Virus Update: Confirmed Cases Rise to 18 as Testing Continues

Counties around the state have made the decision to extend their stay-at-home orders though May in an effort to stem a spike in COVID-19 cases.

On the heels of these orders, California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday afternoon, April 14, announced a series of indicators to inform a possible modification or lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

The announcement came one day after another detailing the Western States Pact, a partnership among  the states of California, Oregon and Washington to gradually reopen the West Coast economy and lift restrictions.

In a joint statement shared online, governors Newsom, Kate Brown (Oregon) and Jay Inslee (Washington) outlined three core principles: “our residents’ health comes first, health outcomes and science—not politics—will guide these decisions, and our states will only be effective by working together.”

With 23,338 positive cases and 758 deaths in California alone as of April 13, Newsom said the state’s Safe at Home order would only be modified if the state had the capability for the following six indicators:

• Monitor/protect communities through “testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed”

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• Prevent infection those who are most at-risk to contract the virus

• Handle surges within hospitals/healthcare systems

• Develop therapeutics per demand

• Support social distancing in businesses, schools and childcare facilities

• Determine “when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary”

There was no timeline as to when modifications may be issued.

LA County’s Safer at Home order was extended to May 15, per LA County Department of Public Health orders. Social distancing protocol is still in effect and county residents must wear a cloth face covering when entering any essential business such as grocery stores, restaurants and hospitals/healthcare facilities, effective April 15. (Note: infants and children under the age of two should not wear the face covering due to safety reasons.)

California State Parks and Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority-owned property—including beaches, parking lots, campgrounds, trails, trailheads and other facilities—remain closed to the public until further notice.

Malibu drive-through coronavirus testing

The City of Malibu continues its partnership with Community Organized Response Effort (CORE), COVID Clinic and Malibu Medical Group to provide the free, drive-through testing from April 15-17 at Malibu City Hall. Residents are asked to sign up online at malibumedicalgroup.com/contents/covid-19. 

Testing will be prioritized to first responders, healthcare professionals and other essential workers.

For individuals who have health insurance and display symptoms of COVID-19, insurance carriers will cover all of the testing cost. 

“If you have symptoms and no health insurance, there will be no out of pocket expense,” as shared on the Malibu Medical Group website.

A limited number of tests are available to individuals who do not display any symptoms; however, they are asked to make a donation of $60 or more to coreresponse.org.

In LA County, 10,047 individuals have tested positive for the novel coronavirus—and 360 have died—as of 12 p.m. April 14. In the City of Malibu, there are 18 confirmed cases.

Auto insurance companies ordered to refund premiums

Drivers and business owners will receive some relief in the form of refunded premiums, as ordered by California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. The order comes after stay-at-home restrictions resulted in reduced driving in cities across the state.

As outlined in a statement published Monday, April 13, premiums paid for private passenger and commercial vehicles, workers’ compensation, commercial multi peril and liability, medical malpractice, “and any other insurance line where the risk of loss has fallen substantially” due to COVID-19 will be refunded for the months of March and April. May refunds were still tentative, based on whether the Safer at Home order continued through the month.

Insurance companies may offer a credit, reduction, refund or another equivalent to customers and must do so by August 2020.

This follows a March order, which gave consumers a 60-day grace period to pay insurance premiums.

The city’s COVID-19 response

The City of Malibu issued a survey to tailor its COVID-19 response to residents’ needs. Residents are asked to fill out the survey, available online at surveymonkey.com/r/COVIDCommunity Survey.

At its last meeting on Monday, April 13, Malibu City Council voted to adopt an emergency ordinance that sets a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions in the city. For more information, see “No evictions, foreclosures during COVID-19 pandemic,” on page A1.

As a reminder, city-owned properties including City Hall, the senior center and parks are closed to the public until further notice. A more complete list of closures is available at bit.ly/TMT-COVID19.

Emergency information from the city is available at malibucity.org/coronavirus.

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