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Morning Brief: COVID Inequities Persist, A School For Hollywood, And Prepping For The Big One

A health care worker in blue gloves and a mask and face shield uses a needle to innoculate a man wearing blue scrubs and a UCI Health face mask.
A healthcare worker at UCI Health Center is vaccinated against COVID-19.
(Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s June 22.

The local reporting you see every day in this newsletter is only possible because of reader support. LAist stories are never hidden behind paywalls or subscriptions, but we depend on you to help power our non-profit newsroom.

Please take a moment today during our June Member Drive to make a donation to keep LAist strong. Today, your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar, so you can have twice the impact for our journalists. Thank you!

And now, back to the news…

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About The Morning Brief
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Racial discrepancies in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths persisted at staggering rates throughout the pandemic. Now that vaccines are available, cases and deaths are going down overall — but inequities still exist.

My colleague Jackie Fortiér reports that over four weeks in May and June, the death rate among L.A.’s Black community dropped by 75%. But, it’s still four times higher than the death rate in the Asian community, and twice as high as the death rate among white Angelenos.

Some of this may be the result of lower vaccination rates. While 73% of eligible Asians, 64% of whites and 51% of Latinos have received shots, just 43% of Black residents have done so.

Speaking at a recent press conference, public health director Barbara Ferrer said that “this is now a pandemic of unvaccinated people.”

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

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • On Monday morning, construction officially began on the train line connecting the airport to the Crenshaw-LAX Metro station.
  • LAUSD announced plans for a new high school to train students looking to enter the entertainment industry.
  • Wallethub's new study ranks several of California's beach towns as the best in the nation.
  • New arts space Tlaloc Studios in South L.A. takes its name from the Aztec rain god, and symbolizes the studio’s approach: it’s led by members of the local community, and they want to give back.
  • As part of our Racism 101 series, one of our resident panelists breaks down lateral violence in the BIPOC community.
  • Chef and restaurateur Mark Peel, the co-founder of acclaimed Los Angeles restaurant Campanile, died on Sunday at age 66 after a short battle with cancer.
  • This week, you can: Make music on the summer solstice. Sip caipirinhas and cook kibe. Attend a documentary film fest or an art fair. Chow down on Greek food, smoothies, burritos and hot chicken. And more.

Before You Go ... This Week's Event Pick: Preparing For The Big One

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A bridge in Oaxaca, Mexico after a magnitude 8.1 earthquake. A quake of similar strength could hit California any time. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

We’re teaming up with the Los Angeles Times to show you how to prepare for and survive a major earthquake in Southern California.

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Join us on June 24th for a community forum to discuss the reality of living in earthquake country with quake expert Lucy Jones, KPCC/LAist science reporter Jacob Margolis, L.A. Times reporter Rong-Gong Lin II, L.A. Times columnist Patt Morrison, and “All Things Considered” host Austin Cross.

Help Us Cover Your Community
  • Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything.

  • Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know.