Aaron Read
Olson Hagel
Capitol Weekly
CA Leg Analyst

Updating . .   

California launches Health Corps, loosens rules for medical professionals amid coronavirus -- Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an urgent call for healthcare workers to join the state in caring for an expected surge of COVID-19 patients while announcing an executive order to expand the services medical professionals can perform in their jobs. Newsom said he believes the state can add 37,000 healthcare workers by asking recently retired providers, those in the process of getting a medical license in the state and students enrolled in medical or nursing schools to apply to the newly created California Health Corps. Melody Gutierrez, Taryn Luna in the Los Angeles Times$ Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ Emily DeRuy, Maggie Angst in the San Jose Mercury$ Alexei Koseff and Rachel Swan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20

SF's public health director on Laguna Honda: 'We expect the situation to unfortunately get worse' -- Eleven individuals with ties to San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19, health officials said Monday. Of the cases, nine are among staff and two are residents; all are in good condition. "We expect the situation to unfortunately get worse," S.F. Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said of the outbreak at the long-term care facility for the elderly, owned and operated by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

Coronavirus outbreaks at nursing homes rise sharply in L.A. County -- Los Angeles County officials are investigating coronavirus outbreaks at 11 area nursing homes, where elderly residents with underlying health conditions are among the most vulnerable to the deadly new pathogen. That’s nearly quadruple the number of nursing home outbreaks county officials had announced on Friday. Jack Dolan, Marisa Gerber, Harriet Ryan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

Coronavirus shelter-in-place orders extended to at least May 1 for most of Bay Area -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed confirmed Monday that the shelter-in-place orders in effect across the Bay Area will extend until at least May 1. The orders for people to stay at home for all but the most essential errands took effect March 17. Dominic Fracassa in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20

Macy’s furloughs majority of workers, including 5,000 in Bay Area -- Macy’s is furloughing the majority of its 130,000 workers two weeks after closing many of its stores in the country because of the coronavirus. The move is another blow to retail workers, including 5,000 who work across 20 Bay Area stores. Shwanika Narayan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20

Coronavirus deaths surpass 130 as California faces a critical few weeks -- The California death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 133, with officials warning of tough weeks ahead as the number of confirmed cases of the virus continues to surge. The latest death was reported Monday morning by San Francisco’s Department of Public Health. Details about the individual who died were not immediately available. Hannah Fry, Alex Wigglesworth, Taryn Luna, Colleen Shalby in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

Coronavirus: California tops 6,000 cases of COVID-19 with many tests pending -- California’s count of confirmed COVID-19 cases continued to climb over the weekend, with the state reporting nearly 1,000 additional cases on Sunday alone. Evan Webeck in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/30/20

Shelter-in-place extended through end of April, officials confirm -- The Bay Area will continue living under shelter-in-place rules through the end of April, officials confirmed Monday morning. Fiona Kelliher, Robert Salonga in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/30/20

As she lay dying of the coronavirus, her family said goodbye through a window -- Susana Garcia, 52, was hooked up to a ventilator and heavily sedated as COVID-19 ravaged her body. Fears over the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus meant that she was in isolation and the hospital was not allowing visitors. But staffers opened the blinds so Juarez and his sister could peer inside Garcia’s ground-floor ICU room. Alex Wigglesworth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

San Diego virus fighter to lead international effort to stanch spread of coronavirus -- Erica Ollmann Saphire will direct the team from her lab at the La Jolla Institute (LJI), which received $1.73 million Monday from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create a coalition that will initially have contributors from about a dozen institutions. The figure could quadruple. Gary Robbins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/30/20


Bottlenecks in coronavirus testing mean excruciating wait times for the sick -- The deluge of samples caused a bottleneck that delayed turnaround times for results at a critical time, when doctors were struggling to identify those who had been infected, including among their own staff, to contain the spread of the virus. Melody Petersen, Emily Baumgaertner in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20


L.A. County announces 342 new coronavirus cases, 7 new deaths -- Los Angeles County officials confirmed seven new coronavirus-linked deaths Monday, bringing the death toll to 44. Six of the victims were 65 or older, and one was between the ages of 41 and 65, Public Health Department director Barbara Ferrer said. Colleen Shalby, Hannah Fry, Alex Wigglesworth, Taryn Luna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

Coronavirus cases continue to climb in Orange County, reaching 464 -- Since the start of last week, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county has more than tripled. The cities of Anaheim, Irvine and Newport Beach alone now have 126 confirmed cases among them — one more than the entire county had only a week ago. Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

