President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, and the president is described as having ”mild symptoms,” according to CNN. On Friday he was moved to Walter Reed Hospital, reportedly as a precaution. The news followed reports that one of Trump’s closest advisers, Hope Hicks, had tested positive. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, have tested negative, The Wall Street Journal reports.
To date, about 7.3 million people in the U.S. have tested positive, and more than 208,000 have died from Covid-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker. Globally, there are more than 34.4 million confirmed cases and more than one million deaths.
From Fair Warning: The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a huge spike in demand for hand sanitizer and with it, a shortage of ethanol, the most common active ingredient. A poisonous substitute--methanol, or wood alcohol — has been used as a substitute in many products. The FDA has counted 17 deaths from exposure to methanol-tainted sanitizer--most, if not all, from deliberate ingestion. The agency has issued numerous alerts about methanol-containing products, but lacks legal authority to force their removal from store shelves. Read more. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—once “the world’s most admired public health agency”—has suffered a loss of institutional credibility during the Covid-19 pandemic, The Washington Post reports.
California reached a deadly milestone reporting more than 16,000 COVID-19 related deaths as of last week. So far there have been 826, 713 cases repoted in the state, as of Saturday.
In the final hours of yesterday’s deadline to act on legislation, Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a California Chamber of Commerce job killer bill that would have imposed a “right to recall” mandate on certain industries in California. The Governor also has vetoed two CalChamber-opposed bills, SB 972 and AB 2360, and signed opposed bill SB 973. Pasadena passed its own version of the legislation, so the obligation for employers remains in place along with protections for those workers in Pasadena
State of California COVID Blueprint for Safe Reopening- Pasadena/LA County in Purple Tier: In late August, the State of California issued a revised blueprint for the safe reopening of the economy. The statewide blueprint is a color-coded, tier-based system. The state has placed Los Angeles County, including Pasadena, into Tier 1 (purple). In order to move into the next tier, the County of Los Angeles (including Pasadena) must maintain state guidelines for two consecutive weeks. The City of Pasadena is obligated to follow the state framework which mandates that Pasadena's data is aggregated with the County of Los Angeles. The color-coded chart with allowable activities for each tier prescribed by the State's framework can be accessed on the State of California's COVID Website.
From Bay Area Newsgroup reports: California’s economy once seemed like an unstoppable force nationally and globally thanks to economic powerhouses including Silicon Valley’s technology behemoths, Southern California’s dominant entertainment industry, a booming real estate market and one of the largest agricultural sectors in the world.
These days, John Lettieri, CEO of the Economic Innovation Group, has a lot less to be optimistic about with California’s economy. His Washington, D.C.-based organization was founded by billionaire Sean Parker of Napster and Facebook fame to research and work on public policy issues around entrepreneurship, economic mobility and the struggles of thoseleft behind by the U.S. economy. We spoke with him about the strengths and weaknesses of the California economy, which has gone from global darling to having one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.
11 additional cases were reported in Pasadena, which operates its own health department, for a total of 2,616 in the city. Pasadena’s death toll of 124 did not change.
In Pasadena, Nail salons may resume indoor services at 25% capacity. Outdoor services should continue as much as possible. The City of Pasadena Health Officer has issued a revised Health Order and Guidelines to allow for this change. To read the revised Health Order, click here. Updated protocols can be found on the City's COVID Business Website, click here.
Halloween Guidelines for Businesses: This year, Halloween celebrations will have a different look and feel on account of COVID. Businesses are encouraged to find creative ways to celebrate Halloween this year with their customers. While organized Halloween events are prohibited, businesses can distribute goodie bags with wrapped treats to customers who are already patronizing their stores. Other alternative Halloween activities such as scavenger hunts, online costume and pumpkin carving contests, car parades and drive-in movie theaters are consistent with the "spirit" of Halloween celebration guidelines.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY:
Los Angeles County reported 1,062 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 deaths on Saturday, bringing the county’s totals to 273,638 cases and 6,642 fatalities. Coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the county dropped from 730 Friday to 698, with 29% of those people in intensive care. Officials said the county averaged 717 hospitalizations per day this week, the lowest number they’ve seen in six months. However, daily case numbers continue to indicate there is still widespread community transmission, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Prosper L.A.: The County of Los Angeles recently launched the Prosper LA website. The website was developed to encourage submission of innovative ideas to help spur economic recovery and identify potential cost-saving actions that can be taken by the County during this time, specifically in the following areas:
- Streamline business services, processes, or contracting with the County.
- Have an impact on the community and benefits the public.
- Improve the public’s experience with County government through technology and services.
