Coronavirus updates: These California businesses can reopen this week, and these can’t
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Here is which California businesses can reopen this week and which ones can’t
He said details would be provided later this week, but here are some highlights:
Businesses that can open
Bookstores, music stores, toy stores, florists, sporting goods retailers and others can reopen for pickup as early as Friday. Additional businesses could be named later this week, also with curbside pickup.
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Garcetti, other mayors, call for more federal funding to fight violence during pandemic
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and more than a dozen other mayors from across the country have called on Congress to provide more federal funding to fight gun violence, which has continued during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mayors, along with the gun policy reform organization Giffords, specifically called for assistance in maintaining violence interruption programs as economic turmoil related to the coronavirus continues to create budget shortfalls.
“Our emergency resources are dedicated to protecting public health and safety, but we do not have enough healthcare resources to fight both these battles,” Garcetti and the other mayors wrote. “We need our healthcare resources to combat COVID-19, and we need specific resources to tackle gun violence and support the frontline workers and organizations who are already working to do so.”
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UC could reopen just one-third of its dorm rooms this fall
The University of California could reopen just one-third to one-half of dorm rooms this fall in order to maintain safe distances among students amid the coronavirus outbreak, a top UC official said Monday, raising questions about what would happen to others without campus housing.
Campuses are still making decisions on their fall scenarios, which may come in June or July. Last week, UC President Janet Napolitano said campuses will first be required to satisfy systemwide guidelines to ensure public health and safety and any reopening “will probably be greatly reduced.”
Any reduced availability of dorms — and subsequent decline in housing revenue — would amplify the staggering financial toll on the UC system triggered by the coronovirus crisis. The UC system was hit with $558 million in revenue losses and added expenses to its 10 campuses and five medical centers in March alone and those costs are projected to rise to about $2.5 billion by the end of the fiscal year June 30, according to Nathan Brostrom, UC Merced interim chancellor who also has served as systemwide chief financial officer.
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Masks should be mandatory on L.A. Metro buses and trains, official says
A face mask should be mandatory for anyone who wants to board a bus or train in Los Angeles County during the coronavirus outbreak, a county official said Monday.
Allowing passengers without face coverings to ride on Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses “threatens to compound the spread” of coronavirus because workers at grocery stores, restaurants and other essential businesses rely on public transportation, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a letter Monday.
Hahn, who is also a Metro director, said that Los Angeles County is requiring customers to wear face coverings while visiting essential businesses. Transportation is an essential service too, she said, and should have the same requirements.
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California Supreme Court denies ACLU petition to lower state’s prison and jail populations
The California Supreme Court has denied a petition filed late last month by the American Civil Liberties Union calling for the state’s highest court to take action that would further lower the state’s prison and jail populations during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a four-page decision, the court said the ACLU had raised issues that “call for prompt attention,” but ruled that those matters would be better handled by the county courts where each facility is located.
The ACLU’s filing, submitted April 25, had argued that social distancing is almost impossible in California jails and prisons, where many inmates are housed near one another and take showers or eat in communal areas. The petition, which named Gov. Gavin Newsom and Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra as respondents, contained sworn statements about poor conditions at jails in 15 counties across California.
“We are very disappointed in the court’s decision. The COVID crisis in jails and juvenile facilities is a statewide emergency that will cause serious harm and even death not only to people in those facilities but also in the communities that surround them,” said Peter J. Eliasberg, ACLU SoCal chief counsel.
The California Judicial Council and some local sheriffs have already taken significant steps to lower California’s incarcerated population during the COVID-19 pandemic. The spread of the coronavirus in the Lompoc federal penitentiary and the Otay Mesa immigration detention center have highlighted how fast the virus can spread in close quarters.
Data show the state’s average daily incarcerated population fell from about 72,400 in late February to nearly 54,500 in early April, while bookings statewide have also plummeted. The number of juveniles in custody in California has also dropped by about 1,000 youths in that time frame, records show.
Travel industry offers new safety procedures in bid to revive business
Hoping to give Americans confidence to travel again, the nation’s biggest travel trade group has unveiled enhanced cleaning, social distancing and touchless payment procedures for hotels, airlines, airports, theme parks, restaurants and cruise lines.
