December 10, 2020
 Staying Happy (and busy) while Home for the Holidays
 
By Kerianne Lawson, Chief Programs Officer, Beach Cities Health District
 
There seems to be something special about waking up on celebration day in your own bed. This year, many will celebrate the holidays in their own homes because you truly are safer at home. And though the holidays are going to be a bit different this year, that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be fun. In fact, oftentimes what we really enjoy about the holidays is the precious time spent with friends and family — something that can still be achieved safely this year.

As we work to avoid the risks of gathering in-person with people outside of our household, here are some safer alternatives to help you celebrate:
 
Virtual Gatherings
How about a virtual meeting with the entire extended family and friends? Something fun to try could be hosting a virtual cook off! Have participants discuss and show their dish, then everyone can vote on their favorite. What about a virtual gift opening party? Challenge yourself to accept a virtual meeting invitation, or how about initiating one?
 
Shopping Safely
Online shopping and curbside pick-up are safe and easy ways to mark everything off your list without stepping foot in a store, whether it’s a big retailer or a local business here in the Beach Cities. When deciding how to deliver gifts, consider mailing them.
 
Purchase Gift Cards or Take-out Food to Support Local Businesses
Shop local by purchasing gift cards or take-out food from local restaurants and other businesses. They’ll appreciate your business during this difficult time. For a list of local businesses who are part of BCHD’s Safe in the South Bay Program and have pledged to carry out business safely, visit https://www.bchd.org/safeinthesouthbay
We Must Stop the Surge to Save Lives, Help Distressed Hospitals and Overwhelmed Healthcare Workers
  • Cases: Los Angeles County continues to experience more new cases reported each day for COVID-19 than at any point during the pandemic. This past week and a half, cases increased from an average of about 4,900 new cases each day the last week in November, to an average of more than 9,000 daily cases.
  • Positivity Rate: The County's daily test positivity rate has increased significantly. From early November through November 29, the test positivity rate has increased 3-fold from around 3.5% to just over 9%. Today’s test positivity rate is 12.5%. 
  • Hospitalizations: There are 3,299 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 23% of these people are in the intensive care unit (ICU). The number of daily hospitalizations has increased over 400% from November 1 when the daily number of people hospitalized was 791.
  • Deaths: Since November 9, average daily deaths have increased 258%, from 12 average deaths per day to 43 this week. 
Regional Stay at Home Order
The Southern California region is currently under the State's Regional Stay at Home Order after the region's intensive care unit (ICU) availability dropped below 15%. The State reports that Southern California has a 9% ICU availability as of December 9. The Southern California region includes the following counties: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura.

The Regional Stay Home Order instructs Californians to stay at home as much as possible and to stop mixing between households that can lead to COVID-19 spread. It allows access to critical services and allows outdoor activities to preserve Californians’ physical and mental health.

Under the order, the following sectors are allowed to remain open with safety precautions
  • Critical infrastructure (when remote option is not possible)
  • Schools
  • Non-urgent medical and dental care
  • Child care and pre-K

The following sectors will have additional modifications in addition to 100% masking and physical distancing:
  • Outdoor recreational facilities: Allow outdoor operation only for the purpose of facilitating physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise, without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Additionally, overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted.
  • Retail: Allow indoor operation at 20% capacity, and 35% of capacity for standalone grocery stores, with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. 
  • Shopping centers: Allow indoor access at 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in the stores. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Hotels and lodging: Allow for COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures, treatment measures, provide accommodation for essential workers, or providing housing solutions, including measures to protect homeless populations.
  • Restaurants: Allow only for take out or delivery.
  • Offices: Allow remote only except for critical infrastructure sectors where remote working is not possible. 
  • Places of worship and political expression: Allow outdoor activities only.
  • Entertainment production: Industries, studios, and other related establishments such as establishments that provide content for professional broadcast can operate without live audiences.

The following sectors must be closed (except to the extent that their operations fall within critical infrastructure):
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Personal care services
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums
  • Movie theaters (except drive-in)
  • Wineries, bars, breweries and distilleries
  • Family entertainment centers
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering
  • Limited services
  • Live audience sports
  • Amusement parks
When will I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
There are currently two vaccines candidates that have applied for FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna. The FDA’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee met to discuss granting EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on December 10 and will discuss the Moderna vaccine on December 17. The Committee endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine; it will now need to be authorized by the FDA.
Following each FDA hearing, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet to vote on whether to recommend the vaccines and develop guidelines for prioritization. California has also launched an independent Safety Review Work Group with Washington, Oregon and Nevada that will also review and approve the safety and efficacy data before the vaccine can be distributed.
COVID-19 Vaccine Phase 1 Sequence
When a vaccine is approved and ready, distribution will be phased across populations. The only prioritization that is approved by the ACIP is for Phase 1a: healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents. Groups 1b and 1c are proposed and still need to go through the approval process.
Phase 1a: Recommended