- Improve how County government utilizes and shares technology to better serve the public.
Have ideas on how the County can enhance operations and programs? Visit Prosper LA and submit your idea today!
LA County is helping train businesses on the implementation of COVID-19 safety protocols through a no-cost online training course called the COVID-19 Safety Compliance Certification Program (CSCCP). Once completed, business owners receive a certificate, and window seal to display on their storefront, which can reassure employees and customers alike that the business is following COVID-19 infection control and physical distancing requirements. If you have not yet completed the CSCCP course or want to learn more about it, visit publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/covid19cert.htm. Help support your employees, customers, and community while on the Road to Recovery.
Los Angeles County now allows nail salons and malls to open indoors and children to use outdoor playground equipment again, the county’s public health director said Wednesday. The move comes a day after the Board of Supervisors directed the Department of Public Health to allow breweries, wineries and casino card rooms to open outdoors. The reopenings will be allowed in 10 days, following additional guidance from public health officials, Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.
Applications for a waiver program to reopen certain schools for pre-kindergarten to second grade should be available Monday, Ferrer added.
The county’s daily update did not include new numbers from Long Beach and Pasadena, cities that operate their own health departments. Long Beach reported another 50 new cases Wednesday, for a total of 11,950; the city’s death toll remained 246. Pasadena added 12 cases to its total of 2,580; an additional fatality raised its death toll to 124.
Reopening the various sectors announced Wednesday will include the following provisions:
• Card rooms must be outdoors only, with no patrons allowed indoors. Food and beverage service will not be served, and players must wear a mask at all times.
• Indoor shopping malls will be allowed to reopen at 25% maximum occupancy. Food courts and common areas must remain closed.
• Nail salons will be allowed to open some indoor services, limited to 25% capacity and encouraged to continue offering services outdoors.
• Outdoor playgrounds may reopen at the approval and discretion of cities and the County Parks and Recreation Department. Parents and children age two years old and older must always wear a cloth face covering, avoid people not in their household, and sanitize hands before and after using playground equipment. There is no eating or drinking allowed at the playground. Indoor playgrounds remain closed. For more information specifically for city and park agencies, click here.
JOBS AND UNEMPLOYMENT:
From the Wall Street Journal: Hiring gains slowed sharply heading into the fall as more layoffs turned permanent, adding to signs that the U.S. economy faces a long slog to fully recover from the corona- virus pandemic.
Employers added 661,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department said Friday. The increase in payrolls showed the labor market continued to dig out of the hole created by the pandemic and lockdowns, but at a much slower pace than over the summer.
The U.S. has replaced 11.4 million of the 22 million jobs lost in March and April, at the beginning of the pandemic. Job growth, though, is cooling, and last month marked the first time since April that net hiring was below one million.
And in a sparate story: More workers identified themselves as permanently laid off and unemployed for the long term in September, a sign the labor market’s recovery from the pandemic is likely to be slow.
While millions of workers have returned to jobs that were suspended this spring, those who weren’t called back face the rising prospect of prolonged joblessness and in- come loss. Those same chal- lenges were a feature of the slow economic recovery from the 2007-09 recession.
In April, the most severe month for job loss in the current downturn, 88% of those who recently lost jobs re- ported their layoff as tempo- rary, meaning they expected to return to the same role within six months, according to the Labor Department. In Septem- ber, the share of such opti- mists fell to 51%.
(From various sources): The California job market, which was at an all-time best level in February, appears to be years away from a return to the lofty heights it enjoyed before the coronavirus unleashed wide-ranging economic woes, a forecast released Wednesday says.
The outlook from the UCLA Anderson Forecast suggests California’s pre-coronavirus economic boom won’t reappear for at least two years. It was just a few months ago, from August 2019 through February of this year, that the jobless rate in California was at a record low of 3.9%.
Although a noticeable improvement might emerge by the end of 2020 for California’s brutalized economy, the Anderson forecast made it clear that the return to the pre-coronavirus economy statewide is further away.
Some signs have emerged to suggest that a springtime boom in job gains in California has faltered. Although a noticeable improvement might begin to emerge by the end of 2020, the Anderson forecast made it clear that the road to a return to a pre-coronavirus economy statewide is in the 2023 timeframe.
In June, California added 551,400 jobs, well above the 148,900 jobs added in May. But those two months of gains were followed by noticeably modest increases of 83,500 in July and 101,900 in August.
In February, California reached an all-time record high of 17.6 million non-farm payroll jobs, the state Employment Development Department reported. Current employment levels are far from that winter pinnacle. Despite gains of 885,700 payroll jobs from May through August, California had 1.73 million fewer jobs in August than it did in February, just before government agencies imposed business shutdowns to battle the coronavirus.
