California

U.S. Cases Increase 0.9%; California, Arizona Slow: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

California and Arizona reported positive trends on new cases after battling a surge in infections last month. New Jersey, concerned about recent violations of social-distancing rules among young revelers, reduced crowd limits for indoor parties.

Eli Lilly & Co. will begin testing its Covid-19 antibody drug in nursing homes, a treatment with potential to protect vulnerable groups that vaccines may not cover. Global coronavirus cases surpassed 18 million, with the pandemic now adding a million infections every four days.

Iran’s virus death toll may have been almost three times larger than official counts, the BBC reported, while Hong Kong said it had the fewest number of new cases since July 22.

Key Developments

Global Tracker: Global cases top 18 million; deaths pass 689,000Fauci says face shields good idea for teachers back in schoolsU.K. reviewing Covid-fighting options including London lockdownFacing fierce new waves, virus hunters turn to sewage and

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California donors spend $38 million trying to tilt Senate races around the country

Top row from left: Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and challenger Jaime Harrison; Republican Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell. Bottom row from left: McConnell's Democratic challenger, Amy McGrath; Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly, who is battling Sen. Martha McSally. <span class="copyright">(Associated Press)</span>
Top row from left: Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and challenger Jaime Harrison; Republican Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell. Bottom row from left: McConnell’s Democratic challenger, Amy McGrath; Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly, who is battling Sen. Martha McSally. (Associated Press)

Californians have spent $38 million and counting trying to tilt Senate contests across the nation, making the state one of the top sources of campaign contributions in races that will decide which party controls the body next year, according to campaign finance disclosures. That’s despite the state not having a Senate race on its ballot in November.

There are 35 Senate races being decided later this year, and California is among the top five donor states for at least one candidate in every contest, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. In many cases, candidates raised more from California than in their home state.

Californians

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California schools were already unequal. Then came ‘learning pods’

Schools like this one in Bothell, Wash., closed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents are now coming up with small-group alternatives for their children. <span class="copyright">(David Ryder / Getty Images)</span>
Schools like this one in Bothell, Wash., closed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents are now coming up with small-group alternatives for their children. (David Ryder / Getty Images)

As if the disparities in online learning didn’t already put low-income Black and Latino students at a terrible disadvantage, now the pandemic era has created a new form of educational inequality: the so-called learning pod.

Many middle-class parents across the nation have responded with lightning quickness and considerable ingenuity to the prospect of campuses remaining closed in the fall, as most schools in California will be. They’re putting together small groups of students of similar age — usually four to six of them — to study in a modern version of a one-room schoolhouse. Usually, the idea is to hold the lessons at the home of one of the parents, on a large covered deck or in a cleared-out

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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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Thousands of you told us you want California to change. We want to hear from even more of you

The 110 Freeway leads south toward downtown Los Angeles. <span class="copyright">(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)</span>
The 110 Freeway leads south toward downtown Los Angeles. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

It was almost three months ago, but it might as well have been another epoch: In early May, the L.A. Times Opinion section asked readers to envision life in California after the pandemic and share with us their thoughts on what the COVID-19 health and economic crisis reveals about us as a society, and what transformations may be necessary to heal the trauma.

And respond our readers did — more than 3,700 of you. With such a large volume of responses, the topics covered were diverse, but there were some areas of broad agreement among our readers — namely, that government should expand its role in healthcare and the economy to prevent a crisis such as COVID-19 from causing so much shock. Traffic, housing and the environment were also on the top of readers’ minds;

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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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GOP senators consider $600 extension; Pfizer hopes for October vaccine OK; 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 is 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,

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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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Ex-CFL player and California woman sentenced

A Canadian parent who once played in the Canadian Football League was sentenced Wednesday to three months in prison after pleading guilty in a college admissions cheating scheme, federal prosecutors said.

David Sidoo, who played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and BC Lions, paid about $200,000 to have someone else to take SAT tests for two of his sons in 2011 and 2012, prosecutors said.

“I make no excuses. I broke the law. I pled guilty to a crime and now I must pay for my actions,” Sidoo told a judge, according to The Associated Press.

Sidoo, 61, of Vancouver, pleaded guilty in March to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. In addition to the jail time, he was ordered to pay a $250,000 fine.

He was among more than 50 people charged in the scheme orchestrated by William “Rick” Singer in which parents paid tens or

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