Coronavirus Today: Long live rock ‘n’ roll!

Good night. I’m Melody Petersen, and it’s Tuesday, April 20. Right here’s what’s occurring with the coronavirus in California and past.

On this publication, we spend a number of time speaking about college shutdowns, the challenges of distance studying, and the uneven path again to campus. All of these issues are vitally vital. However immediately we convey you a unique type of training story — one about rock ‘n’ roll.

Earlier than the pandemic, scholar attendance on the real-life College of Rock had soared to an all-time excessive.

Regardless of a gradual decline in guitar gross sales and rock’s waning presence on the Billboard charts, the College of Rock and its dynamic, hands-on educating technique had solely grown extra standard amongst school-age youngsters. Within the final decade, it had expanded into a world community of 260 music packages throughout 9 international locations, together with seven areas within the Los Angeles space.

Then COVID-19 turned down the amount, writes my colleague Suzy Exposito.

“We had been bursting on the seams, having severe conversations about if we had sufficient rooms and capability for the following 5 years,” stated Justin Salmons, basic supervisor on the West L.A. College of Rock. “Then the pandemic hit, and [West L.A.] went from a complete scholar rely of 230 college students and quickly rising, to 129 immediately.”

Based in 1998 by Philadelphia musician and philanthropist Paul Inexperienced, the College of Rock is not your commonplace after-school music class: It’s a year-round program devoted to educating music by means of each traditional and up to date rock songs, which college students ages 8 to 18 first study to carry out privately, then collectively in bands. Finally, every band is thrust into the limelight, able to shred their favourite Beatles, Nirvana or Bikini Kill track earlier than a dwell viewers.

With an training mannequin contingent on dwell efficiency, the College of Rock needed to modify its strategies due to the pandemic — and shortly.

Alia Briglia plays her bass in West L.A.

For Alia Briglia, a 13-year-old bass participant who attends the College of Rock in West L.A., distance studying isn’t restricted to topics akin to English, math and science.

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Occasions)

By March 2020, the College of Rock community pivoted totally to distant instruction. It additionally supplied a brand new app to document and blend tracks, in addition to livestream occasions with visiting music professionals. A streaming get together subsequent month, as an illustration, will characteristic superstars Stevie Surprise and members of the Rolling Stones.

Even when courses transpire remotely, the College of Rock is a substantial step up from studying guitar from YouTube, a passion many adults took as much as fight the 2020 quarantine blues.

And but Zoom fatigue is actual, Salmons stated. “Children are wired and remoted from one another — even my youngsters need breaks from their screens.”

A current ballot of scholars in this system and their households revealed that greater than two-thirds of respondents wished to return to in-person courses.

“I obtained pissed off with the pc as a result of typically [teachers] couldn’t hear me,” stated 9-year-old drum scholar Chloe Ingram.

And so, starting Could 1, the College of Rock will enable L.A. college students to step out of the digital classroom and into an actual one. Chloe will return to the situation in Venice.

She first took up the drums to blow off steam when offended — however through the pandemic, she’s needed to make do with discreet electrical drum pads in her household’s condo. She hasn’t touched a full drum equipment in 13 months, and her mother, Wyleen Ingram, stated the shortage of an viewers is beginning to put on on her.

I like taking part in in entrance of all people,” Chloe stated. “I like placing my very own spin on songs and displaying what I can do.”

By the numbers

California circumstances, deaths and vaccinations as of 6:21 p.m. Tuesday:

3,699,394 confirmed cases, up 2,321 today; 60,764 deaths, up 65 today; 42.2% of Californians at least partially vaccinated

Monitor California’s coronavirus spread and vaccination efforts — together with the most recent numbers and the way they break down — with our graphics.

14 days: Cases -11%, deaths -27%. Vaccines: 42.2% have had a dose, 25.8% fully vaccinated. School: 50% of students can return

Throughout California

Five more counties have moved into the orange tier of the state’s COVID-19 reopening system, persevering with a sustained and sweeping unlocking of the economic system as case charges stay low and vaccinations ramp up.

