August 28, 2020
How to Wear and Care for your Face Coverings
By William Kim, MD, Chief Medical Advisor


Six months after our Beach Cities schools closed their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have become accustomed to wearing face coverings to prevent the spread of the disease.

Now, with a new school year starting, students are still taking classes at home/doing distance learning, but there are signs that Los Angeles County may soon be able to re-open campuses, if we as a community continue taking the proper steps. These include staying home as much as possible, keeping physical distance, frequent handwashing and wearing face coverings.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Aug. 12 Health Officer Order requires all people (with some exceptions noted below) “wear a face covering over both the nose and mouth when in or likely to be in contact with others, to lower the risks of person-to-person contact for themselves and others.”
A Clear Vision to Start the 2020 School Year
By Ali Steward, MPH, Director of Youth Services

The anticipation of the first day of school – on par with the first crack of a bat on Opening Day, and the final minutes of the year before the ball drops into the future. A jumble of hope and eagerness, optimism and earnestness.

In 2020, when we think we’ve seen it all, the school year will start not with a carefully calibrated dance of getting kids up, fed and out the door, but instead, perhaps just simply by logging on to “join meeting.”

Did you still purchase new school supplies? Were backpacks loaded, the night – or weeks, or even months – before? Was the first day of school outfit instead relegated to a Zoom shirt? Did you make it to the front step to document this year of firsts, only to beeline back to the kitchen table?
Blueprint for a Safer Economy
This afternoon, the State released new guidelines for the recovery journey. BCHD will provide updates as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announces more information on the new local reopening framework next week. For more information click here.
Younger Residents Continue to Account for Majority of New Cases
On August 27, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported that nearly 65% of all cases have occurred among people 49 years old and younger. Although younger residents typically have low risk for serious illness or death from COVID-19, they may unknowingly infect parents, grandparents, and friends and family who have underlying health conditions and who are at greater risk for serious illness and death. 

The Department of Public Health has consistently reported that the majority of people (93%) who died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions.
  • Hypertension and diabetes are the most common underlying health conditions among people who died from COVID-19.
  • Neurologic conditions and cardiovascular disease are also common.
COVID-19 Vaccine Trials
There is currently no vaccine available for COVID-19. Here are a couple vaccine trials underway in Southern California.

Kaiser Permanente Southern California is now participating in a new research study for a COVID-19 vaccine. Enrollment will be limited, and participants will need to travel to the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. Adults 18-85 years old who are not pregnant, in good general health and have not been previously diagnosed with COVID-19 can participate in the study. Click here for more information.

The Lundquist Institute, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health and AstraZeneca, is conducting a study on a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZenaca. The priority is to enroll adults in the study who do not have a documented history of having the virus and are at highest risk of either getting COVID-19 or of suffering more severe illness if they do get the virus. This includes the following groups: people with medical conditions, people of color and people aged 60+. Click here for more information.
Virtual Mental Health & Happiness: An Introduction to the Series
This introduction provides an overview of the series designed to support well-being through gratitude, empathy, bravery and purpose. Learn techniques to build a practice supporting stress resilience and positive social connections.
Friday, August 28 or September 18
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Virtual Mindfulness Drop-In
Take 30 minutes to downshift and practice mindfulness techniques the first Wednesday of each month.  
 Wednesday, September 2
4 - 4:30 p.m.
Virtual Blue Zones Project Social Hour
Enjoy good company and practice a few Power 9 Principles of Longevity, including Down Shift and Right Tribe.
Tuesday, September 8
4 - 5 p.m.
Savvy Express: Free Virtual Caregiver Workshops
Savvy Express is a 3 week program specially designed to benefit someone providing care for an individual living with dementia by providing more understanding and tools to help navigate the journey.
Tuesdays, September 15, 22 and 29
2 - 4 p.m.
To register, contact Sara Mikael by Sept. 11 at 323-451-2699 or smikael@alzla.org
Virtual Moai Social: Book Discussion
We will discuss "Mastering Your Motivation: Three Scientific Truths for Achieving Your Goals" by Susan Fowler. Kathleen Terry will guide us on how each of us can stop bad habits, start new ones and support ourselves and others in setting meaningful goals that we are motivated to accomplish.
Wednesday, September 23
4 p.m.
Virtual BCHD Board of Directors Meeting
Wednesday, September 23
6:30 p.m.
Virtual Families Connected Parent Chat
A free parent support group led by a licensed professional from the Thelma McMillen Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment at Torrance Memorial Medical Center held in partnership with South Bay Families Connected. Open to all parents.
Mondays
10 – 11 a.m.
Virtual Happiness Chat
This is a casual discussion group with light-hearted activities to spark conversation. Share ideas, tips, resources, jokes, quotes – anything that supports our happiness!
Tuesdays
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
#LiveWellAtHome
Get unlimited access to all Center for Health & Fitness live virtual exercise classes for a monthly fee of $32. Small Group Training is also available virtually for $12 per class. Learn more.
Healthy Living Campus
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT PROCESS
At the June 17, 2020 BCHD Board of Directors meeting, the refined Draft Healthy Living Campus Master Plan and financials were presented. The Board voted to continue the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process — originally started in June 2019, with five scoping meetings, including one in Torrance.

