California

California colleges can reopen with a ton of restrictions, limited dorms, online classes

USC and other California colleges and universities can reopen this fall with some in-person classes and limited dorm life, according to state guidance. <span class="copyright">(Perry C. Riddle / Los Angeles Times)</span>
USC and other California colleges and universities can reopen this fall with some in-person classes and limited dorm life, according to state guidance. (Perry C. Riddle / Los Angeles Times)

As California colleges and universities reopen this fall they must adhere to strict limits on in-person classes and greatly restrict dorm and campus life, state public health officials said Friday in long-awaited guidance for how campuses can operate amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The delay in state guidance had frustrated campuses, which have scrambled to create varying reopening plans without knowing what ultimately would be approved by county and state public health officials and how that would affect thousands of students just days from starting fall semester.

Most colleges, including the vast UC and Cal State systems, have already announced they were planning to start the fall with mostly online classes. The state’s strict rules prohibit indoor lectures for

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U.S. Cases Rise 1.1%; California Second-Worst Day: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — California had its second-deadliest day in the pandemic and Florida’s case count topped 500,000. Texas’s test positivity rate reached a three-week high. New York City is setting up checkpoints at key entry areas to enforce state quarantine rules for travelers.

Joe Biden will accept the Democratic Party’s nomination from Delaware rather than risk traveling to Milwaukee. Chicago, the country’s third-largest school district, will have remote learning for public schools when classes resume next month.

Johnson & Johnson will supply 100 million doses of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine to the U.S. The U.K. agreed to invest $18 million in a Scottish vaccine-manufacturing plant, while Moderna Inc. said it has received $400 million of deposits for its potential Covid-19 shot.

Key Developments

Global Tracker: Global cases top 18.6 million; deaths pass 702,000Fauci says testing too slow while Trump says it’s ‘best ever’CDC warns against drinking sanitizer after reports of deathsJapan’s

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California passes 500,000 cases; 97% of residents on watchlist

California officially surpassed 500,000 total lab-confirmed coronavirus infections and set a new daily high for reported COVID-19 deaths over the weekend, while Sacramento County reached the 10,000-case mark.

The state reported 219 new deaths from the respiratory disease Saturday and another 132 Sunday to bring the pandemic’s official statewide death toll to 9,356, according to data from the California Department of Public Health.

Sacramento County health officials have confirmed 142 resident deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the highly contagious coronavirus, including 91 residing in the city of Sacramento.

The county suffered at least 49 COVID-19 deaths in July, making it the deadliest month of the health crisis so far. Sacramento County had 34 deaths from the virus in April, followed by 18 in each of May and June, according to public health officials’ data dashboard. The July count is likely to grow in the coming days because it

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More of you are helping us reimagine California after the pandemic. Keep the suggestions coming

Southbound lanes of the 110 Freeway heading into downtown Los Angeles are empty in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. <span class="copyright">(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)</span>
Southbound lanes of the 110 Freeway heading into downtown Los Angeles are empty in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Last week, we published an update of the Opinion section’s “Reimagine California” project — in which we are asking readers to help guide our thinking on what California ought to look like after the COVID-19 pandemic — noting that more than 3,700 of you have sent us responses. We asked for more readers participation in the project; a few dozen of you obliged.

Your suggestions include, on one end, the granular, ground-level changes readers want to see — everything from increasing controlled burns in wilfire-prone areas to using germ-resistant grocery bags — and on the other, reforming entire segments of society such as healthcare and education. Sprinkled among those were calls for racial justice and, yes, partisan digs.

Similar to the 3,700 responses

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Infection growth slows in California, but deaths surge

California overall is not experiencing the same alarming surge in COVID-19 infections as it did in late June and early July, but record-breaking death tolls reported this week underscore the continued seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic.

California set a new record Wednesday when it reported its highest COVID-19 death toll in a single day with 197 dead. On Thursday, the state reported another 194 deaths, the second highest single-day coronavirus death toll thus far.

Deaths have dramatically increased from the flat-line levels in May and June: As of Friday, an average of 109 people died from the virus in California every day over the last two weeks. Two weeks ago, about 87 people died every day on average over a two-week period.

