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Morning Briefing: Tales From An L.A. Emergency Room Doctor

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Gov. Gavin Newsom has long been saying that California is about to experience a surge in coronavirus patients. According to one L.A. emergency room doctor who we've been talking to, health care workers are bracing for it. Elly Yu, who’s been in regular contact with medical professionals on the front lines, reports that more patients with COVID-19 are showing up in hospitals, and ICUs are starting to get full.

So, when officials say to keep up that social distance and wear a makeshift mask if you can, it’s probably a good idea to follow along. Fortunately, fashioning your own mask out of an old t-shirt is relatively easy, even for the less-than-crafty among us.

Here’s what we’re covering today:

  • Rent moratoriums are one thing, reports Matt Tinoco; but if tenants have to make up rent that's been missed, that could make the difference between having a home and becoming homeless.
  • Aaron Mendelson takes a deeper look at the results of the race for District Attorney — and finds some revealing data.
  • Loans for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the coronavirus outbreak will become available today. Emily Guerin asks if local banks are ready.
  • Disney will begin a furloughing process of non-union employees on April 19, John Horn will looks at the repercussions for this industry giant.
  • Santa Monica College Foundation opened a drive-through “pop-up” pantry for food insecure students. Adolfo Guzman-Lopez talks to the key players.
  • Elly Yu speaks to an ER doctor who says that more and more COVID-19 patients are coming every day.
  • Lots of landlords seem to be pushing their tenants to pay online in the age of coronavirus, in part for social distancing — but it also often pushes renters into automatic monthly payment. The problem, reports David Wagner, is that this is illegal in California.

Catch up on all these stories in our P.M. newsletter:

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By the numbers:

What's going on in the schools:

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The official word:

What's going on in our hospitals and institutions:

News you can use:

And since we all need the break, here are some non-COVID-19 reads:

(Images by LAist Staff/Emojis designed by OpenMoji)

And now, your moment of Zen:

Cathy Ward, who is on the board of trustees for our non-profit newsroom, shared this beautiful shot that she took of a Bristlecone pine tree in the national park outside of Big Pine.

(Courtesy of Cathy Ward)

Help us cover your community:

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The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft.