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Morning Brief: Booster Requirements, Airbnb NYE Rules And The Pig N’ Whistle

Six people are shown waiting in line on a sidewalk, standing six feet apart. Some hold grocery tote bags, and several are checking their phones. It is daytime.
People maintain social distancing while standing in line to enter a Trader Joe's.
(Mario Tama
/
Getty Images North America)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Dec. 22.

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Yesterday, we outlined the reasons why you (and I, and all of us) should get tested for COVID-19 before going to any holiday gatherings. Today, I’m here to remind you of that, because the number of new cases in L.A. is staying up.

For the fifth day in a row, public health officials on Tuesday reported over 3,000 new cases. Of those, four were omicron variant cases, bringing the total number of omicron cases in the region to 102.

At the same time, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that all healthcare workers in California will be required to get the COVID-19 booster: “With Omicron on the rise, we’re taking immediate actions to protect Californians and ensure our hospitals are prepared,” Newsom wrote on Twitter.

This tracks with a recommendation made earlier this week by L.A. County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. She said that all signs point to booster shots being the best defense against omicron.  

“Evidence is mounting that for those vaccinated months ago, boosters are necessary to [prevent] infection with and transmission of the omicron variant,” read Ferrer’s statement. “Vaccinations also continue to provide excellent protection from the delta variant.”

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Many Americans, though, have complained about long lines at testing facilities and empty pharmacy shelves where at-home tests should be. To that end, President Joe Biden announced yesterday that the federal government will begin mailing at-home testing kits to those who want them in Jan. 2022, to the tune of half a billion kits. The feds will also open new testing and vaccination sites throughout the country.

If you’re looking for information about how and where to get tested in L.A. in the next few days, check out our guide, which we’ll be continually updating.

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

What Else You Need To Know Today

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Before You Go ... Farewell To A Legend, The Pig N' Whistle

PIG N WHISTLE HISTORY
The exterior of the Pig 'N' Whistle with its iconic sign, circa 2008.
(jondoeforty1/Flickr Creative Commons)

The Pig N’ Whistle on Hollywood Blvd. was once a favorite watering hole for Golden Age movie stars and tourist families from Omaha. Now, the wonderfully kitschy spot that used to bill itself as a "High Class Candy and Luncheon Place" has been gutted — and some Hollywood history buffs say it’s a betrayal.

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