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Morning Briefing: Our 'Not Perfect' Reopening

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Speaking to Josie Huang, Norma Garcia, the acting director of L.A.’s Recreation and Parks department, said that this weekend’s reopening of hiking trails was “very successful,” although “not perfect.”

Garcia may be speaking from a place of optimism, and while many trail-goers did wear masks, they also appeared to ignore social distancing guidelines. Meanwhile, at downtown’s Flower District, 27 businesses were cited for not adhering to safety protocols, and 40% of businesses surveyed by the county were in violation of the county health officer’s order.

So… “not perfect” might be a good way to describe it. We’re all anxious to get out of our houses. But here’s hoping we don’t forego our health and the health of our neighbors in our rush to do so.

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As L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said in his now twice-weekly address, "It's only successful if people adhere to the guidance given out there."

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

Jessica P. Ogilvie


Coming Up Today, May 12

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Hospitals are beginning to resume elective surgeries. But what, exactly, does "elective" mean? And what will protocols be? Elly Yu has the story.

College students began receiving federal stimulus checks late last week. Some students say the money will go to basic needs, reports Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, but that it's not enough. And not all college students will receive the same amount.

Mariana Dale reports on the L.A. County Department of Public Health’s new guidance on resuming preventative health care after finding that childhood immunization rates in L.A. County dropped more than 50% in April, compared to the same month a year earlier.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

L.A., California, The World: There are now 32,258 coronavirus cases and 1,569 deaths in L.A. County, and at least 68,221 cases and 2,724 deaths in California. Worldwide, there are more than 4.1 million cases and over 285,000 deaths. New data is providing even more confirmation that low-income communities and communities of color are suffering most in the pandemic.

Reopening California: Nearly 40% of surveyed L.A. County businesses that reopened over the weekend were in violation of the county health officer order, and more than two dozen businesses in downtown’s flower district were cited for not adhering to safety protocols. Emily Guerin checked in with some businesses that reopened Friday. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he expected announcements about counties reopening faster than the state as a whole to be coming Tuesday.

The 2020 Vote: L.A. County's Registrar clapped back at President Trump and other Republicans, calling criticism of the opening of a vote center in Lancaster "selective outrage.”

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Today, In Mayoral News: Garcetti answered a range of pre-submitted questions from reporters and the public, including whether he thinks the city is reopening prematurely. Meanwhile, who is giving to his Mayor's Fund?

L.A. Kids: More than 95% of LAUSD students are now connected online.

Preventing The Spread (... We Hope?): Sheriff Alex Villanueva shows a video that he says shows a handful of inmates sharing water in what he claims is an attempt to infect themselves with COVID-19, while Metro is requiring that riders wear face masks.

Mental Health: Top officials in L.A. County's Dept. of Mental Health say the release of more jail inmates will strain resources. Support groups for veterans are struggling to keep up with demand during the pandemic.

Wildfire Season Arrives: A fire broke out just north of Santa Barbara, indicating that wildfire season isn't close – it's here.

L.A. Entertainment: Broadway musicals, Mr. Show and virtual escape rooms make up this week's best online happenings. William Morris/Endeavor, one of the most powerful agencies in Hollywood, took out a $260 million loan to help stay afloat as they also made large staff reductions.

Final Goodbyes: Paul Vasquez, who was 57, died Saturday at an emergency room in Mariposa. Vasquez went viral as the Double Rainbow guy. Born in East L.A., he worked as an L.A. County firefighter. His cause of death has not been reported, however he had recently shared on social media that he'd been tested for COVID-19 but thought "something else was going on."


Your Moment Of Zen

Visual journalist Chava Sanchez captured the sunset in Huntington Park over the weekend.

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(Chava Sanchez / LAist)

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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 LAist.com for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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