Coronavirus case numbers and deaths mount in Ventura County -- Three more people died over the weekend in Ventura County after testing positive for COVID-19, bringing the county’s death toll from the novel coronavirus to four one week after reporting its first fatality. Those who have died were all in their 70s or 80s and had preexisting health conditions, county spokeswoman Ashley Bautista said Monday. Melissa Gomez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies, firefighters test positive for coronavirus -- Two San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies and two firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, county officials said. All four began self-isolating after they started to experience flu-like symptoms. They later tested positive for the virus and appear to be doing well, authorities said Sunday. Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

Front Lines  

Bay Area hospitals face huge challenge: stopping spread of coronavirus within their own walls -- As California hospitals brace for a surge of patients sickened by the new coronavirus, they must confront one of their biggest challenges: stopping the spread of the virus within their own walls. If history is any guide, however, it will not be easy. Cynthia Dizikes and Joaquin Palomino in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20

Telemedicine booms as coronavirus hits Bay Area: Here’s what you need to know -- As the COVID-19 outbreak escalates around the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging health care providers to boost telehealth, and encourage patients to avoid in-person treatment unless it’s a medical emergency. Mallory Moench in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20

Medical waste industry braces for flood of virus-contaminated trash -- For about two weeks now, red bags of medical waste laden with the coronavirus have been flowing from Southern California hospitals to a squat white building in the city of Paramount, where they are tossed into an autoclave and scorched with pressurized steam. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20


These Silicon Valley businesses are booming in the coronavirus era -- Traffic at Coursera, the Mountain View-based online learning platform with university classes for anyone, is four to five times higher than usual, with thousands of universities requesting free access to their platform. At the same time, videoconferencing app Zoom has become central to countless companies where most employees are working from home. And grocery delivery app Instacart has seen a 150 percent increase in demand, with billions of dollars worth of groceries purchased through the app in the past three weeks. Leonardo Castañeda in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/30/20

Flower industry hit hard as coronavirus pandemic dries up business -- The 118,000-square-foot San Francisco Flower Mart, home to 47 businesses and 350 workers, is dark until further notice. Vendors composted $750,000 to $1 million worth of flowers, Boes said. It’s hard to say how many of the tenants will survive the shutdown, especially if the crisis drags into the late spring. She said the mood was gloomy. J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20

They were supposed to build stages for Coachella. Now they’re building coronavirus triage tents -- Right now, Ryan Choura should be celebrating another busy South by Southwest and BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament and preparing for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in two weeks. August Brown in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

Selland family temporarily closes remaining restaurants over coronavirus concerns -- Selland Family Restaurants has temporarily closed all remaining eateries in light of the coronavirus pandemic, citing employee health risks. OBO’ Italian Table & Bar and all three Selland’s Market-Cafe locations had remained open for takeout and delivery until Sunday night, when the restaurant group emailed its listserv to announce their closure. Benjy Egel in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/30/20

Coronavirus forces food trucks to look for new business -- The novel coronavirus pandemic is taking the food truck industry to a place where it never expected to be. “Food trucks rely on people to gather. That model went away pretty quickly,” said Ross Resnick, founder of Roaming Hunger, a West Hollywood company that books trucks for events. Fielding Buck in the Orange County Register -- 3/30/20

When will Disneyland reopen? Disneyland hotel reservation restrictions offer a clue -- The three Disneyland hotels in Anaheim have stopped accepting reservations before June 1 as Disney’s two nearby theme parks remain closed until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak. Brady MacDonald in the Orange County Register -- 3/30/20


Bay area hotel layoffs might just be start of job losses -- Hotel worker layoffs in the Bay Area and nearby regions total at least 1,431, according to new estimates by state labor officials, but several experts warn that the newly announced cutbacks are merely the beginning of widespread economic devastation in California’s crucial lodging and travel sectors. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/30/20

Amid shades of Great Recession, day laborers struggle to find work during coronavirus -- Gabriel Reyes was $600 short of his $1,800 monthly rent and April was around the corner. The day laborer was so desperate for a job he created a cardboard sign that listed his welding skills and cellphone number. “I figure this way they know what I do since there’s so many of us out here,” he said. Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20


Coronavirus: Instacart’s response ‘a sick joke,’ strike still on today, workers say -- Angry delivery workers for groceries-to-your-door giant Instacart vow they’ll go ahead with a planned strike today, calling the company’s response to their coronavirus-related pay and safety demands “a sick joke” and “insulting for a number of reasons.” It’s not clear when the strike would start Monday or how many workers would participate. Ethan Baron in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/30/20

‘They were unprepared’: Many Sacramento County workers in offices amid coronavirus outbreak -- Even as Sacramento County’s health director issued directives, and later an order, to the public to limit social contact earlier this month, county employees say many still are being forced to come into work in crowded office buildings and compact cubicles. Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/30/20


