Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Round 2 Still being accepted-Immediate Relief for Small Businesses Quadrupled in State Legislation
If you haven't already, please contact your bank or credit union to see about getting a PPP (forgiveable) loan to help your business through these disastrous financial times.
Governor Newsom signed the California Relief Program for business and individuals. The Relief Program reflects a four-fold increase – from $500 million to more than $2 billion – for grants up to $25,000 for small businesses impacted by the pandemic, and also allocates $50 million for cultural institutions. The agreement also partially conforms California tax law to new federal tax treatment for loans provided through the Paycheck Protection Plan, allowing companies to deduct up to $150,000 in expenses covered by the PPP loan. All businesses that took out loans of $150,000 or less would be able to maximize their deduction for state purposes. Larger firms that took out higher loans would still be subject to the same ceiling of $150,000 in deductibility. More than 750,000 PPP loans were taken out by California small businesses. This tax treatment would also extend to the Economic Injury Disaster Loans as well.
Fee Waivers for Most Impacted Licensees: The agreement provides for two years of fee relief for roughly 59,000 restaurants and bars licensed through the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that can range annually from $455 to $1,235. The agreement also reflects fee relief for more than 600,000 barbering and cosmetology individuals and businesses licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs. Applications are still being accepted at: https://lendistry.com/partner/lendistry/
Two more people have died of COVID-19 and another 28 infections have been detected in Pasadena, authorities said Friday. One of the recent deaths was that of a long-term care resident, while the other involved a member of the general community. The new figures raised Pasadena’s overall totals to 10,862 documented cases of COVID-19 and 314 associated deaths. Over the prior week, the city saw an average of 17.1 new infections daily, according to city data.
Huntington Hospital officials reported a continuing decline in COVID-19 patients housed at the facility at 49. Eleven of those patients were being treated in intensive care units.
On Wednesday, California surpassed 50,000 known coronavirus deaths, the first state to reach that chilling milestone. The news comes as a bleak reminder that the recent progress the state has made against the pandemic may be fragile. Most of those deaths were recorded recently, during the winter surge, which followed a period of relatively low case counts and a spreading hope that the virus could be controlled until vaccines arrived. According to a New York Times database, California, the country’s most populous state, averaged more than 560 deaths a day at its peak in January. By contrast, for much of November, it reported fewer than 50 deaths a day on average. The end-of-day totals from California public health websites for Thursday, Feb. 25, registered 5,525 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases there have been in the state to 3,530,703. The 14-day total of new cases, 6,423, is down 84.8% from the Jan. 1 high of 42,268. There were 394 new deaths reported Thursday, for a total of 51,384 people in California who have died from the virus.
The California Department of Public Health announced 5,400 new infections and 391 additional deaths on Friday, bringing the statewide totals to 3,465,726 cases of the virus and 51,382 deaths. The CDPH reported the average positivity rate over the prior week had declined to 2.7%. The 14-day rate was 2.9%, which was the lowest since Oct. 26.
LA County surpassed 20,000 fatalities from COVID-19 this past week. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported another 144 COVID-19 deaths on Friday. Since the pandemic began, 21,246 COVID deaths have been confirmed countywide. Another 1,838 cases were confirmed by the county, bringing the new total from throughout the pandemic to 1,189,363.
Although vaccine supplies remain limited, county health officials expressed hope that conditions will improve dramatically with federal approval of a single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Hospitalizations continue to decline, averaging a 1% drop daily. There were 6,152 hospitalizations of people with coronavirus-related infections reported on Thursday. That’s a 73% drop since the Jan. 1 high of 22,853 people who needed hospital care.
The count comes as daily coronavirus cases and COVID-19 deaths have dropped considerably in recent weeks, although some scientists remain concerned about the potential spread of mutant variants that are more contagious and possibly more lethal. While California has the largest number of COVID-19 deaths of any state in the nation, it ranks 32nd among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for COVID-19 deaths per capita.
The backlog of 806 new COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County, which mostly occurred in December and January, was discovered following extensive checks of death records, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday.
Less than 2,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Los Angeles as of Thursday, Feb. 25, reaching the lowest levels since before the winter surge that began with Thanksgiving gatherings three months ago. As of Thursday, there were 1,886 people in L.A. County hospitals that tested positive for the coronavirus, based on a state database. Roughly 30% of the patients were in intensive care units. A similar number of hospitalized patients last occurred Nov. 25, when 1,893 people were recorded hospitalized. In between that period, hospitals expanded their capacities in ways they could have never imagined, facing during the peak in early January more than 8,000 patients with COVID-19. Earlier this month, hospitals returned to normal diversion rates — the percentage of time they need to divert ambulances — and most hospitals resumed elective procedures.
After closing to visitors on Nov. 18, Huntington Hospital in Pasadena has reopened its doors, now allowing one visitor per patient each day, according to a news release on Wednesday, Feb. 24. It’s the latest move from public and private agencies alike, which have begun to loosen restrictions as coronavirus case rates continue to fall and vaccination rates slowly improve. According to the news release, visiting hours are between 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. each day. It’s limited to one visitor per patient, per day. There will be a symptom and temperature check when they set foot in the hospital.