The protocols by the U.S. Travel Assn. demonstrates an attempt by travel business leaders to help revive an industry that was setting profit and passenger total records only a few months ago but has been losing about $18 billion a week since the coronavirus began to spread in the U.S. in March.
The protocols for operating in a post-COVID-19 world don’t dictate when it’s safe to travel again but set basic standards that all travel and hospitality businesses must adhere to once government and medical experts lift stay-at-home orders and give a green light for leisure and business travel.
Each individual travel business, such as airlines, hotels and cruise lines, will be encouraged to adopt specific protocols for its own industry. The American Hotel and Lodging Assn. released its protocols Monday, in cooperation with the U.S. Travel Assn.
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State lockdowns have become politically divisive. Here’s how we can come together
Americans are in the midst of a moral dilemma as stark as any in the Bible. If we end the lockdown, deaths from COVID-19 will increase, but if we maintain it, the astounding unemployment rate will move still higher.
The problem would be tragic enough, but now it’s become politicized and has further divided Americans. Research on how people think about dire choices may help governors bring us together on this issue.
In one sense, the choice ought to be easy, because preserving life is what psychologists call a “sacred value.” Sacred values are not simply important, they are nonnegotiable — a human life is considered priceless — and people angrily condemn those who say otherwise.
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‘You could literally kill someone’: Masks become a new COVID-19 battleground
In the bustling college town of Stillwater, Okla., residents are allowed to visit restaurants and retailers — freedoms that most of the country does not currently enjoy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet when the city issued an emergency proclamation Friday that required citizens to wear face coverings, store employees were “threatened with physical violence and showered with verbal abuse,” according to a statement released by the city. In response, Stillwater quickly amended its wording to only “encourage” use of masks.
“This has occurred in three short hours and in the face of clear medical evidence that face coverings help contain the spread of COVID-19,” Stillwater City Manager Norman McNickle said in a statement. “Many of those with objections cite the mistaken belief the requirement is unconstitutional, and under their theory, one cannot be forced to wear a mask. No law or court supports this view.”
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A baseball or hockey game here, a golf tournament there: Events without fans are rare
Plenty of unknowns remain about the return of live professional sporting events, but one thing is certain: Fans will not be in attendance for the foreseeable future.
NASCAR announced that its premier Cup Series season will restart without fans May 17. The PGA Tour will restart June 11 with no fans for at least its first four events. They’ll follow in the footsteps of the WWE, which has held events, including Wrestlemania, without fans for two months.
The timeline is slower for major team sports leagues. They must account for more people — players, coaching staffs, officials, etc. — essential to the operation. Widespread testing for the coronavirus is considered a prerequisite.
Major League Baseball suspended operations during spring training March 12, but officials are confident they can hold some form of a regular season. NBA officials remain hopeful the league can salvage its regular season and playoffs. The NHL is considering holding neutral-site games, playing into October and delaying the start of the 2020-21 season.
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San Francisco police to replace ‘thin blue line’ masks after controversy
San Francisco police officers will be provided with neutral face coverings after some responded to a recent protest wearing masks with the “thin blue line” logo, sparking controversy, Police Chief Bill Scott announced over the weekend.
The move drew harsh criticism from the San Francisco police union, which distributed the face masks to officers last week.
“With a global pandemic raging across the world and the inability of police officers to shelter-in-place, San Francisco’s professional protesters played the race card,” San Francisco Police Officers Assn. President Tony Montoya said in a message to members sent Saturday. “They pulled the strings that control our chief, and we are now prohibited from wearing the POA masks on duty.”
2 California counties let businesses reopen: ‘You don’t know if you’re an outlaw or a pioneer’
For Natalie Lambert, welcoming diners back into her Yuba City restaurant was an exciting but somewhat conflicting experience.
“You don’t know if you’re an outlaw or a pioneer at this point,” the Lambert House Cafe owner said in a phone interview.
She, like other residents of Northern California’s Yuba and Sutter counties, woke up to a host of new possibilities Monday after the local health officer relaxed some regulations that were imposed in response to the coronavirus outbreak — allowing some businesses to reopen.
Gov. Gavin Newsom says reopening will begin this week
SACRAMENTO —Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that some retail stores across the state can reopen with modifications as early as Friday amid growing pressure to ease the stay-at-home order that has cratered the California economy.
