The U.S. has far surpassed the rest of the world in contracted cases and deaths due to COVID-19. This shameful reality is largely driven by a broken public health system and incredibly poor leadership. The US is 4% of the world population, and 25% of all COVID-19 cases and 19% of deaths. Recently, the UK Strain, which is more easily spread (it was concluded in lab tests that it is up to 70% more transmissible than the earlier version of the virus) has jumped to our shores. Luckily, it appears that the current vaccine is effective against this new strain, but California is now one of 9 states and counting that have seen this new strain.
As of January 1, 2021, more than 8,000 Los Angeles County residents are currently hospitalized with Covid. Approximately one in 12 Angelenos have been infected, and one in five of those tested recently are positive. It’s reported that 11,000 have died in the City of Angels since March 2020. And Martin Luther King Jr Community Hospital is stretched to capacity with more than 200 Covid patients needing medical attention from the 131-bed hospital.
While the pandemic has evolved into a global health emergency, it is also a racial crisis. The COVID-19 crisis has heightened into a catastrophe for Latinos as they are now 2.6 times more likely than white folks to test positive, and Latinos are disproportionately dying more than any other racial group (47% compared to 36.3% of population). Black people are also dying disportionately (6.8% compared to 6.1%). For whites and Asians, deaths are lower than the rate of their populations (31.6% to 38.8% and 12.1% to 16.5% respectively).
On Tuesday, we shared thoughts from Congresswoman Karen Bass and Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, two former CoCo leaders who we deeply trust and are in contact with public health officials and scientists at the national and local levels.
Today, please check out this Myth vs. Fact series that’s verified by public health experts and may address your main concerns and the town hall event put together by the Black Coalition Against Covid-19.
Community Coalition has been laser-focused on the concerns/needs of our community, and our organizers have been on the phones speaking directly to our members—to connect, reassure, listen, and assess what the needs are in South LA in the wake of COVID-19. Our community needs assessment highlighted the urgency of connecting residents and members to critical resources (i.e., technology, supplies, and food) in the short-term while displaying the gaps in the social safety net.
Early data suggest older adults are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. This may be because immune systems change with age, making it harder to fight off diseases and infection. Older adults also are more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness.
Please make sure you are taking care of yourselves and exercising caution to prevent the spread of bacteria by continuing to do the following:
Safety from public health threats like COVID-19 comes from our community strength and collective action, and our health depends on each other. We encourage all of our members to rely on facts, not fear or rumors, and to be mindful of Coronavirus scams.
To continue to serve our community, with fresh, affordable, beyond organic produce and other healthy groceries, CSU has has started taking online orders and home delivery. Please visit CSU at www.CSUINC.org for ordering details and a link to their inventory. You can also follow CSU on instagram @vmpcsu & @csuinc and on Facebook at Facebook.com/csuinc for ongoing updates.
If you need help purchasing food and want to know if you are eligible for CalFresh benefits (aka food stamps) or are ready to submit an application, CSU can help over the phone. Please call 213-746-1216 or email Calfresh@csuinc.org with questions or to set up a phone appointment.
Adults ages over the age of 65 are one of the most vulnerable populations during the coronavirus pandemic. Below are a number of resources to make sure you stay healthy and safe during this time.
Due to the recommendation by the Governor’s Office that seniors ages 65+ isolate themselves to prevent exposure, the County and City of LA closed all 180 congregate meal sites. As a result of these closures, the County and City will distribute packaged and frozen food at designated meal sites. Older adults 65+ are asked to send a caregiver, friend or family member to pick up their meals.
Go to http://bit.ly/agingla for a map of these sites.
LA County – Enroll in California’s Food Stamp Program
You can check your eligibility and/or apply online here or by phone at (866) 613-3777
If you need access to paid family, medical, or sick leave, you should visit or contact the California Department of Employment Development at edd.ca.gov or call 1-877-238-4373
If you cannot work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can submit an application
Los Angeles Unified, in partnership with the Red Cross, has created Grab & Go food centers to provide nutritious meals to all students in need during the school closure. To find the nearest Grab & Go food center, see the map below or check out the list of centers on this page: https://achieve.lausd.net/resources
Metro, Metrolink, and LADOT Transit are all closely monitoring the current situation. Each agency is vigorously cleaning buses, trains, stations, and facilities regularly and will continually review cleaning protocols to ensure they are up-to-date as the situation evolves. Agencies strongly encourage customers to protect themselves from illness.
LA City – Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
COVID-19 Information and Resources for Immigrant and Refugee Angelenos
LA County – Office of Immigrant Affairs
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Immigrants
Covered California – Waives Co-Pays for COVID-19 Tests, Opens Special Enrollment Period
Covered California is the State’s official health insurance marketplace, serving individuals, families and small businesses. Covered CA is extending the enrollment period for everyone to June 30 and are waiving all co-pays for COVID-19 testing, no matter which insurance plan you’re on, including employer-provided plans. This waiver extends to undocumented residents, a limited number of whom may be able to find coverage under Medi-Cal. Currently immigrants without legal status may apply for Medi-Cal if they are under 26 or age 65 and over.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 800-273-8255 or text “Hope” to 916-668-ICAN) offers free, confidential 24/7 help.
Crisis Text Line
Text “Home” to 741741 and it lets people connect to a trained crisis counselor without having to talk on the phone.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
They have put together a helpful PDF guide with coronavirus-related questions and resources.
Testing is available by appointment only and individuals eligible for testing at this time include: