March 31, 2020
Coronavirus update: 4 major banks agree to 90-day grace period for mortgage payments in CA
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced that four major banks have agreed to grant a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments in California amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Newsom said that four out of five of the nation's largest banks, JP Morgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and Citibank, have all committed to the moratorium. Meanwhile, Bank of America agreed to commit to a 30-day forbearance period.

Newsom noted that California does not have regulatory oversight over those banks, though many state banks and credit unions have also agreed to the grace period.

A total of 1 million people have filed for unemployment in the state since March 13, he said.

Newsom also announced 2,535 new cases, a 17% increase since the previous day, and a total of 53 deaths in the state.

As the 1,000-bed U.S. Navy Ship Mercy prepares to dock in Los Angeles to aid local hospitals, Newsom said additional resources are coming in the form of 100 million N95 masks, which have been secured for healthcare workers in the state.

The vessel, which is carrying 800 medical personnel and support staff, will not be used to treat COVID-19 patients. Instead, it will handle other cases, easing the burden on Los Angeles hospitals treating patients infected with the virus. Assistance from the ship will free up resources, such as ventilators and intensive care units.

According to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Mercy should arrive at the Port of Los Angeles sometime Thursday morning.

Across the Southland, there have been over 1,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 21 deaths, with nearly 250 presumptive cases in San Diego County.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the county has seen a 10% drop in violent crime and 6% drop in overall crime as so many activities and businesses are restricted. Still, he said, the department is very concerned about the possibility of people taking advantage of the closures. The LASD has shifted some 1,300 deputies to patrol and jails, with concern about issues such as looting of closed businesses.

LASD officials said about 30 inmates in the jail system who were exhibiting symptoms of illness were removed from the population to be tested for COVID-19. So far none of the tests have come back positive. About 500 inmates who were in the same area as those 30 were put into temporary quarantine pending the results of those tests.

Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 3 additional coronavirus-related deaths and 138 new cases in Los Angeles County, bringing the county's total to 799 cases. All three of the individuals who died were over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions, according to county health director Barbara Ferrer.

Ferrer added that the county health department is no longer including the death of an individual from Lancaster under the age of 18, which was announced on Tuesday, in the county's health total. The department has asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate that case.

The county's death total now stands at 13.

Runyon Canyon Park was officially closed in another effort to keep people safe from the coronavirus. Parks officials said Runyon Canyon is one of the most popular parks in the city. City council officials are also calling for the closure of Lake Hollywood Park, but that has not been decided yet.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is ordering all Catholic churches in the region to be closed to the public amid the coronavirus pandemic. The church had already canceled celebrations of Mass, but new guidelines issued by the Archdiocese on Tuesday put a stop to a wide range of activities and access.

Dignity Health offering free virtual medical visits to screen for COVID-19

With so many people flocking to hospitals and medical buildings amid the coronavirus pandemic, one large Southern California Hospital chain is launching a new way to see more patients without cramming waiting rooms, and it's free.

Dignity Health hospitals from Northridge to San Bernardino are dealing with an onslaught of worried patients concerned they have COVID-19.

To use the service, people can visit the Dignity Health website or download Virtual Care Anywhere from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. If you don't have a way to do that, you can call them at 855-356-8053 and providers are waiving their usual $35 fee.

"If you're calling in or accessing strictly for concerns around COVID-19-like symptoms, we have a code which is 'Covid19' which gets you one free visit," Testa said.

The wait times vary from a few minutes to an hour.

Employee at Amazon fulfillment center in Moreno Valley tests positive for coronavirus

An employee at an Amazon fulfillment center in Moreno Valley tested positive for COVID-19, according to officials.

It's not known if the worker lives in the city because personal medical information is considered private, Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez said in a statement.

The mayor added that several co-workers were directed to self-quarantine, under observation by health officials, as the work undergoes treatment.

Here are the current numbers of novel coronavirus cases across the Southland:

Los Angeles County: 812 confirmed cases, 13 deaths

Orange County: 187 cases, 1 death

Riverside County: 70 confirmed cases, 7 deaths

San Bernardino County: 38 cases, 1 death

Ventura County: 39 cases, 1 death

San Diego County: 242 cases, 2 deaths. (Source: KABC)
Story Date: March 26, 2020
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