“We are entering into the next phase this week,” Newsom said at his Monday news conference. “This is a very positive sign and it’s happened only for one reason: The data says it can happen.”
Under the new guidelines, the governor said bookstores, music stores, toy stores, florists, sporting goods retailers and others can reopen for pickup as early as Friday. He said more detailed guidelines on the businesses that can reopen would be released later this week.
L.A. schools will start Aug. 18, whether campuses are open or not
L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner said Monday that the school year would start on Aug. 18 as scheduled, but no decision has been made on whether campuses will reopen for in-person classes by that date.
In addition, an expanded summer school session will begin online in mid-June.
The timing of campus reopenings is complicated, Beutner said.
“The timing remains uncertain because the science is still uncertain,” Beutner said in prepared remarks. “At a minimum, a comprehensive system of testing and contact tracing will need to be in place and the implications of the testing widely understood before schools can reopen. We are in regular discussions with state and local health authorities and are also working alongside a team of UCLA experts in infectious diseases, virology, epidemiology and testing.
“That’s critical because it will be the science, and only the science, which can provide a foundation for the safe return of our school community.”
NFL won’t hold international games in 2020
The NFL is moving its five games scheduled for London and Mexico City this season back to U.S. stadiums because of the coronavirus pandemic, two people with knowledge of the switch told the Associated Press.
All five regular-season games will be played at the stadiums of the host teams, the people said, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity Monday because the decision had not been announced publicly.
Scheduled were two home games for the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London and two at Tottenham’s new facility, with the Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins as hosts. The Arizona Cardinals were set to be the home team for the game at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
U.K. leader names baby after doctors who treated him
LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson and fiancee Carrie Symonds have named their baby boy Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson in honor of their grandfathers and doctors who saved the U.K. leader’s life when he was hospitalized with COVID-19.
Symonds made the announcement on her Instagram page Saturday, posting a picture of her cradling her 3-day-old son and explaining the name choice. She praised the maternity team at University College Hospital in London and said her “heart is full.″
“Introducing Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson born on 29.04.20 at 9am,” she wrote in the post. “Wilfred after Boris’ grandfather, Lawrie after my grandfather, Nicholas after Dr Nick Price and Dr Nick Hart - the two doctors that saved Boris’ life last month.”
The birth came just days after Johnson returned to work following his hospitalization for the coronavirus. He spent a week at London’s St. Thomas’ Hospital, including three nights in intensive care.
Johnson was present for the birth but back working at 10 Downing St. within hours amid the ongoing pandemic. Johnson’s office said he would take paternity leave later in the year.
France’s prime minister urges public transport companies to open as restrictions are lifted
PARIS — French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe urged public transport companies to open May 11 as the country will start lifting confinement measures.
Heads of France’s biggest public transports companies, including national railway SNCF and Paris metro RATP, have voiced concerns over the lack of human and material resources to ensure travelers’ safety.
In a speech to French senators, Philippe said they needed to “find the right answers to complex questions” because it was necessary to provide public transport “in a controlled way” next week to help the economy recover after two months of strict lockdown.
Philippe reaffirmed that people would be allowed to travel no farther than 62 miles, with exceptions only for compelling familial or professional reasons.
He said reservations would be mandatory to halve the number of passengers in long-distance trains.
Heads of public transports companies, in an open letter, called for police to help them regulate passenger flows and warned of potential disruptions during rush hour.
Starting May 11, all French businesses will be allowed to resume activity and schools will start gradually reopening.
A pivotal week for California reopening, as communities and businesses revolt against Newsom
This is shaping up to be a pivotal week in the efforts to reopen California as Gov. Gavin Newsom said there could be some easing of stay-at-home rules even as several communities and individual businesses were taking matters into their own hands.
Newsom’s bid to keep Orange County beaches closed this weekend appears to have worked. While the beaches drew some protesters and much media attention, they were not overrun by visitors, and officials said those who did venture out usually practiced social distancing.
Testing in California still a frustrating patchwork of haves and have-nots
Months into the spread of the coronavirus in the United States, widespread diagnostic testing still isn’t available, and California offers a sobering view of the dysfunction blocking the way.
It’s hard to overstate how uneven the access to critical test kits remains in the nation’s largest state. Even as some Southern California counties are opening drive-through sites to make testing available to any resident who wants it, a rural Northern California county is testing raw sewage to determine whether the coronavirus has infiltrated its communities.
