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Morning Briefing: Staying Safe, Sane And In Compliance

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Our state and county stay-at-home orders came swooping in fast, and they’re being updated and amended almost daily. Since Mayor Eric Garcetti’s initial mandate, folks in L.A. have been scrambling to stay safe, stay in compliance and — perhaps most difficult— stay sane.

We have the stories of some such challenges coming up today, from a man who’s staying at a homeless shelter and worried about an apparent lack of soap, to LAX officials’ ongoing emergency response, to one reporter’s exploration of what could happen if the Big One hit right now.

Here’s what we’re covering today:

  • Robert Garrova explores what happens at skilled nursing facilities, like Cedar Mountain in Yucaipa, when residents and staff test positive for COVID-19.
  • Head Starts, preschools and transitional kindergartens are closed, and teachers are trying to translate their lessons to a variety of digital apps, reports Mariana Dale.
  • Matt Tinoco talks to a man currently spending nights at a South L.A. homeless shelter, who reached out to us to tell us social distancing is not being enforced, and there appears to be no soap on the premises.
  • Josie Huang has the story of a former USC admissions official who’s agreed to plead guilty to a charge of wire fraud, having allegedly secured admission to the university’s graduate programs in exchange for thousands of dollars in cash.
  • After a 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit Idaho earlier this week, Jacob Margolis looks at what would happen if the Big One struck L.A. while we’re battling coronavirus.
  • Mike Roe talks with photographers who have been doing socially distant portraits, shot through windows and from far away — a sign of our times.
  • L.A. County Fire officials are seeing a sharp uptick of calls from people complaining of fever and other COVID-19 symptoms, reports Elly Yu.
  • Sharon McNary covers an L.A. Board of Airport Commissioners meeting, convened specifically to discuss COVID-19 concerns.

Your COVID-19 cheat sheet: What's happened in the past 24 hours

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Here are some non-COVID-19 reads:

  • As of this week, about one in three American households have completed the census. But in L.A. County, a Census Bureau map of individual tracts shows that participation is starting to look segregated.
  • Theatrical lighting designer Elizabeth Harper has created the looks for plays at the Geffen Playhouse, the Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory and more. She told us how she got where she is today.

And now, your moment of Zen:

This picture was sent to us via tweet by reader @now_cowan:

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(@now_cowan via Twitter)

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