Information launched Tuesday by the California Division of Public Well being point out Santa Barbara, Fresno, Kings, Calaveras and Mono counties all superior from the pink tier to orange. Meaning capability limits could be elevated at eating places, gyms, museums, film theaters and a number of different companies.

With the most recent strikes, 38 of California’s 58 counties have now reached the orange tier, and three have entered the ultimate — yellow — tier. Seventeen counties stay within the pink tier, and none are left within the strictest — purple — tier.

Evaluate that with March 9, when 34 counties had been nonetheless within the purple tier and solely 4 had made it to orange or yellow.

The fast reopenings over the past six weeks have been fueled by two inversely associated traits: a drop within the reported variety of new coronavirus circumstances and a gentle enhance in what number of Californians are vaccinated towards COVID-19.

Vaccinations had been stalled briefly Tuesday at Dodger Stadium and eight other sites operated by town of Los Angeles in anticipation of doable mass demonstrations after the homicide conviction of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.

The momentary closures, which additionally utilized to cell vaccination clinics run by town, had been a “easy precaution,” in keeping with Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Sufferers who had appointments scheduled at metropolis websites Tuesday afternoon needs to be notified by Carbon Well being, the corporate that manages the websites, the mayor’s workplace stated. Appointments will probably be rescheduled for later this week.

Some folks stated on social media Tuesday afternoon that they realized of the closures solely once they arrived for his or her vaccination appointments and had been turned away.

Readers in L.A. County will quickly get a chance to return to public libraries after greater than a yr of being locked out due to the pandemic.

Some L.A. County Library branches opened their doorways this week for restricted in-person companies, akin to searching and trying out books, printing and browsing the web, and asking the reference desk for help find supplies or data.

The Los Angeles Public Library is predicted to reopen Could 3 with comparable restricted companies at 38 of its 70-plus areas.

Even with the reopenings, each metropolis and county libraries will proceed providing sidewalk companies for the foreseeable future.

Masks and social distancing will probably be enforced. Indicators will direct foot visitors. Furnishings and bookshelves have been reorganized. Disposable keyboard covers will probably be offered at pc stations. Plexiglass has been put in in locations, and hand sanitizer will probably be available.

Beneath the state’s reopening blueprint, libraries in orange-tier counties — akin to Los Angeles — are permitted to reopen absolutely with out limits on the variety of patrons inside. But counties can impose stricter guidelines, and L.A. County well being officers diminished libraries’ capability to a most of 75%.

County library officers went a step additional, opting to restrict capability to 50%. Digital indicators posted on the entrances will present the variety of folks contained in the buildings and can record what number of extra are allowed to affix them. As soon as capability is reached, workers will notify these inside to wrap as much as let others in.

“It’ll look a bit totally different, however we’re hoping all our security measures guarantee our prospects have an ideal expertise and nonetheless recall we’re the middle for neighborhood,” stated Skye Patrick, director of the L.A. County Library.

California reopening map showing 3 counties in the yellow tier, 38 orange and 17 red. Five have moved from red to orange.
A description of the four tiers California uses to determine when counties can let businesses open, based on coronavirus risk

See the most recent on California’s coronavirus closures and reopenings, and the metrics that inform them, with our tracker.

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Across the nation and the world

Consultants on the company that regulates medicine within the European Union stated Tuesday that they discovered a “doable hyperlink” between the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and really uncommon blood clots after a small variety of circumstances had been reported within the U.S. However they confirmed that the vaccine’s benefits still outweighed the very small risk of creating the bizarre clots.

The European Medicines Company stated a warning needs to be added to labels for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The weird blood clots needs to be thought-about “very uncommon unwanted side effects of the vaccine,” it stated.

Final week, Johnson & Johnson halted the European rollout of its one-dose vaccine after the Meals and Drug Administration recommended a pause in its use in the U.S. Widespread use of the shot in Europe has not but began.

The delay was an additional blow to vaccination efforts within the European Union, which have been beset by provide shortages, logistical issues and considerations over uncommon blood clots in a small quantity of people that acquired AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which isn’t but obtainable within the U.S.

