Vaccine Cleared for Use in Children

First published in the Nov. 6 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

A pediatric vaccine to combat COVID-19 was cleared by U.S. health officials on Tuesday and is now available for children ages 5 to 11 throughout California.
The Food and Drug Administration signed off on emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proceeded with its recommendation hours after the FDA’s announcement.
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Some Tricks for Treating Yourself to a Healthful Halloween

First published in the Oct. 28 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

As the number of coronavirus cases in California continues to decline, families are feeling more comfortable and confident in making plans to celebrate holidays during the fall and beyond.
The first holiday, Halloween, is this Sunday, and the rituals of dressing up and hitting the streets to trick-or-treat are returning this year, as is the popular tradition of local families visiting Indianola Way in La Cañada Flintridge.
After having parts of the street barricaded last year to discourage trick-or-treating, the City Council recently voted to waive permit fees for the road closure that would allow visitors to walk on Indianola to enjoy the decorated homes.
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District Narrows Contact Tracing to Keep Kids in Class

First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

After starting out the school year quarantining entire classrooms after a potential COVID-19 exposure, the Glendale Unified School District has recently begun implementing new guidelines to keep more students in the classroom.
The policy change, approved by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, comes after about two months of the district requiring entire classrooms at a time to stay home for up to a 10-day quarantine period. Continue reading “District Narrows Contact Tracing to Keep Kids in Class”

District Updates COVID-19 Safety Plan

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The La Cañada Unified School District modified its reopening and safety plan for the year in an effort to mitigate any more possible disruptions to in-person instruction due to COVID-19.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recently gave schools the option of adjusting their quarantine policy to allow unvaccinated students in kindergarten through 12th grade who were exposed to an asymptomatic person testing positive with the coronavirus during a school day to remain on campus. Unvaccinated students who are in close contact with a positive case while at school are not required to go home and quarantine as long as both were seen wearing their masks properly. The exposed unvaccinated student is required to wear their mask indoors and outdoors except when eating or drinking. They also must practice social distancing whenever their mask is off.
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GUSD, Teachers in Accord on Virus Precautions

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The Glendale Unified School District and the union representing its teachers agreed this week to a series of policies and protocols codifying COVID-19-related safety measures that will last for the remainder of the school year.
Meanwhile, the district and the Glendale Teachers Association continued to discuss what is expected to be an agreement addressing the effects that quarantining has on classroom instruction.
The understanding reached this week, in short, has the district aligning with applicable guidelines from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. It does not address other related issues, such as instructional policy in the event of student quarantines, nor does it impose any new vaccination mandates. Continue reading “GUSD, Teachers in Accord on Virus Precautions”

GUSD to Require COVID Vaccinations for Employees

First published in the Sept. 4 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

Joining a growing number of educational institutions throughout California, the Glendale Unified School District this week approved a mandate that its employees all be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The GUSD Board of Education unanimously voted to require that all district staff prove that they have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single Johnson & Johnson inoculation by Nov. 1. Previously, the district had required that nonvaccinated faculty and staff members undergo weekly coronavirus testing. Continue reading “GUSD to Require COVID Vaccinations for Employees”

County Declares COVID-19 ‘Outbreak’ at BPD Is Over

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Six sworn Burbank police employees tested positive for COVID-19 last month, according to the Los Angeles County public health department. A city spokeswoman said no other employees or members of the public were exposed to the virus by those workers.

First published in the Sept. 4 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Six Burbank Police Department personnel tested positive for the coronavirus last month, according to Los Angeles County health officials, though the city said only two contracted the virus while working.
The county Department of Public Health’s website in August listed the BPD — which includes a jail and shares space with the Burbank Fire Department — as the location of an outbreak, though the listing was recently removed from the page. Simone McFarland, a city spokeswoman, said in an email that six sworn police employees tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing symptoms. All have since recovered and returned to work, she added. Continue reading “County Declares COVID-19 ‘Outbreak’ at BPD Is Over”

Big Outdoor Event Masking Required as Delta Surges

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the highly-infectious Delta variant of COVID-19, Los Angeles County announced it will update its health order and will require anyone attending a large outdoor event with more than 10,000 people to wear a face covering.
The order went into effect on Aug. 19 and arrives just before the football season, affecting UCLA’s home games at the Rose Bowl, USC’s at the Coliseum and upcoming concerts, including those at the Hollywood Bowl.
“As the highly infectious Delta variant continues to spread, wearing masks — regardless of vaccination status — indoors and in crowded settings, including at outdoor mega events, reduces the risk of being infected with and transmitting COVID-19,” the L.A. County Department of Public Health said in a statement on Aug. 17.

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Officials Urge Free Vaccines Amid COVID Surge

Accompanied by a parent or an adult sibling or by their entire family, students 12 years and older stepped up for a COVID vaccination that would protect them as schools reopen.
With an alarming surge in the city’s infection rate, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health partnered with the Glendale Unified School District to provide walk-up vaccination clinics at each of the public middle and high schools.

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Local COVID Case Total Likely to Pass 10,000

This article was originally published in the Burbank Leader on Aug. 14

Burbank appeared certain this week to exceed the 10,000 mark for coronavirus cases reported since the start of the pandemic, a grim milestone for a city that is facing a surge of infections despite its high vaccination rate.
The Los Angeles County public health department reported that COVID-19 had infected 9,968 local residents as of Wednesday, according to the most recent statistics available by the Leader’s press deadline on Friday. Roughly 30 or 40 infections a day have been recorded for most of the past week.

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