Vaccination Distribution Inequities Show in County Data

Los Angeles County has administered nearly 2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, making the light at the end of the tunnel shine a little brighter for an area that has been the epicenter of the pandemic.
However, vaccine distribution data from the L.A. County Department of Public Health shows that affluent neighborhoods have a greater percentage of residents vaccinated than low-income areas that many Black and Latino residents call home.
“The findings are deeply concerning and provide further illustration of the deeply rooted health inequities that exist in our society,” Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the LADPH, said last Friday. “The findings clearly indicate very significant inequities in the distribution of vaccines to date. These inequities are unjust and unacceptable and demand renewed efforts to address them.”
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Council Gears Up for Vaccine Dispensing Site

The city of La Cañada Flintridge has reached an agreement with Los Angeles County to make City Hall and Olberz Park a temporary medical point of dispensing (MPOD) site for the COVID-19 vaccine.
All five city council members voted in favor of approving the memorandum of understanding with the public health department during a virtual meeting on Tuesday.
However, City Manager Mark Alexander informed the council and community that the county has paused “all activities related to MPOD planning” after Gov. Gavin Newsom handed the reins of coronavirus vaccine distribution to Blue Shield of California.
“[Public health officials] are awaiting guidance from the state regarding the standardization and streamlining of vaccine prioritization, dose allocation and vaccine administration through a centralized third party administrator, which will be Blue Shield of California.”
Alexander recommended that the council still approve agreement so that when L.A. County decides to move forward in expanding vaccine distribution with MPODS, La Cañada will be “ready to go.”

Health Order Roll-Back Allows Outdoor Dining

Outdoor dining is expected to resume by Friday, Jan. 29, Los Angeles County Public Health officials announced hours after the state lifted a health order prohibiting 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 will also rescind a curfew for nonessential businesses that requires them to close from 10 p.m.-5 a.m.
Personal care services such as hair and nail salons were able to open at 25% indoor capacity starting Monday, and outdoor private gatherings are allowed when limited to three households and a total of 15 people. Museums, zoos and aquariums can also reopen for outdoor operations at 50% capacity.
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Next in Line: COVID Vaccines for Residents 65 and Older

Californians aged 65 years and older have moved up in the long line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Wednesday that they are now eligible for the scarce vaccine.
“There is no higher priority than efficiently and equitably distributing these vaccines as quickly as possible to those who face the gravest consequences,” he said in a statement. “To those not yet eligible for vaccines, your turn is coming. We are doing everything we can to bring more vaccines into the state.”
Though many health-care workers and long-term care residents — who remain as the highest priority — have yet to be vaccinated due to a slow rollout, state officials said giving individuals 65 years and older — about 6.6 million residents — eligibility could relieve hospitals flooded with coronavirus patients.
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Representatives Talk Economy, COVID at Town Hall

Federal and state officials said at a recent virtual town hall that economic recovery was at the forefront of their minds, but also cautioned that federal dollars were needed for the task.
The livestreamed forum, which featured Congressman Adam Schiff, state Sen. Anthony Portantino and California Labor Secretary Julie Su, allowed residents to float questions to the officials on topics ranging from COVID-19 testing to Azerbaijani aggression.
A subject that dominated much of the conversation on Monday, however, was the recession caused by a deadly coronavirus. The California unemployment rate fell to an estimated 10.8% in September, the second consecutive month since March that the rate was lower than the Great Recession peak of 12.3%, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

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County’s Coronavirus Statistics Fuel New Hope for Reopenings

Los Angeles County is moving in the right direction when it comes to lowering COVID-19 transmission, a trend that bodes well for local economies that have been decimated by the pandemic.
“We have made a lot of progress reducing transmission in L.A. County since we experienced that surge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths starting in mid-July,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said at a news conference on Wednesday. “As we consider our future reopenings, we’re going to use the lessons we learn from our past and community transmission indicators to guide decisions regarding reopening sectors and permitting additional services.”

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Virus Stats Improve, but Don’t Permit Return to Campuses

Confirmed coronavirus cases continue to decline in Los Angeles County, a trend that has made local school district officials optimistic about being able to offer in-class instruction at the elementary level, but any hopes for reopening campuses in the near future were dashed Wednesday by county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
“At this point, [the Department of] Public Health will not be opening up our waiver process for schools,” Ferrer said in a statement. “We will be closely reviewing the guidance from the state and will be reviewing all options with [county supervisors] to ensure that schools are able to open as safely as possible for all children and staff.
“We do need to continue taking all of the steps that were taking these past few weeks so that our community transmission rates remain low enough for us to continue our recovery journey,” she added in the county’s update, “and a very important piece of that recovery journey is getting our children back to schools.”
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Past President Still a Force in Tournament of Roses

Photos courtesy Tournament of Roses
Laura Farber, chair of the Rose Bowl Management Committee, oversees the coin toss at the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl Game, when she was Tournament of Roses president. Although the 2021 Rose Parade has been canceled, hopes are still high that there will be a 107th Rose Bowl Game.

Pasadena Tournament of Roses Past President Laura Farber still believes in “The Power of Hope.”
Months after her reign as president, the theme she chose for the 131st 2020 Rose Parade seems more poignant than ever amid the global pandemic and resulting shutdowns that have paralyzed society and led to the cancellation of the iconic 132nd parade on New Year’s Day.
Parade officials last week cited Gov. Gavin Newsom’s phase 4 reopening schedule, health restrictions enacted to slow the spread of coronavirus and interruption of the lengthy preparation needed by participants as their reason for canceling the 2021 parade. But there is still hope that the 107th Rose Bowl Game, “the Granddaddy of Them All,” will deliver an exciting collegiate contest to fans starving for entertainment — and sports.
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LCUSD Commits to ‘Quality’ Distance Learning to Start Year

The La Cañada Unified School District has mulled over scheduling and instruction for the upcoming school year for the past eight weeks, but its governing board’s disclosure this week that the district is going with distance learning simply confirmed an earlier decision by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The governor announced new guidelines last Friday that would prevent California schools, public and private, in counties on the state’s COVID-19 watch list — which monitors trends in infections and test positivity and hospitalization rates — from providing in-person instruction when the academic year begins.
“Learning is non-negotiable,” Newsom said. “The virus will be with us for a year or more, and school districts must provide meaningful instruction in the midst of this pandemic. In California, health data will determine when a school can physically open — and when it must close — but learning should never stop.”
In a special meeting Tuesday, the LCUSD announced it will open the school year with distance learning at all levels, but officials are hopeful of returning students to campus when it is safe to do so. Details of those plans, whether at half or full capacity, have not yet been finalized.
For the district’s schools to reopen, Los Angeles County must be taken off the watch list, which can happen only if coronavirus cases drop for 14 consecutive days. The recent surge in COVID-19 cases made California the state with the most confirmed infections in the nation, surpassing New York.
“The good news about our virtual academy is that it’s much better than it was before,” LCUSD board President Joe Radabaugh said by phone. “It’s going to be quality education.”
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PUSD to Start School Year With Distance Learning

By Brian McDonald
Special to The Outlook

Brian McDonald

On July 16, the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education authorized the start of the new school year. PUSD will begin the new school year on Aug. 17 in a distance learning environment.
On July 17, Gov. Gavin Newsom laid out new statewide mandates for schools that affirm the decisions and direction that PUSD is taking to keep our students and staff healthy and safe. PUSD will adhere to state and county mandates. The state mandate addresses safe in-person school based on local health data, requirements of masks/face covering, physical distancing, testing, rigorous distance learning, and the criteria for schools to close when a member of our school community tests positive for COVID-19.

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