Coronavirus Updates: Newsom Relaxes Restrictions; Microsoft CEO Isn't Convinced of Working From Home Future
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.
- CA Gov. Newsom announces loosening of restrictions
- Microsoft CEO Nadella isn't completely convinced about working from home permanently
CA Gov. Newsom announces loosening of restrictions
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced at his daily update on Monday that "roughly" 53 of the state's 58 counties are now eligible to move into a less restrictive phase that may include reopening restaurants and office buildings, at each county's discretion. Newsom did not specify which five counties must remain under strict stay-at-home orders, but he mentioned that some of the "larger counties" will be able to advance their re-openings. The Governor emphasized that local officials will be empowered to move at their own pace based on local conditions.
"We are also looking forward in the next few weeks to a number of significant milestones that are worthy of highlighting," he continued.
If current rates hold, in-store retail could "be loosened up" statewide, and professional sports could resume without live spectators and under strict conditions as soon as the first week of June. Hair salons and barbershops are now eligible to open on a region-by-region basis and are candidates for statewide loosening if trends hold. Religious gatherings, too, were described as "a few weeks away – not months, weeks – if everything holds."
"We are encouraged by the progress and the only thing that will set us back is if we move too quickly," said Newsom.
Microsoft CEO Nadella isn't completely convinced about working from home permanently
Microsoft is not taking the same financial beating as many of its peers due to the pandemic. Revenue jumped 15% in the first quarter of 2020, Microsoft Teams users increased by more than 70% in April, and the company's stock price is up 14% this year. But financials aren't everything to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
He is still concerned about the changes to work that the coronavirus crisis is forcing. Nadella spoke with the staff of the New York Times this week about the challenges he's navigating as Microsoft's leader. "What I miss is when you walk into a physical meeting, you are talking to the person that is next to you, you're able to connect with them for the two minutes before and after," he said.
Nadella's concern doesn't appear to be shared widely throughout the technology industry. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey notified staff this week that they should feel free to work from home indefinitely if they choose. Other big tech players have also given employees the option to telecommute for the rest of the year. --GeekWire
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It's never been a better time to "murder your thirst."
Seven months after raising more than $9 million in Series A funding, Santa Monica-based canned water startup Liquid Death has raised $23 million in Series B funding.
The round was led by an unnamed consumer-focused family office and participated in by Convivialité Ventures, Fat Mike (NOFX), Pat McAfee, existing investor in Velvet Sea Ventures and others.
The city's first free COVID-19 testing kiosk will open at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles Thursday.
The new stand is part of a pilot program intended to reach those who can't get to drive-thru tests. Testing will take place on September 10-13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m and will continue throughout the month.
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