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Morning Brief: The COVID Surge, A Downed Plane, And The Lucky Ones

Sign in parking lot reads: "Grab & Go COVID TEST KITS" with an handmade sign to the right with an arrow pointing to dirve-up.
A sign points parents and guardians to the pick-up area for tests at Daniel Webster Middle School in Mar Vista.
(Suzanne Levy
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Jan. 11.

Anyone else feel like it’s Groundhog’s Day?

I remember writing about the winter COVID-19 surge at this time last year, still feeling a tiny flame of hope in the depths of my belly that at least, at the very least, this would be over within the year, because vaccines were on the way.

Well, I was wrong, and here we are with more COVID news, all day, every day.

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In case you missed it, L.A. County’s record for new daily COVID cases was shattered on Sunday, with more than 45,000 positive tests. Those numbers came after the record had already been decimated twice last week.

The surge is, of course, affecting daily life for everyone. Colleges and universities are quickly rethinking their plans for this semester. The Kingdom Day Parade has been canceled for the second year in a row. California is considering putting elective surgeries on the chopping block in the near-future.

Meanwhile, some people who contract the virus can’t find a good place to isolate or quarantine.

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In response, Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking the state legislature to bring back a law that gave California workers additional paid sick leave due to COVID-19. This protected time off disappeared on Sept. 30.. The governer is also set to propose an additional $2.7 billion in spending to fight the virus’s spread.

Hopefully, that will help. In the meantime, 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 is offering free at-home COVID-19 and flu test kits for pickup 13 locations  around the county. 
  • A funeral service for Valentina Orellana-Peralta, the 14-year-old girl who was shot and killed by an LAPD officer while trying on clothes at a store with her mother, was held yesterday in Gardena. 
  • A pilot was hospitalized Sunday after his single-engine plane went down on the train tracks next to Whiteman Airport in Pacoima. He was pulled from the wreckage just moments before his aircraft was flattened by an oncoming train. 
  • Robert Durst died on Monday at a California state prison hospital just months after being sentenced to life behind bars. He was 78.

Before You Go ... This Week's Virtual Pick: 'The Lucky Ones'

An image of an empty, dim-lit theater with red seats.
An empty theater.
(Kilyan Sockalingum on Unsplash)

The Blank Theatre’s Living Room Series presents a reading of The Lucky Ones, a new play by Lia Romeo that examines the complexity of female friendship in a male-dominated society. Directed by Christopher James Raymond, the cast includes Robyn Cohen, Lizzie Peet and Adam J. Smith.

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Or, you could: Catch a 1970s dystopian classic on the big screen. Laugh along as The Mads riff on vintage shorts. View new art by Glenn Hardy Jr. And more.

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