MARCH 30, 2020
Table of Contents
  • Safer at Home Updates
  • City Council Initiatives
  • Social Distancing
  • Enforcement of the Safer at Home Order
  • Testing for the Coronavirus
  • The Coronavirus - A Primary of Symptoms
  • Home Hygiene
  • Direct Cash Payments
  • Beach Closures
  • DMV Services
  • Employment Resources
  • How to Help
  • A Call for Medical Volunteers
  • Donating Medical Supplies
  • How to Stay Safe as a Volunteer
  • Closures
  • Resources
Safer at Home Updates
In last night's address to the City of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti congratulated residents for their response to the Safer at Home order, but he noted that cases of infection have continued to rise. The Mayor reiterated the need to t ake all necessary precautions .

The Mayor also made announcements regarding the following areas:

Testing
  • 6741 tests have been conducted to this point. The City will triple that count by the end of the week.
  • The City will partner with UPS, and the health and wellness company, Everlywell, to bring medical testing more effectively to seniors, senior homes, and homeless shelters.

Homeless
  • Five new Recreation and Parks (RAP) shelters have opened and they are already close to full capacity.
  • The City is increasing efforts to secure hotel rooms for non-infected homeless residents. As part of this effort, it has opened an online portal for hotel owners to register their hotels/motels.
  • The City has secured 535 camper trailers from the State for individuals at shelter sites who show signs of infection.  The campers will allow for quarantine.  They will be installed at RAP locations throughout Los Angeles.

Hospital Beds
  • The Mercy has docked in the Port of Los Angeles. The ship will provide an extra 1000 beds for non-coronavirus infected patients.  Three new patients are already on The Mercy.
  • The City is planning to turn the Convention Center into a field hospital.

Medical Equipment and Needed Supplies
  • The Mayor has appointed Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka to the position of Chief Logistics Officer. Sekora's task will be to secure critical materials.  The City will act as an intermediary in order to facilitate bulk purchases.

City Council Initiatives
The City Council met last week in an emergency session and approved the following items. The measures were subsequently sent to the Mayor to be signed into law. 

Protection for residential and commercial tenants

  • Approved a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions, as well as late fees, until the emergency declaration is lifted. Residential tenants to have up to one year following the expiration of the emergency order to repay any back rent due; commercial tenants will have three months. 

  • An initiative on tenants’ rights, which includes protections in following areas:
  • Having too many people in a rental (providing elderly relatives refuge, etc.)
  • Excessive noise that naturally happens when children are home all day
  • Other reasonable COVID-19 related situations when families are practicing quarantine and self-isolation.

  • Approved a motion which excludes eviction protections for commercial properties leased by large corporations, multinational or publicly traded companies.

  • The City Attorney’s Office and the Housing+Community Investment Department will report in the coming days on the recommendations to create a citywide rental assistance fund for tenants that have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus.
 
Protection for workers and paid sick leave

  • Safeguards to include: employer-provided sanitary cleaners; access to coronavirus testing at no expense to workers; also allows workers to address childcare and family needs arising from the emergency orders. 

  • Requires employers with 500 or more employees to provide 80 hours of coronavirus-related paid leave. Businesses with fewer than 500 employees will be eligible for federal stimulus funds to provide paid sick leave.

Priority shopping

  • Retail food stores must dedicate one hour of customer access exclusively to the elderly and the disabled.
In addition to the above measures, Councilmember Huizar championed the following measures for Council District 14 :

  • An allocation of $50,000 to the YMCA to be used to provide childcare for first responders.

  • An allocation of $25,000 to the nonprofit organization Showers of Hope to provide mobile shower facilities for the homeless.

  • Funding for an additional hygiene stations throughout Council District 14.

Social Distancing
Los Angeles residents are reminded of the critical need for social distancing in the midst of the coronavirus public health crisis. The County of Los Angeles is regularly updating its resources and invites you to visit the following links for up-to-date information:


Enforcement of the Safer at Home Order

The  “Safer at Home” order  requires Angelenos to remain in their homes except for the most essential activities — including critical tasks such as securing food and health, safety and medical necessities, as well as caring for children, elder adults, family, friends and people with disabilities. Failure to heed the order is a misdemeanor that can result in fines or jail time. 

City Attorney Mike Feuer has assigned his Neighborhood Prosecutor team to work with the Los Angeles Police Department to seek compliance and enforce the City’s order when necessary. 

“In the strongest possible terms, I urge that Angelenos adhere to the ‘Safer at Home’ Order, and non-essential businesses shut their doors,” said City Attorney Feuer. “Those crucial steps protect all of us. As part of the City team, my Office’s Neighborhood Prosecutors will work toward gaining compliance with the Order, helping ensure that our families are safe.”

