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Morning Brief: Delta Variant Surge, Conservatorships, And Self-Guided Bike Tours

A healthcare worker at UCI Health Center is vaccinated against COVID-19. Healthcare workers across California will be amongst the first to recieve the COVID-19 vaccine as hospitals are overwhelmed.
(Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s July 23.

Earlier this week, our colleagues at NPR took a deep look at breakthrough cases of the coronavirus — instances in which a fully vaccinated person contracts the illness — and how concerned we should be. The answer: not overly, as those cases are extremely rare and usually relatively mild.

That take is playing out in L.A. County, too. Reporting news from a press conference held yesterday, my colleague Jackie Fortiér writes that among the region’s COVID-19 cases from the first half of the year, just .13% occurred in people who are fully vaccinated. But the number of breakthrough cases has been rising recently.

Speaking to reporters, L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer added that while cases are going up in the area, mostly driven by the delta variant’s spread among the unvaccinated, the situation would be much worse if those who received their shots hadn’t done so.

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“Our county's case rate would likely be much higher if we didn't have so many vaccinated people,” she said. “We're extremely grateful to everyone who has helped reduce potential transmission by getting vaccinated.”

Meanwhile, my colleague Julia Paskin reports that in a survey, UCLA researchers found that about 12% of Southern Californians said they wouldn’t get the vaccine, and more than half of that group also said they socialized with people outside their household.

Ninez Ponce, the research director at UCLA’s Center for Health Policy, said those statistics are important to keep in mind.

“The people that are not likely to get vaccinated are the ones that are not following these guidelines,” she said.

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

What Else You Need To Know Today

Weekend Reads

There's a lot going on in the world right now, and it’s hard enough to keep up with our day-to-day lives, let alone to stay current on the news. But if you have some time this weekend, here’s what you may have missed:

A small, rural California town decided to fight back against random, deliberate power outages that left its residents almost unable to function. (LAist)

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Contenders for California Governor in the recall election range from the famous to those totally new to the political arena. (LAist)

Olympians from Southern California share what helped make their dreams come true. (KCRW)

Many of L.A.’s small business owners believe that those who refuse to get vaccinated are acting selfishly. (LAist)

Elsa Barragan of Long Beach is carrying on her father’s legacy by opening a mariscos-focused food truck. (L.A. Taco)

Universal basic income for Californians was celebrated by towns across the state. (LAist)

Driving to Vegas? Here are the best restaurants to hit. (Eater L.A.)

Before You Go ... This Week's Outdoor Pick: L.A.'s Self-Guided Bike Tours

Actress Stana Katic at last month's CicLAvia. (Photo: Courtesy of CicLAvia,

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has developed a series of family-friendly bicycle rides (12 miles or less) and Intersections Rides (12 to 30 miles). The family-friendly routes feature plenty of bike paths and lanes, as well as kid-friendly points of interest. Routes include the Tujunga Wash, Black History, Lunar New Year Chinatown Tour, and East L.A. to Monterey Park.

Or, you could: Attend a Nina Simone tribute. Spend Friday night at the museum. Watch cat videos on the big screen. Bring the kiddos (and some earplugs) to a monster truck rally. Check out a live set by the first entirely LGBTQ mariachi band. And more.

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