Burbank Schools Gear Up for Return to Athletic Fields

Athletes and coaches throughout Los Angeles County finally heard the announcement they have been waiting for: High school athletics are officially a go.
L.A. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced Wednesday that the county would update its Protocols for Youth and Adult Sports League to align with the state’s guidelines, allowing outdoor sports to begin practice and competition this week.
It has been 11 months since an official high school game was played in L.A. County. Schools closed their doors last March to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and public health officials did not allow any competition or practice of any kind.

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Local High Schools Gear Up for Return to Athletic Fields

Athletes and coaches throughout Los Angeles County finally heard the announcement they have been waiting for: High school athletics are officially a go.
L.A. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced Wednesday that the county would update its Protocols for Youth and Adult Sports League to align with the state’s guidelines, allowing outdoor sports to begin practice and competition this week.
It has been 11 months since an official high school game was played in L.A. County. Schools closed their doors last March to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and public health officials did not allow any competition or practice of any kind.

Continue reading “Local High Schools Gear Up for Return to Athletic Fields”

Local Senior Living Center Reports 99% Vaccination Rate

Photo courtesy Belmont Village Senior Living Center
A Belmont Village resident receives the COVID-19 vaccine at one of the senior living organization’s facilities. In Belmont Village Burbank, the company’s CEO said, about 99% of residents have been vaccinated.

About 99% of residents at a local senior living center have received their second COVID-19 vaccine doses, the center’s CEO said, while at least 90% of the center’s employees have also received the vaccine.
The Burbank branch of Belmont Village Senior Living, which has more than 100 residents, also recently faced an outbreak of the coronavirus, according to an entry on the Los Angeles County’s public health department dashboard. The county reported 30 staff cases, 38 resident cases and nine deaths as of Tuesday.
Patricia Will, founder and CEO of Belmont Village, said the county confirmed that the outbreak ended last week, though she was not sure when it began. But the number of staff and residents who had tested positive continued to increase this week on the county’s COVID-19 dashboard. When asked about this, a spokeswoman for Belmont Village reiterated that there are currently no cases of COVID-19 at the Burbank facility.
The L.A. County Department of Public Health did not respond to questions asking when the outbreak began and whether it had been declared over by the Leader’s press deadline. Belmont Village Burbank remains on the county’s list of active outbreaks.
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Police Push to Receive Vaccines

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
The president of the Burbank police union is expressing frustration that law enforcement hasn’t been included in the county’s vaccine distributions.

As the state and county continue to roll out vaccines to health care workers and elderly residents, Burbank’s police union president says he’s disappointed that law enforcement has been left waiting.
Burbank Police Department personnel were scheduled to receive vaccines last Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 3-4, according to Lt. J.J. Pugilisi, president of the Burbank Police Officers’ Association. But as the dates approached, he said, Los Angeles County shifted gears, pushing back police departments’ reception of the vaccines to allow more residents ages 65 and older to get them.
Though fire departments in the county were included in an earlier wave of vaccinations — Burbank Fire Department personnel received their second doses last week — because they often respond to COVID-19 related emergencies and other health calls, Pugilisi pointed out that police officers often have to be physically close to residents.

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Without Vaccine, BUSD Staff Raise Concerns on Campus Return

With COVID-19 cases declining in Los Angeles County, the Burbank Unified School District is planning to expand its on-campus services by bringing back small groups of students, but the potential move has raised concerns for employees.
During a virtual meeting of the board of education Thursday, an emotional Louis Ayala, a California Schools Employee Association executive representative, spoke about the impact the coronavirus has had on workers and their families. He asked that the board and district staff focus on providing vaccines for employees and give them the same opportunities given to teachers working remotely.
“There is no vaccine for our classified employees, but you are going to ask them to go to the front lines?” he asked. “Will you go with them and see what they have to perform on a daily basis?
“Where’s the equality?”
Ayala expressed frustration about the scenario of bringing back more students and worried that the protocols in place would not be enough to keep employees safe.
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Health Professionals Give Guidance for Vaccine and Beyond

Photo courtesy USC-VHH
Why are those getting the COVID-19 vaccinations experiencing headaches, fevers or chills the next day? Medical professionals stress that such reactions mean the vaccine is doing its job — teaching your body how to fend off the coronavirus.

As vaccines for the coronavirus are gradually made available to more and more members of the public, researchers and medical professionals want people to prepare for what it means to be vaccinated and what to expect when getting the key second dose.
Understanding those details will be crucial to finally turning the page on the COVID-19 pandemic, when we can transition back to a relatively normal state of affairs. For that to happen, the large majority of the population will likely need to be inoculated.
“The only way we’re going to get out of the situation with COVID-19 is an aggressive vaccine campaign, but I think because of the speed with which the vaccine was developed and also some political turmoil, there are some doubts about the efficacy of the vaccine,” explained Dr. Nicholas Testa, the divisional chief medical officer of Dignity Health’s Southern California Division. “To get to this idea of herd immunity, the number that they’re looking at is having somewhere between 70 and 90% of the population being vaccinated.”

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Nursing Students Get Shot at Vaccinating USC-VHH Staff

Nursing students from Glendale Community College recently helped to vaccinate health care workers at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital against COVID-19 as part of their clinical hours. The Care Extender Clinical Experience provides opportunities for nursing students to experience health care from a clinical perspective, through patient contact and collaboration with the patient care team. USC-VHH CEO Keith Hobbs said this allowed the hospital’s nurses and other front-line staff to remain at their positions instead of having to give the vaccines themselves, and he hoped to use GCC nursing students again as vaccinations continue to open up to the public.

Health Order Rollback Allows Outdoor Dining

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Now that outdoor dining has resumed, the tables on San Fernando Boulevard are expected to return, though city workers will place barriers beside them rather than close the street to vehicle traffic.

Outdoor dining resumed on Friday following a health order from Los Angeles County officials, just days after the state lifted its prohibition of the practice.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that he was lifting a stay-at-home order that has been in effect since early December, returning counties to the statewide guidelines of the tiered system, which allows in-person dining outdoors. L.A. County officials said later that day that they would issue a health order on Friday allowing restaurants to serve patrons outdoors.
The county also rescinded a curfew for nonessential businesses that requires them to close from 10 p.m.-5 a.m.
Burbank officials said that on Tuesday they will place modular barriers known as K-rails on parts of San Fernando Boulevard, along with tables and chairs to allow diners to eat outdoors. The city closed parts of the road in downtown Burbank to vehicle traffic last year for the same purpose, but officials said businesses that were surveyed indicated they preferred this “hybrid” approach.

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Hospital Has Guild With Which It Can Build

Photo courtesy Providence St. Joseph Medical Center
The new facilities have been designed to better meet the needs of the 71,000 patients who go through St. Joseph’s emergency department each year.

Shortly after being established in 1946, the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center Guild crafted and adopted a mission statement: “To give of ourselves in the spirit of loving and generous service for the greater good” of the indispensable Burbank hospital.
For the next 74 years, the dedicated guild members did just that by staging various fundraising events, including their annual fashion show, and running the medical center’s gift shop. Then, just as the guild was preparing to celebrate its diamond jubilee, everything it does came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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