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Morning Brief: COVID-19 Numbers, Sidewalk Vendors And Speaking LA

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(Chava Sanchez
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Dec. 20.

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Thank you!

And now, back to the news…

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In case you were thinking about resting on your laurels when it comes to COVID-19 precautions this holiday season, allow us to help you correct course: cases skyrocketed over the weekend, with well over 3,000 new cases each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

We’re still in much better shape than we were in last year, when, on Dec. 16, officials reported more than 21,000 new cases. But that doesn’t mean we don’t still need to be cautious.

In a statement on Friday, L.A. County Department of Public Health director Barbara Ferrer  emphasized the importance of wearing masks to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The take home message is clear: masking creates safety for employees and customers, reduces COVID transmission in our communities and helps everyone stay safe,” she said.

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Despite the county’s high numbers, experts are hopeful that this winter’s surge won’t result in nearly as many hospitalizations or deaths as last year’s, thanks to tools like vaccinations, boosters and rapid tests.

“In the past, infections always preceded hospitalizations, which preceded deaths, and that has been a pattern we've seen over and over again,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. “We finally can break that cycle.”

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

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go ... How To Speak LA

The downtown LA skyline at dusk from San Pedro St. on Skid Row.
The downtown L.A. skyline at dusk from Skid Row.
(Ethan Ward/LAist)
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The question of how to pronounce some of L.A.’s most quintessential names — the streets, neighborhoods and destinations that make up our everyday vocabulary — is much more complicated than it should be.

That’s because there’s no “right” way to say a lot of them. Is Los Feliz lahs-FEE-luss or lohs-feh-LEEZ? Is Angeleno an-jeh-LEE-noh or an-jeh-LAY-noh? Ask around and you’re not likely to find much consensus. Here’s what we came up with.

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