As California approaches yet another pandemic inflection point, things are looking pretty grim on multiple fronts.
The state logged a record 11,000 new cases on Tuesday, and hospitalizations and intensive-care admissions remain at record levels, though the rate at which they’re increasing is beginning to slow down, CalMatters’ tracker shows. Deaths are also rising, hitting a record seven-day average of 100 last weekend.
After Gov. Gavin Newsom shut down massive swaths of the economy Monday, any remaining hope for a relatively quick recovery was dashed, experts told CalMatters’ Lauren Hepler. The second wave of closures hit businesses hard, with some forced to close their doors just a few days after reopening for the first time in months.
- Kaya Herron of the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce: “Our downtown and our business districts are at risk of losing their tenants, but also of losing their diversity and vibrancy. If businesses don’t make it through this wave, a lot of them will never reopen.”
Meanwhile, federal benefits of an extra $600 per week are set to end July 31, and California’s embattled unemployment department is facing a backlog of nearly 2 million claims just from the first three months of the pandemic.
The implications are drastic. A first-of-its kind report from the Los Angeles Unified School District found that Black and Latino middle and high school students participated in online learning between 10 and 20% less than white and Asian students. Weekly participation peaked at 57% for English learners, homeless students, and those with disabilities or in foster care.
- LA School Board President Richard Vladovic: “The gap is widening unless we really address it in a very, very strong way.”
The coronavirus bottom line: As of 9 p.m. Thursday night, California had 356,178 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,345 deaths from the virus, according to a CalMatters tracker.