Officials Hope Mask Announcement Will Spur Vaccinations

Photo courtesy Glendale Fire Department
A firefighter with the Glendale Fire Department administers a coronavirus vaccine as part of the city’s home vaccination program, which recently resumed after federal officials OK’d continued use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson inoculation.

The announcement by President Joe Biden and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week that they feel fully vaccinated people can comfortably shed their masks in most public locations was a welcome one for many Americans.

It was also welcomed by Glendale Fire Chief Silvio Lanzas, who, like many others, read between the lines when the president said that if you’re vaccinated, the federal government won’t be the one to tell you to keep your mask on. A popular interpretation of the statement is that, as vaccination rates tumble, officials are hoping to encourage more Americans to get their inoculations against the coronavirus.

Continue reading “Officials Hope Mask Announcement Will Spur Vaccinations”

Schools, Officials Celebrate Reopening Milestones

Photo by Charles Hirsch / Burbank Leader
Los Angeles County is expected to move out of the most restrictive tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy as early as Monday. The move would allow movie theaters to reopen at limited capacity and schools to expand in-person instruction to students in grades 7-12.

Life in Los Angeles County during the pandemic is quickly changing after COVID-19 cases plunged since the winter surge amid ramped up efforts to vaccinate residents.
State and county officials recently eased restrictions for schools to offer in-person instruction for their youngest learners, and more reopenings are expected across Los Angeles County as early as next week. Moving into the red tier would also permit schools to reopen for in-person instruction for students in grades 7-12.
The L.A. Department of Public Health anticipates moving out of the purple tier — indicating widespread infection — and into the less restrictive red tier as soon as Monday, March 15, in accordance with the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The new health order that would allow more businesses to reopen will be implemented since the state reached its goal of administering two million doses of the vaccine to its most underprivileged communities on Friday.
Continue reading “Schools, Officials Celebrate Reopening Milestones”

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.”
Continue reading “Vaccination Distribution Inequities Show in County Data”

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.
Continue reading “Without Vaccine, BUSD Staff Raise Concerns on Campus Return”

USC-VHH on Alert as COVID-19 Cases Surge

By Keith Hobbs
Special to Outlook Valley Sun

Keith Hobbs

As businesses and public spaces in Los Angeles County gradually reopened over the last few weeks, the data surrounding COVID-19 infection is showing some concerning trends. Last week, after several weeks of decline, L.A. County saw an uptick in not only the absolute number of positive cases, but also in the percentage of positive results. Some are attributing the increase in cases to more testing. However, the increased percentage of those tests that are positive indicates that COVID-19 is spreading more quickly in the community. The data also shows that the average age of those testing positive is trending younger than before re-opening.
While hospitalization for COVID-19 across the county is also again on the rise, the capacity in intensive care units and the supply of ventilators remains stable for the time being. We at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital remain prepared to care for any members of our community who may require hospitalization for complications arising from COVID-19.
Continue reading “USC-VHH on Alert as COVID-19 Cases Surge”

County Receives Go-Ahead for More Reopenings

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
The Americana at Brand plans to reopen its stores for normal business — at half capacity — starting on Monday. Los Angeles County officials decided this week that retailers could reopen with the restrictions.

Los Angeles County officials have given the green light for restaurants to resume dine-in service, as well as for barbers and hair salons to reopen, provided they adhere to proper distancing and hygiene protocol.
The Friday update followed an announcement from Gov. Gavin Newsom that L.A. County was free to reopen those businesses according to state guidelines. Glendale, like most L.A. County cities, follows health direction from the county Department of Public Health.
Continue reading “County Receives Go-Ahead for More Reopenings”