Will coronavirus pandemic free California prisoners? Gavin Newsom says no -- California has long struggled with an overburdened prison system, crowding inmates into lockups that were designed to hold tens of thousands fewer people. Now activists are sounding the alarm that those cramped conditions could foment an explosion of the coronavirus. Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20

First L.A. County inmate tests positive for coronavirus infection -- An inmate and four people who work in the Los Angeles County jails have tested positive for the coronavirus infection, heightening fears that the disease could spread quickly in the overcrowded jail system. Alene Tchekmedyian, Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

L.A. jail inmates say lack of soap and toilet paper heightens coronavirus fear: ‘Like slow torture’ -- The thin bar of soap Joseph Clarino said he and other inmates get at Los Angeles County’s Men’s Central Jail is supposed to last three days. Clarino said he’s lucky if it’s enough for one shower — maybe two if cut in half — and that the shortage extends to other supplies. Some inmates, he said, recently used torn bedsheets when toilet paper ran out. Alene Tchekmedyian, Matt Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

Court Delays  

Delays for key court hearings OK’d for Coronavirus pandemic -- The Judicial Council of California, during an emergency meeting on Saturday, agreed to temporary measures that will extend from 48 hours to seven days the deadline for arraignments, when defendants are informed of the charges they are facing and given the chance to enter a plea. And the deadline will go from from 10 to 30 court days for preliminary hearings, during which a judge decides whether there is enough evidence for a criminal case to proceed to trial. Sean Emery in the Orange County Register -- 3/30/20


Amid coronavirus closures, 15,000 high school students are absent online, 40,000 fail to check in daily -- About one-third of some 120,000 Los Angeles high school students have not logged onto online classes every day, and 15,000 are absent from all online learning as efforts to continue distance learning fall short, according to the school district. Howard Blume, Sonali Kohli in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

Pasadena schools suspend grab-and-go meals after potential coronavirus infection -- Though a COVID-19 diagnosis hasn’t been confirmed, district officials said they would suspend the meal service starting Monday “out of an abundance of caution,” with hopes of resuming later in the week. The to-go meals had been available at seven schools. Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20


Coastal gas plant will shut down by 2023 as fossil fuels dry up in California -- The long-awaited sale of 51 acres of prime waterfront real estate in Redondo Beach has been finalized — and it includes a commitment to shutting down the site’s gas-fired power plant, in the latest sign of California’s transition away from planet-warming fossil fuels. Sammy Roth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20


California pot dispensaries are open during coronavirus crisis. Some want them closed -- In designating California’s marijuana industry as essential under the state’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order, the administration of Gov. Gavin Newsom has argued that the health benefits of keeping pot shops open outweigh the risks — even as opponents of the policy call it reckless. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20


Fox: Drumbeats About Cuomo for President. What About Newsom? -- John Fund, one time California legislative staffer before he started a distinguished journalism career, asked in his recent National Review column if a Draft Cuomo movement could supplant Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee for president to take on Donald Trump. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is getting like positive notices for his performance during the coronavirus crisis as the New York governor, but not the support online or in columns as a presidential alternative in 2020. Joel Fox Fox & Hounds -- 3/30/20


California Policy & Politics This Morning  


PG&E, a ‘killer company,’ admits to 85 felony counts. Now what? -- Pacific Gas and Electric Co. tried to avoid the stain of a criminal conviction over its geriatric power line that sparked California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire. J.D. Morris in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20

Walters: PG&E makes two deals to survive -- In any other week, major actions affecting Pacific Gas and Electric’s chances of emerging from bankruptcy as an intact and operational utility would have been big news. Dan Walters Calmatters -- 3/30/20


California prepares for coronavirus surge in week ahead -- The mayor of the nation’s second-largest city warned that the coronavirus may become so pervasive, families ought to prepare for how they will isolate themselves at home without infecting others in their households. Anticipating a surge in COVID-19 cases this week that may overwhelm healthcare systems, Mayor Eric Garcetti urged people who test positive for the coronavirus not to rush to hospitals unless they have serious symptoms. Daisy Nguyen and Stefanie Dazio Associated Press -- 3/30/20

Skelton: Everyone is vulnerable to coronavirus. But seniors still need to take extra precautions -- Being a card-carrying member of the “most vulnerable” generation — old geezers — my hearing-challenged ears perked up when our governor announced that half of California’s coronavirus victims were between ages 18 and 49. George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

Coronavirus Surge  

San Diego County hospitals brace for surge of COVID-19 patients -- Preparations for the coming COVID-19 onslaught have gotten so serious in San Diego County that one hospital has given up its ambulance bay to aid the fight. A black temporary floor now fills the wide space where paramedics once backed up their rigs side-by-side to deliver patients to Sharp Memorial Hospital in Kearny Mesa. Paul Sisson in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/30/20