Consultants fear the momentary halt of the Johnson & Johnson pictures might complicate worldwide immunization efforts. Final week, South Africa suspended its use of the vaccine within the wake of the U.S. pause, and international locations together with Italy, Romania, the Netherlands, Denmark and Croatia put their doses into storage.

A committee of vaccine consultants that advises the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention is scheduled to debate the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and doable subsequent steps at a Friday assembly.

With the coronavirus persevering with to surge in lots of components of the globe, the U.S. State Division is urging People to rethink their worldwide journey plans.

State Division officers stated they’d quickly situation particular warnings not to visit roughly 80% of the world’s countries as a consequence of dangers from the pandemic.

The U.S. hasn’t had a world advisory warning towards worldwide journey since August, when steering was revoked by the Trump administration.

Journey can be discouraged for the remaining 20% of nations, although not as emphatically.

The State Division didn’t reveal which international locations would fall beneath which class. That may grow to be referred to as steering is issued individually for every nation within the coming week.

And in the event you’re trying to keep nearer to residence however nonetheless have enjoyable at a U.S. theme park, get able to be tracked by the growing use of apps aimed at making visits safer.

At theme parks, the largest threat issue for spreading the virus can be the largest headache: lengthy waits in packed crowds. Parks hope to scale back them by using touchless cost methods to order meals, apps to schedule instances to trip points of interest or make eating reservations, and different high-tech options.

“Prior to now a number of months, our tech groups have accelerated our transfer to digital in an enormous approach,” Disneyland spokesperson Liz Jaeger informed Occasions workers author Hugo Martin.

Useful as they could be, the apps additionally assist the theme parks gather extra details about their guests.

Privateness advocates say the pattern provides theme parks higher alternative to upsell guests on merchandise, meals and drinks. They usually fear that the private and monetary data collected from parkgoers could be leaked or shared in surprising methods.

“Whereas theme parks could also be pushing smartphone purchases as a type of comfort and even as a well being measure, we needs to be very conscious of the truth that that is additionally an enormous alternative for them to make a seize at our information, utilizing it for every thing from advertising and marketing to enforcement of park guidelines,” stated Evan Greer, director of the digital rights group Combat for the Future.

Your questions answered

In the present day’s query comes from readers who need to know: Can my employer require me to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Generally, yes.

Sure employers have lengthy been capable of require vaccinations, so long as they will present that such a mandate is “job-related and per enterprise necessity” or justified by a “direct menace” to the workforce, in keeping with the People With Disabilities Act.

Workplaces which may fall into that class are those who have direct contact with most people (akin to grocery shops), healthcare settings (hospitals) and ones the place jobs are carried out in shut quarters with others (factories). Workplace staff who can carry out their duties from residence? Not a lot.

Nonetheless, the extra urgent query could also be: Can employers mandate it now?

The reply: Most likely, however it might be as much as the courts to resolve.

The difficulty is murky as a result of the three vaccines presently licensed within the U.S. didn’t undergo the common FDA approval course of. As an alternative they’re being administered beneath emergency-use authorizations. Language within the emergency-use authorization says vaccination recipients “have the choice to just accept or refuse the vaccine.”

Some labor-law consultants say meaning the federal government can’t power residents to get vaccinated however that private-sector employers can, given the broad discretion they should dismiss staff beneath the “at-will” employment doctrine.

Lawsuits have been filed. For instance, a bunch that features lecturers and different workers at L.A. Unified is suing the district over its requirement that staff be vaccinated, and so they level out that the vaccines haven’t gained full FDA approval.

We need to hear from you. Email us your coronavirus questions, and we’ll do our greatest to reply them. Questioning in case your query’s already been answered? Take a look at our archive here.


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Want extra vaccine assist? Speak to your healthcare provider. Name the state’s COVID-19 hotline at (833) 422-4255. And seek the advice of our county-by-county guides to getting vaccinated.

Apply social distancing using these tips, and put on a masks or two.

Look ahead to signs akin to fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, shaking with chills, muscle ache, headache, sore throat and loss of taste or smell. Right here’s what to look for and when.

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