Updating . .   

Pelosi seeks to curb Trump’s nuclear power, plans to impeach -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she has spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing an “unhinged” President Donald Trump from ordering military actions including a possible nuclear strike in his final days and hours at the White House. Lisa Mascaro, Mary Clare Jalonick and Zeke Miller Associated Press -- 1/8/21

Congressional Democrats will pursue second impeachment of Trump - sources -- Democrats in the House of Representatives plan to introduce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Monday, two sources familiar with the matter said, after a violent crowd of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an assault on American democracy. If successful, the move would mark a historic first: No president has ever been impeached twice. Susan Cornwell, Joseph Ax, David Morgan Reuters -- 1/8/21

Covid Triage  

‘Triage officers’ would decide who gets care and who doesn’t if COVID-19 crushes L.A. hospitals -- Stretched to the breaking point by a deluge of COVID-19 patients, Los Angeles County’s four public hospitals are preparing to take the extraordinary step of rationing care, with a team of “triage officers” set to decide which patients can benefit from continued treatment and which are beyond saving and should be allowed to die. James Rainey, Soumya Karlamangla, Jack Dolan in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

California COVID-19 vaccine rollout hit with software system problems -- California’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is being at least partially slowed down by technical problems with a software program used by the state to coordinate vaccine distribution among a vast network of providers, according to local and state health officials. Colleen Shalby in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21


Newsom’s state budget earmarks billions in COVID-19 help for workers and schools -- Gov. Gavin Newsom sent a budget to the California Legislature on Friday that calls for a swift and expansive boost in the state government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, earmarking much of an unallocated tax revenue windfall for efforts to help workers and businesses, boost public health and speed up the reopening of public school classrooms. John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ Sophia Bollag in the Sacramento Bee$ Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/8/21

Mobil Morgues  

State setting up temporary morgues in L.A. County as COVID-19 deaths mount -- So many people are dying from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County that state officials now plan to set up temporary morgues to help handle the substantial, and sobering, number of bodies. Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/8/21

Mobile morgue arrives in Sonoma County to help with COVID-19 casualties -- A grim sign of the coronavirus surge, California has leased 10 refrigerated semitrailer to assist with the collection of bodies as the daily death toll climbs to unprecedented levels, according to the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/8/21


COVID-19 continues to pummel crowded Bay Area ERs and things could only get worse -- Health officials in the Bay Area are warning that hospital crowding could get even worse in the coming weeks, warning that COVID-19 hospitalization could worsen so much doctors may be forced to choose who gets lifesaving care and who doesn’t. Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

Coronavirus has slammed the Inland Empire with exceptional fury. Here is why -- When the California National Guard was brought in to bolster an overworked staff at a Riverside County hospital, there were more intensive care patients than beds. To make room, Riverside Community Hospital converted a cafeteria into an overflow space. Lila Seidman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

Gatherings, Masks  

Here are the L.A. County malls, gyms, restaurants and churches cited for COVID-19 violations -- At least 10 citations have been issued to large shopping malls since Black Friday. Four of them were issued to the Citadel Outlets in Commerce — on Nov. 29, Dec. 5, Dec. 8 and Dec. 12. Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

LAPD will arrest anti-mask protesters who harass others, Garcetti says -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti condemned a group of anti-maskers who descended on Westfield Century City mall on Sunday in protest of COVID-19 health mandates, at times harassing employees and customers. Rong-Gong Lin II, Ruben Vives in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

DC Riot  

San Diego veteran’s radical path led to Trump, QAnon and a deadly insurrection -- Ashli Babbitt — then named Ashli McEntee — was driving to the office when the anger inside her head hit a critical mark. The San Diego County resident flipped on her cellphone and began to record. Paige St. John in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

Far-right extremists want to target more capitols, but are divided after D.C. riot -- Josiah Colt was all bravado on his way to Washington this week to protest what he saw as a stolen election. Richard Read, Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Anita Chabria in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

‘You have to address it.’ How San Diego educators are teaching about the Capitol mob -- Taunya Robinson, an AP US History, government and economics teacher at Patrick Henry High School, was teaching on Zoom about the Cold War when she started getting notifications on her phone about Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol. Kristen Taketa in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/8/21

Banks: When you give the devil a ride, don’t be shocked when the U.S. Capitol is stormed -- If you give the devil a ride, sooner or later he’s going to want to drive. I heard that phrase from the pulpit when I was a teenager, and it’s resounded in my head as I moved through life: Don’t venerate the hoodlums, don’t dabble in wrongdoing, don’t give your heart to someone whose values you can’t trust. Sandy Banks in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

Smolens: Reps. Jacobs and Issa: Profiles in courage and cowardice -- Sara Jacobs is the newest and youngest member of San Diego County’s congressional delegation. Darrell Issa is its most seasoned representative. Their actions on Wednesday showed experience doesn’t count for much when it comes to character. Michael Smolens in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/8/21


California Policy and P  olitics Friday Morning  

Amid DC violence, these California Republicans voted to reject Biden’s election -- California Republicans who voted to reject the Electoral College results from the in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21two states — after being delayed for hours when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol — were House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, Doug LaMalfa of Richvale, Jay Obernolte of Big Bear Lake, Devin Nunes of Tulare, Darrell Issa of Vista, Ken Calvert of Corona, and Mike Garcia of Santa Clarita. But one voted to accept the votes from both states: Rep. Tom McClintock of Elk Grove. Lewis Griswold CalMatters Nicole Nixon Capital Public Radio -- 1/8/21

Growing group of California Democrats seek Trump’s immediate removal -- Seventeen House Judiciary Committee Democrats signed a letter to Vice President Mike Pence urging Trump’s removal. Citing the amendment, they wrote, “President Trump’s willingness to incite violence and social unrest to overturn the election results by force clearly meet this standard.” David Lightman in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/8/21

Pelosi’s Democrats want to remove Trump, but it’s easier said than done -- Congress could act quickly now that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has put a second imßpeachment of President Trump on the table, but that doesn’t mean it’s likely that Democrats will oust him from office before Joe Biden becomes president. Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/8/21

Will Trumpism survive the mob attack on the Capitol? Watch California’s Kevin McCarthy -- He dearly hopes to replace Nancy Pelosi as speaker in two years. McCarthy feels that the fastest way to the speaker’s chair is by hitching himself to the Trump train, as so far, he’s giving no sign of anything but unquestioning loyalty to the defeated president. Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/8/21

The attack on the Capitol may pose a cybersecurity risk. Here’s how -- The pro-Trump mob at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday that stormed the Senate floor and Capitol rotunda may have breached more than just the building’s physical security. Samantha Masunaga in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

Trump resumes tweeting as Facebook, Twitch, YouTube threaten permanent bans -- In the wake of Wednesday’s siege of the U.S. Capitol by a violent and seditious mob seeking to prevent the certification of the presidential election, Facebook is blocking President Trump from posting until at least Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in. Roland Li and Chase DiFeliciantonio in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/8/21

Here are charges Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol might face -- The answer is yes, according to legal experts, with the list of possible offenses ranging from the less severe violation of curfew to the more serious seditious conspiracy. Even those who weren't arrested on site could face justice. Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/8/21

Bay Area Trump supporters, just back from D.C., said they resisted calls to join mob inside Capitol -- As rioters raged inside the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, a couple from the Bay Area who went to Washington to lend support to President Trump and his unsubstantiated claims of election fraud at a final rally, said they resisted calls to join the mob that had breached barriers to force their way into the building. Michael Cabanatuan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/8/21

In parts of Southern California, a renewed focus on security at public buildings following Capitol siege -- A Los Angeles city councilman said he plans to introduce a motion calling for an assessment of City Hall’s security after the siege on the U.S. Capitol provided a stark reminder that public buildings in Southern California also could be targeted for violence. Brian Rokos, Donna Littlejohn, Elizabeth Chou, Alma Fausto, Nathaniel Percy in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/8/21

