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January 18
1899 - Martin & Richard Wood buy J.H. Tolfree's Saugus Eating House, rename it Saugus Cafe [story]
Saugus Cafe


WASHINGTON — While President Donald Trump continues to mislead the public about the spread of the coronavirus, career health officials including Dr. Anthony Fauci testified before Congress on Tuesday with facts and a clear message to the American people: do not panic.

“When you are in the area of the unknown, you have to walk a delicate balance of not overshooting and having panic,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “but not also undershooting and be in a situation where you don’t respond as aggressively as you should.”

Fauci, a top federal disease expert across decades of presidential administrations, testified to the known facts on the spread of the novel coronavirus, known as Covid-19, debunking many of Trump’s false claims over the last week.

With rumors on the rise about what Americans can do to steer clear of coronavirus, health officials testified to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension that the disease will continue to spread to cities across the U.S. The virus has hit 65 countries around the world, with the total number of cases topping 90,000 and fatalities up to 3,000.

Eclipsing Trump’s initial $1.5 billion proposal, Congress as of Tuesday is reportedly wrapping up a $7.5 billion package to battle the virus.

While the spread of respiratory diseases like the seasonal flu slows as the weather warms, Fauci testified that there is no evidence that coronavirus cases will decrease over the next month, as Trump has repeatedly claimed.

The director said he recalled during Tuesday’s hearing that more than 30 years ago he testified in the same room explaining that HIV was not created by the CIA to eliminate homosexuals and African-Americans.

“It’s crazy,” Fauci said. “But this is what happens when you have outbreaks. There is a lot of misinformation.”

fauci - risk of coronavirus covid-19

FILE – This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). (CDC via AP, File)

Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that “the situation is evolving and dynamic,” with more than 1,500 CDC officials responding to the outbreak.

“We don’t want to have the health care system flooded with people who don’t need to be there,” Schuchat said. “But if this is going to be like a really bad flu, we are going to need to build up that health care system.”

Experts assured the senators that 80% of coronavirus cases will be mild, with symptoms including a fever and chest cough — and not the sore throat, sneezing and sinus pressure common with the seasonal flu — while 20%, primarily elderly patients, will require hospitalization.

Six U.S. patients have died from coronavirus, all in Senator Patty Murray’s home state of Washington.

The Democrat called the Trump administration’s response to the outbreak unacceptable and stressed that low-income workers have been told to stay home if they are sick due to a shortage of test kits, many without guaranteed paid leave.

“To put it simply, if someone at the White House or in this administration is actually in charge of responding to the coronavirus virus it would be news to anybody in my state,” Murray said.

Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said the FDA and CDC are working to rapidly increase the number of test kits in health labs in all 50 states to 2,500 by the end of the week.

“Our expectation, in talking to the company that is scaling this up, is that we should have the capacity by the end of the week to have kits available to the laboratories to perform about a million tests,” Hahn said, later adding that each kit can carry out 500 tests.

Several expert witnesses assured the committee that federal officials are working closely with private manufacturers to develop a vaccine. But Fauci, among them, said while experts are working with record speed, a vaccine will require several testing phases over the next year.

“We hope that we will be able to get good news to you…but there will be no guarantee of that,” Fauci said, contradicting Trump’s claim that a vaccine may be available “relatively soon.”

As for a drug to combat coronavirus, labs are rushing to develop a new treatment. Hahn was unable to confirm as of Tuesday’s hearing whether India restricting the export of 26 active pharmaceutical ingredients as part of the country’s response to the outbreak would slow that push.

Senator Murray honed in on reports that CDC first responders who boarded the Diamond Princess cruise ship, during a widespread outbreak of coronavirus on board, were not appropriately trained and failed to wear protective gear.

Dr. Robert Kadlec, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services, said his agency is “evaluating what may have been a breach” after a whistleblower raised the alarm about the Diamond Princess response.

“We need people to speak up when they see these situations,” Murray said. “It is unacceptable if any of these workers on the front lines are intimidated into staying silent or believe that they are going to be retaliated against.”

Asked by Murray if they would commit to providing the full truth about coronavirus to the public — even if that means contradicting a tweet by Trump — all four health officials testifying Tuesday responded to the top Democrat on the committee with a resounding yes.