In addition to the City Attorney’s Neighborhood Prosecutors, the Mayor announced the formation of the “Safer at Home” Business Ambassadors program — which deploys City workers and volunteers with the Mayor’s Crisis Response Team to businesses that appear to be out of compliance with the emergency order with a goal of securing voluntary compliance. If voluntary compliance is not achieved, the ambassadors will share information with the City Attorney and LAPD for follow-up.

Members of the public can report out-of-compliance businesses at  coronavirus.lacity.org/reportbusinessviolation .

Testing for the Coronavirus
The City of Los Angeles is working diligently to get additional tests to help us combat the coronavirus crisis. At this time, the following priorities have been established for testing:

  • Those with symptoms who are 65 and older
  • Those with symptoms who have underlying chronic health conditions
  • Those who are subject to a mandatory 14 day quarantine period due to a confirmed COVID-19 exposure (with more than 7 days of quarantine remaining)

If you or a loved one met the criteria above, you must register to get an appointment and location for testing. For more information or to register, visit this  link .

The Coronavirus - A Primer on Symptoms
By now everyone knows the classic symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus. But as the COVID-19 pandemic has grown, so has the medical community’s understanding of the warning signs. Here’s what to keep an eye out for.

The Basics

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has identified three key symptoms of a coronavirus infection: Fever, cough (usually dry), and shortness of breath. The severity of these range from person to person, and not every infected person has all of them.

Infected patients have also reported a constellation of other less prevalent symptoms, according to a  World Health Organization report : fatigue (38 percent), sore throat (13 percent), headache (13 percent), body aches (14 percent), and chills (11 percent).

Medical authorities say that most people experience mild symptoms that do not require a visit to the hospital. But the CDC says anyone with the following symptoms should seek medical attention: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face. Experts say a lingering temperature of 103 to 104 should be flagged to a doctor.

What Counts as a Fever?

The CDC defines a fever as an oral temperature reading of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Keep in mind that our body temperatures fluctuate over the course of the day, so if your temperature is 98.6 in the morning and 99.1 at night, that does not necessarily mean you are developing a fever. Health officials note that you get the most accurate reading if you wait 30 minutes after eating, drinking, or exercising, or six hours after taking any pain reliever or fever reducer.

Other Red Flags

As the number of COVID-19 cases have grown, health sleuths have started to spot new patterns among their patients and put out guidance.

Loss of smell, taste:   The American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery put out an alert  that “anecdotal evidence is rapidly accumulating” that these symptoms are associated with COVID-19. Anosmia, or loss of smell, has been seen in patients who tested positive but had no other symptoms, the academy said.  An ENT doctors’ organization  in the United Kingdom said that two out of three cases in Germany involved anosmia, and a similar proportion of South Korean patients with mild cases reported loss of smell. “There is potential that if any adult with anosmia but no other symptoms was asked to self-isolate for seven days, in addition to the current symptom criteria used to trigger quarantine we might be able to reduce the number of otherwise asymptomatic individuals who continue to act as vectors, not realizing the need to self-isolate,” the U.K. group wrote.

Digestive issues:  The American Journal of Gastroenterology  rushed out a China-based study  examining how common digestive problems are in coronavirus patients. It found that out of 204 patients, just about half reported a symptom—most commonly lack of appetite, followed by diarrhea, with a much smaller number with vomiting or abdominal pain. “As the severity of the disease increased, digestive symptoms became more pronounced,” the researchers wrote. “Clinicians should recognize that digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea, are commonly among the presenting features of COVID-19, and that the index of suspicion may need to be raised earlier in at-risk patients presenting with digestive symptoms. However, further large sample studies are needed to confirm these findings.”

Pink eye:  The American Academy of Ophthalmology notes there are scattered reports of COVID-19 presenting along with conjunctivitis, better known as pink eye, and at least one study suggests the virus is present in eye secretions. Separately, a nurse at the coronavirus-ridden Washington State nursing home Life Care Center  told CNN  that she saw what she described as red “allergy eyes” in all of her elderly, infected patients—although there is no official confirmation that’s a symptom.

What About Kids

Children infected with coronavirus can exhibit mild and more generic symptoms. The CDC describes them as “cold-like”—fever, runny nose, cough, vomiting, and diarrhea. A study of 2,143 pediatric patients in China,  published in the journal Pediatric , found 90 percent of those who had the coronavirus had either no symptoms or mild or moderate illness. The study did find that the younger the child, the more likely they were to develop serious complications, with infants being at the highest risk. But there was only one death—a 14-year-old—in the study group. “Why most of the children’s COVID-19 cases were less severe than adults’ cases is puzzling,” the researchers wrote.

Home Hygiene
This guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of households. It is aimed at limiting the survival of the virus in the environments,

Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. 

Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. 

These guidelines are focused on household settings to minimize potential exposures.

  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks)

  • Household members should follow home care guidance when interacting with persons with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 and their isolation rooms/bathrooms.