Covid is caused by a coronavirus — known as SARS-CoV-2 — and coronaviruses often circulate for years, causing respiratory infections and the common cold. The world is not going to extinguish coronaviruses anytime soon, nor will it extinguish this specific one. “The coronavirus is here to stay,” as a recent article in the science journal Nature, by Nicky Phillips, concluded.
The reasonable goal is to make it manageable, much like the seasonal flu. Fortunately, the vaccines are doing that. In fact, they’re doing better than that. For fully vaccinated people, serious illness from Covid is extremely rare, much rarer than serious illness from the seasonal flu.
Life this spring will not be substantially different from the past year; summer could, miraculously, be close to normal; and next fall and winter could bring either continued improvement or a moderate backslide, followed by a near-certain return to something like pre-pandemic life.” Experts propose a simple rule of thumb for knowing when the outbreak is over. When the virus is killing as many Americans as the annual flu, we can start to move away from our emergency posture.
Prepare yourself emotionally for the end. Pandemic-spurred anxieties won’t go away overnight. The writer Lily Meyer is turning to the work of one late philosopher to tackle such fears.
So far, Pasadena about 30% of Pasadena's population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The Pasadena Public Health Department in partnership with Huntington Hospital, 711 S. Fairmount Ave hosts a vaccine clinic. This clinic is a walk up clinic, not a drive through clinic. This clinic is for eligible Pasadena residents over age 65 only. Proof of age and Pasadena residency will be required at time of vaccination. This clinic is for people that need their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. You ARE REQUIRED to have an appointment to receive a vaccine. Individuals without an appointment will NOT be able to receive a vaccine. Please sign up and fill out the questionnaire at the links below. If you have any questions about the registration process or need additional assistance, please reach out to the Citizen's Service Center at (626) 744-7311, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The citizen service center is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
If you are eligible, try to with up here: Tuesday, March 2: https://www.calvax.org/reg/1360324934
Wednesday, March 3: https://www.calvax.org/reg/4314296009
Proof of Pasadena residency and age will be required at the time of your appointment to be eligible for a vaccine. Friends and family members accompanying the vaccine recipient will not be eligible at this time. If you get to the 7th screen and all options are grayed out/not able to be selected, that means the clinic is full and there are no available appointments. As future appointments become available, we will continue to notify you by email. Please do not contact the hospital directly as the Pasadena Public Health Department is administering this clinic and future clinics.
The vaccine you will be receiving is the Pfizer vaccine. These vaccines are very safe and effective. If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, please go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Pfizer-BioNTech.html. We encourage everyone who receives a COVID-19 vaccine to sign up for V-Safe, the CDC’s after-vaccination health checker. Your participation will be helpful even if you do not experience any side effects after vaccination. Register at https://vsafe.cdc.gov. Common side effects of receiving the vaccine are injection site pain, arm soreness, headaches, and fatigue. These are signs your body is building an immune response. Not everyone experiences side effects.
Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE have begun a study testing in people whether the companies’ Covid-19 shot can provide protection against emerging strains of the coronavirus. The companies said Thursday they have started the small study to see whether a third dose of their authorized Covid-19 vaccine would increase its effectiveness against new variants, such as the strain first identified in South Africa.
The approach differs from that of Moderna Inc., which said Wednesday it had made a new vaccine targeting the strain found in South Africa and shipped doses to U.S. government researchers for human testing.
America is inching toward relief. But this moment doesn’t look the same for everyone.
The current chapter—in which some Americans are fully vaccinated, but not enough to protect the wider population against the coronavirus’s spread—is new territory. The rules of pandemic life are changing once again.
From the Atlantic: Here are a few things to remember in these next, awkward steps toward normal.
One principle can help you—whether you are vaccinated or not—navigate this new phase. “When deciding what you can and can’t do, you should think less about your own vaccination status, and more about whether your neighbors, family, grocery clerks, delivery drivers, and friends are still vulnerable to the virus.”
Vaccine makers don’t need a perfect dosing regimen. They need an effective one. Vaccination is about data, but also trust, “In the absence of public trust, even an immunologically ideal vaccine-dosing regimen won’t be the one that protects the most people.”
Vaccines might never bring us to herd immunity, but they can still help end the pandemic. “The role of COVID-19 vaccines may ultimately be more akin to that of the flu shot: reducing hospitalizations and deaths by mitigating the disease’s severity."
Don’t forget about the global picture. As one expert told James Hamblin, many low-income countries may end up far behind in vaccine distribution. That’s dangerous for the world: “Providing the virus with new places to spread will allow it to linger with us indefinitely. The longer it sticks around, the more time it has to mutate—which is bad news for the entire world, Americans included."
An anti-inflammatory drug can help reduce the risk of death in people hospitalized with Covid-19, a new clinical trial indicates, reviving hopes—and debate— about a medicine that many physicians had abandoned after earlier clinical-trial failures.
