March 4, 2021
To help keep the community informed, the City of Hermosa Beach is providing regular updates featuring the latest news about COVID-19; related local updates; and how the City is working to meet the needs of the community and protect public health.
Deadline Tomorrow for Hermosa Beach Small Business Grants: The deadline is Friday, March 5, for Hermosa Beach small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for grants of $10,000 each to meet payroll and other operational expenses. The application process began on March 1. The Los Angeles County Development Authority is overseeing the Small Business Grant Assistance Program. It will hold a lottery to determine which applicants receive a grant, and selected businesses will be asked to complete a comprehensive application form. This program is for Hermosa Beach businesses only. These grants came about through the City Council’s action at its February 9 meeting. This is a one-time opportunity to re-direct $110,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to a grant program for small businesses in Hermosa Beach that create or retain jobs for low- and moderate-income people. To learn more, please see the Small Business Program Fact Sheet.
L.A. County Could be Heading into Fewer COVID-19 Restrictions: The L.A. County Department of Public Health (Public Health) announced this week that while L.A. County remains in the most restrictive purple tier in the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, it is moving toward the less restrictive red tier that allows for additional re-openings. To be in the red tier, L.A. County’s daily COVID-19 case rate must be at or below 7 new cases per 100,000 people, and the County’s test positivity rate must be at or below 8%. This week, L.A. County’s adjusted case rate dropped to 7.2 new cases per 100,000 people and the test positivity rate is 3.5%. The County’s case rate needs to remain at or below 7 new cases per 100,000 residents for two consecutive weeks to move to the less restrictive red tier. If L.A. County moves into the red tier next week and stays in that tier for two consecutive weeks, schools will then be eligible to reopen in-person learning for students in grades 7 through 12.
Hermosa School Reopening Plans: Hermosa Beach City School District recently issued a letter, notifying parents of its plans to begin offering in-person instruction to 6th graders beginning March 15. Families need to complete this form by tomorrow to let the District know their preferences for their children’s education.
L.A. County Schools Re-opening to In-person Instruction: L.A. County Department of Public Health (Public Health) reported Wednesday that schools throughout the County have reopened for high needs students and for grades TK through 6. As of March 1, 1,799 schools are providing on-campus services for high needs students. This includes over 96,000 students and over 35,000 staff. Thirty-four school districts and 303 individual private and charter schools are approved for in-person instruction of students in grades TK through 6. Nine school districts and 91 individual private and charter schools are still pending review of the COVID-19 safety plan. Public Health noted that the data both nationally and in L.A. County indicate that schools are not high-risk settings in terms of transmission of COVID-19 when they are following safety requirements and protocols.
Public Health is working in partnership with Los Angeles County school districts to establish the Public Health Ambassador Program for students and parents. This program will actively engage school communities in preventing and reducing the spread of COVID-19 by empowering students and parents as essential partners in each school’s prevention effort.
For parents, the program offers a one-time 90-minute virtual session that covers proven safety practices for home and in the broader community. Student Ambassadors meet weekly and learn about the impact of COVID-19 on wellbeing, and about social determinants of health and how the pandemic has impacted some groups more than others.
State to Make School Reopening Funds Available: The governor and legislative leaders on Monday announced that they had agreed to provide a $6.6 billion budget package to accelerate the safe return to in-person instruction across California and empower schools to immediately expand academic, mental health and social-emotional supports, including over the summer. Public schools throughout the state would be allocated the following:
- $2 billion for safety measures to support in-person instruction, such as personal protective equipment, ventilation upgrades and COVID-19 testing.
- $4.6 billion for expanded learning opportunities, such as summer school, tutoring and mental health services.
All public schools would be required to offer in-person instruction to grades K-2 for all students and for high-needs students in all grades by the end of the month and would lose 1% of eligible funds every day thereafter if they do not. Schools in the state’s Red Tier or better would be required to offer in-person instruction to all students in all elementary grades and at least one middle or high school grade or risk the same penalty.
Public Health Warns Against Spring Break Travel: The L.A. County Department of Public Health (Public Health) today said the Spring break season could derail the current recovery journey if it involves increased travel, gatherings and nonadherence to safety measures. While COVID-19 numbers have decreased, transmission remains widespread in L.A. County and in many states and countries. Public Health said that postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 during this pandemic. It said Los Angeles County residents should continue to avoid all non-essential travel and stay within 120 miles from their place of residence, unless they are traveling for essential purposes. A Travel Advisory remains in effect in Los Angeles County. Anyone arriving in Los Angeles County must self-quarantine for 10 days, which means remaining at a home or lodging for the 10 days and avoiding contact with others.