Front Lines  

Stockpile of masks to stay in reserve at Port of Stockton -- It was the mother lode of medical equipment discovered in a warehouse at the Port of Stockton. There were some 16,000 N95 respirators and 37,000 non-medical-grade face masks belonging to the American Red Cross in the warehouse. Despite the shortage of such equipment at medical facilities around the country during the novel coronavirus pandemic, an American Red Cross spokesman said those masks will stay put for now. Scott Linesburgh in the Stockton Record -- 3/30/20

USNS Mercy takes on its first non-coronavirus patients -- The first three patients arrived Sunday on the USNS Mercy, a Navy hospital ship at the Port of Los Angeles sent by the Department of Defense to free up local hospitals that are taking in coronavirus patients. Information on what ailments the three patients were suffering from or what cities they came from was not available. These patients do not have coronavirus. Erika I. Ritchie in the Orange County Register -- 3/30/20

At Kaiser, Trump’s Pharmaceutical Advice Creates Chaos For Lupus Patients -- The COVID-19 pandemic threatens access to drug treatment for lupus patients, in part because the prevailing drug of choice for lupus was touted by the president as a “game changer” in the fight against coronavirus. Molly Peterson KQED -- 3/30/20

University Grad Students Step Up To Fill U.S. Coronavirus Testing Void -- "Normally, when people say they need someone in an emergency, it's not a science grad student," says Katie Cabral, a bioengineering Ph.D. student at the University of California, San Francisco. "But in this case, my particular qualifications are exactly what is needed." Lauren Sommer NPR -- 3/30/20

Seniors in Elk Grove can’t leave their houses. These volunteers are bringing them food -- The volunteers had risen early to shop, sort and pack the 40 boxes of food — eggs, bread, pasta and fruit now loaded onto a shuttle van and on its way to an older adult in need. This was the second week of a world turned upside down for thousands of seniors in Elk Grove. Michael Finch II in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/30/20

On the bright side: Gourmet grill serves up ‘Meals of Gratitude’ for Stanford Hospital workers -- Hundreds of lucky Stanford Hospital workers will be eating smoked trout and goat cheese salad from an award-winning Menlo Park restaurant trying to keep its staff in the kitchen, 6 feet apart, instead of at home. Flea Street restaurant is preparing 200 meals a day and dropping them off at the hospital. Steve Rubenstein in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20

Coronavirus Spread     

5 more coronavirus deaths in L.A. County; total cases top 2,100 -- Los Angeles County recorded five more coronavirus deaths on Sunday, bringing the total to 37 as the virus continued to spread. The county now has 2,100 total confirmed cases, including more than 300 reported on Sunday. More cases and deaths were reported across California, with officials warning the numbers will spike in the coming weeks. Alex Wigglesworth, Benjamin Oreskes, Joseph Serna, Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Taryn Luna, Laura Newberry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

Coronavirus outbreak at Yucaipa nursing home leaves 12 infected, one dead -- San Bernardino County officials said 12 people at a Yucaipa nursing facility tested positive for the virus Saturday after a resident of the facility died of COVID-19 earlier in the week. At least one of the people who tested positive worked at the facility, which officials did not immediately name. Alex Wigglesworth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

Here is the latest list of Orange County communities with coronavirus cases -- Coronavirus cases in Orange County jumped past 400 this week, county health officials said. Four people have died. As of Sunday, the county had performed more than 5,100 tests. Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

As Beaches Remain Closed, Four San Diego Lifeguards Test Positive For Coronavirus -- In a Zoom interview Sunday, Gartland said he has never seen beaches closed like this in his two decades on the job. But, he said, "This is what has to happen in order to slow or stop the spread of this virus." While some were not heeding warnings before, he said now nearly everyone is complying. Matt Hoffman KPBS -- 3/30/20

Long Beach announces 11 more coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing total to 99 -- Long Beach’s total includes a Long Beach police officer, a statement from the city said, and four Long Beach firefighters. All of those first responders are Long Beach residents, but not included in the total are nine other Long beach firefighters who live elsewhere. The item is in the Long Beach Press Telegram$ -- 3/30/20


Surfer fined $1,000 for ignoring coronavirus closure in Manhattan Beach -- A man received a $1,000 citation for surfing in Manhatthan Beach on Saturday after he ignored numerous warnings by police and lifeguards cautioning him not to go in the water because of the coronavirus beach closures. Manhattan Beach Police Sgt. Mike Sistoni said it was the only citation for failing to follow the stay-at-home orders the department had issued. Alex Wigglesworth, Andrea Castillo in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

California, you’re doing a great job staying home, tracking data show. (Except these places) -- Overall, California received high marks for reducing movement. Unacast data shows Californians reduced their average distance traveled by a whopping 48 percent from late February to March 22. Ryan Sabalow and Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/30/20