  • Disinfect high use areas (e.g., counters, door handles, light switches, sinks) twice daily

  • Clean bathroom surfaces after each visit

  • Wash bedding/sheets more frequently

  • Change and launder clothing after each use

  • Ensure kitchen utensils (e.g., tongs and/or spoons) are used for any food service)

  • Discontinue the practice of reaching into bags/bowls for food and/or snacks (e.g., chips, crackers and other food stored in plastic, bags, cans, jars, etc.)

  • Discontinue washing hands in the kitchen sink (apply reminder signage above sink)

  • Increase frequency of hand washing (remove rings and scrub, clean under fingernails)

  • Wash hands after handling trash 

Direct Cash Payments
Congressional leaders and President Donald Trump announced a bipartisan deal on a massive $2 trillion emergency economic package that includes direct cash payments to people across the country to help them through the crisis.

But who’s eligible to get a check, and for how much? Here are some questions and answers about who qualifies for cash from the federal government:


It depends on how much you make. If you made less than $75,000 in 2019, you will be eligible for the full payment of $1,200.

Couples who filed jointly and made less than $150,000 will get $2,400. An individual who filed as "head of household" and earned $112,500 or less gets $1,200.

For every child in the household, you will receive an additional $500.

If you made more than $75,000, your payment will be reduced by $5 for every $100 of income that exceeds the limits. So if you made $80,000 in 2019, you will receive $950. The payment decreases to zero for an individual making $99,000 or more or a couple making $198,000 or more.

If you're a family of four, you’ll be eligible for a maximum of $3,400.


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday the checks will be sent out "within three weeks" to people for whom the IRS has information. You don't need to sign up or fill out a form to receive a payment if you've been working and paying taxes since 2018.
The Treasury Department will also run a "public awareness campaign" with information about the program, including for people who didn’t file a tax return for 2018 or 2019.


No, this legislation only authorizes one-time payments. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested on CNN that Congress could revisit the issue: "We think we'll get more direct payments in another bill."


You don't. There's no sign up. The payments will be automatic for people who have filed a tax return or gotten Social Security benefits recently. The IRS asks people not to call with questions, but to keep checking this  website  where they will post updates about the program once they are available.


If you've gotten a tax refund in the last two years by direct deposit, that's where the money will be sent. If not, the IRS can mail a check to your "last known address," and it has 15 days to notify you of the method and amount of the payment. They'll send a phone number and appropriate point of contact so you can tell them if you didn't receive it.
If you’ve moved recently, it may be a good idea to notify the IRS as soon as possible. The IRS also suggests that if you haven't yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, do it as soon as you can, so that the government has your up-to-date information on file.


Have you filed your taxes for 2019 already? If so, the checks will automatically be based on your 2019 return. Look for your "adjusted gross income" (Line 7 on your Form 1040 tax return in 2018, or line 8B on a 2019 return.) If you haven't filed your 2019 taxes yet, it'll be based on your 2018 return.


Yes. Even if you didn't file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 or pay taxes in those years, you will be eligible if you received a Form SSA-1099 for the year 2019. That's a form that the Social Security Administration sends each year to people who receive Social Security benefits, including retirement and disability.


Yes, although some of the details still need to be worked out. The IRS is expected to set up a system so that disabled veterans don't fall through the cracks.


If your parents claim you as a dependent on their taxes, you're ineligible. But if
you've been working and filing taxes independently in recent years, you may qualify.

Click on the link for a full text of the stimulus package.

Beach Closures
All Los Angeles County public beaches — including bathrooms, piers, promenades, and bike paths — are being closed until at least Apr. 19 to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Supervisor Janice Hahn announced the order from public health officer Muntu Davis in a written statement just ahead of the County's  daily coronavirus task force briefing .

“The crowds we saw at our beaches last weekend were unacceptable. In order to save lives, beaches in LA County will be temporarily closed. I understand that this is a huge sacrifice for everyone who enjoys going to our beaches. But we cannot risk another sunny weekend with crowds at the beach spreading this virus. This closure is temporary and we can always reopen these beaches when it is safe to do so.”

DMV Services
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has closed all its field offices, effective today, and all existing appointments at those offices have been canceled.

The DMV is creating a new virtual hub to handle essential services, which is slated to launch April 2 at  virtual.dmv.ca.gov.

Customers will soon be able to complete transactions with DMV staff online that had previously required in-person office visits, including vehicle registration renewal and title transfers. Officials say more transaction options will be added gradually.

Services already available online — and through mail and public kiosks — will continue, officials said. You can  visit the DMV's website  for more information.

"Californians who do not have an urgent need to go to a DMV field office should delay their visit, including those interested in applying for a REAL ID," DMV officials  said in a news release .

The Department of Homeland Security has  delayed REAL ID enforcement by a year . The new deadline is Oct. 1, 2021.

