Campus Life Assistant Editor
On Jan. 11, 2021, Los Angeles Public Health tweeted that ten people in LA County test positive for COVID-19 every minute. For those of us in Southern California, we remain in the Regional Stay at Home order. As of January, there have been 36,170,528 tests conducted in California alone. As more people are being affected by the pandemic, here are some local L.A. County resources.
L.A. County has become an epicenter of coronavirus, accounting for 40 percent of California’s cases and deaths. They plan to administer two million vaccines just in the month of January.
- Over the past week, the list for vaccine eligibility has expanded. All healthcare workers in the county can now receive the vaccine. By the end of the month, the county plans to vaccinate 500,000 more healthcare workers.
- The county announced that there will be five new large-capacity vaccine distribution sites. L.A. County currently has dozens of vaccination sites that provide doses of the medication, but plan to open large-capacity sites to fill the demand.
- The first mass vaccination site in Orange County will be at a Disneyland Resort parking lot in Anaheim. Dodger Stadium, which was the largest COVID-19 testing site in the nation, will become a vaccine distribution site this week. They expect to administer 5,000 vaccinations daily.
- Los Angeles Unified School District students will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to school. The superintendent for LAUSD advised that schools stay closed until the vaccine is available for students.
- University of California announced they will return in the fall as COVID-19 vaccines become available to students, staff, and faculty. College students have not yet been added to the list of people eligible to receive the vaccine. Please read the CDC recommendation for eligibility to see when you or your family might be able to receive the vaccine.
As of Jan. 12, there are approximately 200 testing sites in the county that are endorsed by L.A. County COVID resources. Pop-up sites continue to open across Southern California to provide more access to testing.
- The COVID-19 testing sites on the L.A. County COVID-19 Testing website offer no-cost testing. There may be additional fees or costs when taking a coronavirus test at clinics or other health facilities.
- More than 130 facilities across the county offer free COVID-19 testing.
- The city of L.A., in partnership with Curative Inc. and CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), is providing free COVID-19 testing to ALL L.A. County residents.
The county and various organizations across Southern California are dedicated to helping those in need of food assistance. Nearly one in four residents have dealt with an instance of food insecurity since the start of the pandemic. Food is a human necessity, and it is especially important during the current pandemic. The county has allocated $10 million to support the L.A. Regional Food Bank’s efforts to provide nutritional food to those in need.
- Check here to see if you’re eligible for CalFresh and here for WIC (Women, Infants, & Children).
- Students may be eligible for CalFresh, especially if you are eligible for work study. If you are unsure whether or not you qualify, check here to view the eligibility. There can be multiple eligible residents in one home.
- Applying to CalFresh will not impact you or your family’s immigration status.
- There are various food banks and pantries around L.A. County. Due to the demand, many have varying hours. To check for the most up to date information, please visit L.A. Food Bank.
- If you are interested in volunteering or donating, there is a need for volunteers to help with food distribution and delivery. L.A. County states, “Hunger relief efforts in response to COVID-19 are essential activities, especially for vulnerable groups such as seniors and the disabled.” Contact your local food pantry or food bank to see volunteer opportunities as well as what items they are in need of.
Every day there are new updates about programs, healthcare, and resources that are available to you during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are able to help, donate, and offer assistance, people do so, thinking about your neighbors and friends.
- The 2021 Rent Relief Program is currently still under development, but you can sign up to receive updates about the program here.
- There are plenty of resources for freelance artists and small businesses in Southern California. For more information on freelance artist resources, click here. L.A. is also offering emergency micro-loans between $5,000 and $50,000 to small businesses affected by the coronavirus.
- The L.A. County CARES website states: “From Project Roomkey and winter shelters to rent relief for struggling residents, we are investing heavily to help people stay housed, get housed or come in from the cold. At the same time, we’re bridging the digital divide by providing millions to school districts for student computers and hotspots, while also funding a laptop lending program and Wi-Fi in library parking lots.”
The spread of coronavirus has impacted our communities leaving many anxious and stressed. The pandemic on top of daily stressors is plenty to deal with. Remember to take care of yourself and your community.
Feature image: Courtesy of LA Public Health Twitter