Coronavirus Updates: Olympics Postponed, SpaceX Delays Launch, L.A. County Racks Up More Cases

The coronavirus pandemic's emergence has changed the world around us. Conferences have been cancelled, travel has been severely restricted, and working from home has become the norm. But less clear is the scale of the economic impact and how companies should be reacting. Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.

Olympics Postponed, Financial Strain for NBC

A joint statement from Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee president early Tuesday revealed that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed. The games are now set to occur sometime after 2020, but not later than summer of 2021. Among the collateral damage is NBC, which owns the event's media rights through 2032. Back in January when NBCUniversal (owned by Comcast) unveiled Peacock, its new direct-to-consumer (D2C) streaming service, the company highlighted to investors its ability to take "full advantage of the massive promotional opportunity of the Tokyo Olympics" when the service becomes available to non-Comcast subscribers on July 15. Rather than attracting customers by flying in the Olympics tailwind, Peacock must now rely more heavily on its distinguishing feathers, which include its exclusive content and ad-supported business model. It will join an increasingly competitive D2C market, leaving onlookers to wonder how smoothly this bird will be able to fly.

L.A. County Reports First Death of Person Under 18, Coronavirus Cases Surge Over 48 Hours

Los Angeles County health officials reported on Tuesday four more coronavirus deaths including one person under the age of 18 from Lancaster, bringing total fatalities to 11 in the region.

"COVID-19 does not discriminate by age, race or income level, and what we are seeing in places like New York is indicative of what we should prepare to experience here," said Barbara Ferrer, the county's public health director in a statement.

Another 128 new cases of the fast-moving virus were also reported as the total in the county racked up to 662 cases. Nearly 40% of the cases have been reported in the last 48 hours. Among the cases, about 18% of those testing positive have had to be hospitalized at some point.

Brentwood and West Hollywood both have the highest number of cases confirmed with 31 each. Officials have been identifying cases by neighborhood and communities of 25,000 or more as part of their daily update of the pandemic, but they note that there are positive cases across the entire county and the public should not think one location is safer than the other. "While public health is doing everything possible to mitigate the impact of this disease in our community, we can only flatten the curve if everyone takes social distancing seriously and adheres to all isolation and quarantine orders issued by our health officer," she said.

SpaceX Launch Put on Hold

Hawthorne-based SpaceX has had to delay a rocket launch for the first time because of the Coronavirus. The Air Force's 45th Space Wing confirmed to Techcrunch Tuesday that SpaceX's SAOCOM launch has been put on "indefinite" hold because of the current crisis. The launch was scheduled to take place March 30, but Vandenberg has declared a public health emergency and the Air Force is limiting access to essential personnel and providing only essential services. It is not clear how many launches will be impacted by the virus. Techcrunch noted that SpaceX successfully launched 60 satellites last week. No COVID-19 cases have been reported on the base.

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3 LA Startups Poised To Change the Music Industry

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

3 LA Startups Poised To Change the Music Industry
Photo by Jonas Zürcher on Unsplash

In this digital landscape where live streaming giant Spotify estimates over 60,000 song uploads per day, independent and rising artists are struggling to keep up.

According to the Influencer Marketing Hub, 52% of creators spent up to 39 hours per month dedicated to their social content. And as of March 2022, there are more than 30,000 YouTubers with over a million subscribers, which makes for steep competition.

Here’s a look at three local music tech companies that are helping creators get discovered and monetize their content faster and easier.

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The 2022 LA Auto Show Kicked Off This Week, But EVs Were Not At The Forefront

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Vinfast back of car
LA auto show/Hyundai

Every year, inside the sprawling Los Angeles Conventions Center, the world’s foremost automakers gather to map out the future of personal mobility as part of the LA Auto Show. Against the backdrop of the nation’s plans to electrify 50% of new car sales by 2030 and a state that has pushed for a ban on new gas car sales by 2035, one would think that EVs would be front and center at this year’s show. Instead, the event–at least so far–has revealed just how far most automakers still have to go.

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Riding Transit in SoCal Requires a ‘Pokémon Deck’ of Passes. Here’s How Experts Want to Change That.

Maylin Tu
Maylin Tu is a freelance writer who lives in L.A. She writes about scooters, bikes and micro-mobility. Find her hovering by the cheese at your next local tech mixer.
Riding Transit in SoCal Requires a ‘Pokémon Deck’ of Passes. Here’s How Experts Want to Change That.
Photo by Walter Cicchetti/ Shutterstock

Gillian Gillett, program manager for the California Integrated Mobility Program at Caltrans, spread over a dozen cards on the floor of the conference room to make a point.

“Poor people wind up with a Pokémon deck in their wallet because we won’t give them the one thing that they actually need — which is a debit card,” she said.

In a workshop at the annual CoMotion L.A. tech and mobility conference, panelists discussed how to make paying for transit both more equitable and more intuitive.

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