Vista School Progress Update: Hermosa Beach City School District reported that Hermosa Vista School will officially open for students on Monday, April 12. TK-2 students and staff will complete the remainder of the year at Vista School. TK-2 students are currently participating on campus at Hermosa View School. Hermosa Beach City School District reports that they’re using a reinvented model of education, whereby 50% of students attend school in a staggered, hybrid schedule. Pick-up and drop-off looks entirely different and the traffic patterns have been changed because of COVID-19 restrictions. For more information, please see this letter on the Hermosa Beach City School District’s website.
More Infectious COVID Variants Continue to Circulate: The L.A. County Department of Public Health (Public Health) reported Wednesday that its lab has tested 679 specimens of COVID-19 virus in L.A. County to assess the presence of mutations — with more than 400 of these sequences performed since January 1. To date, Public Health has confirmed a total of 27 cases of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 U.K. variant and one case of the P.2 Brazil variant in Los Angeles County. All of the U.K. variant cases have been identified since January 15, and the first case of the P.2 variant from Brazil was identified late last week. In addition, there have been 239 California variant cases with the vast majority of these cases identified since December 1. In the most recent run of 55 specimens in the Public Health laboratory, 31 (56%) included the 5-mutations characteristic of the California variant, so this strain continues to be widely circulating in Los Angeles County. There have been no cases identified in L.A. County with the South African variant. With these more infectious variants circulating, Public Health said people should continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. These include wearing a face covering over noses and mouths when leaving home, maintaining physical distance, avoiding crowds and staying home when ill.
Libraries and Museum Partner to Offer Online Programs: L.A. County Library is partnering with Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to bring virtual arts programs to our communities, featuring LACMA teaching artists and staff. Creative Storytelling Workshops for kids start with a story reading, then bring it to life through a variety of expressive art activities based on an artist in focus. Stories and featured artists are based on monthly themes. Creative Careers programs for kids and teens explore art-related careers that exist in places like museums, and feature LACMA staff discussing what they do and the journey they took to get there. The next Creative Storytelling Workshop on Female Artists is this Friday, March 5, at 4 p.m. Click here to register. For more information about all the programs, visit LACountyLibrary.org/LACMAprograms.
Vaccine Update: As of Monday, three additional sectors – education and childcare workers, emergency services workers and first responders, and food and agriculture workers – are now eligible for vaccinations. Learn more about how people in these newly eligible groups can receive a vaccine. For more information on who is eligible and the documentation required, please visit VaccinateLACounty.com.
New Vaccine Arrived in California: The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup announced this week that it has completed its review of the federal process and concluded the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for use in the Western States. The Workgroup provided its confirmation to the Governors of California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington Tuesday evening, making the J&J vaccine the third COVID-19 vaccine supported for use in these states. Initial shipments of the vaccine were received this week. This vaccine requires just 1 dose. The two other vaccines in use, Moderna and Pfizer, require 2 doses 3-4 weeks apart. Washington, Oregon and Nevada joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup in October. The Workgroup, made up of nationally acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health, has concurrently and independently reviewed the FDA’s actions related to COVID-19 vaccinations. It will continue to evaluate other COVID-19 vaccines as they go through the federal process.
Beach Cities Health District Information for Seniors: Since the beginning of the vaccine roll out, the Beach Cities Health Department (BCHD) has been providing timely and accurate information to its Care Management Caseload and other older adult community partners in the area. The Health Department created an Older Adult FAQ which included its Assistance, Information and Referral Line to call for further support. To be added to this list and to get help with vaccines, please call 310-374-3426 ext. 256. If you have questions, please contact Melissa Andrizzi-Sobel, Director of Community Services, at [email protected].
Los Angeles County Update: The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) today confirmed 119 new deaths and 2,253 new cases of COVID-19. To date, Public Health identified 1,198,098 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 21,778 deaths. There are 1,401 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 32% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for more than 5,866,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive. Today’s daily test positivity rate is 2.5%.
Of the 119 new deaths reported today, 43 people that passed away were over the age of 80, 41 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, 21 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, six people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 29. Six deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach and one death was reported by the City of Pasadena.
Latest Facts and Figures
Jurisdiction – Reported Cases | Reported Deaths
*All reported data is from the close of the previous day.
Please continue to follow public health experts’ recommendations to avoid spreading the coronavirus including frequent handwashing, wearing a face covering, keeping a safe distance from one another, and staying home if you are ill. Public Health has issued the following guidance during this time of increased spread: If you are mildly sick, stay home for at least seven days or until 72 hours after being fever free, whichever is longer. Call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen. Individuals who are elderly, have underlying health conditions or pregnant should consider contacting their providers earlier when they are sick. More information is available here.
We are monitoring updates and sharing information about the coronavirus from trusted sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health, and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
This press release was produced by the City of Hermosa Beach. The views expressed are the author’s own.