County to county, city to city — even hospital to hospital within a city — testing capacity varies widely, as does the definition of who qualifies for testing.
As beaches remain closed, second heat wave bears down on Southern California
Southern California’s second heat wave in as many weeks is poised to bring scorching temperatures that could break records in Los Angeles County by midweek.
The warm-up will begin Monday afternoon, with temperatures in the low to mid-70s along the coast and highs in the mid-80s to low-90s in the valleys. Temperatures are expected to peak Thursday, when it could reach nearly 100 degrees in downtown Los Angeles, according to the National Weather Service.
The skyrocketing temperatures come amid the coronavirus outbreak and public health orders that have closed many outdoor recreation areas, including parks, pools and beaches where people typically flock to cool off during warm weather.
A French nursing home takes on the virus and wins
LYON, France — As the coronavirus scythed through nursing homes, cutting a deadly path, Valerie Martin vowed to herself that the story would be different at the home she runs in France.
The action she took to stop the virus from infecting and killing the vulnerable older adults in her care was both drastic and effective: Martin and her staff locked themselves in with the 106 residents.
For 47 days and nights, staff and residents of the Vilanova nursing home on the outskirts of the east-central city of Lyon waited out the COVID-19 storm together as the disease killed tens of thousands of people in other care homes across Europe, including more than 9,000 people in France.
California reopening would start slow, not be complete for at least a year, expert estimates
SAN FRANCISCO — So when might California be ready to really loosen up its statewide stay-at-home order?
Gov. Gavin Newsom outlined a four-stage plan that envisions a process by which restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus are lifted gradually.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said he understood the frustrations and suggested he would announce an easing of some rules as early as this week.
“I just want folks to know we’re getting very close to making really meaningful augmentations to that stay-at-home order,” Newsom said Friday. “I want to say many days, not weeks, as long as we continue to be prudent and thoughtful.”
Man wears KKK hood while grocery shopping; mayor calls it a ‘sad reminder of intolerance’
SANTEE, Calif. — A man was spotted wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood in a Vons in the San Diego County city of Santee on Saturday, igniting outrage from the mayor, the head of the Anti-Defamation League in San Diego and others.
A corporate spokeswoman said grocery clerks repeatedly asked the shopper to remove the hood or leave the store, located on Mission Gorge Road.
A supervisor found the man once he was in a checkout line and asked him again to take off the hood or leave, said Melissa Hill, a spokeswoman for Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions stores in Southern California.
The man removed the hood, purchased his items and left.
Battered and exhausted Italy eases its lockdown as some neighbors gingerly do the same
ROME — Millions of people were allowed to return to work Monday as Italy started to ease Europe’s longest coronavirus lockdown. Some of the battered country’s neighbors also began gingerly lifting restrictions imposed to help halt the spread of COVID-19.
Italy was the first European nation to be hit by the outbreak and has one of the world’s highest COVID-19 death tolls. On Monday, 4.4 million Italians were able to return to work after a two-month shutdown. Traffic in downtown Rome picked up, construction sites and manufacturing operations resumed, and flower vendors returned to the Campo dei Fiori market for the first time since March 11.
“It’s something that brings happiness and joy, and people have been missing that these days,” vendor Stefano Fulvi said. Like many entrepreneurs, Fulvi had to calculate when it was worth returning to work, given the limited demand with clients stuck at home. He doesn’t expect to break even anytime soon, “but you have to take the risk at some point.”
As infection rates have fallen in large parts of Europe, tentative efforts to restart public life are gathering pace.
Spain warns state of emergency must be extended
MADRID — The Spanish government is turning up pressure on opposition parties to approve another extension of the country’s state of emergency. The government says a failure to do so could “bring chaos.”
Transport and Mobility Minister José Luis Ábalos anticipates a tough debate in parliament on the issue Wednesday. He says the measure is “the most effective legal instrument” to fight the new coronavirus because it grants authorities the exceptional power to restrict freedom of movement.
Ábalos says that, without it, all the sacrifices made so far will have been “pointless.”
“There’s no Plan B, no alternative” to the state of emergency, Ábalos told a news conference in Madrid on Monday.
Health Minister Salvador Illa said it was “indispensable.”