Fresno radio host tells audience to ‘hang’ members of the media, then says it was a joke -- Longtime KMJ talk show host Ray Appleton was discussing Wednesday’s invasion of the Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, and how the media covered the incident compared to its coverage of protests-turned-into-riots in cities like Portland when he said: “certain news editors should be hanged ... maybe.” Bryant-Jon Anteola in the Fresno Bee -- 1/8/21

Woman Killed in Capitol Embraced Trump and QAnon -- Ashli Babbitt had been preparing for this day, the day when world events would turn her way. When a discouraged friend on Twitter asked last week, “When do we start winning?” Ms. Babbitt had an answer: “Jan 6, 2021.” Ellen Barry, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Dave Philipps in the New York Times$ -- 1/8/21

Double Standard  

‘White supremacy was on full display.’ Double standard seen in police response as mob storms Capitol -- The image of a young Black man, curled up on a Dallas sidewalk with blood gushing from his left eye after being struck by a police officer’s rubber bullet during a protest for racial justice, was seared into the national psyche last spring. Kurtis Lee, Jaweed Kaleem, Laura King in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21


Bay Area ICU availability falls to lowest level yet, as state tries to speed up vaccinations -- Intensive care availability at Bay Area hospitals fell to the lowest levels yet, dropping from 7.4% to just 3.5% as of Wednesday, according to state data. Catherine Ho in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/8/21

Kaiser San Jose fined $43,000 as investigation into Christmas costume Covid outbreak continues -- As multiple agencies investigate the source of the coronavirus outbreak among at least 60 Kaiser Permanente San Jose workers that has now led to a $43,000 fine against the hospital, everyone wants to know: could all this suffering really have been caused by one employee in a Christmas costume trying to spread holiday cheer? Julia Prodis Sulek in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/8/21


California OKs expansion of who can get COVID-19 vaccine to avoid doses going to waste -- In an effort to avoid wasting COVID-19 vaccine and help speed up the vaccine rollout, the state is instructing local health departments and providers to expand vaccine prioritization to community healthcare workers, public health field staff, primary care clinics, specialty clinics, laboratory workers, dental clinics and pharmacy staff. Colleen Shalby in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

California’s New Goal: Vaccinate A Million People In 10 Days -- California now aims to immunize 1 million people within the next 10 days, Pan said. Officials are recruiting dentists and other health professionals to become vaccinators, and Gov. Gavin Newsom asked state lawmakers to approve $300 million to support the vaccination push. Barbara Feder Ostrov CalMatters -- 1/8/21

8 Democratic governors demand HHS release more vaccine doses -- The Democratic governors of eight states — including California, New York and Michigan — are demanding that federal health officials release doses of Covid-19 vaccines currently being held back to ensure people who got their first dose can get their second. David Lim Politico -- 1/8/21

UCSD scrambles to help county deliver 5,000 COVID-19 vaccinations per day --UC San Diego Health decided Thursday to partner with the county of San Diego to vaccinate at least 5,000 people per day against the novel coronavirus, starting Monday. Gary Robbins in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/8/21

Orange County opens vaccination sites to hundreds of medical workers -- Now the roster of health care workers who can make a vaccine appointment includes paramedics, dentists, lab techs, home health care workers and pharmacists, as well as workers at nursing homes, urgent cares, dialysis centers and some law enforcement. Ian Wheeler, Heather McRea in the Orange County Register -- 1/8/21


L.A. using coronavirus test that FDA warns may produce false negatives -- The coronavirus test being provided daily to tens of thousands of residents in Los Angeles and other parts of California may be producing inaccurate results, according to guidance from federal officials that could raise questions about the accuracy of infection data shaping the pandemic response. Maya Lau, Laura J. Nelson in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

Covid and School 

Health director calls for hard 3-week school shutdown in L.A. county amid deadly COVID surge -- Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer on Thursday called for all K-12 campuses to shut down through January amid the raging coronavirus surge, but stopped short of ordering them to close. Howard Blume in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