The EIR will now incorporate a more compact Draft Healthy Living Campus Master plan as the basis of the project description, which will inform the public and project decision-makers about significant environmental effects and identify feasible methods to minimize or avoid those effects.
 
With the EIR process ongoing, no final decisions regarding the proposed campus have been made. The concept phase is completed, and we are now heading into the environmental analysis. We expect the Draft EIR to be released in late 2020/early 2021.
Flagler Lane Lot Activity
The Gas Company will be using the Flagler Lane lot to store equipment for a project unrelated to Beach Cities Health District. The Gas Company plans to use the the lot through January 2021.
COVID-19 Testing at BCHD Campus 514 N. Prospect
As cases continue to rise in Los Angeles County, many residents believe they need to get tested for COVID-19. However, Los Angeles County health officials stress that not everyone needs to be tested. 

A COVID-19 test does not protect you from the virus, and a negative result should not be seen as a reason to engage in risky social behavior. Even when you test negative today, you could still test positive tomorrow.

Los Angeles County's testing criteria includes:
  • Those who have COVID-19 symptoms: Fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea
  • Those who have a known exposure to COVID-19, including those who were in close contact with someone with COVID-19 
  • Those who live or work in a high-risk setting (such as skilled nursing facilities, group homes, residential care facilities and persons experiencing homelessness) 
  • In accordance with California Department of Health Testing Guidance, testing is also available when there is additional testing capacity if you do not have symptoms and you are an essential worker with frequent contacts with the public in these sectors: health care, emergency services, food and grocery, retail or manufacturing, public transportation, and education. To view a complete list of essential worker groups from the California Department of Public Health, click here.

If you're unsure if you need a test, check with your health care provider. Unless you have specific symptoms, live in a high-risk setting or have had close contact with someone who has a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, you may not need to be tested, and your health care provider can talk with you about your concerns.

If you don’t have a doctor, call 211 to get a referral. Essential workers should also consider their risk exposure history in consultation with their provider, their occupational health advisor and public health department.
If you are unable to receive testing through your provider, please continue to check the site for availability at Los Angeles County sites, or make an appointment at a Los Angeles City, state-operated or community testing site such as CVS by visiting covid19.lacounty.gov/testing. Tests are free of charge and are by appointment only. 
What to expect after you've been tested for COVID-19
If you are awaiting testing results, you should stay home and act as if you are positive. This means self-isolating for 10 days and 24 hours after fever subsides and symptoms improve. If a person tests positive for COVID-19, they should plan on receiving a call from a contact tracer to discuss how to protect themselves and others, to find out where they may have been, and who they were in close contact with while infectious. If you are positive for COVID-19 and have not yet connected with a public health specialist or need more information on services, call toll-free at 1-833-540-0473. Residents who do not have COVID-19 should continue to call 211 for resources or more information.

If a person tests negative, they must continue to take every precaution to avoid contracting the virus or spreading the virus to others.
We Can All Be Health Leaders
In addition to physical distancing and wearing cloth face coverings when we are around others, we all still need to take the same precautions that we were taking earlier on in the pandemic - wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and self-isolate if you are sick. These actions combined are the best defense against COVID-19.
Need help?
If you or someone you know in the Beach Cities needs help with health-related information and referrals, or errand assistance and meal delivery, please call our Assistance, Information & Referral line at 310-374-3426, ext. 256, seven days a week, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. or visit us online at bchd.org/resources.
As of 8/27/2020

Note: Due to technology issues with the electronic laboratory system at the state-level, COVID-19 cases have been under reported for Los Angeles County. Once the data reporting issues are fixed, the number of cases is expected to increase. Data sources that track other key indicators, including hospitalizations and deaths, are not affected by this reporting issue.
186
310
510