Employment Resources
Do you need assistance with unemployment? Looking with work? Here are some resources for to consider:


How to Help
Here are some things you can do — so long as you are healthy, not a member of a vulnerable population, and are meeting all advised public health requirements:

  • Donate to food banks and volunteer to ensure our most vulnerable populations are still able to provide for their families. Much needed items include canned goods, peanut butter, toilet paper, antibacterial cleansers, and financial contributions.
  • Volunteer with the American Red Cross to help distribute meals to students affected by school closures or as a volunteer blood donor to address the current blood shortage. 
  • Do neighbor check-ins. Offer to pick up groceries or medications for those who aren't able to and stay connected by calling your neighbors, friends, and loved ones who might appreciate human connection despite social distancing. 
  • Consider virtual volunteer opportunities with organizations like L.A. Works
  • Check-in with your local homebound meal delivery programs. Many of them are scaling up to support the increased need and are looking for volunteers. Find a location near you and call to ask if they need assistance.
  • Contribute to our L.A. Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund to support the City of L.A.'s efforts to support families, health care workers, small businesses, our unhoused neighbors, and more.

At this time, the City of Los Angeles is not implementing in-the-field volunteers in response to COVID-19. However, the City recognizes that many people will want to help if the need arises. If you'd like to help, sign up for the Community COVID-19 Response Volunteer Interest List, please click on the following: COVID-19 Response Volunteer Interest List

A Call for Medical Volunteers
The City of Los Angeles has a need for medical professionals to support a surge in medical cases across Los Angeles due to the coronavirus pandemic. In an effort to fill that need, officials have created t he City of Los Angeles Emergency Medical Corps and established an easy-to-use  portal  where medical professionals can submit their information and sign up to help.

Sign up today to be considered for both paid and pro-bono opportunities coming available at this time. 

Donating Medical Supplies
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services has identified three drop-off locations for business, organizations, and individuals looking to donate new and unused medical supplies .  For general questions, please contact (323)914-7926 or email  mdesupply@dhs.lacounty.gov

Locations:

LAC-USC Medical Center
Supply Chain Operations Warehouse
1900 Zonal Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Supply Chain Operations Warehouse
1000 West Carson Street 
Torrance, CA 90502

Olive View-UCLA Medical Center
Supply Chain Operations Warehouse
14445 Olive View Drive
Sylmar, CA 91342

New and unused items that are being accepted:
  • Disposable face masks
  • N95 masks
  • Eye protection, including face shields
  • Disposable gowns
  • Disposable gloves
  • Disposable surgical caps
  • Disposable foot covers
  • Wipes – bleach or antimicrobial
  • Hand sanitizer

Staying Safe as a Volunteer
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued recommendations to ensure that volunteers and clients remain healthy during the pandemic. 

Among the highlights:
  • Those who are sick are advised to stay home and not return to work until they are free of fever for at least 72 hours without fever-reducing medication. 
  • Volunteers and employees who appear to be ill upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be sent home immediately. 

Clients Who Show Signs of Illness: 
  • Advise sick clients to stay home and ask a friend or neighbor to pick up their groceries. 
  • Have signs posted in visible locations asking clients to remain home if they are sick, even with mild illness.
  • Provide clients with additional napkins or tissues to use when they cough or sneeze. 
  • Ensure that bathrooms are fully stocked with soap, single-use towels/hand dryers and no-touch trash receptacles. 
  • Recommend providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol for clients. 
  • Instruct volunteers and employees that prepare and serve food to keep a 6-foot distance between themselves and clients who appear ill as much as possible. 

Accepting donated food:

From Individuals and Private Households 
  • Only accept uncooked, pre-packaged food products from individuals and private households (such as canned food items, boxed cereals, etc.). 

From Food Facilities 
  • You may accept whole produce, prepared food, prepackaged food, and expired prepackaged food (except expired infant formula and baby food) from permitted food facilities such as restaurants, hotels, grocers, food processing facilities, food distributors, and caterers. o Donated foods that require temperature control must always remain at 41 ̊F or below for cold foods or 135 ̊F or above for hot foods, prior to transportation. 
  • Ask the donor to provide the temperature of the food and the time the temperature was taken prior to delivery to the agency.

Closures
In order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, the City has ordered temporary closures of the following sites:

  • Los Angeles City Hall - temporarily closed to non-City employees.

  • Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Facilities - all facilities, parking lots, playgrounds, and programming will be closed until Saturday, April 4th. Restrooms will remain open.

  • Los Angeles City and County Public Libraries - temporarily closed until further notice.

  • Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs - all events and facilities (including Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock) will be closed until further notice.

  • Los Angeles Unified School District - classes in all grades are cancelled until May 5. Family Resource Centers will open for food pickup.

Resources
The following resources are a great sources of up-to-date information on the coronavirus and how it might affect day-to-day life:

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