L.A. continues hope for complete economic reopening by July 4

Story by Janice Park and Lenise Diaz

Illustration by Alicia Zhang
Staff Illustrator

While L.A. and the state of California continue adjusting residents to economic reopening, the nation continues its efforts to combat the coronavirus. 

Moderna⁠—an American biotech company⁠⁠—announced its preliminary finding of a possible coronavirus vaccine, with scientists finding the first eight people who were able to stimulate an immune response against the infection. 

President Trump announced on Monday that he was taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection. With the news of various White House staff contracting the virus, Trump began taking the drug after discussing it with the White House physician. However, the Food and Drug Administration has warned against using the drug for coronavirus outside the hospital setting because it can cause heart rhythm problems. Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial drug that is also used to treat lupus and rheumatoid disease and is not approved as a treatment for coronavirus.

On Tuesday, May 19, Board of Supervisors chair Kathryn Barger announced a goal to fully reopen L.A. County’s economy by as early as July 4. This announcement came after a meeting with the Los Angeles County Economic Resiliency Task Force. The group is focused on fully restoring employment while addressing safety issues that may affect employees. Currently, there are more than 1 million unemployment claims filed in L.A. alone. Officials hope that there is a full or staged reopening of all retail businesses by July 4, but have stated that they are following the data and science to determine when to move forward with reopening. 

As of May 20, Los Angeles County has 40,857 confirmed cases and 1,970 deaths. South Pasadena has 110 confirmed cases and 18 deaths, the majority being reported from the South Pasadena Care Center, a local nursing home. Now that restrictions are slowly being lifted statewide, it is more important than ever to utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) correctly.

After L.A. County eased its restrictions on drive-thru events earlier this week, SPHS principal Janet Anderson announced the high school’s plans for a drive-thru graduation ceremony. All attendants will be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing during the event.

Public Health has asserted that the use of nonmedical masks can reduce transmission of the virus by non-symptomatic people who might be carriers of the virus. 

Guidelines have noted that masks should cover your face snugly but comfortably and hands should be washed before and after handling a mask. When taking off the mask, straps should be the only thing handled. Additionally, none should touch their eyes, nose, mouth and the front of their mask. 

Concurrent with the use of masks, some people may feel the need to wear gloves when going out.  However, the CDC recommends only wearing gloves when you are cleaning or caring for someone who is sick. In most other situations like running errands, wearing gloves is not necessary and in fact gloves can become a source of contamination if not properly removed. The best way to protect oneself is by social distancing from others and washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. 

For more information regarding California and L.A. County updates about the coronavirus, visit the California and L.A. County Public Health websites.

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