After Stay At Home Order, Sacramento Region Law Enforcement Respond Differently To Complaints About Open Businesses -- Last week Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide stay-at-home order to try and limit the spread of coronavirus. Now Sacramento-region law enforcement agencies are figuring out how to handle complaints against "non-essential" businesses that are still open. Bob Moffitt Capital Public Radio -- 3/30/20

Forest Service closes campgrounds; trails and lakes remain open -- Amid the shelter-in-place orders and a patchwork-quilt of which parks and open spaces are open and closed, the U.S. Forest Service has issued a universal order that shut down campgrounds in California through April 30. Trailheads and most boat ramps have been left open. Tom Stienstra in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20

Residents’ hunger for outside recreation collides with social-distancing rules -- Bay Area residents seeking an escape from their living rooms amid unprecedented shelter-in-place orders meant to control the COVID-19 outbreak are creating a new kind of stress: Headaches for state and local officials scrambling to close or restrict access to outdoor areas, hoping to keep growing crowds from dulling the effect of social distancing. Joseph Geha in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/30/20


SF’s jail population drops 25% after inmates are released to thwart virus -- On Saturday morning, there were roughly 840 people in custody in San Francisco’s jails, said District Attorney Chesa Boudin, down from about 1,100 on March 4, the day California declared a state of emergency because of the global pandemic. Joaquin Palomino in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20

Coronavirus infects 1 inmate and 4 more employees at state prison in Chino -- The prisoner in Chino is the first incarcerated person at the California Institution for Men (CIM) to contract COVID-19, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials said in an update on their website. Eric Licas in the San Bernardino Sun$ -- 3/30/20


Hollywood faces huge losses from coronavirus. Can the insurance industry bail it out? -- The insurance industry has long been an essential part of doing business in Hollywood, providing policies that protect studios from unforeseen circumstances that cause production delays or cancellations, such as fires, drug overdoses, equipment damage and accidents on set. But the massive shutdown of businesses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything the industry has dealt with before. Anousha Sakoui, Ryan Faughnder in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

California home sales now ‘essential’ but health risks scare agents -- But real estate professionals, in interviews with the Southern California News Group and numerous comments on social media, questioned the health risks from restarting the very personal sales process that includes bringing strangers into other people’s homes. Jonathan Lansner in the Orange County Register -- 3/30/20


The latest sign the economic downturn is intensifying: White-collar workers are being laid off now -- As the coronavirus pandemic overturns the U.S. economy, the shock waves are being felt in industries well beyond the hardest-hit: travel, hospitality and restaurants. White-collar workers — tech, marketing and professional employees among them — are facing layoffs, pay cuts and furloughs as their companies sharply curtail operations or suspend them altogether. Taylor Telford and Jena McGregor in the Washington Post$ -- 3/30/20


Coronavirus prompts more cutbacks of Muni, Caltrain service -- San Francisco’s fleet of Muni light rail trains is being replaced by buses — likely for as long as concerns over the coronavirus pandemic have adults working from home or not at all. Caltrain plans to cut its weekday service by more than half starting this week, while Golden Gate Transit on Monday will trim another 12 weekday bus runs going into and out of the city. John King and Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20


San Diego County Homeless Shelters Run Low On Staffing, Supplies Amidst COVID-19 -- The homeless shelters in these communities, one of which was struggling financially even before the novel coronavirus pandemic, are now being stretched thin as they scramble to meet the needs of the vulnerable people they serve every day. Here’s the situation at three of those shelters: Cody Dulaney inewsource via KPBS -- 3/30/20

New Normal  

What’s at the end of the coronavirus tunnel? Local scholars share some ideas -- If there’s a light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel, it’s faint. Most of our eyes are still adjusting to the darkness. No one knows how long this will last, or what the final toll will be — in lives, in economic turmoil, in changes to the world as we knew it. When the pandemic finally passes, what will our new normal look like? John Wilkens in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/30/20

Inside a Long Beach distillery churning out hand sanitizer to battle COVID-19 -- The floor is sticky, and the air smells like booze. At Portuguese Bend Distilling in Long Beach, a skeleton crew in medical masks and Carhartt work shirts clambers around the copper still and stainless-steel fermenters that, in normal days, would be churning out vodka and gin. But these aren’t normal days. Hailey Branson-Potts in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20


College students leave campus life behind, adjust to online classes at home -- Now, suddenly, Perez lives with her parents again at the family home in North Oakland. She shares a bedroom with her 15-year-old sister, Marisol, and listens to lectures on laptop headphones while sitting on her bed, or studies at the dining-room table. So much for the college experience. Ron Kroichick in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20