Covid and Travel  

Californians shouldn’t travel more than 120 miles from home, state says -- Californians are being urged to stay close to home — and residents of other states to stay out — under a new travel advisory issued in hopes of curtailing the raging spread of the coronavirus. Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/8/21

California prison union headed to Las Vegas for board meeting amid COVID-19 surge -- The union for California state correctional officers has invited representatives from every prison to gather in Las Vegas for a board of directors meeting even as their institutions contend with surging coronavirus outbreaks. Wes Venteicher in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/8/21

Covid and Business  

Newsom to seek multibillion-dollar aid package for California businesses -- The plan, part of a state budget proposal that Newsom will formally unveil later this week, would include more than $4 billion in grants for small businesses, corporate tax credits, funding to expand housing and green infrastructure, and fee waivers for industries that have been hit particularly hard by lockdown measures. Alexei Koseff in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/8/21


California suspends payment on 1.4 million unemployment claims while searching for fraud -- Ten months into a COVID-19 pandemic that has put many out of work, the state unemployment agency has suspended payments on 1.4 million benefit claims, angering jobless Californians as it attempts to rein in rampant fraud. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

After EDD freezes 1.4 million accounts, agency could be swamped by ID verifications -- The massive volume of fresh identity checks required, on top of an already-stressed system, means it could take weeks for many people to have their benefits reinstated. Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/8/21

California jobless claims dip but remain at brutal levels -- Jobless claims filed by California workers dropped by a tiny amount last week — but the statewide totals for unemployment claims still account for a jaw-dropping one out of every five filed in the United States — a report released Thursday shows. George Avalos in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 1/8/21

Policy & Politics 

Garcetti’s plea to U.S. leaders: Coronavirus-rocked L.A. needs more resources -- Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday, Jan. 7, urged U.S. leaders to throw a lifeline to coronavirus-rocked Los Angeles in the form of additional vaccines, more trained medical professionals and other resources. Elizabeth Chou in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/8/21

California Democrats ask Newsom to spend $5 billion to help renters struggling in pandemic -- Eighteen Assembly members and senators said in prepared statements that setting aside $5 billion in the state budget specifically for renters will help prevent evictions and homelessness during a public health emergency that’s already exacerbated income inequity in the Golden State. Hannah Wiley in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/8/21

California DMV postpones in-person driving tests until February amid COVID surge -- Driving tests are temporarily suspended for all commercial and noncommercial licenses. Motorcycle drive tests, which can still be done at a distance, are still taking place, the agency said. Molly Sullivan in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/8/21

LA Bribery  

Downtown developer will pay $1.2 million in L.A. City Hall corruption case -- A real estate company whose 35-story residential tower is a major part of the federal bribery case against former Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar has agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve its portion of the investigation, prosecutors said Thursday. David Zahniser in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21


Internal memo criticizes O.C. district attorney’s review of Robicheaux rape case -- Orange County Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer sought to dismiss rape charges against a Newport Beach surgeon and his girlfriend last year based on a flawed review of evidence in the case, according to a group of senior D.A. investigators. Hannah Fry in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

George Floyd billboard, rejected elsewhere for ‘violence,’ rises in West Hollywood -- In painter Don Perlis’ re-creation of the brutal killing of George Floyd, an officer kneels on Floyd’s neck and two other officers further pin him down, as another officer in the background looks away from the scene. Floyd’s eyes, frozen in anguish, gaze out toward the viewer. Makeda Easter in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

The powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl is behind rising deaths in the homeless population -- While COVID-19 became the second leading cause of death in the overall Los Angeles population, it remained a minor factor in homeless deaths, following heart disease, transportation-related accidents and homicide — which all lagged far behind drug overdoses. Doug Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/8/21

Weekly Protest Violence In Sacramento: Officials Struggle To Balance Freedom Of Speech, Accountability -- The brawls and beatings have occurred on the outskirts of weekly protests held by Trump supporters near the Capitol, promoting the conspiracy theory that Democrats stole the presidential election. Scott Rodd Capital Public Radio -- 1/8/21


