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Morning Briefing: LA Preps For A Surge In COVID-19 Patients

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As SoCal continues to prep for even bigger numbers of COVID-19, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced yesterday that the massive downtown convention center is being turned into a field hospital.

So there’s that.

Here’s what happened in the past 24 hours:

  • In a bid to ensure more hospitals and health care workers have the medical equipment they need, the mayor is appointing the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles as the city’s new chief logistics officer.
  • In Riverside County, all hotels, motels and short-term rentals are temporarily banned from taking any guests other than for essential workers such, as medical supply delivery drivers, or for sheltering the homeless and the sick.
  • A federal judge has ordered the release of two detainees from the Adelanto ICE facility in San Bernardino, arguing Immigration and Customs Enforcement is failing to protect them against the coronavirus pandemic.
  • As confirmed cases continue to climb in the U.S. (here in L.A., five more deaths were reported), President Donald Trump has extended the federal social distancing guidelines by another month — to April 30.
  • Got questions on how to practice safe social distancing? Consult a natural expert: P-19, the oldest mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains study area. Meanwhile, here’s what we know and what we don’t know about all those possible treatments for COVID-19 that Trump has been promoting.
  • We still don’t know how easily this new coronavirus can spread through the air. The World Health Organization says it doesn’t seem to linger or travel more than 3 feet, but at least one medical expert says it’s way too soon to know that.
  • Trying to remain sane through all this can be very, very hard. Here’s some expert advice on how to get through this crisis without losing your mental health (and yes, one pro tip is to know the facts — but limit your news intake).

Here’s what we’re covering today:

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  • L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is scheduled to update the public on what’s going on in the jails this afternoon. We’ll have that news conference live and bring you the key takeaways.
  • Caroline Champlin has a closer look at local response rate to the 2020 Census, which has been hobbled when it comes to outreach due to the pandemic.
  • Adolfo Guzman-Lopez examines the struggles California’s community colleges are facing when it comes to distance learning for its unique student body.
  • While we're all stuck at home, comedians and comedy troupes are turning to the internet and social media to cheer up audiences. Christine Ziemba — who normally brings you each week’s fantastic events — has the details on 10 comedy shows happening at a computer near you.
  • We’re also examining what we do and don't know about the transmission of coronavirus via food.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone’s mental health. Robert Garrova outlines those concerns and has some resources.
  • Josie Huang continues to look into reports of bullying of Asian American children and what is, and isn't, being done about it.
  • We can all use a smile these days, right? Well our newsroom has some seriously strong game when it comes to holiday decorating and Halloween. Stay tuned for what happened when we issued a challenge to show up for work (virtually, of course) as your favorite emoji.

And now, your moment of Zen:

The snow capped mountains form the backdrop for a walk in Huntington Beach this weekend. Californians have been told to stick close to home, even for their walks.

5e815bd2b18a9b000a3f59dc-eight.jpg
(Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

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