Payroll employment in California is projected to reach 16.18 million by the end of 2020, 16.39 million by the end of 2021, and 16.97 million by the end of 2022, the UCLA forecast predicted.
Put another way, by the end of 2022 — more than two years from now — job totals in California will still be 630,000 jobs below the record high of 17.6 million.
Similarly, the unemployment rate will chart a sluggish path to full recovery from record highs, Anderson economists predicted. California’s jobless rate is projected to be 10.8% at the end of 2020, 8.6% at the end of 2021, and 6.6% at the end of 2022, according to their expectations. The forecast didn’t say when — or if — California would return to a 3.9% jobless rate.
GRANTS AND AID FOR BUSINESS:
Regional COVID-19 Grant Fund - Round 5 Opens on October 5: The LA Regional COVID-19 Grant Fund will open a round of applications for non-profits next week on October 5th for small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs. The COVID-19 regional fund offers grants, not loans, to micro-entrepreneurs, small businesses, medium-sized businesses, and non-profits. For more information about the COVID-19 Regional Grant Program and to apply, click here.
The wildfires burning in California, Oregon and Washington have consumed more than 5.8 million acres, an area larger than the size of the state of New Jersey, Oliver Whang and Taylor Maggiacomo report for National Geographic. At least 36 people have died and hundreds of homes have been destroyed. Altogether, 68 large fires are burning in 11 Western states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
The fires are also wreaking havoc on wildlife, Elizabeth Pennisi writes for Science Magazine. Biologists estimate the fires in Washington have killed 50 percent of the state’s endangered pygmy rabbits; perhaps only 50 of the nation’s smallest rabbit remain. They also estimate that fires have killed between 30 and 70 percent of the sage grouse and sharp-tailed grouse populations in the state.
GRANTS AND MORE:
Grants funded by Los Angeles County:
- • LA Regional COVID Fund: https://www.lacovidfund.org/
Grant provided by the County of Los Angeles in partnership with institutional and corporate philanthropy to support Micro-entrepreneurs, small business, and Non-profits across Los Angeles County.
- • Pandemic Compliant Fund-WDACS (1-100 employees): Awards up to $5,000 per business to help businesses offset costs related to compliance with local health orders and recommended safety measures.
- • General EAG Funds-WDACS (1-100 employees): Awards up to $25,000 to businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 for a variety of eligible uses. Prioritization will be given to businesses based on CalEnviroscreen 3.0 scoring and to those businesses that have not received local CARES Act grants.
- • Social Impact Funds-WDACS: Awards up to $50,000 to support LA County Social Enterprises, Social Community Business Enterprise (CBEs) and B Corporations. Prioritization will be given to Social Enterprises. Others will be prioritized by CalEnviroscreen 3.0 scoring and those that have not received local CARES Act grants.
- • LADCA COVID-19 Childcare Provider Grant: www.childcaregrant.lacda.org
The Los Angeles County COVID-19 CARES Act Childcare Grant Program provides grants up to $10,000 or $40,000 to eligible childcare operators in Los Angeles County who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Grants for all types of business:
- • Hello Alice Grant: https://businessforall.helloalice.com/ A collaboration between the public and private sector to assist small businesses severely impacted by COVID 19.
Specific Grants by Industry:
Entertainment Sector (Actors, Actress, Musicians, Etc.)
- • The Actors Fund: https://actorsfund.org/services-and-programs/entertainment-assistance-program With a focus on support and education, the Entertainment Assistance program services include: One-on-one counseling and resources and emergency financial assistance for basic living expenses such as rent or medical expenses.
- • Carnegie Fund for Actors: https://www.carnegiefundforauthors.org/grant-eligibility To assist American authors who have published at least one full length work.
Hair Salons/Nail Professionals:
- • Professional Beauty Association: https://www.probeauty.org/covid-relief-fund-application/covid-19-application
This fund will assist license beauty professional who are unable to work due to COVID19.
- • Virtue: https://www.virtuelabs.com/en/virtue-salon-relief-fund Provides financial assistance to stylists and salon workers in the Virtue community.
Loans for all types of businesses:
- • Jewish Free Loan Association: https://www.jfla.org/ Provides interest free loans up to $10,000.
- • Federal Government Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/ The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
EDD (Employment Development Department) Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance.htm Designed to assist unemployed Californians that are not usually eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance. This includes business owners, self-employed workers, independent contractors, and those with a limited work history who are out of business or have significantly