Today’s Headlines: L.A. County hits 10,000 coronavirus cases in a week

people wearing masks outside a store
Visitors to Chinatown wear masks even when outdoors. L.A. County’s new mask mandate went into effect over the weekend.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

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L.A. County hits 10,000 coronavirus cases in a week

Los Angeles County is now recording more than 10,000 coronavirus cases a week — a pace not seen since March — an alarming sign of the dangers the Delta variant poses to people who have not been vaccinated and heightening pressure on health officials to reverse the trend.

A Los Angeles Times data analysis found L.A. County was recording 101 weekly coronavirus cases for every 100,000 residents, up from 12 for the seven-day period that ended June 15. That means the county has surpassed the threshold to have “high” community transmission of the disease, the worst tier as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A region must hit 100 or more weekly cases per 100,000 residents to enter the worst tier.

It’s still far fewer than during the deadly winter surge, when L.A. County was recording more than 1,000 weekly cases for every 100,000 residents, but it underscores growing concerns that unvaccinated people are at heightened risk.


The growing numbers have led L.A. County to require everyone to wear masks indoors again, while much of the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as Sacramento, Fresno and Yolo counties, have made the plea a recommendation. L.A. County in part modeled its indoor mask order on Israel’s approach.

More top coronavirus headlines

— The U.S. surgeon general said that he was concerned about what lay ahead with COVID-19 cases increasing in every state, millions still unvaccinated and the highly contagious Delta variant spreading rapidly.

— British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will spend 10 days self-isolating after contact with a confirmed coronavirus case, his office said — reversing an earlier announcement that he would not have to quarantine after facing an uproar.

COVID-19 vaccine inequity: Inside the cutthroat race among countries to secure doses.

Recall roll call

The recall campaign against California Gov. Gavin Newsom came into clear focus over the weekend, but with little of the frenzy and national spotlight that nearly two decades ago caused the political earthquake that ushered Arnold Schwarzenegger into office.

The tentative candidate lineup revealed by state election officials appeared to do little to change the dynamics of the race, where a group of mostly Republicans face an uphill battle to unseat Newsom in a solidly Democratic state, at least for now.

State elections officials announced that 41 candidates had filed valid paperwork and met other requisites to appear on the recall ballot for the Sept. 14 election. The most famous candidate in the race, Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, decamped to Australia to film a reality television show shortly before the filing deadline. Other GOP candidates include 2018 gubernatorial nominee John Cox, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Rep. Doug Ose, and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley.

Conservative radio host Larry Elder, who said he filed papers to run, did not appear on the state list. His campaign objected.

More politics

President Biden said the U.S. will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that the DACA program protecting hundreds of thousands of “Dreamers” who came to the country as children was implemented unconstitutionally, and he renewed his call for Congress to agree on a permanent solution.

— After three Southern California venues canceled Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene’s America First rally amid significant public outcry, the lawmakers hosted a protest in Riverside on Saturday evening instead.

— Rep. Katie Porter isn’t a member of congressional leadership, nor is she a firebrand who is constantly in the news. But the Orange County congresswoman is among the most powerful fundraisers in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sign up early for our California Politics newsletter, coming in August, to get the best of The Times’ state politics reporting, including full coverage of the recall election and the latest action in Sacramento.

What to do about bad doctors?

As injured patients and consumer rights groups fight for tougher penalties on grossly negligent doctors, California’s powerful physicians lobby is working hard behind the scenes to water down any proposed reforms. So far, the lobbyists seem to be winning.

The battle between would-be reformers and the physicians’ professional association rages regularly in Sacramento. It gained fresh momentum after last week’s Times investigation that found the Medical Board of California, which oversees physicians, has consistently allowed negligent doctors to keep practicing and harming patients: leaving them dead, paralyzed, brain-damaged and missing limbs.

Despite the issues highlighted in The Times’ investigation, patient advocates say they are hamstrung in their effort to push legislators to make meaningful changes in the name of public safety by the deep-pocketed California Medical Assn.

'The Times' podcast

Our new weekday podcast, hosted by columnist Gustavo Arellano, takes listeners beyond the headlines. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and follow on Spotify.


— As Biden orders U.S. troops to depart Afghanistan by Aug. 31 and with the Taliban on the warpath, many women there fear an imminent return to some of the darkest days in their country’s recent history.

— Losing Rosario: A mother sent her daughter across the border in the Rio Grande Valley. Before they could reunite, one died.

