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.” Continue reading “Virus Stats Improve, but Don’t Permit Return to Campuses”
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. Continue reading “Past President Still a Force in Tournament of Roses”
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.” Continue reading “LCUSD Commits to ‘Quality’ Distance Learning to Start Year”
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.
As COVID-19 continues to surge — with Los Angeles County on Thursday registering its biggest single-day total of new cases, 4,592 — Glendale officials are urging residents to remain resilient and follow safety protocols, including wearing face coverings in public and staying home if possible. The city is also entreating residents to maintain social distancing and limit physical contact to family members with whom they live — what the Glendale Fire Department has dubbed “keeping it family style,” said Chief Silvio Lanzas. “If you’re going to be out in public, you should wear a face covering,” he said, emphasizing that those who are outside but not around anyone — jogging early in the morning, for example — should have a face covering with them and be ready to put it on should they cross paths with another person. “We are really trying to focus efforts on the educational piece — when our team is out in the community we constantly remind people to put their mask on and to wear it properly, put it up over the nose,” Lanzas said. Though Lanzas said he is aware there is some resistance among community residents to wearing masks, officials are trying hard to praise those who are doing a good job of following safety protocols to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, Stacy Godwin was supposed to celebrate the fourth anniversary of her Burbank hair salon.
Instead, Vanity by Stacy Godwin and many other businesses across California were told two days earlier to close.
“For salons, this is pretty devastating, because the majority of our licensing is sanitation and health,” Godwin said in a phone interview. “You learn more about keeping your client safe and healthy … than you actually learn about doing hair.”
Soon after California’s 7,000th COVID-19 death was reported, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that indoor services for restaurants, movie theaters, zoos, museums and wineries would have to close once again. Bars also were ordered to close all operations. Continue reading “Salons, Churches, Restaurants Close Indoor Operations”
Businesses in La Cañada Flintridge were dealt another big blow last week with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reinstatement of restrictions on indoor activities due to the rise of COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate in California.
Restaurants must be closed for indoor dining until further notice, and closures also extended to wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, bars and card rooms. Gyms remain open, but staff members and patrons must wear face coverings and gloves.
“It is obviously frustrating that after just a few short weeks of a partial reopening, indoor dining was shut down again,” LCF Mayor Mike Davitt wrote in an email to The Outlook Valley Sun. “I know that restaurants in our community were following the guidelines as outlined by the health officials, so that adds to the frustration. Continue reading “Restrictions Return as State’s COVID-19 Numbers Rise”
Officials are urging caution and adherence to policies meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as, weeks after California began reopening and mass protests began forming across the county, there has been a spike in reported cases of the virus.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has largely taken direct initiative to reverse an easing of restrictive policies that counties were mostly left to enact at the start of the pandemic in March. This week, he ordered a flurry of counties, including Los Angeles County, to bar indoor sit-down service at restaurants, shut down bars altogether and, ahead of the holiday weekend, close down beaches.
The county’s overall numbers of daily new confirmed cases have steadily risen in recent weeks, Fire Chief Silvio Lanzas told the City Council this week, and although Glendale itself experienced seven spikes of greater than 20 new daily cases during June — four of which were greater than 30 — its seven-day average only crossed north of 20 once.
“That 20 number is a number that I feel is one that would keep us on a flattening-type curve,” Lanzas said Tuesday. “However, the cases across the county are troubling, and therefore the county and state have taken action to reverse some of the openings that have happened.”
As of press deadline this week, Glendale has had a total of 1,455 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its residents, of whom 108 have died from the illness. Roughly half of those deaths are associated with skilled nursing facilities in Glendale, although the county’s data does not make it clear how many of those associated deaths are among residents or staff members.
In unincorporated La Crescenta-Montrose, the county has listed 57 confirmed cases and one death among residents. Continue reading “Keep Your Distance: City Sees Spike in Virus Cases”
School districts across California scored a big victory on Monday when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced an agreement with the Legislature on a 2020-21 state budget that will avoid the drastic cuts in school funding that initially were proposed in May, allowing the Burbank Unified School District Board of Education to sigh with relief Thursday as it adopted a budget for the next fiscal year. Continue reading “BUSD Spared From Big Budget Cuts for Now”