Spain has managed to reduce the daily increase in the number of coronavirus infections from around 35% in mid-March to 0.16% because of a strict lockdown. More than 25,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the country.
‘My long goodbye’: Already coping with her husband’s Alzheimer’s, a wife now faces lockouts
Felice Blair knew two things for certain about the man she met that December day in Tel Aviv — he looked good in a red sweater and he was quite late.
After apologizing profusely for having gotten lost, her blind date, Bernard, a friend of her cousin, suggested they grab something “cheap and cheerful,” a phrase revealing his British roots. Want to get Chinese food, he suggested.
“I’m in love!” she blurted, telling him that it was her favorite.
He flashed her a baffled look and laughed and soon they were swapping stories about divorce and children over orange chicken and lo mein. They met up a couple more times before Felice’s weeklong trip ended and she returned home to Woodland Hills.
France and Germany to coordinate future stimulus
Germany and France have asked economists to look at how the two countries can coordinate fiscal stimulus to reboot their economies once the health crisis is over.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier have asked a committee of experts to advise on how to coordinate measures to ensure the biggest possible economic impact. Le Maire said France wouldn’t set out its plans for stimulus to reboot the economy until September.
Ukraine to ease lockdown restrictions
KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s president says the country is starting preparations for easing its coronavirus lockdown.
Volodymyr Zelensky says some of the restrictions could be lifted starting May 11. Ukraine has been in lockdown since March 12, and authorities have said it would be extended until May 22.
But the Cabinet has allowed some retailers, hairstylists, car dealers and other businesses to reopen May 11 on the condition that they strictly observe social distancing and other precautions. Walks in parks also will be allowed.
Ukraine has registered 12,331 coronavirus cases, including 303 deaths.
Hong Kong economy at lowest level since 1974
HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s coronavirus-battered economy shrank by 8.9% over a year earlier in the first quarter, its worst performance since quarterly reporting began in 1974.
The government said Monday the Chinese territory’s economy already was struggling before the pandemic due to weak global trade and anti-government protests that began in June and depressed tourism.
Exports fell 9.7% in the first quarter from a year earlier, the government reported. Exports of services plunged 37.8%, and consumer spending declined 10.2%.
Even though virus cases may be subsiding, trade tensions are heating up again, and protests are resuming, said Iris Pang of ING, a banking and financial services company.
“A longer recession is expected,” said Pang in the report.
‘All Rise’ is the first TV drama to tackle the virus. Here’s how they did it
It’s only a couple of hours after sunrise on a recent morning and, already, that frequent work-from-home question pierces through a fatigued internet connection.
“Edwin, can you hear us?”
He can’t. But it’s a temporary hiccup — one that’ll happen a few more times under these unusual circumstances. Because if you thought your virtual work meeting had its occasional twitches, try producing an hour of prime-time scripted television that way.
It’s what the team behind the CBS legal drama “All Rise” is doing as it creates an episode to close out its stunted season. Edwin Hodge, who has a guest role in the episode as the brother of the defendant, is having some technical difficulties. But nothing signing off and signing back in can’t fix.
Coughing echoes through the bus and Metro drivers wonder, ‘Am I going to catch it today?’
Coughing filled the bus as Metro’s Line 33 rumbled down Venice Boulevard. The driver looked on, horrified, as a passenger hacked repeatedly into his hands and wiped his palms on the seat.
“I was disgusted and uneasy,” said the driver. “Like, come on, man. What if someone sat there and they didn’t know? That’s how the virus spreads.”
For thousands of Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus drivers, going to work during a pandemic means spending hours in a confined space with strangers, wondering whether this will be the day they get sick.
Ridership on Los Angeles County buses has fallen 65% since the coronavirus outbreak began. But some lines are still so full that social distancing is impossible, according to interviews with a dozen drivers who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
L.A.'s legendary recording studios prep for a post-shutdown ‘resurgence’
In the six decades since the late recording legend and Disney sound engineer Salvador “Tutti” Camarata opened Sunset Sound Recorders in the heart of Hollywood, the studio has been continually powered up and ready for whatever musical inspiration may come its way.