— By Megan Mineiro

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Monday, Jan 18, 2021
SCV Husband-and-Wife Team Open Rapid COVID-19 Testing Company
After Harleen Grewal became one of the 1 million Los Angelenos to be diagnosed with COVID-19, she realized there’s a better way for people to find out whether they have the virus, or whether they need to isolate because they potentially could make someone else sick.
Monday, Jan 18, 2021
COVID-19 Variant First Found in Other Countries, States Now in California
The California Department of Public Health, in coordination with Santa Clara County and the University of California San Francisco, on Sunday announced that an L452R variant of COVID-19 is increasingly being identified by viral genomic sequencing in multiple counties across the state, including Los Angeles County.
Monday, Jan 18, 2021
Barger, Hahn Call for Expanded COVID Vaccination Effort in L.A. County
Seeking to support Los Angeles County's efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the tragic impact on its residents, Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn are calling for additional flexibility in the county's vaccination effort to include as many residents as possible and a process to begin vaccinating those 65 and older.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
After Harleen Grewal became one of the 1 million Los Angelenos to be diagnosed with COVID-19, she realized there’s a better way for people to find out whether they have the virus, or whether they need to isolate because they potentially could make someone else sick.
SCV Husband-and-Wife Team Open Rapid COVID-19 Testing Company
The California Department of Public Health, in coordination with Santa Clara County and the University of California San Francisco, on Sunday announced that an L452R variant of COVID-19 is increasingly being identified by viral genomic sequencing in multiple counties across the state, including Los Angeles County.
COVID-19 Variant First Found in Other Countries, States Now in California
Seeking to support Los Angeles County's efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and the tragic impact on its residents, Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn are calling for additional flexibility in the county's vaccination effort to include as many residents as possible and a process to begin vaccinating those 65 and older.
Barger, Hahn Call for Expanded COVID Vaccination Effort in L.A. County
As Americans celebrate the legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his work to expand voting rights and representation, Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday formally submitted the appointment of Alex Padilla to become California’s first Latino U.S. Senator and the nomination of Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber to become the state’s first African American Secretary of State.
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The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management will be on high alert Monday night due to the potential of extreme Santa Ana wind and fire weather conditions in much of the county late Monday night into early Wednesday.
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1899 - Martin & Richard Wood buy J.H. Tolfree's Saugus Eating House, rename it Saugus Cafe [story]
Saugus Cafe
1994, 4:31 a.m. - Magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake rocks Santa Clarita Valley [video]
bridge
1926 - Newhall Community Hospital, est. 1922, opens in larger, more modern hospital building at 6th & Spruce streets [story]
Newhall Community Hospital
The death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic surpassed 2 million on Friday and the World Health Organization warned the global health crisis may get even worse as people weary of restrictions let down their guard and contagious strains of the virus spread around the globe.
Pandemic Death Toll Hits 2 Million Worldwide
At least once a month, residents of the Cali Lake RV community, nestled in a quiet canyon off a rural part of Soledad Canyon Road, have had their power shut off due to Southern California Edison’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs.
Residents Mostly Impacted by Power Shutoffs Express Concern Over Ongoing Events
Late Friday afternoon, a group of parents and student-athletes gathered in front of the William S. Hart Union High School District office to urge the district to bring athletic-conditioning back to school campuses.
Parents, Student-Athletes Gather to Urge Hart District to Bring Athletics Back
A future open space trailhead in the Tesoro area will be named after a founding Santa Clarita city councilman, and a portion of land in Newhall after a family who has donated several acres of land to the city for open-space preservation.
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The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed 258 new deaths and 15,051 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with cases likely to reach over 1 million this weekend. In addition, the Santa Clarita Valley has reached 21,189 total cases.
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Jim and Anita Lombardi of Federal Escrow, Inc. donated $50,000 to the Boys and Girls Club to help the organization continue providing COVID-19 relief services in the Santa Clarita Valley.
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The Castaic Union School District governing board appointed a new president during its annual organizational board meeting last month.
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The California Supreme Court declared Thursday that worker classification standards set forth in its Dynamex decision should apply retroactively to a labor class action from 15 years ago, as well as all non-final cases that predate the 2018 landmark ruling.
California High Court Makes Landmark Independent Contractor Ruling Retroactive
Los Angeles County officials announced five additional mass-vaccination sites set to open next week which include Six Flags Magic Mountain and California State University, Northridge.
Six Flags, CSUN Set to Open as Mass Vaccination Sites
Waste Management has extended its temporary residential green waste pick-up schedule for customers in Santa Clarita, with regular service anticipated to resume the week of Jan. 25.
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The College of the Canyons ‘Canyons Promise’ free tuition program for new students is now accepting applications for the 2021-22 year.
COC’s Canyons Promise Program Now Accepting 2021-22 Applications
The ice rink in Valencia, which the City acquired last year, is currently undergoing renovations prior to its highly anticipated grand reopening later this year.
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The MAIN is set to host eight weeks of free virtual productions from around the world from Jan. 22 through March 12 via Zoom for the Stage on Screen Theatre Fest's International Edition of online theatre.
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1875 - Henry Mayo Newhall buys western half of the Santa Clarita Valley for $2 an acre [story]
Henry M. Newhall
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 287 new deaths and 17,323 new cases of COVID-19, with 20,918 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
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