives are a lucrative and nostalgic selling point — but they are also home to films with problematic pasts.
Whether the films have racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise offensive content, Hollywood is working to figure out how to deal with those assets.
Rebecca Keegan, senior film editor at The Hollywood Reporter, said some platforms have turned to advisory councils and interest groups.
“What some of the streaming services have begun to do is to put a warning label at the top of the phone when you start watching something,” she said on KPCC’s Take Two. “You would be alerted that you're going to see something here that may be offensive.”
Streaming services use original content to draw new viewers, but archival content keeps them. In 2020, almost 80% of demand on Disney+ was for older content; on HBO Max, that number is closer to 90%.
In The Unlikely Event Of A Tsunami, Long Beach Is Getting Prepared
This week marks the start of Long Beach's Tsunami Preparedness Week — a week spent raising awareness around a natural disaster that many don’t think of when it comes to the dangers facing California.
Dr. Lucy Jones, a research associate at the Seismological Laboratory of Caltech and author of the book, The Big Ones, says the greatest threat to Southern California is the lack of reinforced infrastructure:
“When we have that San Andreas earthquake, and we have the shaking onshore … everybody's much closer to the fault,” she says.
Jones says that, while possible, the likelihood of a major Tsunami hitting California's coast is minimal.
“To have the really big tsunami, you need to move a huge amount of water,” she says. “It would be much harder for us to be hit by it. We do not have the subduction zone off of California.”
Nevertheless, Jones says it's always good to be prepared. For more information, go to Long Beach’s disaster preparedness website.