Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Morning Brief: SoCal’s COVID-19 Reality

A tent is placed last week outside the Dignity Health-St. Mary Medical Center to triage an influx of Long Beach patients. (Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)
Support your source for local news!
Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

Good morning, L.A.

As we head into Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s, things are not looking good in Southern California.

L.A. reported another 145 COVID-19-related deaths, breaking yet another record for the highest single-day death toll since the pandemic began.

In Orange County, crews are working to build a mobile field hospital with an additional 50 beds to cope with the unprecedented surge. Ventura County topped 300 hospitalizations for the first time, joining L.A. with an ICU capacity of 0% for coronavirus patients.

Support for LAist comes from

And San Bernardino County has the highest rate of new infections per 100,000 residents in the state, with an average of 1,816 over the past seven days.

Meanwhile — as if to illustrate exactly how and why this virus continues to spread so uncontrollably — dozens of people joined actor Kirk Cameron for a crowded, maskless gathering to sing Christmas carols at the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks. It was the second singalong hosted by the actor.

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

What You Need To Know Today

Coronavirus Updates: L.A. County’s COVID-19 testing sites will be modifying their schedules for the holidays. California's nearing a grim milestone: 2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases. Long Beach's health department has activated its mass fatality plan, as morgues in the city approach their capacity.

Earthquakes: The city of L.A.’s ShakeAlertLA was a bridge to the statewide earthquake early warning system, which takes over for the city app at the end of 2020.

California Politics: Newly-appointed California Senator Alex Padilla traces his success back to his roots in L.A.’s Mexican immigrant community.

Bayside High: The new Saved By The Bell on NBC streaming service Peacock is actually very good, tackling current issues while still staying true to its premise.

L.A. History: From the 1910s to the 1960s, Bay Street Beach was a recreational center for people of color.

Support for LAist comes from

And Lastly… Some Of L.A.’s Best Vegan Tamales

Fresh tamales (Tim Sackton/Flickr Creative Commons)

For eons, tamales came standard issue — stuffed with pork, poultry or, occasionally, pineapple. Now, we're blessed with vegan and plant-based tamales in endless varieties, both savory and sweet. (It's part of a larger trend featuring vegan ceviche, vegan tacos and other vegan versions of Mexican dishes.)

The masa is moist and fluffy (Dora Stone recommends using olive oil, refined coconut oil or pumpkin puree instead of lard) and the fillings typically involve jackfruit, nopales or a blend of seasonal fruits and vegetables. The results are hearty tamales without any animal products.

Whether you want a couple for yourself or you need to feed a holiday table of hungry relatives, here's where to find a few of the best vegan tamales in Los Angeles.

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.

The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft, and check for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Never miss an LAist story. Sign up for our daily newsletters.

Most Read