Some of those deaths, however, may have occurred several days or weeks ago because of the verification process used by local health officials.

In the last week, California

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You still have to get your kids vaccinated even if their California school goes online

Most California kids will kick off the 2020-2021 academic year with distance learning due to the coronavirus, but the state’s strict vaccination laws still require students be up-to-date on their shots before starting class.

The California Legislature in recent years has passed some of the tightest vaccine mandates in the country to increase the immunization rates in schools. In 2015, lawmakers approved Senate Bill 277 to exclude personal beliefs from the list of reasons parents can skip vaccinating their children.

Last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed follow-up measure Senate Bill 276 to increase oversight of doctors who issue five or more medical exemptions in a single year after clusters of unvaccinated children in certain schools were tied to a handful of physicians.

Before students are granted admission, schools are required to review incoming childcare, transitional kindergarten, kindergarten and 7th grade vaccine records.

Despite the pandemic forcing California kids behind a

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These California moms were never going to send their kids to school in a pandemic. Here’s why

Sacramento mom Erin Gottis knew she wasn’t going to send her 9-year-old son Mason back into the classroom this fall well before his school district announced plans to start the academic year with distance learning.

Mason has severe asthma and Type 1 diabetes. Keeping him healthy and out of the hospital for something as simple as getting a cold during a normal school year was hard enough, Gottis, 39, said. Physically sending him back to school amid COVID-19 could kill him.

“There’s just no way he’s going to school unless they can give a 100% guarantee he won’t contract the coronavirus,” Gottis said. “Which is impossible at this point.”

Many California families like hers are bracing for months if not years of educating their medically fragile kids at home. They won’t send their kids to class until there’s a widely available vaccine or treatment for COVID-19.

Mason is one of

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GOP senators consider $600 extension; US orders 100 million vaccine doses from Pfizer; California cases top NY

The U.S. government has placed an initial order for 100 million doses of a vaccine candidate being developed by Pfizer and a German firm, BioNTech, for $1.95 billion, the companies announced Wednesday.

The U.S. can acquire up to 500 million additional doses, the statement said.

Meanwhile, federal unemployment benefits are taking a hit at a time when more states are abruptly pausing their reopening plans. The $600 weekly jobless benefits bonus, approved in March, is about to expire and likely won’t be extended or replaced before next month.

The U.S. has been averaging more than 60,000 new cases daily for multiple weeks, and hospitalizations have climbed to totals not seen in three months. A USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Tuesday shows 10 states set seven-day records for new cases while five states had a record number of deaths over the period.

📈 Today’s stats: The U.S.

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California high school sports forced into three-month delay

The coronavirus pandemic prompted California to spike all fall high school sports on Monday, in favor of a new calendar that will compact all games, like football, into a few winter and spring months.

The California Interscholastic Federation, which regulates high school sports, won’t stage any games in any sports until at least December, officials said.

The new calendar would mean football — a staple of fall Friday nights across America’s largest state — would be played in the spring with the last game played no later than April 17, 2021, the CIF announced.

CIF Southern Section Commissioner Rob Wigod admitted the calendar not ideal. But because so many California schools have said they’re going to start the fall term with just online instruction, this was the only option short of canceling whole seasons.

“The alternative would be to just cancel an entire season or seasons, In other words, since

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California Governor Gavin Newsom Orders Majority Of State’s Schools To Close Campuses, Move To Virtual Instruction Only; Los Angeles County Will Follow Newsom’s Lead

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At his Friday news conference, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered counties on the state’s coronavirus watch list to shut down school campuses this fall, at least to begin the school year. The 32 counties on the list — which include Los Angeles and most of Southern California — must switch to virtual instruction only. The state’s two largest districts, Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified, had already announced plans to begin the new academic year with online-only courses.

The mandate applies to private as well as public schools, according to Newsom.

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In order to physically reopen schools, counties will have to meet the state’s attestation requirements. Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Diego and Riverside counties are on the watch list.

Shortly after Newsom’s accouncement, the L.A. County Department of Public Health announced it would follow the governor’s order,

Counties

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