Diamonds, gold, luxury homes: inside one L.A. family’s $18-million COVID-19 fraud.

— How did Simone Biles become the G.O.A.T. expected to dominate the Tokyo Olympics?

— Plus: A look at the 613 Olympic athletes representing the United States in Tokyo.


Do you remember “Carmageddon”? In mid-July 2011, officials shut down a 10-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway for the weekend to tear down half of the Mulholland Drive bridge before the Monday morning rush.

In the countdown to the big event, officials warned of massive traffic jams if motorists did not stay off the roads. But most indeed stayed away, and the demolition went smoothly, with contractors finishing about 17 hours ahead of schedule.

“The first drivers roared up the newly reopened 405 Freeway at high noon Sunday, honking horns, kicking up roostertails of demolition dust, arms stretched through open windows to wave at no one in particular,” The Times reported.

The next year, the whole scene was repeated with fears of “Carmageddon II” — and it ended with similar results.

overhead shot of freeways
The empty 405 Freeway looking southbound during “Carmageddon II” in 2012.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)


— A series of wildfires, including the Sugar fire that has already charred more than 100,000 acres, continue to burn huge swaths of drought-dried vegetation in Northern California.

— The state will spend a record $4.8 billion over two years to alleviate homelessness after legislators unanimously passed key details of a new state budget. Here’s where the money is going.

— Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer, who is running for mayor, railed against a 595-page report that found that attorneys in his office took part in a scheme to settle litigation that arose from a faulty billing system used by the Department of Water and Power.

Mat George, co-host of the popular dating and relationship podcast “She Rates Dogs,” has died at 26 after being hit in what police described as a hit-and-run collision in Beverly Grove.

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— The Biden administration on Monday blamed China for a hack of Microsoft that compromised tens of thousands of computers around the world earlier this year. A senior administration official said that the U.S. has confronted senior Chinese officials and that the White House regards multi-nation public shaming as sending an important message.

— An investigation by a global media consortium based on leaked targeting data provides further evidence that military-grade malware from Israel-based NSO Group, the world’s most infamous hacker-for-hire outfit, is being used to spy on journalists, human rights activists and political dissidents.

— The assassination of Haiti’s president has provided a glimpse into the murky world of soldiers of fortune from Colombia.

— German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged financial aid and more focus on curbing climate change after surveying what she called a “surreal, ghostly” scene in a village devastated by floods.


— HBO’s “The White Lotus” satirizes privilege at an exclusive Hawaiian resort, but it has the same blind spots as its fictional guests, TV critic Lorraine Ali writes.

— The critically panned “Space Jam: A New Legacy” defied expectations and won the box office this weekend, grossing $31.7 million in North America, while “Black Widow” took in $26.3 million, according to studio estimates.

— Julia Ducournau’s “Titane,” a wild thriller, won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, making Ducournau just the second female filmmaker to win the festival’s top honor in its 74-year history.

— How the Apple TV+ series “Ted Lasso” won over American soccer stars and contributed to UCLA’s Pac-12 title.


— For months, California has added jobs at breakneck speed as it pulls out of the pandemic recession. In June, that pace clearly slowed. This month, the spread of a coronavirus variant is adding to concerns about the recovery ahead.

Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford are asking $18.5-million for their huge Hollywood Hills compound.


Collin Morikawa, a graduate of La Cañada High, made golf history by becoming the first player to win two different major championships on his first try. He won the British Open at Royal St. George’s and, 11 months ago, the PGA Championship at Harding Park.

Tadej Pogacar took the yellow jersey to Paris to win his second straight Tour de France after a grueling three-week odyssey that at times he made look like a recreational ride.

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— Transforming our food system will require a new mind-set and more careful consideration of blue foodsaquatic animals, plants and algae cultivated and captured in freshwater and marine environments, writes Stanford professor Rosamond Naylor.

— Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise cultural changes aren’t just “woke” — they’re necessary, Times game critic Todd Martens writes.


— Unraveling last year’s saga of mystery seeds in the mail and the conspiracy theories it spawned. (The Atlantic)

— How China censors the video game world. (The Guardian)


California is known for its wine and its water — well, the Pacific Ocean. So why not combine the two? At least that’s what the founders of Ocean Fathoms thought. They’ve been aging bottles of wine at the bottom of the ocean, about a mile off Santa Barbara. But then the California Coastal Commission got wind of the business — and, columnist Steve Lopez reports, it was none too pleased.

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