For a letter from First 5 LA Executive Director Kim Belshé on COVID-19, click here.
COVID-19 — also known as Coronavirus — is a contagious virus that is part of a large family of coronaviruses that cause diseases of varying severities, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. COVID-19 is also called a novel coronavirus because it is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.
In general, transmission of coronaviruses is most likely while a person has symptoms and is spread through:
- Droplets produced through coughing and sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as caring for an infected person
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to practice good hygiene with frequent hand washing and social distancing.
As of March 19th, Gov. Newsom has ordered Californians to stay at home except for leaving for essential needs. For more information, visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/
Here are the key parts of the “Safer at Home” order:
- Angelenos are directed to stay in their residences and limit activity outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary for essential tasks — including to secure food and health care, safety and medical necessities, as well as to care for children, older adults and people with disabilities.
- Many businesses — including malls, many shops, companies, and nonprofit organizations — must stop operations that require workers to be present in-person.
- No public and private gatherings that would occur outside of a single home will be allowed.
There are exceptions to this order. Please see this Safer at Home FAQ for a list of the essential activities and businesses that will remain open and other important information.
The order will be in place through April 19, 2020 and is subject to extension.
For more information, visit:
- The State of California’s COVID-19 Resource Page
- L.A. County Department of Public Health: Coronavirus
- Center of Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus
DPSS: All benefits will continue uninterrupted
Information on Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Closures:
On Monday, March 23rd, LAUSD announced that schools would be closed until May 1st. During that time, school district leaders will assess the situation and give further information on how the schools will move forward closer to the date.
On March 19th, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner announced the creation of a fund-raising effort to help students most in need who attend schools in Los Angeles Unified. Los Angeles Unified serves almost 700,000 students, 80% of whom are from families who live in poverty. The Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation, the Ballmer Group and Richard Lovett, president of Creative Artists Agency, have each contributed $250,000 to start the effort. Tax-deductible contributions can be made to the California Community Foundation for LA Students Most in Need at https://www.calfund.org/lastudentsmostinneed/.
Virtual Lesson Plans: Students will be provided with lesson plans from their teachers and/or free televised and digital educational classes. LAUSD has partnered with the below television stations on at-home learning. For more detailed information, click here.
- Grades Pre-K–3: PBS SoCal (Channel 50.1) from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m, PBS SoCal KIDS (Channel 50.5) 24/7 Livestream (on streaming devices and PBS KIDS Video app, KLCS KIDS (Channel 58.2), KLCS (Channel 58.1) from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., YouTube (Search “PBS KIDS”), Free PBS KIDS Video App.
- Grades 4–8: KLCS (Channel 58.1) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Grades 9–12: KCET (Channel 28.1) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. KLCS (Channel 58.1) from 2 a.m. to 6 p.m.
During closures, LAUSD is providing 60 "grab-and-go" food centers for families. For more information on grab-and-go food centers, visit: https://achieve.lausd.net/resources
Map of "Grab-and-Go" Food Centers:
LAUSD has also provided a hotline to answer questions:
- Families: 213-443-1300
- School Leaders: 213-241-2000
- Employees: 213-241-2700
You can also follow the Superintendent of the LAUSD on Twitter at @AustinLASchools.
For the official announcement from LAUSD, click here.
For more information on LAUSD's school closures, click here.
Free Internet for Everyone:
- Comcast will be making Xfinity Wi-Fi Network free nationwide, offering unlimited data for free, ending disconnections and late fees
- These changes will help low income households remain connected to the Internet, which is particularly important as children learn remotely during school closures and families need access to health care resources
Certain families in L.A. County qualify for free internet services during the pandemic to accommodate online learning. To learn more information, click here.
Resources for ECE Professionals:
As early childhood educators (ECE) and parents work on how to respond to the novel coronavirus, ECE advocates, including First 5 LA, are supporting by developing up-to-date resources to reference. We have compiled a list here for our readers:
- CDC: Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools
- The California Department of Public Health: Novel Coronavirus Guidance for Child Care and Preschool Settings
- First 5 LA: Resources on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Children's Health
- Early Edge California: Coronavirus Resources for the Early Learning Community in California
- Urban Institute: Policies, Practices, and Resources for Child Care and Early Education Providers Amid the Coronavirus Crisis
- Child Care Aware America: Coronavirus Updates and Resources for Child Care Providers and CCR&Rs
- University of California San Francisco: California Childcare Health Program COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Guidance
- For virtual learning resources for educators, check out Common Sense Education's Resource Bank.
Information on Children & COVID-19:
There’s currently no evidence that shows that children are more susceptible to COVID-19. In fact, children may be less vulnerable to the virus and experience less-extreme symptoms than adults, according to NPR.
For more information on children and COVID-19, click here.
Information on Pregnant Women & COVID-19:
For frequently asked questions about Coronavirus and pregnant women, click here.
Resources for Individuals Financially Impacted by COVID-19:
If you have had your hours cuts, been furloughed or laid off:
If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file for unemployment insurance. If you are expecting to return to your job after the dust settles, you do not have to be actively seeking new work during the outbreak. But you must be "able and available to work" to get these benefits, which generally range from $40-$450 per week for up to six months.
If you are currently sick of have been exposed to COVID-19:
Individuals who are unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim.
Disability Insurance provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50 - $1,300 a week.
If you are caring for someone who is sick:
Californians who are unable to work because they are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim.
Paid Family Leave provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.