Across that expanse of uninterrupted hours, months and decades, Sunset Sound’s rooms and machines at 6650 Sunset Blvd. have been the birthplace of hundreds of essential recordings by the Beach Boys, Prince, the Doors, Barbra Streisand, Bill Withers, Toto, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Janet Jackson, Linda Ronstadt, Elliott Smith and, more recently, Haim, Death Grips, John Legend and Beck.
The studio’s impressive 22,000-day streak came to an end in March, when city officials, prompted by the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, ordered Sunset Sound, its sister studio the Sound Factory and all other non-essential city businesses to close their doors.
“This is the first time in our history, in 60 years, that we’ve ever had to shut down,” says Paul Camarata, studio owner and son of Tutti.
Spain’s daily death toll stays low for a second day
MADRID — For the second day in a row, Spanish health officials are reporting 164 new confirmed deaths from the coronavirus, the lowest daily death toll in six weeks, bringing the total to 25,428.
The figures come as a respite for a country that has spent seven weeks under a strict lockdown. On Monday, the country entered the first stage of its phased reopening, which is expected to span nearly two months.
People ventured out for the first time for haircuts, to buy glasses or pick up takeout food, activities allowed by appointment only. Many small shops remain closed as business owners work on meeting strict new health and hygiene guidelines published only Sunday by the government.
Face masks are also mandatory on public transport. The government is distributing 14 million of them at major transportation hubs.
Political tension in the country is on the rise as opposition parties critical of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s handling of the crisis threaten to block a further extension of the country’s state of emergency in a parliamentary vote later this week.
Japan extends state of emergency to end of May
TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Monday that the ongoing state of emergency because of the coronavirus would be extended to the end of May.
Abe, citing experts’ evaluation, said the state of emergency, which was due to expire after Wednesday, needed to stay in place because the rise in the number of patients had not decreased significantly enough and hospitals were still overburdened.
He said there was a possibility of an early lifting of the measures if data in mid-May showed improvement.
Abe declared the state of emergency on April 7, initially only for Tokyo and six other urban prefectures, but later expanded it to cover the entire nation and requested that people reduce social interactions by up to 80%. He stopped short of issuing business-closure requests.
Japan has more than 15,000 cases with over 500 deaths. The number of cases detected in Tokyo accounts for about one-third of the national total.
Anonymous donor gives Santa Cruz hospital $1 million for employee bonuses
SANTA CRUZ — There’s a lot of gratitude for medical providers these days, and a recent anonymous note — plus a whopping donation — to a hospital in Santa Cruz showed it.
“Thank you for standing up (and staying up!) to care for our community,” the note said. “This humankindness is what makes you heroic.”
But it was the $1-million donation accompanying the note that had Dominican Hospital cheering. The gift was designated entirely for employees, and so nurses, cleaning staff, lab techs, medical-records keepers, security guards and even mailroom staff who have worked at the hospital for at least a year are receiving a bonus check. Full-time staff will get $800 and part-timers $600.
Hospital president Dr. Nanette Mickiewicz said the donation was a testament to the employees’ clinical excellence and their tireless dedication.
Greece gradually lifts 42-day lockdown
Greece has gradually begun lifting restrictive measures after a 42-day lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
As of Monday morning, Greeks can leave their homes without restriction and don’t need to take measures that were previously mandated to justify being outdoors, including carrying a self-written permit.
The country has opened some businesses in what authorities have said will be a staggered reopening of the economy. Hair salons and barbershops, and stores selling books, sporting goods, stationery and other items can now open, albeit with strict hygiene and social distancing measures in place.
Masks are now compulsory for staff and passengers on public transport, staff in shops selling fresh food and in several other places, with violators facing fines. Authorities strongly recommend that masks be worn in all indoor public areas.
School students in the final grade of high school are to return to class as of next week, followed later in the month by those in the rest of junior high and high school grades.
Greece’s government imposed a lockdown early in the country’s outbreak, which has been credited with keeping the number of deaths and critically ill at low levels. Greece has reported nearly 150 virus deaths and more than 2,500 infections. Almost 80,000 tests had been carried out as of Sunday.
Lesley Stahl says on ‘60 Minutes’ she was hospitalized with COVID-19
CBS News “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl said Sunday that she was finally feeling well after a battle with COVID-19 that left her hospitalized for a week.
The veteran television journalist said she was “really scared” after fighting pneumonia caused by the coronavirus for two weeks at home before going to the hospital.
