In California and across the nation, new measures are being urged to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
How You Can Slow Coronavirus’ Spread
Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. Don’t eat and drink in bars, restaurants and public food courts. Stop unnecessary travel or shopping trips. Work or engage in school from home when possible. These are among the new guidelines President Trump has announced for the U.S., as authorities try to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. And he offered a stark prediction of how long the crisis would last: “People are saying July, August, something like that.”
In parts of California and elsewhere, the guidance from local authorities is more stringent. In the hard-hit San Francisco Bay Area, residents of seven counties have been ordered to shelter in place, a move that will close virtually all businesses and direct residents to stay home for the next three weeks. In L.A., the city and county have closed bars, movie theaters and gyms and ordered restaurants to stop dine-in service and limit business to takeout orders and delivery. Statewide, Gov. Gavin Newsom has asked for similar shutdowns, though without the force of law.
Still, in a teleconference with all 50 governors, Trump suggested that states should do more. He urged state officials to prepare unilaterally for an anticipated shortage of hospital beds and ventilators because of an influx of critical coronavirus cases.
Meanwhile, as theaters, casinos, shopping malls, sporting events and other public places that drive consumer spending are increasingly being forced to shut their doors, the U.S. stock market suffered its biggest single-day drop since the 1987 crash. The Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 3,000 points, or 12.9%. Moreover, it prompted fears that a recession may already be underway — one that may be slightly more severe for California.
Will Testing Finally Ramp Up?
The lack of widespread testing early on in the U.S. has made it nearly impossible to track the coronavirus and ultimately forced the closure of schools and businesses in many cities nationwide. As of Monday, the U.S. had tested roughly 40,000 people for the virus, while South Korea, a country six times smaller, had tested more than 260,000.
Officials insist change is coming, with promises that by the end of the week, more than 2,000 commercial labs across the nation will be performing tests using high-speed machines that can process many samples at once.
But this isn’t the first time federal officials have made such promises, and hopes in hospitals and clinics remain dim, as patients have been awaiting results and overworked doctors have sharply questioned the government’s latest pledge.
More Top Coronavirus Stories
— Millions of families in Los Angeles and across Caifornia have been forced to adjust to closed schools, childcare hassles, an uneven move to online learning and a strained social safety net. L.A. Unified had more bad news: District officials canceled their innovative effort to offer childcare, counseling and learning materials at 40 new family resource centers, citing health risks.
— California lawmakers have approved a plan to spend as much as $1 billion on the state’s emergency medical response as it prepares hospitals to combat an expected onslaught of patients.
— U.S. researchers gave the first shot of an experimental coronavirus vaccine to the first person in an eagerly-awaited trial on Monday.
— Google’s solution to the problem of getting people tested for the new coronavirus has finally arrived. The website promises to help — as long as you’re not already sick.
— Feeling depressed? You’re not alone. Mental health experts are advising people to pay attention to any feelings of anxiety or depression and feel free to seek help.
Plus, here are some tips from Coronavirus Today, a new special edition of The Times’ Health and Science newsletter that will help you understand more about COVID-19:
— Wash your hands for at least 40 to 60 seconds. It’s a better protective measure than a mask.
— Stop touching your face, and keep your phone clean.
— Watch for these symptoms of possible infection: fever, cough, shortness of breath.
— If you’re sick, stay home. If you’re worried you might be infected, call your doctor or urgent care clinic.
Primary Season Lurches On
With the coronavirus crisis growing, presidential primary season is lurching forward. Florida, Illinois and Arizona are still planning on holding their elections today, but the fate of Ohio’s primary was thrown into disarray Monday. Hours after a judge rejected Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s request to postpone the state’s presidential primary, DeWine announced Monday night that his health director would order an emergency shutdown of the polls because of the pandemic.
During Trump’s news conference on Monday — in which he adopted a much more dire tone about the coronavirus crisis after telling people to “just relax” — the president had said that he thought it was unnecessary to reschedule any primaries.
The election turmoil comes as former Vice President Joe Biden is trying to cement his delegate lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in what is now a two-person race for the Democratic presidential nomination. In particular, Biden will face a test over whether he can win over one of Sanders’ biggest bases of support: Latinos.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
In the 1950s, American journalists were invited to observe nuclear explosions at the Nevada Test Site in southeastern Nye County, about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. On March 17, 1953, Los Angeles Times staff writer Gene Sherman was among them. Journalists and soldiers sat in trenches two miles from ground zero for one test.
He wrote: “White hell in the heavens burst over us at 5:20 a.m. today but seconds later we peered unharmed from our trenches to prove men are safe less than two miles from an atomic explosion.” Read more of his experience here.
— All Los Angeles County court proceedings will be suspended for several days as concerns about the spread of the coronavirus grow. But even as L.A. is locked down, many city employees are expected to come to work as usual. Here is what you need to know about what’s closed and open in L.A.
— For many restaurants, quickly shifting to a takeout or delivery-only business model isn’t easy — nor is it necessarily profitable.
— The 1918 Spanish flu archives at UCLA, the Huntington Library and the City of Los Angeles offer a glimpse of how Los Angeles and other cities across the Southland weathered a similar outbreak.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
— Universal Pictures is collapsing the theatrical window. In an extraordinary step, the studio’s movies will be available in the home on the same day as their global theatrical releases.
— “Saturday Night Live” is the latest big TV show to be put on hold by the pandemic. No new start date has been set,
— The new season of HBO’s “Westworld” imagines Los Angeles in 2058. Here’s what it looks like.
— The Supreme Court says it will not hold oral arguments during the next two weeks because of the virus outbreak. It’s the first postponement of its kind since 1918.
— The TSA is relaxing its liquid size restrictions on hand santizer to help travelers take precautions against the coronavirus.
— The Justice Department says a Connecticut man has been charged with threatening the life of Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee chairman who played a key role in impeachment proceedings against Trump.
— After a rare mass shooting in Thailand, survivors are learning to embrace something just as unusual for the country: therapy.
— Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz will be given the first opportunity to form a new government in Israel after an inconclusive national election. The move raises questions about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political future.
— Tesla’s Fremont electric vehicle assembly plant, which employs about 10,000 workers, will remain open despite the “shelter in place” lockdown issued by six Bay Area counties. Alameda County has declared Tesla an “essential business” that is allowed to remain in operation.
— Amazon says it needs to hire 100,000 people across the U.S. to keep up with a crush of orders as the coronavirus keeps more people at home, shopping online.
— Major League Baseball acknowledged that the start of its season would be delayed for months, not weeks. The league offered no timetable but said it remains “committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins.”
— The NFL draft is staying put, but public festivities will be canceled.
— What are high school seniors supposed to do when the novel coronavirus has canceled games and put recruiting on hold? Coaches and students are exploring new paths forward.
— Coronavirus is gutting people’s incomes. L.A. needs to protect renters from eviction, The Times’ editorial board writes.
— Rep. Devin Nunes wants you to go to bars and pubs. What’s up with that?
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
— Pandemics have a way of forcing us to a moral reckoning: What do we really owe each other? (BuzzFeed News)
— The social costs of all the necessary event cancellations and how to lower them. (The Conversation)
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
Even the Terminator isn’t taking any chances when it comes to the coronavirus. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shared a video of himself enjoying self-quarantine after the current governor called for senior citizens and other vulnerable groups to stay home. The actor’s co-stars: Whiskey the pony and Lulu the donkey. “We don’t go out. We don’t go to restaurants. We don’t do anything like that anymore here. We just eat with Whiskey and with Lulu.”
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