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Morning Brief: A Quiet Holiday

A holiday wreath. <A HREF="">Tim Mossholder/Unsplash</a>
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Today during our spring member drive, 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.

We won’t know for a few weeks how many of our friends and neighbors adhered to the pleas of health care workers and stayed home this holiday, but we do know that L.A. County is still breaking records when it comes to the coronavirus.

On Dec. 24, the most recent day for which numbers were released, public health officials announced 148 new deaths and 13,678 new cases of COVID-19. It was the second day in a row that the county beat its own record of new COVID-19 deaths.

Nevertheless, we also know that hope is around the corner. Vaccinations are in full swing, and the Moderna vaccine is expected to arrive in L.A. next week (the county is already receiving shipments of the Pfizer vaccine).

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High-risk health care workers have begun to get their shots, and those living and working at skilled nursing facilities — along with emergency medical technicians and paramedics — will be next. County and state officials are working to determine who comes after that.

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

What You Need To Know Today

Race In L.A.: Meet a few of our Race In L.A. contributors, and hear what it was like for them to share their deeply personal stories.

The Great Outdoors: One positive outcome of the pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions: more people are getting outside. Trail use and state and national park visits were all up significantly this year.

Money Matters: The $900 billion coronavirus relief package passed by Congress this week includes checks for households with undocumented family members. It also includes funding for cultural institutions and local museums that have been closed throughout the pandemic.

Touchdown: The Rams are expected to make the playoffs, and they might make it back to the Super Bowl.

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:

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A photo essay that captures L.A.’s best and worst year. (L.A. Taco)

Margarita Montañez, 73, brought hundreds of tamales, cemitas and salsa to health care workers at Cedars-Sinai as a thank you for getting her through an ICU stint with COVID-19. (San Fernando Sun)

An Echo Park bike shop perseveres through the pandemic. (The Eastsider)

Meet the 34-year-old woman at the forefront of developing the coronavirus vaccine. (L.A. Sentinel)

A Black Lives Matter-L.A. forum discussed distrust of the COVID-19 vaccine among the African American community. (L.A. Sentinel)

LAPD Commander Alfred Labrada arrived in L.A. as an undocumented child, and will soon assume the role of deputy chief of the department’s Central Bureau. (La Opinión)

Here’s what President-elect Joe Biden can do right away to undo some of Trump’s actions against immigrants. (Capital & Main)

Before You Go… Waiting For Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984. (Clay Enos/Warner Bros.)

What It's Like Waiting For 'Wonder Woman 1984' To Come Out When You Have A Small Part In It

Actor Spencer Trinwith didn't know what movie he was cast in — then found himself working with director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot on “Wonder Woman 1984.”

He was excited to have a small role in the film, then it got delayed by more than a year. Now it's finally out, on HBO Max, in the middle of a pandemic.

Here's what that roller coaster has been like.

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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.

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