Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, county health officials and private labs are ramping up COVID-19 testing capacity as people anxious to visit family flock to centers and cases rise.
Los Angeles County has recently added some 6,000 appointments to testing locations across the region and expanded testing hours. This week, LAX started offering COVID tests to fliers for $150, just ahead of what is normally one of the busiest travel seasons.
It comes as coronavirus cases have surged back to alarming levels and demand for testing rises. Wait times at county testing stations are now running 10 to 20 minutes, and they could grow in the weekend leading up to Thanksgiving as more seek testing.
Coronavirus Updates: LAUSD Closes, Apple Developer Summit Goes Virtual, Snap's Partner Conference Canceled
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.
LA County School Superintendent: All Schools Should Close<p>As fears about community spread of the novel coronavirus widened, the Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo recommended the closing of all schools in the county beginning March 16.</p><p>"After much consideration, I am making the recommendation that school closure is the most appropriate step at this point in light of the crisis facing our communities and nation," Duardo said in a statement. "Our focus must be on ensuring the continuity of learning as well as the safety and well-being of students, staff and families."</p><p>Duardo heads the Los Angeles County Office of Education, which oversees the county's 80 school districts, approving their budgets and other educational plans. It also operates the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, International Polytechnic High School and county community schools. </p><p>She recommends schools close from March 18-27 as the office continues to monitor the situation. Each district will decide whether to close, but already several had announced closures including the Long Beach and Los Angeles Unified School Districts.</p><p>"The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for public schools," Duardo said. "But I feel confident that the countywide education community can come together to mobilize resources to support our students, staff and families." </p>
1:32 p.m.: Santa Monica Apple Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg3NjIyNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMTQ5MjgyMH0.geeRMm5B8bpC11O04y-gxH4eSmVDhOTtj01U1TTiPmo/image.jpg?width=980" id="55bd2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8b51be2d2b45678fff6601f2acdcf24d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
1:15pm: L.A. County Confirms 8 New Cases of COVID-19<div class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="506251eeed2ccf895dd272cc7bb4eef1"><div class="fb-video" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/lapublichealth/videos/2601987390036773/" data-allowfullscreen="true"></div></div><p>There's 40 cases of confirmed coronavirus in Los Angeles County, eight of them are new.</p><p>And three of those are likely the result of community transmission, the county's public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said during a mid-day news conference.</p><p>The number of cases is expected to keep rising in the county.</p><p>"It's hard to know how many cases we have, when we for so long have been very limited in our ability to test," she said.<br></p><p>The county is preparing quarantine centers for travelers that may exhibit signs of coronavirus, homeless and others without proper shelter.</p><p>On Monday, Ferrer will release more details about the current cases, including the ages of patients and the communities where they stem from.<br></p><p>As the number of cases grow, she said the county may call for "blanket" quarantines of individuals who are in close contact with those that test positive. Right now, the county interviews each of them.</p>
11:26 a.m.: Snap Cancels Partner Summit<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY0ODQzMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzYwNjI2NX0.iAteI6t1-vdRIqymUzeX5uJwPuIsRS9rqxTPuXASQBo/img.jpg?width=980" id="01215" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2fd4115f7e8dccc3c4dcfbd27f4b7e91" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />cdn.pixabay.com<p>Snap canceled its in-person Snap Partner Summit that was to be held all day April 2 due to COVID-19 concerns, according to a note sent out Thursday evening to invitees.</p><p>The company had initially planned to stream the conference virtually, but then decided against that as well, instead postponing the event for developers, advertisers and creators. Snap has asked its employees to work from home. <a href="https://dot.la/snap-partner-summit-canceled-2645481547.html" target="_blank">Read more >></a></p>
10:28 a.m.: Six Flags Magic Mountain Closes as SoCal Tourism Takes Another Hit<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg3NTg0My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0Mjg1NDQyMH0.ZF8clzfff1bYuxyNkgdCG-yEGlSY3JwK-FDZ5ZKQutI/image.jpg?width=980" id="2719f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0c5521edf3d2e422d3d72d060d44dc52" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
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