It's boom time in the world of remote learning.
That's especially true for TutorMe, a Los Angeles-based company founded in March 2015 that provides students with tutoring resources with the click of a mouse. The company has signed nearly 100 deals with schools and companies since the pandemic began, its co-founder and CEO Myles Hunter said this week. Most recently, the startup inked a September 30 agreement with Comcast to provide online tutoring services for families of their employees in the broadcasting and cable television company's northeast division.
The Comcast deal is evidence of an appetite to improve work-from-home quality of life for employees who are also parents. The pandemic has forced many parents to re-learn school subjects from years ago in order to help their kids complete their studies.
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Researchers at the University of Southern California, Emory University and the University of Texas Health Science Center have received a federal research grant to create a mobile app for contact tracing the novel coronavirus that hopes to track a person's real-time location and symptoms "for quarantine and decontamination." The project would use collected data to calculate a type of credit score of your COVID-19 risk and uses that to help calculate an aggregate risk score for locations like your neighborhood grocery store over time.
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Coronavirus Updates: California Unemployment Claims at 1.9M; L.A. Amazon Worker Contracts Covid-19; Disney Initiates Furloughs
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.
- Amazon Warehouse Worker in L.A. Tests Positive, As Company Struggles with Covid-19
- USC Shows (and Ranks) L.A. Neighborhoods With COVID-19 Cases
- Gov. Newsom to small businesses: "Let's get ahead of the queue"
- L.A. County records 78 deaths, cases top 4,000
- Patrick Soon-Shiong wants to buy shuttered hospital, convert to COVID-19 command center
- Disney announces furloughs amid pandemic, but employees keep healthcare
Disney announces furloughs amid pandemic, but employees keep healthcare<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjkxMTE5Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNTI5NDIwOX0.Op2hmq_rSRdq_ny2xfQ0c_bAuO9vxCpvX2Mt3oNIO1c/image.jpg?width=980" id="33dbd" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="97cecf4ed24fa69f21d4338a3ace8f41" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Patrick Soon-Shiong wants to buy shuttered hospital, convert to COVID-19 command center<div id="2c323" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f8d719587b250a9cb07d8eb4e64aca45"> <a data-flickr-embed="true" data-context="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/56675543@N08/14212355607"> <img src="https://live.staticflickr.com/5536/14212355607_9271292a26_b.jpg" width="640" height="426" /> </a> <script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </div> <p>Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, one of L.A.'s richest men, wants to use his family foundation to buy shuttered St. Vincent Medical Center near downtown and convert it into a hospital to treat COVID-19 patients and conduct coronavirus research. <a href="https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-02/soon-shiong-foundation-bid-st-vincent-medical-center-coronavirus" target="_blank">The story was first reported</a> by The Los Angeles Times, which Soon-Shiong owns. </p><p>The Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation has offered to purchase the medical campus out of bankruptcy for $135 million. Terms of the bid were not disclosed. St. Vincent has been closed since January as the sprawling medical facility fell into bankruptcy. All bids for the hospital must be submitted to a judge by Friday. A final hearing on the sale is scheduled later next week. </p>
L.A. County records 78 deaths, cases top 4,000<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcountyofla%2Fvideos%2F512285229661412%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>Another 13 people died of the novel coronavirus in Los Angeles County and officials logged 534 new cases on Thursday, pushing the total number of people that tested positive past 4,000. </p><p>So far, 78 people have died in the county. Of the most recent deaths, 12 were over the age of 65, while one was between 41 and 65. With the exception of one individual over 65, all had underlying health conditions. </p><p>The daily count of COVID-19-positive individuals increased by 1,000 in the past 48 hours, bringing to the total to 4,045.</p><p>The increasing number has put strain on hospitals. Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that about 22% of positive cases in L.A. have required hospitalization at some point. As of Thursday, 241 individuals were in hospital beds — about two thirds of them had no underlying health conditions, Ferrer said. She said there are five COVID-19 patients now in intensive care that are under 35 and a couple have no underlying health conditions. </p><p>Statewide, the death toll rose past 200 and on Wednesday. In a sign of just how concerned officials are, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti urged the city's 4 million residents on Wednesday to wear protective face covering to stem the spread of the fast-moving virus. To punctate his point, he donned a black mask, saying "I know it will look surreal. We're going to have to get used to seeing each other like this."</p><p>The news comes as new cases have emerged among the homeless and jailed population — both groups officials have been closely monitoring. There have been nine cases among homeless. At the county jail, seven individuals have tested positive, including one inmate. At the Lancaster State Prison, six inmates have the virus. Two homeless shelters have also reported Covid-19 cases. </p>
Gov. Newsom to small biz: "Let's get ahead of the queue"<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjkxMDkzMC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NDYyOTc5MX0.9ezMX6Py_E3Lw99JAcXsBS3p-WHhkgSIl69GWRr8TN4/image.png?width=980" id="a11bc" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f8413cc6c1eb5274a3a7c7b2ed760a75" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p> California Governor Gavin Newsom spoke directly to state business owners <a href="https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1gqxvEbqPOqJB" target="_blank">in his daily coronavirus address on Thursday</a>, briefing them on several new statewide programs, and imploring them to begin the process of registering for federal help. Since March 12, 1.9 million Californians have applied for unemployment insurance, he said.</p><p> Newsom introduced <a href="https://covid19.ca.gov/business-and-employers/#top" target="_blank">two actions</a> he says will help make it easier for small businesses in California to get back on their feet. The first is an interest-free, no-penalty deferral of taxes for up to $50,000 for one year. The governor called that a "bridge loan" to help businesses recover. </p><p> The second is <a href="https://www.ibank.ca.gov/small-business-finance-center/" target="_blank">a $50M program to provide loans</a> for California businesses who, for one reason or another, don't qualify for federal assistance. </p><p> Newsom also strongly encouraged businesses to sign up for the federal programs that will provide grants and loans to struggling businesses. Registration for those programs open tomorrow.</p><p> Newsom stressed it's "profoundly important" people fill out their forms as soon as possible, in particular for the "paycheck protection program," a grant program that allows businesses who keep paying at least 75% of their employees to be reimbursed by the federal government. </p><p> "Let's get ahead of the queue," he said. </p><p> Newsom also touted an effort led by Fresno-based jobs site Bitwise to match unemployed Californians with jobs in high demand called <a href="http://onwardca.org" target="_blank">OnwardCa.org</a>. The site, he said, is prioritizing four industries in particular: healthcare, agriculture, logistics, and grocers. </p>
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