California food banks partner with schools to serve families of students -- With schools shut down across the state, districts are serving “grab and go” meals to students in an effort to stop the coronavirus spread. Many have also allowed food banks to distribute boxes of groceries at the school sites. The largest effort is underway at the Los Angeles Unified School District, which has partnered with star chef Jose Andres and other organizations to provide meals for both students and their parents. Ali Tadayon EdSource -- 3/30/20


Operation Limelight: How a fearsome, fast-talking union boss helped legalize pot, took kickbacks and ended up in prison -- Forrest could feel his heart beating faster than normal. He didn’t know it yet, but he and Carl were about to set in motion one of the most surprising federal investigations in Bay Area history — one that would last three years, lead to a 15-count indictment against union official Rush, and ultimately redefine the landscape of cannabis in the region. Jason Fagone in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20


Largest US dam removal stirs debate over coveted West water -- Now, plans to demolish four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath’s lower reaches — the largest such demolition project in U.S. history — have placed those competing interests in stark relief. Tribes, farmers, homeowners and conservationists all have a stake in the dams’ fate. Gillian Flaccus Associated Press -- 3/30/20

Also . . . 

Coronavirus sets off ‘generational shaming’ across Bay Area and nation -- Stereotypes abound — be it Millennials who would rather meet up with their friends than practice social distancing, or Boomer parents who disregard health warnings that they’re not as young as they feel and may be more susceptible to the virus. Both groups recoil at the sight of Gen Z college students flocking to beaches for spring break. John King in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/30/20

Sonoma County emergency management director disregards coronavirus shelter-in-place order, takes family to beach -- Chris Godley, the director of Emergency Management and leader of the county’s Emergency Operation Center, said he regrets the Saturday trip to the Sonoma County coast, which came to light after photos of the family trip were posted on Facebook. Tyler Silvy in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat -- 3/30/20

‘Grim Sleeper’ serial killer Lonnie Franklin dies on death row at San Quentin -- Franklin, 67, was convicted in 2016 of killing nine women and a teenage girl from 1985 to 2007. During the penalty phase of his trial, prosecutors connected him to several additional slayings. Detectives believe he may have killed at least 25 women. Joseph Serna in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

Louisiana church defies COVID-19 order, holds Sunday services -- Pentecostal preacher Tony Spell didn’t just stand before his congregation on Sunday in defiance of the governor’s order to stay home: He leaped into the pews, paraded, hugged and laid hands on worshipers’ foreheads in prayer. Molly Hennessy-Fiske in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

POTUS 45  

Trump blames hospitals for mask and ventilator shortages -- President Trump has been focused on shifting blame for whatever becomes of the coronavirus outbreak. And on Sunday, he set about blaming hospitals and states for the well-established shortages of equipment to deal with the situation. Aaron Blake in the Washington Post$ -- 3/30/20

McManus: China rises as Trump cedes leadership in coronavirus crisis -- In the best of all pandemic-ridden worlds, the coronavirus would spur powerful countries to cooperate with one another since everyone is facing the same danger. Not this time. The United States and China have turned the pandemic into a battle zone in their struggle for global influence. And so far, the United States is losing ground. Doyle McManus in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/30/20

The missing six weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life -- When the definitive history of the coronavirus pandemic is written, the date 20 January 2020 is certain to feature prominently. It was on that day that a 35-year-old man in Washington state, recently returned from visiting family in Wuhan in China, became the first person in the US to be diagnosed with the virus. On the very same day, 5,000 miles away in Asia, the first confirmed case of Covid-19 was reported in South Korea. The confluence was striking, but there the similarities ended. Ed Pilkington and Tom McCarthy The Guardian -- 3/30/20

11 to 100,000: What went wrong with coronavirus testing in the U.S. -- “We have it totally under control.” — President Trump, in an interview, on Jan. 22 “We're in great shape in our country. We have 11, and the 11 are getting better. ” — Trump, in remarks, on Feb. 10 “You may ask about the coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country.” — Trump, in a news conference, on Feb. 25 Meg Kelly, Sarah Cahlan and Elyse Samuels in the Washington Post$ -- 3/30/20


Pelosi: ‘As the president fiddles, people are dying’ -- Speaking to host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Pelosi said President Donald Trump has not taken the coronavirus crisis seriously enough from day one — and still hasn’t done enough. David Cohen Politico -- 3/30/20

Biden leads Trump in new polls despite coronavirus approval bounce -- Three polls released over the last week show Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump among voters nationwide, despite the uptick in Trump’s approval rating as his administration confronts the coronavirus outbreak engulfing the U.S. Steven Shepard Politico -- 3/30/20

