Coronavirus Updates: Mercy Hospital Ship Arrives in L.A., Gates Warns About COVID-19 Fight, SMMUSD Closes Indefinitely
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.
- Coronavirus cases surge in L.A. County, 5 deaths reported
- Navy hospital ship Mercy enters the Port of Los Angeles
- Bill Gates warns there's "no middle ground" in coronavirus fight
- Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District tells parents it will remain closed indefinitely
Coronavirus cases surge in L.A. County, 5 deaths reported<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcountyofla%2Fvideos%2F254402685591090%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe><p>Los Angeles county officials reported a massive surge in coronavirus cases on Friday with 257 new cases and five deaths. That brings the total number of cases to 1,465 and 26 deaths due to the fast-spreading COVID-19. </p><p>In less than a week the number of cases have tripled and with the spread unabated, officials shut down beaches and trailheads where crowds had been flocking.</p><p>"The crowds we saw at our beaches last weekend were unacceptable," Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a statement. "We cannot risk another sunny weekend with crowds at the beach spreading this virus."</p><p>The county has a higher mortality rate than New York City, said Barbara Ferrer, the county public health director. </p><p>Health officials have ramped up testing, but still only about 11,000 individuals have been tested far below New York. About 11% of those have tested positive. </p>
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District tells parents it will remain closed indefinitely<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg3NTY1Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMTI1NDI3M30.kmCl2AVpfMBG0gxdPb78CoJo9dFMcgGHm9cod-ZqqfY/img.jpg?width=980" id="992ce" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f869e85bc853d64ce7771c7b1ee78d86" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />upload.wikimedia.org<p>Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District's Superintendent Ben Drati sent a letter to parents, guardians and staff on Thursday evening telling them that in accordance with directive from Gov. Newsom and county health and education officials that the district will remain closed until further notice with distance learning continuing. The school is also continuing its meal services for students at four school sites. -- Tami Abdollah</p>
Navy hospital ship Mercy enters the Port of Los Angeles<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjkwMDk5Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0Mzk1MzU4NX0.5Le1u0uY0shNBVPnI02Kpp480Dtms7U5n8K_mmReWpY/image.jpg?width=980" id="87e13" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f4647e9dc8193eae1e5d104bf113ae64" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Navy doctors from USNS Mercy perform joint replacement surgery in Vietnam during Pacific Partnership 2015
Bill Gates warns there's "no middle ground" in coronavirus fight<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg3NjM2Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTYyNzE3Mn0.tLa0wWcrZvW1wIr3gFf8LqBRyM8YexfsXtK9a__gIy4/img.jpg?width=980" id="dba61" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5848d696bc0ef3feae39535741f9134d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />upload.wikimedia.org<p>Bill Gates was a trending toping on Twitter on Friday after his appearance on a CNN town hall with Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The Microsoft co-founder <a href="https://www.geekwire.com/2020/bill-gates-entire-country-needs-shut-6-10-weeks-effectively-fight-coronavirus/" target="_blank">cautioned that "there is no middle ground" </a>in the fight against the novel coronavirus, calling for a coordinated effort to effectively shut down normal life across the United States to stop the spread of COVID-19 and minimize the long-term economic impact. Cooper did not mention President Trump by name, and Gates is traditionally careful not to delve into politics, but the question was a clear reference to the president's stated goal to return the country to normal by Easter Sunday, April 12, a little more than two weeks away. "No, it's not realistic," Gates said. "The numbers are still going up." He's calling for a 6-10 week nationwide quarantine.</p>
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Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said Tuesday morning that the U.S. acted too slowly and missed its chance to avoid mandatory stay-at-home orders to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, saying that "everybody should have taken notice back in January" when the first case was detected in Washington state.
"There's the period between where we realized it was transmitting and now where we should've done more," Gates said during a video discussion with Chris Anderson of TED, a non-profit organization that hosts talks and online communities.
Bill Gates is leaving Microsoft's board, 45 years after co-founding the company with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Gates also announced that he is stepping down from the board of Berkshire Hathaway, led by his friend and philanthropic partner Warren Buffett.