“One of the rules of journalism is, ‘don’t become part of the story,’” Stahl, 78, said at the end of Sunday’s broadcast of “60 Minutes.” “But instead of covering the pandemic, I was one of the more than 1 million Americans who did become part of it.”
Skelton: Rural areas have a message for Newsom: One size doesn’t fit all in reopening California
Rebellion is infectious. Rural people are in revolt against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide virus-fighting rules, which make little sense in burgs such as Bieber.
Bieber has hardly anything in common with the likes of Burbank or Balboa.
“There’s a bar, a restaurant, a hardware store, market, post office, school and a gas station with one pump,” says Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle of Bieber in Lassen County. “No stop light.”
Dahle grows cereal grains and represents 11 mostly mountain counties in the Senate. His wife, Megan Dahle, is a Republican assemblywoman.
In four of the senator’s counties — Modoc, Lassen, Sierra and Alpine — there hasn’t been one case of coronavirus, he says. Zero.
“There is no curve. It’s flat.”
“People are getting fed up” with the governor’s stay-at-home, business-shut-down orders, Dahle says. “They want to open up, get back to normal.
“We’re not like Los Angeles or San Francisco. Let’s get back to cooler heads. Let the people free.”
With testing, Iceland claims major success against COVID-19
Winter storms isolated the northern village of Hvammstangi from the rest of Iceland. Then spring brought the coronavirus, isolating villagers from one another. Now, as summer approaches, residents hope life is getting back to some kind of normal.
High schools, hair salons, dentists and other businesses across Iceland are reopening Monday after six weeks of lockdown, and after this North Atlantic nation managed to tame its coronavirus outbreak.
Iceland has confirmed 1,799 cases of the virus, and 10 people have died. The number of new COVID-19 cases each day has fallen from 106 at the peak of the outbreak to single digits — even, on some days, zero.
“I didn’t expect the recovery to be this fast,” said Iceland’s chief epidemiologist, Thorolfur Gudnason.
Santa Barbara News-Press owner compares COVID restrictions to Nazi Germany; editor exits
The Santa Barbara News-Press lost its editor in chief this weekend after the newspaper published an editorial by owner and co-publisher Wendy McCaw that accused Democratic lawmakers of using the coronavirus for their own political agenda and compared stay-at-home orders to Nazi Germany.
“Our liberties are being stripped for what, a virus?? Think about this,” McCaw wrote in the editorial, published Friday and titled “We Are Living in Tyranny.”
She continued: “If this country can be put into this situation by a virus, what would it take to completely turn us into the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany? We are not that far away now, having to stand in line to get into supermarkets....”
A note at the end of the editorial read: “Wendy P. McCaw is the co-publisher of the News-Press and the views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the SBNP staff.”
Some countries report new infection peaks, even as lockdowns ease
As millions of people took advantage of the easing coronavirus lockdowns to enjoy spring weather, some of the world’s most populous countries reported worrisome new peaks in infections Sunday, including India, which saw its biggest single-day jump yet.
Second in population only to China, India reported more than 2,600 new infections. In Russia, new cases exceeded 10,000 for the first time. The confirmed death toll in Britain climbed near that of Italy, a hot spot of Europe’s outbreak, even though the U.K. population is younger than Italy’s and Britain had more time to prepare before the pandemic hit.
The United States continues to see tens of thousands of new infections each day, with more than 1,400 new deaths reported Saturday.
L.A. County cases top 25,000, with more than 1,200 deaths
Los Angeles County public health officials on Sunday reported 21 additional coronavirus-related deaths and 781 new cases overall, pushing the county’s total number to more than 25,000.
“The people lost to COVID-19 are mourned by all of us in L.A. County, and to their loved ones, we wish you peace and healing,” Barbara Ferrer, the county health director, said in a statement.
Long Beach, which has its own health department, reported 15 additional cases, bringing the county’s total to 25,677 cases and 1,229 related deaths.
California stay-at-home order faces revolts at beaches and in rural communities
Pressure to reopen parts of California continued to build over the weekend, with more rural counties vowing to ease stay-at-home restrictions and protesters marching against the closure of Orange County beaches, a move intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Polls show most Californians support stay-at-home rules, which have been credited with helping California avoid the massive death toll of New York and other hot spots, and fear that lifting them too soon could cause more outbreaks.