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California

Coronavirus cases in California pass 2,000. Here is what you need to know

Hikers wearing masks because of coronavirus concerns walk past the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park on Monday.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

California hit another milestone with coronavirus: more than 2,000 cases confirmed.

Officials expect that number to rise significantly amid aggressive new pushes to get more people tested.

The death toll now stands at 43, with two new deaths reported in Los Angeles County. Both state and local numbers show it’s not just the old getting sick. Of those who have tested positive in Los Angeles County, for example, 80% are people ages 18 to 65, and 42% are in the 18-40 age group.

“This virus can infect people from across the board,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Public Health Department, said Monday.

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Here are the basics:

MORE CLOSURES: Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that he is closing parking lots at California’s state parks in order to deter people from congregating and unintentionally spreading the novel coronavirus. It comes after many cities and agencies closed down beach parking lots, parks, hiking trails and recreation areas.

NATIONAL GUARD: The California National Guard on Monday provided details about how personnel would be deployed across the state to assist in coronavirus aid. Officials said the Guard is being used purely for humanitarian purposes, such as distributing food and medical supplies as well as helping at food banks and working with officials on the Grand Princess cruise ship, which docked in California after an outbreak of the virus on board.

SAN FRANCISCO WARNING: San Francisco officials warned that a surge in coronavirus is expected to come within a week or two, and voiced dismay over images of the public crowding at beaches and parks across California. “The worst is yet to come,” San Francisco Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax said at a news conference Monday.

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REAL ID: With the COVID-19 pandemic further stifling the efforts of California and other states to issue Real ID licenses, President Trump on Monday said he will extend the Oct. 1 deadline for people to apply for the identification cards to board domestic flights in the United States.

HELP SAILING TO L.A.: The Navy hospital ship Mercy, based in San Diego, has been deployed to Los Angeles and should be here within days. The Federal Emergency Management Agency was set to ship mobile hospital units to California within the next 48 hours. The state is in line to get eight of these units, for a total of 2,000 beds.

SCHOOLS: Los Angeles public schools will remain closed until May 1 in response to the coronavirus outbreak as Supt. Austin Beutner announced Monday that Verizon would provide free internet access for all students who did not currently have it so learning can continue. Beutner said he had authorized $100 million in spending on technology to help students as the district struggled to provide online learning for about half a million students, many without internet access at home. The district is working on a plan to distribute more computers to students and instructions for accessing the Verizon program.


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