Health Care Personnel

Long-term Care Facility Residents
Phase 1b: Proposed

Essential Workers

Examples: Education Sector, Food & Agriculture, Utilities, Police, Firefighters, Corrections Officers, Transportation
Phase 1c: Proposed

Adults with high-risk medical conditions

Adults 65+
Source: CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
The COVID-19 vaccine development is continually evolving. Even with vaccines on the horizon, it remains essential that we continue to follow the health guidance. It truly is safest at home. If you leave your home to deliver or receive essential services, you must wear your face covering correctly and physically distance yourself from others. 
Choose to be Part of the Solution
Take the Safe in the South Bay Individual Pledge
By taking the pledge, you are committing to do your part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by protecting yourself and others. In addition to infection control best practices to keep you safe from COVID-19, you pledge to also focus on ways to care for your body, mind and community as we navigate the pandemic, and this new normal, together.
December Healthy Habits Challenge
Join us this holiday season to better your health and wellness with this fun challenge. Each day offers a tip for activities to boost connection, resilience, gratitude and more! Learn more.
As of 12/9/2020
409
592
1,068
Free Subscription for Headspace
Headspace, in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, is offering free subscriptions to access meditations and sleep and movement exercises. Sign up here.
Eat Local: Meals for Home Delivery
We have expanded our errand assistance program to now include affordable and healthy meals for home delivery to vulnerable populations and those safer at home in the Beach Cities. Menus are available online and orders can be placed online or by phone. Learn more at bchd.org/mealdelivery.
Enroll Now for Covered California
Need help navigating the online application?BCHD continues to be a Certified Enrollment Entity and offers enrollment assistance and support for individuals applying for Covered California and Medi-Cal. Please contact (310) 374-3426, ext. 256, for assistance. 
Join the Healthy Minds Initiative
BCHD, in partnership with Drs. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai, is running a study on how proper diet and lifestyle can prevent brain disease. The study has transitioned to a virtual environment in response to 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, Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. or visit us online at bchd.org/resources.
Virtual BCHD Board of Directors Meeting
Wednesday, December 16
6:30 p.m.
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.
 Saturday, December 19
11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Virtual Mindfulness Drop-in
Take 30 minutes to downshift and practice mindfulness techniques the first Wednesday of each month. 
Wednesday, January 6
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. Relax, bring your healthy bites and connect with your community!
Tuesday, January 12
4 - 5 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.
*Does not meet December 21 & 28
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.
*Does not meet December 29
#LiveWellAtHome
Get unlimited access to all Center for Health & Fitness live virtual exercise classes for a monthly fee. Small Group and Personal Training is also available virtually. Learn more.
Donate to the Beach Cities COVID-19 Fund
Donations will provide assistance to Beach Cities residents who are income qualified with essentials like groceries, household and cleaning supplies, rent and utility bill assistance and durable medical equipment to help keep them safe at home. 

Residents wishing to submit donations by check can mail those to Beach Cities COVID-19 Fund, 1200 Del Amo Street, Redondo Beach, CA 90277.
COVID-19 Testing at BCHD Campus 514 N. Prospect
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 had 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. If you don’t have a health care provider, call 211 to get a referral.

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. 
Note: Testing does not prevent people from transmitting and getting the virus and is not a substitute for physical distancing, wearing face coverings over your nose and mouth, hand washing and avoiding crowds. 
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.
Healthy Living Campus
Environmental Impact Report Process
The refined draft Healthy Living Campus master plan, presented at the June 17, 2020 BCHD Board of Directors meeting, was developed from more than 60 meetings attended by more than 550 residents and drawing more than 1,000 comments during the last three years regarding elements of the campus. 
  
The Board endorsed a project description to continue the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process ⁠— originally started in June 2019 ⁠— with the more compact Healthy Living Campus master plan as the basis of the project description. This blueprint will inform the public and project decision-makers about significant environmental effects and identify possible ways to minimize or avoid those effects. 

The updated, more compact draft master plan includes:  
A Community Wellness Pavilion with public meeting spaces, demonstration kitchen, modernized Center for Health & Fitness, aquatics and more.
Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a Medicare/Medicaid program that provides comprehensive medical and social services to older adults.  
Fewer Units: Residential Care for the Elderly (RCFE) units drop from 420 to 220. Pricing has yet to be determined. One plan being considered will offer 10 percent of units at below market rates. 
Smaller New Building Area: New on-campus building area drops 18%
Less Construction Time: Active construction time is shortened from nine to five years in two phases (instead of three). 
2.5 acres of open space for programming to replace acres of asphalt.