How Russia’s Troll Farm Is Changing Tactics Before the Fall Election -- The Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency, which interfered in the 2016 election, is using different methods to hide itself better. Davey Alba in the New York Times$ -- 3/30/20


-- Sunday Updates 

Trump extends virus guidelines, braces US for big death toll -- Bracing the nation for a grim death toll, President Donald Trump on Sunday extended the voluntary national shutdown for a month, bowing to public-health experts who told him the coronavirus pandemic could claim over 100,000 lives in the U.S., perhaps significantly more, if not enough is done to fight it. Zeke Miller and Jill Colvin Associated Press Brittany Shammas, Kim Bellware, Lateshia Beachum, Miriam Berger, Candace Buckner, Samantha Pell and Hannah Knowles in the Washington Post$ -- 3/29/20

Coronavirus Slowdown in Seattle Suggests Restrictions Are Working -- Officials in Washington State worry that their gains are precarious, but they see evidence that containment strategies have lowered the rate of virus transmission. Mike Baker in the New York Times$ -- 3/29/20

Coronavirus cases in California soar past 5,000 as hospitals fill up -- Coronavirus cases in California surged past 5,700 — with more than 120 deaths — as ICU hospital beds began filling up with patients, and officials tried to enforce unprecedented social distancing measures they believe are the state’s best chance to slow the spread of the virus. Alex Wigglesworth, Rong-Gong Lin II, Taryn Luna in the Los Angeles Times Emily DeRuy, Nico Savidge in the San Jose Mercury$ Vincent Moleski in the Sacramento Bee$ Daisy Nguyen Associated Press -- 3/29/20


California got 170 broken ventilators from feds; Silicon Valley is fixing them, Newsom says -- Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday said the federal government sent Los Angeles County 170 ventilators that arrived “not working,” and now a Silicon Valley company is fixing the equipment amid the coronavirus outbreak. California and other states have been stocking up on ventilators in anticipation of a shortage at hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Taryn Luna, Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/20

Coronavirus: The state had 21 million N95 masks stockpiled. All are expired -- As the coronavirus pandemic slammed into California and doctors and nurses sounded the alarm on a dire shortage of masks, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the release of the state’s emergency stockpile of 21 million N95 respirators. What he didn’t mention then: They are all expired. Matthias Gafni in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/29/20

Before coronavirus, California let 1 in 4 of its public health labs close -- Gov. Gavin Newsom has called for “targeted testing” of the new coronavirus, arguing a strategic approach will help public health officials find hot spots and determine how and where the pandemic is spreading. But in the two decades leading up to the COVID-19 outbreak, 11 of California’s public health labs designed for the focused testing Newsom wants closed their doors. Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 3/29/20

Front Lines  

Sick and angry: Some public health officers are showing stress of coronavirus -- After Bay Area county leaders ordered residents to stay home to stem the spread of the coronavirus on March 16, residents packed into parks, supermarket aisles and beaches the next weekend. That pushed one public health officer seemingly near to the edge. Susanne Rust, Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/20

Amid coronavirus, Army vets fought to mass produce $100 ventilators. They hit roadblocks -- For the last month, Army reservist Lt. Colonel Kamal Kalsi, an emergency room doctor in New York, has been scrambling to find a way to quickly mass produce ventilators, equipment that could save the lives of thousands of coronavirus victims nationwide. Two weeks ago, he thought he’d found a company in Sacramento with the perfect answer. But then, as he tells it, necessity took a back seat to business. Anita Chabria in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/20

For Bay Area health care givers, coming home fraught with risk -- When Cana Jenkins finishes a 12-hour shift treating COVID-19 patients inside the emergency department tents at UCSF Medical Center, a different kind of work begins. Sarah Feldberg in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/29/20

Meet the Bay Area doctor who ordered America’s first coronavirus lockdown -- She is the Bay Area’s Anthony Fauci, Santa Clara County’s most “essential” employee, the one who banished us from Sharks hockey games, canceled her own daughter’s high school prom — and eventually shut in 6 million Bay Area residents in six neighboring counties to slow the stampede of a deadly pandemic. Julia Prodis Sulek in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/29/20


Laying off Ace Parking employees felt like ‘ripping off limbs to save vital organs’ -- San Diego firms, from hoteliers and retailers to technology manufacturers, are grappling with how to survive amid evaporating revenues and devastating losses of their employees. Lori Weisberg, Mike Freeman in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/29/20


Tents crowd Tenderloin, even as SF tries to keep people apart during coronavirus outbreak -- If you want to see the challenges and limitations of enforcing San Francisco’s shelter-in-place order and observing social distancing, take a walk through the Tenderloin. Phil Matier in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 3/29/20

