Morning Brief: ‘Chaos’ In An LA Jail, Omicron Passes Its Peak, And A Welcome Walk
Good morning, L.A. It’s Jan. 28.
In an exclusive investigation, my colleague Emily Elina Dugdale reports that Sheriff’s deputies at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility are routinely violating COVID-19 protocols with reckless abandon
The violations, detailed by health care workers at the jail, include coming into work with coronavirus symptoms after testing positive, trying to convince incarcerated people with severe mental and physical health issues not to get vaccinated, refusing to wear masks, and defacing signs in the facility.
“It is chaos in there, and no one will admit that truth,” one social worker told Emily.
According to the Sheriff's department, 56% of L.A.'s sworn deputies are fully vaccinated. However, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has refused to input data into a system run by Fulgent Genetics, the official system used to track county employees’ vaccination status.
Villanueva has also refused to enforce the county’s mask mandate among his staff, and informed the county’s Board of Supervisors that he was declining to use Fulgent because the company was collecting genetic data that “will likely be shared with the Republic of China.”
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Workers at the jail say they’ve reached out with complaints to both the Sheriff’s department and the L.A. County Department of Public Health, but Villanueva denies receiving any such notices and the county has yet to take action.
Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.
What Else You Need To Know Today
- L.A. County health officials say we’re past the omicron peak.
- SoFi Stadium is the most expensive stadium in the world. Here’s the history on how it got built.
- Why are community colleges not being as aggressive in their approach to vaccination mandates as UC and CSU schools?
- Sheriff Alex Villanueva and his six challengers faced off Wednesday night in a candidates' debate sponsored by the deputy sheriffs union.
- Brace yourselves for the Santa Ana winds to continue through late this afternoon.
- Here are a few ways that fans can go to a Super Bowl party while still limiting their COVID-19 risk.
- California will funnel $53 million dollars into L.A. to fund a program that will provide jobs for underserved youth.
- If you’ve accumulated takeout utensils, don’t throw them away; they can help feed people experiencing food insecurity.
Before You Go ... This Week's Outdoor Pick: Welcome Walk
Want to get some exercise, but in a chill manner? We’ve got you covered. On Saturday, a docent will lead an easy, guided stroll along the creek and under the oaks in Malibu Creek State Park in Calabasas. The docent will discuss plants and animals that are found in the Santa Monica Mountains as well as the park's history, including its movie-making past.
Or, you could: Celebrate the Lunar New Year. Learn about the rise and fall of Ren and Stimpy. Watch Björk live in all her Björk-iness. Attend the Academy Museum’s screenings of films by Shahrbanoo Sadat. And more.