How Southern California teachers explain U.S. Capitol riot -- Even as custodians and workers clean up damage left after rioters invaded the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday, Jan. 6, there’s another mess, as teachers and other adults try to figure out how to explain the events to the country’s children. Beau Yarbrough in the Los Angeles Daily News$ -- 1/8/21

California schools struggle to pay for ventilation upgrades, key to safely reopen campuses -- Upgrading ventilation systems is a key way schools can reduce the spread of the coronavirus when campuses reopen, but some districts in California are finding the cost of those upgrades to be insurmountable. Betty Márquez Rosales and Carolyn Jones EdSource -- 1/8/21


Hotel workers renew push for recall rights, job protections -- Jhonae Mazique doesn’t feel like the person she was before the pandemic. The coronavirus stripped the 25-year-old of her job as a reservationist at the Harbor Court Hotel in San Francisco and sent her couch surfing with friends. Orlando Mayorquin CalMatters -- 1/8/21


A Dry Winter In California Could Lead To A Repeat Of The 2020 Wildfire Season, Experts Warn -- Very little rain and snow are expected across California over the next few weeks, and what the clouds have dropped in the Sierra Nevada so far is about half of average for this time of year. Ezra David Romero Capital Public Radio -- 1/8/21

POTUS 46  

Biden denounces racial inequities in blasting Capitol riot -- President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday denounced what he described as an unequal justice system reflected in the lenient response to the mostly White rioters who assaulted the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, suggesting a stark contrast with the treatment of racial justice demonstrators across the country last summer. Annie Linskey, Chelsea Janes and Amy B Wang in the Washington Post$ -- 1/8/21

POTUS 45  

Trump Is Said to Have Discussed Pardoning Himself -- President Trump has suggested to aides he wants to pardon himself in the final days of his presidency, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions, a move that would mark one of the most extraordinary and untested uses of presidential power in American history. Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times$ -- 1/8/21

-- Thursday Updates

Pelosi embraces removing Trump from office after Capitol violence -- The San Francisco Democrat told reporters at a news conference that if the Cabinet and Vice President Mike Pence do not use the 25th Amendment procedures to declare the president incapacitated and install Pence as acting president, the House may proceed with impeachment to try to remove Trump. Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ Sarah Ferris, Melanie Zanona and Heather Caygle Politico -- 1/7/21

Here are the California Republicans who voted to challenge Biden’s election -- When Congress met Wednesday to count the electoral college votes and certify Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election, several Republican members, including a handful of the 53 representatives from California, planned to object to the vote. Faith E. Pinho in the Los Angeles Times$ Tal Kopan in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/7/21

List: How each California lawmaker voted on Electoral College count -- Members of Congress affirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s victory early Thursday after completing their count of electoral votes — a process interrupted the previous day when a violent mob incited by President Trump stormed the Capitol. Kellie Hwang in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/7/21

Think the 25th Amendment is a solution to the next two weeks? Think again -- Anxious about what President Trump might do in the remaining 13 days of his tenure? Wondering if the 25th Amendment might provide a solution? Sorry. Probably not. David Lauter in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/7/21

Facebook shuts down Trump’s account through the end of his term -- Facebook has suspended President Trump’s account through the end of his presidency, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday morning. Andrea Chang, Ben Muessig in the Los Angeles Times$ Andrew Chamings in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 1/7/21

Trump Is Said to Have Discussed Pardoning Himself -- President Trump has suggested to aides he wants to pardon himself in the final days of his presidency, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions, a move that would mark one of the most extraordinary and untested uses of presidential power in American history. Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times$ -- 1/7/21

An ex-Oakland cop and veteran was part of D.C.'s pro-Trump mob. He defended the Capitol siege -- An ex-Oakland police officer and veteran was part of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. In an interview with KPIX-TV Wednesday evening, Jurell Snyder defended the unrest and espoused right-wing conspiracy theories to reporter Joe Vazquez. Joshua Bote in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/7/21