‘She hadn’t showered in nine days.’ L.A. makes it hard to be homeless, avoid coronavirus -- Harry Sanchez knows how important it is to wash your hands these days, but he’s never certain when he’ll have access to soap and water. James Queally in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/20


Millions of elderly Californians who live alone are vulnerable to isolation and fear as their connections to the outside world shut down -- Fernandes lives alone — her husband died in 2017 — and has been left to manage a painful foot injury and the threat of the virus on her own. As an asthmatic, she is already in a higher risk category so she has been avoiding contact with people. She hasn’t seen another person since March 14. Erica Hellerstein Calmatters -- 3/29/20

California closes vehicular access to all 280 state parks -- After seeing another surge of visitors at California’s state parks this weekend, the state announced Sunday that it is temporarily closing off vehicular access to all 280 parks in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Rusty Simmons in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Aldo Toledo in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/29/20


Here is the latest list of L.A. County communities with coronavirus cases -- With more testing, Los Angeles County is seeing more coronavirus cases. Los Angeles County public health officials on Saturday announced six more deaths from the coronavirus and 344 additional cases, bringing the county’s total to 32 deaths and 1,817 cases. Alex Wigglesworth in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/20

How one person with coronavirus could infect up to 88,000 others -- This past week, COVID-19 cases in the U.S. spiked from 13,678 to more than 100,000, making it the country with the most cases. It is estimated that a person carying the virus could infect anywhere from 2.2 to 3 people. We consulted with a physician and a math expert to calculate a worse-case scenario of how the virus could spread in just 10 cycles of infection. Population density and safety practices like social distancing are among factors that can influence these numbers. Jeff Goertzen in the Los Angeles Daily News$ David Rosenfeld in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 3/29/20

Employee at Sprouts grocery at Tustin Marketplace tests positive for cornonavirus -- Sprouts Farmers Market has announced that an employee who worked in its Tustin Marketplace store tested positive for the novel cornavirus. The last day the person worked was March 20. “We followed CDC guidelines and coordinated with local health authorities,” Sprouts spokesman Diego Romero said in an email Sunday, March 29. Susan Christian Goulding in the Orange County Register -- 3/29/20

Coronavirus: San Mateo County reports 38 new cases in two days -- San Mateo County on Sunday reported another large increase in the number of new coronavirus cases with 38 positive tests, bringing the total to 277. Aldo Toledo in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/29/20

Third coronavirus death in Contra Costa County, 17 more cases -- As testing has increased in the county, so too has the number of confirmed cases. The county’s first case of the virus was confirmed on March 4, and there were 46 confirmed cases as of March 20, when the county announced its first death from COVID-19. Joseph Geha in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 3/29/20

San Diego coronavirus cases jump to 488 as county extends closure orders ‘indefinitely’ -- San Diego’s iconic parks and beaches were eerily quiet Saturday, and they will stay that way for possibly weeks to come. The county has “indefinitely” extended its public health order that closes bars, schools and restaurants to address a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, officials announced Saturday. Rob Nikolewski, Wendy Fry in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 3/29/20


Pentagon struggles as pandemic hits bases and ships -- The Pentagon was waging a two-front war against the coronavirus outbreak Saturday, ramping up assistance in hard-hit states as commanders battled to prevent widespread infections in the ranks that could force them to curtail military operations around the globe. David S. Cloud in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/20

New Normal  

Love in the time of coronavirus: Long Beach couple weds in a changed world -- Their wedding, originally slated to include 98 people at the Long Beach Museum of Art, shrank to about 80, then 50, until, finally, it was seven people in a private backyard on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Hayley Munguia in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 3/29/20

How to get past the coronavirus crisis without losing your mental health -- Fear, loss, economic stress, the angst of a seemingly endless crisis — coronavirus is taking a toll, not just physically but on our mental health. Here are some tips and tweaks from California mental health professionals. Jocelyn Wiener Calmatters -- 3/29/20

Also . . . 

Central America fears Trump could deport the coronavirus -- Marcelo Ibate waited outside the big black door, eating tortillas out of a sweating plastic bag. A line of camouflaged soldiers stood beyond with large weapons and face masks. Ibate didn’t know which day his son Eduardo would arrive or whether he’d be carrying coronavirus with him on the deportation flight from the United States, now the epicenter of the global pandemic. Molly O’Toole in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 3/29/20

Liberty University Brings Back Its Students, and Coronavirus Fears, Too -- So Mr. Falwell — a staunch ally of President Trump and an influential voice in the evangelical world — reopened the university last week, igniting a firestorm. As of Friday, Dr. Eppes said, nearly a dozen Liberty students were sick with symptoms that suggested Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Three were referred to local hospital centers for testing. Another eight were told to self-isolate. Elizabeth Williamson in the New York Times$ -- 3/29/20