A U.K. study of more than 4,000 hospitalized patients showed that people who received the rheumatoid arthritis drug tocilizumab plus steroids had a 20% lower risk of death after 28 days compared with patients who received steroids and standard care only, according to preliminary results posted online this month.
There are two obvious ways to reopen schools. One is to take precautions like mask wearing that minimize the risk of outbreaks inside school buildings. The other is to vaccinate the country’s teachers as quickly as possible.
Both strategies now appear to be feasible — and yet neither is happening in many places.
Instead, about half of K-12 students are still not spending any time in classrooms. The rates of school closures are highest in Maryland, New Mexico, California and Oregon, according to Burbio. Experts say that the extended absences are causing large learning problems, especially for lower-income students.
The country now has enough vaccine doses to move teachers to the front of the line without substantially delaying vaccinations for everyone else.
Nationwide, about 6.5 million people work inside a K-12 school. It’s a substantially smaller group than the 21 million health care workers, many of whom were in the first group of Americans to become eligible for vaccines.
As a point of reference, Moderna and Pfizer have delivered an average of more than one million new doses to the federal government every day this month. That daily number is on track to exceed three million next month. Immediately vaccinating every school employee would push back everybody else’s vaccine by a few days at most.
A few states have already prioritized teachers, with Kentucky apparently the furthest along, according to Education Week. It has finished administering the first dose to the bulk of K-12 staff who want one. “This is going to help us safely get our kids back in school faster than just about any other state,” Gov. Andy Beshear said, “and it’s going to allow us to do it without risking the health of those that come in to serve those children.”
Even before teachers are fully vaccinated — a process which can take more than a month after the first shot — many schools have shown how to reopen.
It involves “masking, social distancing, hand-washing, adequate ventilation and contact tracing,” as Susan Dominus wrote (in a fascinating Times Magazine story on how Rhode Island mostly kept its schools open). It also involves setting up virtual alternatives for some students and staff members who want them. When schools have followed this approach, it has typically worked, according to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others.
In one of the most rigorous studies, a group at Tulane University looked at hospitalizations (a more reliable measure than positive tests) before and after school reopenings. The results suggest that at least 75 percent of U.S. communities now have Covid well enough under control to reopen schools without sparking new outbreaks, including many places where schools remain closed.
The evidence is murkier for places with the worst current outbreaks, like much of the Carolinas. And some schools do seem to have reopened unsafely, including a Georgia district that is the subject of a new C.D.C. case study.
Manufacturing: Malibu’s orders were up by more than half last June from a year earlier and sales of recreational boats in the U.S. in 2020 were the highest in 13 years, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, a trade group.
Consumer spending on long-lasting goods in the U.S. rose 6.4% last year but domestic production of those goods fell 8.4%, according to federal data, leading to shortages and higher prices.
Supply chains typically get beaten up during recessions. As sales decline, companies draw down inventories to conserve cash instead of purchasing more parts and materials. Entire pipelines of supplies get cleaned out.
When demand improves, even modestly, suppliers respond with an outsize increase in production to restock empty warehouses and assembly plants. The so-called bullwhip effect ripples all along supply chains, generating unusually large orders for suppliers that are far from end customers.
This time, the bullwhip effect is even more pronounced because demand for consumer products has been extraordinarily high. At the same time, companies are placing super-size orders to compensate for the extra time it takes to procure supplies from factories and freight operators constrained by global efforts to contain the coronavirus. That’s exacerbating the strain on supply chains.
Employment: The head waiter has become a grocery manager. The conference coordinator works at a software company. And the hotel-sales boss is now in marketing.
Workers at America’s hotels, restaurants, bars and convention centers have been among the hardest hit during the Covid-19 pandemic. Lockdowns and the lack of travel have caused many gathering places to close or reduce their staff. Since February 2020, the leisure- and-hospitality sector has shed nearly four million people, or roughly a quarter of its workforce. As of January 2021, 15.9% of the industry’s workers remained unemployed; more than any other industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As a result, millions of hospitality workers—a group that includes everyone from front-desk clerks to travel managers— are trying to launch new careers. Some have transitioned to roles that tap skills honed over years of public-facing work in high-pressure environments. Others have seized the moment to remake themselves for different occupations.
The jobs market appears to be returning to growth, with new applications for unemployment benefits falling to the lowest level since November amid other signs hiring is picking up. Initial weekly unemployment claims decreased by 111,000 to a seasonally adjusted 730,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was also the biggest drop in new applications for regular state programs since last summer. The latest figures came as storms disrupted business in parts of the country and at least one state is adjusting for attempted fraud filings, factors that could have affected the totals. Still, weekly claims have dropped significantly since an early January peak above 900,000 and the four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility in the weekly figures, fell to 807,750.
FREE SEMINAR March 15, 2021 1:00pm by the LA County Assessor: Businesses with personal property valued at $100k or more are required to file a Business Property Statement. The filing period is between April 1 - May 7. Those businesses that miss the deadline will be penalized with a 10% penalty to the assessment...