Former SF mayoral candidate attended pro-Trump rally in DC -- Former San Francisco mayoral candidate Ellen Lee Zhou attended yesterday’s pro-Trump rally in Washington D.C. outside the Capitol, as first reported by Han Li of the World Journal. Zhou reportedly told Li that some of the California Trump supporters drove five days from San Francisco to D.C. to attend the event. Tessa McLean in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 1/7/21

California Leaders Question Why Capitol Police Stepped Aside for Mob -- California leaders —including some in law enforcement — expressed dismay and outrage at the seemingly tepid response to the insurrectionists. Some said it would have been very different if the overwhelmingly white crowd had been largely composed of people of color. Marisa Lagos KQED -- 1/7/21

Lopez: Trump supporters are standing by their man. ‘Nothing’s changed for me’ -- We finally have a test of President Trump’s claim that he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?” Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/7/21


‘The virus is out of control’: 1 in 5 COVID tests are positive in L.A. County -- About 1 in 5 coronavirus tests performed daily in Los Angeles County are currently coming back positive, an astounding rate that officials say illustrates the pandemic’s continued rampage through the region and foreshadows grave consequences for an already beleaguered healthcare system. Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/7/21

California’s new goal: Vaccinate a million people in 10 days -- Acknowledging that vaccinations have been too slow, state officials aim to ramp up the pace. But many questions remain about expanding to the next groups of Californians, and, in the meantime, some doctors complain that they still haven’t been vaccinated. Barbara Feder Ostrov CalMatters -- 1/7/21

Without urgent changes, the post-holiday COVID-19 surge will only get worse, officials say -- Worried Los Angeles County health leaders said Wednesday that the region was rapidly losing its battle against COVID-19 as the virus spread unchecked, adding that only immediate and decisive changes in behavior can prevent a steep rise in deaths as a post-holiday surge hits and hospitals can’t treat all who are sick. Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Luke Money in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/7/21

Deaths surge in Sacramento region weeks after Thanksgiving -- While Greater Sacramento fluctuated near but mostly above the 15% mark for a few weeks, it has been below it since the start of 2021, dipping to about 7% around New Year’s Day, according to daily updates from CDPH. Michael McGough in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/7/21

Reopening plans stall as 1 in 3 students are testing positive for COVID-19 at some L.A. schools -- With 1 in 3 students testing positive for the coronavirus in some Los Angeles neighborhoods, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s push to reopen campuses is clashing with the reality of a raging pandemic as many school districts opt for January shutdowns and superintendents call for clearer guidance on when it will be safe to unlock their campus doors. Howard Blume, Melissa Gomez, John Myers in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/7/21

As bodies pile up at hospital morgues, National Guard, refrigerated trucks arrive to help -- The intensity of the pandemic continues to worsen, with the rising COVID-19 death toll overwhelming funeral homes and causing state officials to send refrigerated trucks across California to hold corpses. Rong-Gong Lin II, Luke Money, Lila Seidman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 1/7/21

A Riot Amid a Pandemic: Did the Virus, Too, Storm the Capitol? -- Some scientists fear that the mayhem on Capitol Hill may have led to a so-called super-spreading event. Apoorva Mandavilli in the New York Times$ -- 1/7/21


Health official fumes as sheriff, Newsom critics plan COVID conference near Sacramento -- To the dismay of Sacramento County’s health officer, a group pushing back on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 restrictions is hosting a conference in Rancho Murieta this weekend, bringing in sheriffs, elected officials and business lobbyists to make the case that Newsom’s stay-at-home orders have harmed the California economy. Dale Kasler, Jason Pohl, and Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/7/21

Attempt to increase COVID-19 enforcement fails in Carlsbad -- Restaurants remain open in ‘peaceful protest’ of health orders. Phil Diehl in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 1/7/21

California cafe fined $108K, still flouts rules. Why it’s so hard to enforce COVID shutdown -- Perhaps as much as any business in the state, Apple Bistro has felt the sting of California’s coronavirus police. The popular cafe, located on Highway 50 just east of downtown Placerville, lost its health permit in August after El Dorado County officials said it failed to make its employees wear masks. Dale Kasler, Ryan Sabalow, and Tony Bizjak in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 1/7/21